Part 5

I visited Duquesne last August (1992), the-first time in four years. Of course it is well known that US Steel has changed it's name to USX and has gone practically out of the steel business.
What I saw as a result was most depressing. Some of the blast furnaces and some of the other buildings have been torn down. but there remains many acres of rusting steel buildings. The many railroad sidings are covered with weeds a foot high and small trees were sprouting between the railroad ties.
Until recent years, boy's could go directly into the mill after high school graduation and expect to work until retirement while earning good wages, vacations, and a pension. They know this possibility has been taken away from them, and the chances of getting other employment that pays steel mill wages are at least for now, practically nil.
Many of the men who were in their 40's and 50's when the mill closed, have never found re-employment. I have heard that some of the men when first furloughed, were able to find jobs, but refused them when they learned they would only earn five or six. dollars an hour, instead of the twenty or more dollars they were paid in the steel mill. It was difficult for them to realize that for them, those times were probably over.
The shopping center where our store had been located, now had only three businesses open. A drug store, a lunch room, and the Pennsylvania State liquor store. The large food market and all the others were gone, and the large parking lot had about a dozen cars parked in it.
The city is in financial trouble. The city paid fire department is changing to a volunteer unit, and the police department is also cutting back on the number of members and the service.
When Stella and I moved there from Steubenville in 1933, the population of Duquesne was 22,000, and now in 1992, it is 8,500. I guess that says it all! The younger people have been forced to abandon the town and go where ever they can find work.
In its glory days, the taxes paid by the steel company accounted for most of the city's expenses. I can remember when Duquesne's school tax was assessed at 19 mills, while where we lived a mile away in West Mifflin Borough the tax was 61. mills.
The state had been urging the separate school districts to merge, and of course Duquesne resisted because of their lower millage rate.
However, I was informed this summer that the Duquesne school tax rate is now 60 mills, without help from the steel company. Their old high school is badly deteriorating,, but to replace it is now out of the question.
The acreage where the steel mill was located is a prime piece of property, should some new industry be enticed to build, but considering the economic conditions, there doesn't seem to be any possibility at this time.
This same sad situation exists in all of the old steel mills on the banks of the Monongahela River, except in Braddock and Clairton. The Irwin Works in West Mifflin is operating, rolling steel slabs which are made in the Braddock Mill that is just a few miles away. Our store took a lot of Stella's and my time. When we first started in business, we stayed open from 9AM until 9PM from Monday to Friday, and until 6PM on Saturdays. But after several years we decided we had to live away from the store a bit more, because our lives were too restricted, so we decided to remain open until 9PM only on Thursdays and Fridays. We don't think it hurt our sales very much, because our monthly totals were about the same amount.
On some days Stella wouldn't come in until noon, because she was cleaning and dusting at home. She had employed several different cleaning women, none of whom seemed to please her, so she would begin again to do things herself the way she liked them to be done.
In 1972 Stella took on a big job of organizing two cooking schools, One in conjunction with the Duquesne Light Power Co. and one with the Equitable Gas Company. Each utility sent a home economist who had appeared on local television and were very popular with homemakers. Each was concerned with cooking and baking in their specialty.
The electric cooking school was in the auditorium of the Edison Junior High School in West Mifflin, and we gave an electric clothes dryer as a door prize.
One month later the gas cooking school was in the auditorium of the Carnegie Library in Duquesne, and we gave a gas range as a door prize.
Stella did a fine job of promoting them and they were well attended.
I was 68 in 1976 and we seriously thought about retirement. I had pneumonia the previous winter and was very ill for a time. We were thinking about visiting Florida for the cold winter months. I had never been there but Stella had visited her Aunt Stella and Uncle Hayes who lived in Titusville for a time and her brother Denny who lived in Fort Lauderdale and later died there.
Dennis had been working in the store for six years and was ready and anxious to take over the store. We worked out a deal which was mutually agreeable to all concerned. Our participation in the business ended on June 30, 1976.
Stella quit! I went to the store almost every day, more from habit and tried to stay out of the way. I do think it made a smoother transition and Dennis made the business decisions.
