Wednesday, March 20, 2019

In Memorium

In Memorium, Josephine Rose Furry Williamson

JoMy Grandmother passed away on Thursday, Oct 10th at the age of 101 – I was surprised how it still came as a shock.

Grandma Jo taught me that there was treasure everywhere – secrets, knowledge, beauty, faith and understanding if you were patient enough to see it. She showed me it was more important to know how to find a fact than to keep it in your head. She demonstrated grace and forgiveness as she moved through the world.

Over the last few years she slowly slipped into Alzheimer's. Every year there was less and less of the brilliant woman I grew up with, less and less of the sharp minded reference librarian who could find out anything with just a bit of time. In her late 90s she rediscovered a love of playing Dominoes, she would spend hours playing with the residents and staff of her retirement community and even as her memory slipped away she could still add up a game board faster than anyone else at the table.

From her I learned a deep love of knowledge and reading. She was endlessly curious about everything, clipping articles, reading constantly and absorbing knowledge from every possible source. It was a heartbreaking tragedy that her mind was slipping away at the same time the internet was opening up boggling amounts of information, she would have loved having access to all the world.

When the call came I felt the air escape my lungs as my world shifted slightly on its axis. The days that followed were busy with a psychic fair in Columbus followed by a quick trip to Texas for the service. There were only passing moments to mourn – only seconds to breathe.

I took a walk Tuesday afternoon after the funeral. The light was fading toward sunset and as tired as I was I needed to walk. Grandma always found treasure when she walked - shells, pretty stones, feathers and colorful leaves. Nestled in the grass was a purple flower with a bright yellow center, it was no bigger than a pencil eraser. Without her I may never have seen such a tiny bit of beauty. Without her I may never have known that the world is full of treasure.

From The Obituary:

Josephine Rose Furry Williamson
February 25, 1912 - October 10, 2013

Josephine Rose Furry Williamson, 101, of Beaumont, died Thursday, October 10, 2013. She was born in Beaumont on February 25, 1912, to Lucy Eberspacher Furry and Harley Furry. Josephine graduated from South Park Junior College and The University of Texas at Austin. She was a librarian at Tyrell Public Library and later at Lamar University. Her hobbies included oil painting, gardening, and reading, and she was a lifelong member of St. Mark's Episcopal Church.

Survivors include her daughters, Jo Williamson of Port Arthur and Janet Thornton and her husband, Jim, of Youngstown, Ohio; grandson, John Thornton of Youngstown, Ohio; and many nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her husband, John E. "Red" Williamson; sister, Mary Fulton; and brother, Harlan Furry.

A gathering of Mrs. Williamson's family and friends will begin at 1:00 p.m. with her memorial service to follow at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, October 15, 2013, at Broussard's, 2000 McFaddin Avenue, Beaumont, with burial of her cremated body to follow at Magnolia Cemetery, Beaumont.

The family would like to thank her caretakers, Liz Yelverton, Joyce Baker, Joan Sensat, and Debra Teague, who had become like family to her.

View the Photo Slideshow from the Memorial Service

In Memorium - Robert Heath

There are people who leave footprints on your life. Even when they are gone you can see the tracks they have made and the impressions they have left – changing the terrain of your life.


From the Obituary:

"Robert P. Heath of Liberty Township, a well-known and respected area businessman through association with the hospitality industry, particularly the Avalon Inn and the Wick-Pollock, passed away on May 21, 2012. He was born March 24, 1928 in Washington D.C."


I met Bob Heath when I was 14, he and his wife, Jacquie, and daughter, Heather, were new additions to the local A.R.E. study group and he was a big presence. To those who only met Bob in the last few years, you were lucky to have known him, but you missed out on a lot.


He was a strong and at times divisive figure in a group of strong and at times divisive figures. Could Bob go head to head with Terry or Dorothy? Yes. Could he win? …. But he brought a professionalism and time of great growth to the local metaphysical community that I was only peripherally aware of at the time.


