Memorial Weekend for my Mother

Bill's Blog

I’ve been on the road the past few days. This past weekend we finally had a memorial service for my mother, who passed away in Dec. 2019. The service was delayed first because of winter and then because of COVID.

Gayle and I came across Lake Michigan on the Lake Express Ferry on Friday. We had the Memorial Service Saturday AM (see pic. above). The crowd was relatively small. We you live to be 100 years old, most of your family and friends have already passed away.

Think about it. Mom was born in July 1919. That year, Woodrow Wilson was President (she lived through 18 Presidents), woman got the right to vote (19th amendment) and a guy named Curly Lambeau started a football team in Green Bay, Wisconsin. She traveled with her mother back to Europe when she was 10 years old on an old ship. She lived through the depression and World War II. She sang, danced and played piano for the USO during WWII for all branches of the military.

The service was awesome. Dianne Neiweem Fox sang and I read from Proverbs 31.

Gathering of relatives and friends after the Memorial Service for Louise Steffen

After the service, some of us walked across the street and had lunch at the Ridgeview Restaurant. It was nice to see friends and relatives I hadn’t seen in years. The weather was perfect – sunny with relatively light winds.

Mother’s gravestone

After the luncheon, a few of us went to the cemetery to see my mother’s grave. My father is here, along with my maternal grandparents, an aunt and a number of more distant relatives. For someone born in 1919, the average life expectancy was 53.5 for a man and 56.0 for a woman. My mother’s father, was born in 1883 and lived to be 98 years old. His father came from The Netherlands (from near Almelo) by himself at the age of 19 after his parents passed away. My maternal grandmother emigrated from Austria in 1911 at the age of 24. Both of her parents had also passed away. Both of my father’s parents were born in Luxembourg.

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