The only thing I was really sorry about was that Dennis didn't have someone like Stella to help him. I don't think I could have done it without her!
I've said many times–there are not many-perhaps not any more like Stella! I was truly blessed!
After spending our first winter in Florida and when going back into the store and seeing new merchandise we hadn't ordered and other changes that had been made while we were gone -we felt like visitors, which of course we were! We did have the realization that the store which we had really given everything we had for–was really gone.

After driving around Florida and looking with the idea that if we found an area we thought we would like, we would stay for the winter, and then evaluate it and decide. We both liked the Clearwater area. It is an area that attracts many retirees such as we are. We lived in a two room efficiency apartment for the first two winters, but Stella didn't like it because everyone we met were transients, who stayed for a brief time and moved on.
We started to attend church at the Kirk of Dunedin. The Kirk is a community church and people of all religious denominations attend the serviced. There are few churches like the Kirk. It is unusual because the members are mature people of 55 years of age or more. If you see any children at The Kirk, you can be sure they are visiting their grandparents. There are 600 members and in the winter months many visitors attend regularly.
The Kirk has two fine ministers; Rev. Ted Wehling and the Rev. Wayne Rauscher, and preach with a ministry of friendship and joy.
The Kirk has a 40 member choir, and in this beautiful church is one of the world's greatest pipe organs. You would never. For the next several years we spent the summer months in West Mifflin. We would return to Silk Oak Lodge early in October and stay until the end of May. As we became more acquainted with our neighbors and made many new friends, we liked it more and more.
We have a nice club house and a pool, and there is something here for everyone. There is a group who play golf together and there is a bowling team, and of course there is Bingo. Card parties are held two evenings each week and every Wednesday AM there is a coffee break for everyone in the park to break bread and learn all the latest happenings in the park. There are always new people to meet and there are always visitors too.
There is a craft club who meet weekly and keep busy making all kinds of pretty things.
The park has four very nice Shuffleboard Courts, and we have two Shuffle teams who play in a Ten team league,' every Monday Wednesday, all through the winter season. It is probably our biggest activity. Anyone can shuffle! It is not physically exhausting and men and women are both on the teams-and play against each other. The women are equal to the men in ability and skill, and much enjoy beating the men.
All of the women in the park are in the Women's Club. They have luncheons, parties, and entertainments and sometimes they invite the men to come too.
Stella was the president of the Club for five years and initiated many of the activities they still enjoy. Stella had the knack of getting shy people "to come out of their shells" and participate. They enjoyed working with her and she always had plenty of helpers.
I think in essence, that is what makes living in a mobile home park so pleasant. It is affordable and there is something for everyone to enjoy. Also the homes are easy to maintain, and there is a minimum of housework for both men or women.
Silk Oak is a senior park–everyone over 50, and exchanging stories of life's experiences is enjoyable to older people, and many of them would probably make an interesting book.
Some of our old friends from home came down to visit us. I think some of them were curious as to why we would be crazy enough to buy a mobile home.
We understood, because at home the few mobile home parks in our area were certainly not very inviting, and the thought that we would live in such a place, deserved an investigation!
Marge and Steve Sapos came to visit us twice and liked what they saw, and bought an almost new home in an almost new park, about ten miles from us. They loved living there and Marge, like Stella, was-soon busy in their women's club and she and Stella often exchanged ideas. I'm sorry to have to report that Steve died in March 1991, from lung cancer, Marge still makes her winter home there. Irene and Fritz McWilliams also visited us twice and bought a mobile in a park (Serendipity), less than a half mile from us.
Most of you know that Aunt Mary Jane and Bob (Jabbo) also visited us twice and bought the house next door to us.
It seems it always requires two trips to make a decision, but it is a big move; but none of our friends have regreted the move.
whoI'd better include my brother, Frank. and Marge A moved here from Whittier, California. They also bought a mobile in a park
(WestWinds) about three miles away, near the Kirk.
