June 26, 2013: Guest Post on Grandma Marvel

Meandering Mary
by Mary Hahn
Printed in The Chronicle, Cherokee, Iowa newspaper, Thursday, December 7, 2000
“Always a Lady”

Husband Bob’s oldest sister was born on Dec. 7.  Today I dedicate my column in her memory.

Unfortunately, after a three-year illness, her life’s legacy left us last month.  She lost her husband of 57 years this past summer. They were a devoted couple, he the more strong-willed of the two and her the quiet, dignified one. They worked hard, she being his helper in establishing a lucrative veterinarian business. They were dedicated to their work and family and both worked many long hours, with her being the mainstay of the family, raising nine children.

Bob and his sister didn’t really know each other in their young years since she started high school when he started kindergarten. Since there was no school bus, she spent her high school years boarding out. Upon graduation from high school, she left for nurses training and then went on to work in hospitals, subsequently meeting her husband when he was a patient in one of the hospitals. But these last 20 years, when Bob and her had more time, they became good friends.

One could describe her with many attributes. One of her sons in the eulogy at the funeral service spoke of her gentleness, kindness to animals, compassion and how she disciplined with love. He went on to say she felt very strongly about some things and occasionally would voice a negative opinion, but as a rule she held a positive attitude. She was a quiet, strong person and her children thought she should qualify for sainthood.

One of her daughters when her mother was enduring many sufferings said, “What a role model.” She earned respect from all. Bob and I chuckled sometimes when we witnessed her use of psychology when she really felt strongly about something. She knew it was a way of getting what she really desired.

One would think after three years of enduring health problems, she would have been ready to just give up. But she wasn’t. She enjoyed the attention from many-family, friends and helpers. It was a reverse of what she had given to many for such a long time. She was a fighter up to the end. She loved life and she will be missed but it is a relief to know now that she is at peace.

She was one cool woman. Having known her for 46 years, I only witnessed her losing her temper a few times. She later would feel badly and feel that an apology was justified. The memory of the part she played in our lives will remain with us always. She gave a tremendous gift to us all…always a lady.


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