You are reading this today because my soul has finally left my earthly body. Do not weep, I'll tell you why.
I was born November 30th 1922 to Louise and William Schmidt in Mifflin Township Pennsylvania.
When I was about 3 years old mother bought half of her father's five acre lot and she and Dad built a house on it. This is where I grew up. Living close to my grandparents I spent as much time with them as I did at home.
My grandfather instilled in me the joy of watching things grow. I wish he could have given me his green thumb. From my grandmother I learned the meaning of true love and Devotion to your spouse. I thank them for these gifts.
My parents gave me love and a sense of security. They made many sacrifices so that I could grow up and reach my potential. I wonder if I really conveyed to them how much I love them.
I was blessed with a big brother Ralph and a sister Edna. They played with me and they guided me, helped me through the social Maze of adolescence. I hoped I thanked them enough.
In 1940 I graduated from Southside Hospital of nursing located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I immediately enrolled in a crash course for teaching nursing Arts at Desqune University, also in Pittsburgh. By the end of my first year our country was at War and I was asked to take a teaching position at a small Hospital in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. After a year I decided to specialize in acute communicable disease at Sydenham Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. I taught there until World War II ended in 1945. Veterans were coming home taking back their old job so it was time for me to return to school. I was accepted as assistant school nurse at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, where I also was able to take college classes.
By the spring of 1946 the campus crowded with Young Veterans returning from war, but one was very special to me. Zack and I were married that August. Zack has been my Pillar of Strength. He was always there, well almost always. His great sense of humor kept us on a true course. He made me a stronger person then I ever dreamed I could be. He always challenge me to hike another mile and climb one more hill. It was sometimes hard but oh' the view from the top was worth it. You have been my sweetheart, my lover, my companion, but best of all my best friend. Thank you for 50-plus good years.
My son's, Dale and Wayne, you have brought me joy, laughter, and a few gray hairs. I have always been very proud of each of you. Thanks for the great experience of being a mom. You have each brought into the family a wonderful young lady to be your wife. Rose Mary and Terry, you have given me comfort and peace of mind because I know you will stand by my son's and bring them happiness. I thank you.
I never got to know Rose Marie's son very well but my contact with him has been a plus. My granddaughter Natalie, I have rejoiced with each of your achievements and these have been many. We have lived many miles apart but are frequent short telephone chats have always made my day brighter.
When you marry you suddenly acquire a whole new family. Good, bad, or indifferent you take what you get. I was lucky the Russell's accepted me as one of their own. They were kind, generous, helpful, and always fun to be with. I looked forward to each visit since my family was so far away. They filled a void in my life.
Friends, there have always been so many. To each of you, I say "Thanks" for the great times. No matter whether it was a silly card game or a hike in the beautiful countryside, a fishing trip, or a cookout, there was laughter and joy to lift the spirit. Thanks to each of you for the time we spent together.
There were some rough spots in the ride through life, but there was always someone there besides me to help me over the spots. I Believe In The Reincarnation of the Soul. At sometime in the future our souls will meet again. This is just a parting, I have had a wonderful life. God bless each and everyone of you who has been a part of it.