Also, just four houses away from us, live Sis and Bill Stewart, from West Mifflin, whom we have known for many years. We didn't entice them to come down, in fact I can remember them telling us about how nice it was to live in a mobile home park. Bill's mother, whom I also knew I has now lived in St. Petersburg for thirty years. They did move to Silk Oak after visiting us several times, and thought our park and the people here were great. They are a great addition to our park. I think they are one Of the best liked couples here.
Many people here ride bikes or trikes (three wheels) around the park. The trikes have a large basket on the back, so that the ladies, or sometimes men, can take a load of clothes to the laundry to be washed. Many also take walks through the park religiously morning and evening. One circuit around the park is a mile.
The women also have an exercise class twice a week.

In 1988, there was a happening I think you all know about, but for the" come lately's," I'll bring you up to date.
There was a Roman Catholic priest named Father Charles Pridgeon S.J., a Jesuit, living in Edinburgh, Scotland, in the United Kingdom. He was the Superior of The Church of the Sacred Heart. The church is at the base of the hill below the castle.
Father Charles had become a dedicated genealogist and enjoyed the search for his ancestry. However, he had reached a dead end in his research in the United Kingdom.
In the last several hundred years, many families have had members emigrate to Canada and the United States. Two of these members emigrate to Canada and the United States. Two of these people were disclosed to be Edward and Martha (Lord) Dempsey and their two year old son, George Edward.
Father Charles took on the tedious job of searching through passenger manifests of steamship companies who were carrying passengers to America in the 1880's. The search finally paid off.
He discovered that his great Uncle Edward emigrated to the U.S. in March 1886, and that his wife, Martha, and their son, Edward, arrived in Philadelphia later in the same year.
A Jesuit colleague in Youngstown, Ohio, found a clue that placed the Dempsey family in eastern Ohio. He ran a personal advertisement in the Steubenville Herald-Star daily newspaper, ask for help and information from anyone who knew the Edward Dempsey family. Emma Gourley, who was a long time friend of Mary Jane wrote to Mary Jane and sent the Ad. Mary Jane telephoned the
news paper and they gave her Father Charles' address and she immediately wrote to him and received an immediate reply. It was established that Father Charles and the Caniff girls are second cousins. Stella's grandfather, Edward Dempsey and Father Charles' grandmother, Kate, were brother and sister.
Father Charles was 76 years of age, but spry and mentally sharp. He had a great sense of humor and as he is a Jesuit priest) he has a fine education at Oxford University I as well as at several other colleges.
He and I started a correspondence that still continues. When he receives a letter from me, he answers it on the same day. I am not as prompt in answering as he, but within a week my answer is in the mail. He has a wonderful vocabulary and his letters are always interesting.
In July of 1988, Stella, Mary Jane, Lois and Judy decided to visit Father Charles in Edinburgh. They had a great time. His sister, Josie and husband, Dan Davis were there, and his brother, Frank, and his wife, Mae, were there. They also have a sister, Mary, who was away on a holiday and not able to be there. They said it seemed as though they had already known each other from some where before now.
The next summer Father Charles came over and visited us. It was when Stella was taking treatments for cancer.
He flew into Kennedy Airport where Lois met him. They spent another day in Manhattan sight seeing and then went to Judy's house in Cherry Hill, N.J. for two days. Chuck, Carole, and Emily, were able to come from Levittown and meet Father Charles and spend a day.
They then went to Lois and Charlie's house for several days before flying down to Tampa, where Stella, Mary Jane, and I met him. He stayed at Mary Jane's house while he was here. He read the Mass every morning at the Saint Michaels Catholic Church while he was here, and Jabbo and I took turns going to church with him.
He and I seemed to find pleasure in each others company. I don't ever remember liking anyone so much after such a short acquaintance.
We could talk for hours, and did so! He was such an interesting man and talked with a lot of humor. He was a young seventy six!
He stayed for six days and flew from the Tampa Airport to Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, to visit his brother, Frank and sister-in-law, Mae; who had just recently emigrated to there.
Two of their sons and their families had established themselves there and coaxed their parents to come over also.
