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WE HAVE RECEIVED A GREAT MANY CARDS AND LETTERS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD.  THEY HAVE COME FROM PEOPLE THAT HAVE KNOWN HER ONLY THROUGH THE EMAIL OR THOSE THAT HAVE KNOWN HER ALL OF HER LIFE.  THEY ALL SPEAK OF THE GREAT WORK THAT SHE HAS DONE AND THE KINDNESS THAT SHE HAS BESTOWED UPON THEM.

HAVING KNOWN HER FOR ALMOST FIFTY YEARS, AND BEEN AT HER SIDE FOR ALMOST 43 YEARS I HAVE PERSONALLY WITNESSED THE LENGTHS SHE WENT TO WHEN SOMEONE NEEDED HELP OR GUIDANCE.  I WATCHED HER GO OUT TO HELP A FRIEND WHEN SHE WAS IN SO MUCH PAIN IT HURT HER JUST TO STAND UP.  THERE WERE DAYS WHEN A WEAKER PERSON WOULD HAVE GIVEN UP AND THROWN IN THE TOWEL, BUT SHE FOUND A WAY TO KEEP GOING.  AS ALMOST EVERYONE KNOWS, SHE WAS STUBBORN AND DIDN'T WANT TO GIVE UP HER STAND ON AN ISSUE.  SHE SOMETIMES PUSHED DIPLOMACY, AND YOUR PATIENCE TO THE LIMIT.  SHE COULD GET UNDER A PERSON'S SKIN AND MAKE THEM MAD, BUT DEEP INSIDE HERSELF SHE FELT WHAT SHE WAS DOING HAD TO HAPPEN FOR THE BETTERMENT OF THE CAUSE.  SHE TRULY BELIEVED IN THE CAUSE OF EDUCATION FOR ALL AGES AND BACKED THAT UP BY WORKING WITH LITERACY VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA.  THERE WERE DAYS WHEN I HAD TO CARRY HER TO THE WHIRLPOOL TUB AND BUBBLE HER FOR AN HOUR JUST SO SHE COULD WALK, BECAUSE SHE HAD TO MEET WITH A STUDENT IN THE AFTERNOON, AND SHE WAS NOT GOING TO LET THAT STUDENT DOWN.

IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT HER ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS SOMETIMES MADE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DISASTER AND SUCCESS, BUT I HAVE TO TELL ON HER.  HER COMPUTER ORGANIZATIONAL PATTERNS WERE KNOWN AND UNDERSTOOD ONLY BY HER AND LEFT A LITTLE TO BE DESIRED.  SHE COULD LOSE A FILE IN THAT COMPUTER FASTER THAN ANYONE I HAVE EVER MET.  SHE COULDN'T REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS CALLED OR WHERE SHE PUT IT.

THE LAST PICTURE I HAVE OF HER IS SITTING OUTSIDE THE GIBSON LECTURE HALL AT GCCC.  SHE WAS TOTALLY EXHAUSTED FROM THE DAY, BUT SHE WASN'T GOING TO LET THAT STOP HER.  SHE PRESSED ON THAT AFTERNOON AND EVENING BUT HAD TO STAY IN BED MOST OF THE NEXT DAY BECAUSE OF HER EXHAUSTION.  WHEN SUNDAY ROLLED AROUND SHE WAS BACK AT IT STEADY POUNDING AWAY ON THE COMPUTER KEYS.

IN HER QUEST FOR FAMILY HISTORY SHE BELONGED TO OVER 25 FAMILY LISTS AND AN EQUAL AMOUNT OF DIGESTS.  IT WASN'T UNCOMMON FOR HER TO RECEIVE 125 EMAILS A DAY DEALING WITH GENEALOGY.  SHE READ EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM AND RESPONDED TO QUITE A FEW OF THEM.  SHE HAD PURCHASED BOOKS WHILE WE WERE IN IOWA AND WAS DOING LOOK-UPS FOR PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET.  SHE WROTE A BOOK ON THE FAMILY TREE AND WE BOUND OVER FIFTY COPIES, WHICH SHE GAVE TO HER RELATIVES.  NOT FOR FREE MIND YOU.  TO GET A COPY YOU HAD TO WRITE A STORY ABOUT YOUR FAMILY OR PARENTS.  IT WAS THESE STORIES THAT SHE EDITED AND PUT IN HER BOOK.  THOSE OF YOU THAT HAVE HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF READING HER BOOK KNOW THAT THERE WERE SOME CHARACTERS CLIMBING IN THE BRANCHES OF THE FAMILY TREE.  SHE WENT TO  GREAT LENGTHS TO RESEARCH AND DOCUMENT FACTS IN OUR DATABASE.  THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE TRIED TO GET A DEATH OR BIRTH CERTIFICATE FOR THE 1800S KNOW WHAT A TASK THAT IS.  NEEDLESS TO SAY WE HELPED UNCLE SAM'S POST OFFICE STAY IN THE GREEN.

WHEN WE GOT ENGAGED SHE MADE IT VERY CLEAR TO ME "DOMESTIC SHE WASN'T".  THROUGH THE YEARS SHE DEVELOPED INTO A PRETTY DARN GOOD COOK, BUT A BREAD MAKER SHE WASN'T.  WE FINALLY BOUGHT A BREAD MAKER AND THAT CURED THE BAKING OF BREAD PROBLEM.  HER GREATEST BAKING TRIUMPHS WERE HER COOKIES AT CHRISTMAS TIME.  SPEAKING OF CHRISTMAS TIME, THAT WAS THE SEASON SHE WENT ALL OUT FOR.  WE STARTED THE DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING AND SHE DECORATED RIGHT UP TO CHRISTMAS EVE.  THERE WASN'T A SPOT IN THE HOUSE THAT WAS IMMUNE TO HER TOUCH AT CHRISTMAS.  I THINK SHE HAD OVER 500 ORNAMENTS FOR THE TREE AND EACH ONE HAD A HISTORY, WHICH WE RECORDED ON VIDEO TAPE FOR THE BOYS.  THIS PAST CHRISTMAS WAS TONED DOWN A LOT BECAUSE OF HER HEALTH, BUT SHE STILL DECORATED A SMALLER TREE WITH SELECTED ORNAMENTS.  CHRISTMAS WON'T BE THE SAME WITHOUT HER.

THE ONE BIG AIM THAT KEPT HER GOING WAS GETTING STRONG ENOUGH TO GO TO OUR SON'S WEDDING IN HOLLAND ON THE 5TH OF JUNE 2002.  SHE DIDN'T MAKE IT, BUT IT WASN'T BECAUSE SHE DIDN'T TRY.  SHE PUT UP WITH ME FORCING HER TO EAT ALL THE TIME WHEN SHE REALLY DIDN'T WANT TO EAT BECAUSE SHE AGREED WITH ME THAT SHE HAD TO BUILD HER STRENGTH UP FOR THE TRIP.  AS MANY OF OUR FRIENDS HAVE SAID "SHE WILL BE WITH US DURING THE CEREMONY BECAUSE SHE WANTS TO BE THERE.

 

I MISS HER.

DAVE STULTS

MARCH 2002.

 

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Last modified: September 19, 2012