He brought great speakers and teachers to the Youngstown area, and introduced me to teachers who changed my life forever. Would I have met Linda Schiller, who taught me to be a psychic, or Ron Roth, who showed me what healing could be, or any number of other people (including my first boyfriend) that I might have never met without Bob. Would I be the man I am today without his influence?


WatercolorHeathFrom the Obituary:

"Robert was an inspirational and gifted speaker, always caring for others, offering physical and spiritual guidance. He brought compassion and scholarly knowledge to hundreds of people in the community, while inspiring them with his deep and thorough understanding of life’s principles. He has touched lives across many states with his travels and lectures, and has distinguished himself in the field of art, exhibiting his intense and soul-searching watercolor paintings."


No one who met Bob was neutral about him and he made some great enemies – if you were never on the wrong side of an argument with Bob, consider yourself lucky. He was generous to a fault with his friends and while he shared so much of his passion with the world he was often still a mystery. I knew Bob for more than 20 years. His daughter is my best friend and I still know very little of his life, only meeting a very few of his other children and learning almost nothing of his life before he discovered Cayce.


From the Obituary:

"In 1945, he began his career working for the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover, attended George Washington University and gained experience in business. He and his wife, Jacquelyn Williams (Heath) moved to the Youngstown area in 1983 establishing his presence both in the business field and leadership in the Association for Research and Enlightenment, also known as the Edgar Cayce Foundation. He coordinated programs and brought nationally known speakers to the Valley and established spiritual study groups that have been meeting for over twenty years."


With all due respect to his family, I think Edgar Cayce was one of the greatest devotions of his life. I often think that Bob introduced more people to Cayce in these last few years than the A.R.E. has – he spoke to thousands at psychic fairs and lectures about Edgar Cayce, "Have you ever thought about your past lives? Well, are you familiar with Edgar Cayce? Edgar Cayce was the most famous psychic of our time…" I heard him speak those words so many times my lips moved with his, but he told people about Cayce – He taught and he preached.


Thousands of people in dozens of cities - He was a missionary, an evangelist, a teacher.


I already knew about Cayce, but Bob was constantly dredging up facts I never knew and he had a great mind for context and use – What does this Cayce reading mean to me and how does it relate to today? His curiosity and drive were never ending.


BobChairHe was a great teacher and even in death he is teaching, offering comfort and healing.


He passed Monday morning a bit after a quarter past five, I dreamed about him soon after. We were at a restaurant on the way to some psychic fair (where else would we be?) with a few other people, I don't remember them. He looked healthy and strong again. Not young, I never knew Bob when he was young, but he looked more like himself than I had seen in years. Someone we were with said to me, "I thought Bob was sick, but he looks great!"


"Of course he looks great," I said, "He has all our prayers and energy with him. He's fine, it’s the rest of us who need help!"


Bob is fine, and some of us are getting help.


I was driving to my parent's house the day after Bob died and I got the loud message to call a friend who had been close to him, I told her the story of my dream. She has been having health problems for a while and was taking Bob's death quite hard. She told me she had cast the astrological chart for the time of his passing and was stunned by how beautiful it was – there was nothing to be scared of!


Yesterday she called me, she had another health scare and for a minute thought it was the end, but for the first time, after many such scares, she wasn't afraid. She had been terrified of death but this time, with the last lesson Bob could teach in this life, she was not afraid.


In his seventies Bob Heath embarked on a new career, traveling to psychic fairs with his wife Jacquie and helping people and talking about past lives and Edgar Cayce. I do not know if he was afraid, but he taught those who knew him to be brave.


He taught us – Be Not Afraid.


…and I'm not, and nor should you be... of anything.


From the Obituary:

"He will be sadly missed by his family, including his wife, Jacquelyn, his daughter, Heather, and his grandson, Jayden. He leaves behind relatives in North Carolina and Florida and was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, June and his son, Michael B. Heath. Arrangements have been entrusted to Staton-Borowski Funeral Home."