Father Charles also visited Steubenville, and Mingo Junction and met Agnes and Ida Mae. I have forgotten to report that Martha, (Babe), died in 1981, at her home in Hamburg, N.Y. From lung cancer. She was married to John Pfaffenbach and had four children.
NOTE– Father Charles died in February, 1994, from Cancer.

After returning from her visit to see Father Charles, we remained in the no rth for another month before heading south. We stopped at Ginger's house on our way. Stella had developed a bothersome cough and Ginger suggested that she see her doctor and perhaps he could prescribe a remedy. He examined her and took some x-rays of her lungs and throat, but could not see any thing that would cause her to cough.
When we returned to Clearwater, the cough persisted and Stella went to the Mease Hospital Clinic, and a Dr. David Beam, who had been recommended to us, examined her. He was able to locate a tumor at the base of her. tongue. After more x-rays and- tests, it proved to be malignant.
The next two years of Stella's life were full of operations, radiation treatments, pain, and stress. She was so brave! She was just simply wonderful! I can only pray that when my turn comes, I can do one half as well!
The cancer in Stella's throat had been successfully removed I but cancer cells had spread to both lungs. A series of chemotherapy treatments were prescribed. After their completion, she was checked every month for a while, and then every three months. After six months she was still cancer free. It was now June, 1991, and we asked Dr. McLaughlin's permission to go north and visit the family. He said it was alright to go anywhere; just come back to see him on September the First.We had not been north for three years. Dennis and Sue had separated and were divorced. Sue and the three boys moved into our home. Mr. and Mrs. Erikson, who are Sue's parents, purchased our home, and Sue and the boys live there.
We departed for Chevy Chase, and arrived there on about June 20th. The next day, Stella and Lois went shopping for groceries and were gone for about an hour and one half. Not long after they returned, Stella complained about a bad headache. I told her to lie down and rest, because she must be very tired from our journey as well as the shopping trip. She did lie on the sofa and after about a half hour later, complained her head ache was becoming much worse. It was just a short time later that her body had a seizure and I thought she was having a stroke. We immediately called 911, and an ambulance came in a very short time. They determined they could not do much to help her, and took her to the Suburban Hospital in Bethesda.
She remained there for a week as they took X-rays and tests. The final MRI test showed there were four malignant tumors in her brain, and they were inoperatable. Her body had already absorbed all the radiation it could withstand, and there were no other treatments that could save her, so Lois and Charlie, chartered and paid for an airplane to fly Stella back home to Clearwater. Lois, Ginger, and I went back with her.
This case shows how tricky cancer can be! While it is being eradicated from one part of the body; it is secretly attacking another part of the body. I know they do many wonderful things in the fight against cancer today that weren't possible just a few years ago, but there are so many things remaining that they are still trying to learn more about.
The doctors, decided Stella would live about six weeks, and they were correct in their assessment. Dr. McLaughlin made the arrangements for HOSPICE to take over the care of Stella. There would be no more drugs administered except those to ease pain.
Stella was really wonderful! -Our friends and neighbors came in to visit, knowing the cancer was terminal, and not knowing what to say; but Stella would put them at ease, and many would leave smiling and saying what a nice visit they had.
Pastor Wayne Rauscher, the new associate minister at the Kirk, who had never met Stella or me, came to visit Stella almost every day, and we soon became Friends. He brought his wife, Barbara., with him to meet Stella. She is a very nice and attractive lady.
Stella and I usually had the evenings to ourselves and we would talk about so many things! She told me how I should live, and reminded me that she would be waiting for me. She told me that she wanted to be cremated. She said we had driven by the Sylvan Abbey Cemetery many times, and wanted her ashes buried in the shade of one of the many large trees that grow there. It is a lovely place, with beautiful flowers and shrubbery. Stella had thw friends that were just wonderful. Dorothy (Dottie) Martindale, who is a member of the Kirk, heard about Stella from our Pastor. Dottie had recovered from cancer in her mouth, after several operations, radiation and- chemotherapy. The damage caused by the cancer, required that her lower jaw be completely rebuilt by plastic surgery. Of course, she, more than anyone else, knew what Stella was going through. I don't believe she missed a day coming to visit Stella for months. Stella liked her so much!
