Thursday, April 26, 2007

The end of a generation

It's been a hard two or three days for my wife and I. My aunt, Geraldine (Seaver) Remley, died this morning in Augusta, Maine. She was taken to the hospital last weekend and they found that they couldn't do more than make her comfortable. Gerry married Jim Remley in 1970 and they had no children. Jim's three children welcomed and loved Gerry as their own, and she greatly enjoyed the Remley family. She was 89.

Gerry was the family communicator. She loved seeing her siblings, her nieces and nephews, and all of the kids. She wrote letters and cards to everyone. In the last 10 years, we talked with she and Jim on the phone every month or two.

She loved my research findings and reveled in every Christmas newsletter filled with family news, pictures and genealogy data. She was my biggest "fan" and encourager.

After I started doing the family genealogy work in 1988, Gerry made three hour-long cassette tapes of the Seaver/Richmond family life, including biographical information on family members, and her own life. Gerry is very analytical (she was a musician and a teacher), and had tremendous insights into the personalities. She was the youngest daughter, and spent the most time with her mother in her 20 year widowhood. What a fount of family knowledge!

Gerry and Jim married in Newton MA, and retired to Maine. They moved to Florida in the early 1980s, and we visited with them there several times. And when they had to go to assisted living, they moved to Augusta in 2004 in order to be close to Jim's family. We visited them in 2004 and in 2006 there.

My family has so many wonderful memories of Gerry and Jim. We took a wonderful trip to New England in 1982, when the kids were youngsters (8 and 5). For a week we visited them at their summer cabin on Lake Cobboseccontee in Maine near Augusta. We fished, sunned, talked, ate, rested, laughed, shared our lives, and bonded all of us to them. My girls still remember the trip and the visit.

Gerry was the last of my father's 6 siblings to die. The children of Frederick and Bess (Richmond) Seaver died at ages 98, 75, 5, 92, 71, 90 and 89. There were 11 children in the next (my) generation, and 20 in the next (my kids) generation. I think Aunt Gerry met each person in those two generations, and even some in the next generations too.

We don't know about services yet. They will probably be in Leominster MA where a place in Evergreen Cemetery is reserved for her. We want to attend to celebrate her life, but it will depend on when it is, since we already have commitments for the second and third weekends of May. Now I have to make some phone calls - I hate passing along sad news.

It was a life well lived, full of love and laughter. Rest in peace, my dear Gerry.

7 comments:

Felicia said...

Dear Randy,
I am so sorry to hear of your Aunt's passing. Please know that I sympathize with you on the end of a generation and the passing of the torch to Your generation. I pray that your biggest FAN is now meeting all those people you told her about on paper, in person and really getting to know them. I am sure she will send you some hints to help you out if she has time. I hope you are able to make the funeral but if not, you can have your own memorial right there in your GeneaCave in San Diego...light a candle, say a blessing and thank God for all the times you did spend with her and Her wonderful MEMORY. Take care friend, you are in my thoughts today.

Lee said...

I'm so sorry, Randy. ((Hug))

Jasia said...

My thoughts and sympathies are with you and yours Randy. May God bless you and your Aunt and may she rest in peace.

Miriam said...

Randy, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your aunt. It is terribly sad to see a generation pass away. Fortunately, she has you to pass on her story to the generations to come. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers today.

Bill West said...

She sounds like she was a
great person, Randy.

I'm sorry for your loss.

Craig Manson said...

It was a life well lived; full of love and laughter I know you will treasure the memories, but now I join the others in sorrow for your loss.

Susan Kitchens said...

Randy,

I'm so sorry to read about your aunt. At the same time, I'm very impressed by her as you pay tribute to her and her fount of knowledge about the family history.

I wish you and your family well and that you have safe travels to and from Massachusetts.