She came into this world through love and she left this world surrounded by love. During the last two weeks of her life she was surrounded by the family she nurtured and cared for all of her life. She was also uplifted by the love of God who she worshiped all of her life. We praise God that she passed on into His Presence serenely and without pain She leaves behind a family that grieves her passing but rejoices in the legacy she has left each one of us.
She was born on June 22, 1928 to an immigrant family from Northern Ireland. She passed away on November 9, 2019. She grew up in Gardena, California and graduated from Gardena High School. She had five siblings so she learned early on how to get along with people. Faith in Jesus Christ was always part of her life from beginning to end. No matter how difficult her life became at times she always trusted God to work it out. And He did!
Sixty nine years ago she was worshiping in the West Adams Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles and she happened to spot a young Coast Guardsman in the congregation who had just become a Christian. She didn't get to meet him that morning but she did call her best friend that afternoon and said she saw the man she was going to marry in church that morning. She met him that evening at a Young People's group and love blossomed immediately. Seven months later they were married. It extended out for 68 years and it was filled with love, joy, hard work and a family that blessed them with their caring and compassion.
The first eight months of her marriage she lived with her husband on Anacapa Island where he was part of the crew that manned the Lighthouse station. There were only 11 people on the island, which included women and children. It was a wonderful time where, because of the isolation, they had to learn to rely on one another. That was a blessing to them for the rest of their lives.
After her husband left the service she worked to get him through college. During the next set of years the children came along. First there was Robin, then Rebecca, Renee was next in line, then Robert appeared. Nine years later a baby named Rachel showed up and surprised us all.
She loved being at home raising the children. Cooking and baking were things she enjoyed and was really good at. Her lemon meringue pies will never be forgotten. She was settling in for life. But then her husband dropped a bombshell. He told her that he felt that God was calling him to go to seminary and become a pastor.
She was upset. She told him that maybe God wanted him to be a pastor, but she hadn't heard Him call her to be a pastor's wife! After six months she was able to know that she too was called. So they packed up their four children and spent the next three years at seminary. She worked at the seminary library while her husband did part-time work to get them through school. At the end of three years they were broke, but they didn't owe anyone a dime! God was so good.
In 1969 they moved to Santa Maria where her husband served as pastor for the Orcutt Presbyterian Church for 25 years. She was an amazing pastor's wife. She served a stint as a Deacon and loved and cared for people. She worked alongside them and was always the encourager. She was loved.
In 1976 she came down with breast cancer - stage 4. She went through a radical mastectomy and had six weeks of radiation and eighteen months of chemotherapy. She beat it all! She was a member of a chapter of PEO in Santa Maria, she enjoyed working retreats with the Cursillo movement. It was a joy for her, and other women in the congregation to go to Guadalupe Community Center and teach the women how to sew clothes on a sewing machine. When the church held services at the Lompoc prison she always found herself talking to men who attended the services.
After her children left home she found time to take art lessons with Nancy Mitchell. She always had a creative side to her, but it really came out in her paintings. She was meticulous as could be and never thought her paintings were complete until she put the last brush stroke to them.
She is survived by her husband of 68 years, five children and their caring spouses, seven grandchildren, ten great grandchildren who all loved their granny and will miss her.
We are thankful for the care she received at Marian Hospital and Marian Extended Care. Above all, we are thankful to Dr. Donald Hole and Dr. Rachel Zonca and their compassionate care.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 23 at 11:00 a.m. at the Orcutt Presbyterian Church at 993 Patterson Road. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Orcutt Presbyterian church's Deacons fund that helps the poor in our community or to Threshold Ministries which supports poor children in China. Both of these were special ministries of hers.