Cis Guilfoyle was the other angel that never missed a day visiting Stella. No! I just remembered she did miss coming one day, and Stella asked Cis the following day if she had brought a written excuse from her mother. Cis had been a beautician in the shop where Stella patronized, and they had become good friends. Even closer than friends!
Neither of these ladies ever forgot me, and they were often bearers of good things to eat. Stella's faith was strong and she had no fear of death.
Once after losing her patience from the long waiting, she exclaimed," Come on Lord! –Shake it up!" I think our Lord. must have smiled, because I'm sure He loves her. I have no doubts about her being with Him, She was full of love and compassion for everyone. After we brought Stella back to Silk Oak Lodge from Bethesda, I wanted to contact Father Charles as soon as possible, to tell him the latest news concerning Stella's, health. I couldn't afford the time it took to exchange letters, because we really didn't know for sure how much time Stella had remaining to her, so I called him by telephone. I had been writing to him recently and, telling him of the great progress Stella had been making, and it was hard for me to relate the new developments.
We exchanged several calls in the next two weeks, and then Father Charles surprised us with the news that he was coming to see Stella.
As it happened, he arrived on the eve of Stella's death. Stella was visibly sinking, but she knew he was here.
That evening he took me into her bedroom and said he wanted to give her his crucifix which he had carried since he was ordained as a priest, fifty years ago. He put it into her hands and preceded to give her the ceremonial last rites of the Roman Catholic Church. I think Stella knew what was happening.
Stella was born into the Catholic religion, and as a school girl, attended Mass every day, and studied Catechism in their church school until the eighth grade.
Father Charles placed the crucifix in her hands, and when she died early the next morning, she still held it to her breast.
I insisted that Father Charles keep the crucifix, although he at first objected. I knew what the crucifix meant to him, and I knew Stella would have felt the same way. It had served the purpose for which he had intended and that was enough.
One thing Stella and I rejoiced about was that although our religions were mixed; we never had any problems concerning them.
Stella died in August, when many of her friends had gone north for the summer, but I think everyone who remained in Silk Oak Lodge, and of course many of our friends at the Kirk who were still at home, attended the Memorial Service at the Kirk.
Father Charles conducted the service, aided by Rev. Wayne Rauscher, our associate Pastor.
All of our children took a part in the service. Stella was always so proud of them! They were all so talented!
Lois played some of Stella's favorite hymns on the piano; Chuck sang several hymns; Ginger and Dennis gave touching eulogys honoring their mother.
Father Charles' prayer and homily were a wonderful choice, and I am going to type them in their entirety. Father Charles was superb! His voice was like an instrument played by a master, and he painted a beautiful word picture of our Lord leading Stella Home,
I Will never forget that I was dozing Six feet away while this wonderful tableau was enacted!

Rev. Father Charles Pridgeon S.J.& Rev. Wayne C. Rauscher
[Jesus said] "Do not let your hearts be troubled, Trust in God still, and trust in Me. There are many rooms in my Father's house; If there were not, I should have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with Me; so that where I am, you may be, too. You know the way to the place where I am going." Thomas said, 'Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?' Jesus said:
"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Me"

I have chosen this Gospel specially, because it is the most inspiring picture of death in the whole of Scripture. More–it is the most authentic,- the words of our Lord Himself, the Lord of life. And He spoke those words just before He Himself went down into death, through the gates of death and out into Life- Resurrection life, life with God His Father, life forever.
That life of unending happiness, peace, joy, is His by nature as St. Paul says, 'His state was divine'. It is ours by gift: 'I have come that they (you and I) may have life to the full.' That is our inheritance through Baptism; it is the birthright of every Christian. No one can take it from us. This is our Faith,
Perhaps that all sounds abstract, remote; it leaves us unmoved. But now, turn to the Gospel I have just read. Here our Lord and loving Saviour translates that divine truth into our human, earthly everyday language. For us, "love" means home, other persons, father, mother, companionship, intimacy, affection, caring. Listen then, to Our Lord's words, phrase by phrase– 'There are many rooms'– In familiar words, 'There are vacancies'! 'I am going to prepare a place' – Again, 'Your reservation is
booked'– personally, by Our Lord Himself.
