Monday, October 22, 2007

Tributes and Memories: Honoring the Departed

When my mother, Violet Marie Uhl Marshall Funston, died earlier this year in a nursing home at age 95, it was a sad occasion, yet in a way, a relief that her suffering had finally ended. She was a woman who led an active life and touched the lives of many friends and relatives.

She had several careers, completed college in her late fifties and realized her life-long dream of becoming a teacher, outlived two husbands, and later became a part of the lives of two of her great-grandchildren.

Only a few members of our small, scattered family and a few local friends were able to attend her funeral in Northfield, Minnesota, so I resolved to ask those who knew her to write brief tributes before the end of the year, accounts, serious or humorous, of their memories of Violet. Those who were not comfortable writing were asked to contact me via email or to telephone me for a conversation about her.

Of course some procrastinated and needed several reminders, but I eventually gathered memories from my brother, niece, nephew, three grand-nieces, five cousins, an aunt, and three friends. Fortunately, my mother wrote her own life story in 1997, when she was 86, so I was able to include some excerpts from that as well.

It was wonderful to reestablish contact with cousins and old friends I hadn't seen or kept in touch with for many years. The result was a little 56-page book entitled Remembering Violet, self published via computer through It was a labor of love for all of us.

This book is not for sale; it will be distributed to family and friends. I hope it will help everyone remember what an interesting, vibrant, active woman my mother was for most of her life.

Completing this book gave me a good feeling. When you suffer the loss of a loved one, why not suggest or begin a tribute or memory book? It's fairly easy these days, due to improved technology, and not very expensive. It's a good way to pass along family memories and stories.

(While my mother was not a celebrity, and this book is not for general sale, if anyone would like to see it as a model or example, please contact me.)

Copyright 2007 by Marlys Marshall Styne


Paul @ Elders Tribune said...

What a great idea!

seniorwriter said...

Thanks, Paul. It was a labor of love.

Anonymous said...

I am very interested in your Mothers story. I would very much like to read the whole story. If this is possible let me know. Loxie Schabatka Salt Lake City, Utah

sagar said...

Hi Marlys,
Very touching indeed
I would love to know more about ur book