Today was my mothers funeral.
Nobody wanted to do the eulogy (granted, no easy task) – So, with this last opportunity to make my mother proud before her benediction I wrote this and read it for the congregation at her service. I was thankful for my cousins who came out and supported the family, and Nancy and Russ – Thank you – what a surprise – Our love and thoughts with you and Curly Girl…
And Marianne – Heartfelt thanks and love to you for all your work and attention. Cecil B. has nothing on you ..
So I was able to get through it – No easy task, and glad it is behind me.
In many respects, it is my duty as her son, to describe my mother as a remarkable and unique person.
There is a natural love and respect well formed between the generations that ensures this.
I grew up respecting my mother, but perhaps taking her for granted as children often do. And it was not until much later, after I had the time to age and develop the insight and wisdom that can only be found with the passing of time that I came to truly appreciated just how remarkable a person my mother was.
I know that this too, is a common occurrence, but in talking with various people about my mothers life – the comments have always been, “Wow, she sounded like truly remarkable person” and “I would have loved to have met her”.
Elizabeth Hassey was a remarkable person. A person of faith, a person of deep conviction, a patriotic american that gave willingly of herself to the people around her without hesitation, a wife, a mother and a role model to anyone fortunate enough to have known her.
From humble beginnings and proud parents, Betty worked to become something more – from the lessons and pride of her mother, Deliah, and father, Erlon, Betty set out to honor her parents with a life of service.
Service to her faith, service to her family and service to her country.
A caring soul and comfort to her sisters when they needed her, and a loving caregiver to her parents when they needed her most.
It is almost impossible to separate a memory of Betty from a memory of her beloved Rangeley – Each time I am fortunate enough to return, I am reminded that this is the earth I come from.
The white haired lady with little dog, quick with a hello and a smile was a familiar sight to many – strangers and friends alike in this small town that shaped so much of what she became.
A member of the great generation, from a time when one naturally volunteered, when one offered service without question or reservation, Betty set an example.
She served her country proudly both in the Philippines during the second world war, as well as in Korea as a MASH nurse.
Her faith was plain to see, not by words, but through action and by example. Tending to the sick as a nurse, a loving and supportive wife and partner to my father, providing strong spiritual and moral compass to her children through both lesson and example, and living a life of faith, I know she walks with God – still in service even now.
For even now I can hear her – she remains the moral compass I use to find my course in life, a voice in my head when I need guidance and through me she lives on as she does in the memory of her family and those lives she touched along her path in life.
I stand before you a blessed man. Blessed to hold my parents as my role models. Blessed with the family that surrounds me, blessed by my wife and partner in life. And for you who have gathered here this day to support us and honor Betty, may you receive all the blessings that faith, family and love may bestow upon you all.
Peace be with you.