'When it is ready' –Ah! A snag there! In God's own time; not ours. Dear Stella! How she importuned Him! That delicious cry of her's: 'God, shake a leg!' God was ready on Wednesday morning.
'I shall come and take you with Me' –Astonishing remark! God doesn't 'call' you; no phone call, so to speak, no 'summons to the boss's office-- nothing at. all that dread. He comesgently, as a friend. So He was there at Stella's bedside, He took her by the hand. Hand in hand; no fear. 'I know the way–I AM the WAY, What a scene of serene peace and joy! 'Where I am, you may be with Me, too', friends forever, safe,, HOME.

Dwell lovingly on all those words of His. That was -Stella's faith; undimmed, enduring.. And that is my personal, final reflection, Stella's faith, that invisible reality, became incarnate in the visible reality of her earthly home in this world. Her love–for Smitty for her children, Lois, Ginger, Chuck, Dennis and countless friends, was just simply her love for God made visible. A kind of dress rehearsal for her home life in heaven. There her love is unfettered, not confined to heaven, but poured out in even greater measure on each and all of us here: helping to prepare the room reserved for each of you. MAY SHE REST IN PEACE! Amen.

I offer a far better prayer than I can compose–Psalm 62. These divinely inspired words seem. to me to catch Stella's spiritual charisma ...
PSALM 62, A soul thirsting for God.

O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for You
like a dry-weary land without water.
So I gaze at you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.
For your love is better than life,
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as at a banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with Joy
On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
on you have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast.

I must tell you my impressions of HOSPICE. I can't say enough good things about HOSPICE! These people are the gentlest, kindest, women imaginable! I always wondered where they found them, because I'm sure they are rare. They are not patients–they are people! And to work every day with people who are dying and very near death, must be hard to handle, but these people remained cheerful and smiling. They even gave me a hug when they thought I needed one!. A Mrs. Kirk, whom I'll not forget, would pray with me! There was another one I won't forget, although I've forgotten her name. She was a black lady–and BIG. Not fat; I think she could have turned me over her knee if she wished. She handled Stella like she was a baby, but she was so gentle!
She and I were talking about the difficulty of raising children in today's world and the breakdown of discipline between parents and and their children. She said, "I have two teen age boys; but they are good boys. They know what to expect if they would get out of line," I think she has a steel fist in a velvet glove!
I know there are many stars in these wonderful people's crowns, and our Lord must truly love them! Whenever donations are requested, this is one organization that is truly deserving.
When Stella died at 4:30AM, on Aug. 21, 1991, I dialed the HOSPICE number, and in a very short time, a man came and verified her death, called the Funeral home, led me to a chair, and just took control.
Through the several years Stella was fighting cancer, Mary Jane was always here when I needed her, and after Stella died, she was still there for me when I needed someone with whom to talk; and she was a good listener, and gave me a lot of good advice when it was needed.
I'm sure we were closer than most in-laws. We had known each other since–Mary Jane was twelve years old. I had seen her grow from a child, until she became a lovely young woman.
We spent many happy days with Mary Jane and Jabbo over the years at places such as at Ginger and Charlie's farm and at Lois and Charlie's Wye River House on the Chesapeake. We also made trips with them to Jamaica, Spain, and to Greece. We always enjoyed each others company. We finally ended up as next door neighbors for five years.
Mary Jane suffered from arthritis, but otherwise seemed to be in fairly good health. She and Jabbo saw their doctor regularly and followed his instructions.
In Christmas week (1991), Jabbo had pains in his heart area and was hospitalized for two days as a precaution while they took the required tests.
Two days after Jabbo returned home, on the 2nd of Jan. 1992 Mary Jane had to be rushed to Mease Hospital at midnight, after she suffered a massive heart attack. After the doctors in the Emergency Room examined her, they realized she needed prompt attention from a heart specialist and there was none at Mease at that late hour. They recalled the ambulance and sent her to the Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, which specializes in heart problems and has surgeons in residence 24 hours a day. At 2:30 AM, she was in surgery and was given a double heart bipass operation.