"Memorial Services will be held at the Unity Church Centre in Girard, Ohio on Saturday, June 2, 2012 at 2 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that offerings take form of donations to one of the following: The Edgar Cayce Foundation, an animal charity fund of your choice, or the Unity Church Centre."


Bob with the local A.R.E. Group in 2010


The service was beautiful and I believe it was recorded, so if you are interested in hearing it, please contact me.  Linda Schiller-Hanna did a great job and I got this very cool photo of her.



Our singer and friend Linda V




In Memorium, Eleanor Dicks

TulipMy Great Aunt Eleanor Dicks died a few weeks ago.  I didn't know her.  For most of my life she lived in Florida and I probably only met her half a dozen times, she was just a character in my Grandmother's stories.

It's strange when you can't relate to the people you are related to, but I found out more about her at the memorial service than I had heard about her in my entire life.  She was a nurse, she was a baseball player back in the days of the Women's League, she was a mother of two and she is still a mystery to me.

My Aunt Eileen (three siblings named Eileen, Edith, Eleanor, and Wayne - go fig) had a memorial at her church in Hubbard, OH last weekend.  It was a small service, My aunts and uncles were there, I was the only cousin, a few members from the church and a minister who looked like the Wizard of Oz desperately trying to come up with something to say about a woman he knew nothing about.

Eileen is the last of four children and you could see her narrow shoulders slump during the service.  Even though she lives nearby I barely know her as well, but I can see my Grandmother in her and feel a connection.

In Memorium - Edith Thornton


My Grandmother has passed away.  She was a woman of faith who loved, and was loved by, her family and community... and I miss her terribly.

In Memorium - Edith Mae Thornton, 86

Edith ThorntonEdith M. Thornton, 86, of Park Vista Independent Retirement Center, and previously of Lowellville, passed way peacefully Sunday afternoon at Hospice House after a short illness.

Edith was born Sept. 25, 1923 in Youngstown, a daughter of Harry and Rhoda McElwain.  She graduated form Rayen High School and married the late James F. Thornton on June 16, 1945.  James passed away July 9, 1994.

Edith leaves two sisters, Eleanor Dicks of Zephyrhills, Florida and Eileen Davis of Hubbard and a brother Walter McElwain is deceased.

Edith also leaves three sons, James S. (Janet) Thornton of Boardman, David H. (Paulette) Thornton of Poland Twp., Gerald E. Thornton of Lowellville, and a daughter Marilyn J. (Andrew) Acierno of Liberty.

In addition, she will be missed by nine grandchildren, Nicole (Steve) Cain, Andrea (Robert) Neff, Gerald (Megan) Thornton, Lori (Bradley) Timko, John M. Thornton, Lisa (Guy) Young, Summer Thornton, Michele (James) Dierkes, and Melissa (Emmanuel) Vlahos.

Also eight great-grandchildren, Katrina Neff, Andrew Neff, Elizabeth Neff,  twins Kyle and Nathan Cain, Nikolas Young, Ava Timko, and Xander Thornton.

Edith was a very active member of Richard Brown Memorial Methodist Church, and before that, in the McGuffey Methodist Church.  She sang in the choir, served on many committees and was active in United Methodist Women and the Mothers Club.  She was very committed to family and especially enjoyed family gatherings and the great-grandchildren. She will be greatly missed by her family.

Her hobbies included knitting, needlepoint  and roller skating with her husband.

Calling will be at 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at the Thompson Funeral Home (4221 Market Street, Youngstown, OH, 44512-1119, (330) 788-6568).  Friends may also call from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Richard Brown Church  (1205 Elm Street, Youngstown, OH, 44505, 330-743-5432).  A Service will be held at the church 11 a.m.

The family requests that tributes be contributed to Richard Brown United Methodist Church.

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