|Back row (l-r): Grandpa, Ed, John, Bill, Jerry, Dad, Grandma, and me|
Front (l-r): Judy, Barbara (circled), Donna, JoAnn, and Mom
My dad was the second-oldest surviving son, and Uncle John is the oldest. He married Aunt Barbara just a few weeks before my parents got married...in fact, 29 years later Uncle John and Aunt Barbara attended my wedding to Mike, which took place on their wedding anniversary (June 17).
|At the last Christmas celebration she hosted|
in her home, with my Aunt Terry
They went onto have three children and three grandchildren. (The five sons had 11 children in total, all of whom still live in the Northwest near to the rest of the family.) When I was a child, all of the extended aunts, uncles, cousins, and our grandparents would gather to celebrate every child's birthday. As the family grew and we got older, that tradition ended. But we still got together for other major holidays.
After my grandma died in 1992, Aunt Barbara became sort of a matriarch of the extended family. Every year they hosted a huge Christmas gathering at their house, and the family always gathers at my Uncle Bill and Aunt Terry's house for Thanksgiving (and sometimes the 4th of July).
|Being entertained by a young Kieran|
Her memorial service on Wednesday was full of family (several of whom traveled from great distances so they could be there), friends, and former coworkers. She leaves behind a grieving family who will always remember her spunk and spirit. She fought cancer as hard as anyone could, because she loved her family so much she didn't want to leave them. Our extended family now has a big, gaping hole in it. We love and miss you, Aunt Barbara!
|My brother, great Uncle Al (in his 90s!), and Chris at the memorial service|