The operation was successful, but in the initial heart, attack, the heart muscle which activates the heart valve, was damaged. Immediately after surgery, in Intensive Care, she was hooked up to a heart pump to activate the valve until the muscle could be rejuvenated and gain the strength needed to perform it's function.
It didn't happen! The muscle had been too severely damaged to regain the needed strength to-do it's job. After a week, her kidneys ceased to function and she was hooked up daily to a kidney dialysis machine.
After two terrible weeks of waiting and praying by her family and friends, it was becoming apparent the muscle was not responding. On the morning of Jan.25, 1992, Mary Jane died.
The Memorial service for Mary Jane was held at the Kirk on Jan. 29th. Father Charles and Pastor Ted Wehling preached the service. Father Charles arrived two days after Mary Jane had expired. He had made a valiant effort to get here before she died.
It was just five months after Stella's death when Mary Jane passed away. The ashes of Stella and Mary Jane are buried about 100 yards apart in the Sylvan Abbey Cemetery, in Clearwater, on Sunset Point Road.
Inevitably, in God's world, the elderly depart, and soon another generation of the family appears on the scene!
Dan and Carol Glynn (Jones) have just informed us; the first of the new generation will arrive about August 20, 19.93. Tests taken promise it to be a GIRL! They say Dan, who was one of five brothers, is overjoyed! I also predict that any child of Carol 's, will appear on the stage, instead of on the scene! This baby will be our FIRST Great-grandchild!
From the time I first met Stella, until she died, was 62 years, plus 4 months. A long time! We know that every living person will eventually die, even you and I! Sometimes in a tragic accident, a wedded pair will die simultaneously, but usually one dies first and the survivor is never really prepared for a life without their partner. At the time of this writing, it has been 18 months since Stella left me, and it seems like forever!
I miss her for so many reasons, but Stella and I talked a lot to each other, and I miss that. The house is too quiet!
I know there are many married couples who don't talk. I've heard many a wife say that her husband comes home from work, opens a can of beer, and plunks himself in front of the TV set and only grunts when she's dying for some conversation after being alone in the house all day.
Neither Stella nor I did that! It seems like we always had a lot to talk about, our children; their children; our church; our customers; and a lot about the business.
After retirement, we both kept busy in our park. She even shuffled for a while at first, but got so busy in the Women's Club that she didn't have time for it any longer. Stella was the President for five years and could have been even longer, if she had desired. She also got interested in the Kirk Circles at our church, and if she had not gotten sick, I think she would have given more of her time to the church.
I also enjoyed the shuffling and became the captain of the B team, and then served as president of the shuffle club. I was also elected as president of the Planning Committee, but after serving a year, I resigned when Stella became sick.
What I'm saying is that after retirement, we still kept busy and had a lot to do and to talk about. I'm proud that I had no really bad habits- I mean habits that were expensive and put a strain on our budget, or my health.
Stella was an interesting person to live with, and it was fun for me to see how she would react in different situations. She believed in women's rights and would argue vehemently in their defense. Lois and Ginger were like her in this regard and I always had to be careful not to sound as though I was putting women down, around any one of them.
I believe. in women's rights too, but it's so easy to say something in such a way it seems like I may think otherwise. If so–I heard about it immediately!
Stella was warm and affectionate, but could be fiery in her defense of an opinion, or of a person she admired.
I feel our Lord must have truly blessed our marriage, and I can't conceive of ever being married to anyone else, but the odds of my meeting Stella, and that she would love me too, were fantastic!
My work took me into thousands of homes, and I have seen how other couples live. Of course I was in many happy homes and I could sense there was love there; but I was in many miserable homes where I could only feel sorrow for the family who lived there.
I was always happy to go home to Stella, After leaving some of these homes, I would be reminded how incredibly lucky I was, to be going home, to someone like Stella!

The End


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