Saturday, July 08, 2006

A Life Well-Lived!

Thanks for the many expressions, thoughts, etc. regarding the July 4th loss of the Duchess' Mom. It was a difficult three weeks, and the end was not unanticipated.

It is always hard to let go a loved one. This person was such a part of hundreds of lives that I feel compelled to speak out about her and a life well-lived!

Born in Texas, and known throughout the portion of her life in which I was involved (the past 20+ years) as "The Yellow Rose", this woman achieved more by age 20 than most of us will ever accomplish.

She was a child prodigy in music; flew a biplane at age 14; was a champion bronc-buster at the same age; off to college at 16; married her husband, a dashing Lt. in the Army Air Corp., at age 19...he was several years her senior; taught title IX in Mississippi enforcing the school integration laws; an active member and instructor in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary for more than 20 years; earned several degrees; taught junior high children with problems for more than 40 years in Tampa, Florida....retiring finally at age 79.

She exhibited a sharp wit, a wry smile and suffered fools poorly....and in one of my favorite moves to show her independence, bought herself a bright red Mustang convertible for her 70th birthday.

To each member of the family she celebrated their birthday with $50 in coins. She collected coins, and passed them along to the various children, grandchildren and great grandchildren for many years.

She could never refuse a person or not. She was "Mom" to hundreds of souls over the years, and founded a special organization for her fellow teachers at Monroe Junior High called the MEA (Monroe Education Association)....they met every Friday afternoon at my Elks Lodge to visit, laugh, and have a few was all about the teaching comraderie.

A Life well-lived........Fran, you will be missed by all.