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Thursday, October 09, 2008

A very Baptist affair

My mothers funeral was last Tuesday. It was held at the First Baptist Church in my home town. Both of my parents were very active in that church until they moved away many years ago. She was interred, after cremation, next to my father. A lot more people attended than I expected; not all of her peers had died, moved away, or were infirmed. I was really surprised when several people, I assumed had died, showed up alive and well!

It was a simple Baptist service. After an opening prayer and some singing the preacher read her obituary, then asked my brothers and sisters and I to come forward and recall a fond memory of our mother. One spoke about our parents involvement in building the new church, one spoke about her prom dress, another spoke about singing the special music in a church service. I spoke about a memory of mother playing the piano one afternoon, while my father and I napped, when she stopped playing (after an hour) we both got up to find out why she had stopped. After a long incoherent sermon the service concluded with the old Baptist standard hymn: "In The Garden".

We had a police escort to the cemetery. One good thing about my home town, they take really good care of the cemetery. At the grave site there was a prayer then we placed roses next to mom's Urn. The ladies of the church provided lunch after the service.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

My mother died Thursday October 2, 2008 (updated)

My mother, Frances, died very early Thursday morning October 2, 2008. My sister and brother were both present when she died. Below is a draft (slightly edited) of the obituary my sister wrote (I am the only non-theist in the family; the rest of the family identifies as Christian.)

Frances R. H. peacefully returned to the loving arms of the Lord on Thursday October 2, 2008 where she joined her beloved husband, Doctor Joe.

Frances Ross H

She came into this World in on March 18, 1920, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the eldest daughter of Clyde and Alice R. She grew up in Cheyenne surrounded by music. Her parents were both professional musicians and music remained an important part of her life. She enjoyed playing in string quartets, and played First Violin with the Casper Symphony for many years. Occasionally she played with the Billings Symphony and later played several seasons with the St. George, Utah Symphony. She gave piano and violin lessons, and was organist and choir director at First Baptist Church for many years. She attended Park College in Parkville, Missouri from 1938 to 1941 and graduated from the University of Wyoming 1943 with a degree in Music

While attending Park College in 1938 she met the true love of her life. The first time she saw Joe H. she was attracted to the tall handsome curly haired gentleman. He was a Senior and she was a Freshman. When they discovered they were both from Wyoming, a romance which lasted a lifetime followed. They were married in Cheyenne, Wyoming August 30,1943. After Joe’s residency in St. Louis, and his stint with the military following World War II they made their home in Wyoming. Five children were born of this marriage.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Joe H., her parents, Clyde and Alice R., her only sister, Mae Fern Jay, and her infant daughter Alice.

She is survived by her sons, Frank, (wife Elizabeth) of Wisconsin, David (wife Kit) of Wyoming, and Clyde of Colorado; her daughter, Jeannette of Montana; four grandchildren, Marci, Jessica, Patrick, Robert (wife Pam) and one great grandson, Teague.

Cremation has taken place, burial will be at Mt. Pisgah in Wyoming.

A funeral service will be held at the First Baptist Church (Wyo) at 2:00 PM Tuesday October 7, 2008; the service is open to the public.