My grandmother, Helen Marie Hall, passed away early AM on 18 Aug. The viewing and funeral were held over the weekend. I was honored to deliver her eulogy, audio included and transcript below the pictures of Charles and Helen Hall.
All Images Copyright (c) 2014 Hall.
All Images Copyright (c) 2014 Hall.
Grandma loved to reminiscence about the good days. She spoke regularly of farming and cooking, her friends, family and her Charles, her church and her church family. Oh, she loved to retell the stories.
Allow us to, this morning, reminisce Helen Hall’s legacy.
She grew up in Wilsonburg in a city environment. Meeting her husband, Charles, took her to a farm in Fornash. The weeds were all grown-up. Snakeskin’s littered the area. Here my grandmother learned to work a farm. Her and granddad had large gardens. Corn. Green beans. Tomatoes. On and on. The work was tiring but the fresh produce (and eating the canned goods through winter) made it worth it. Granddad always said that fresh food from home and home cooking was better than any restaurant! Gma would take a knife to the garden and pull little spring onions to eat on the spot.
Helen was a registered nurse in 1941. She was second a nurse, first a mother. Helen and Charles raised three kids — Carola, David and Dana. Her RN training came in handy while raising those three! “Whether it was normal scrapes and bruises, poison ivy, or a fall (push) from the apple tree or pulling a loose tomb stone on ones self or cutting myself with my first knife, she knew how to doctor,” David said. She never came to watch sports, maybe because she didn’t want to see the kids get hurt.
Helen was a provider. She sacrificed to be there, always, for the kids. “Mom came last,” each kid commented to me. The kids had new school clothes before she had anything new. While the kids (and grandkids might I add) were in college, she supported them with care packages. Oh, she was very supportive of school. She would praise the kids and grandkids for their work – and then share these stories proudly with her friends. As she grew older and her eyes became weak she regretted not being able to send birthday and thank you cards. A trademark of gma!
Helen was a teacher. She was a virtuous women teaching by example and living her life above reproach. She taught respect, honesty, and manners. She taught spiritual leadership by starting every day with devotions.
And she could cook! Many of us here can attest to that fact! Remember the pies – pecan and lemon all made from scratch. Remember the applesauce cake with brown sugar icing. Remember the applesauce. Ummm. Good stuff. There was food ready for anybody who dropped by. “The table was always set.” This especially was true for the hunters who usually got first dibs.
Helen kept an immaculately clean house. The sidewalks were swept. The newspapers inside were tossed as soon as they were read. The bed was made as soon as she awoke. And the oven! The oven was spotless clean. Gma’s cleanliness meant no pets were allowed to be kept inside! (except for the dachshund Minny and Misty the cat for 1 night) At Maplewood she had arguably one of the cleanest places. Her personal appearance was always tops. She made certain her hair and lipstick were on before leaving home. Every Friday she got her hair done.
Family and friends were so important to gma. On phone calls she would always mention Shirley or Carolyn or Marge – or any of her many friends. Marge and Helen stuck together after Carolyn’s passing. She greatly anticipated family get-togethers. Or maybe I should say she worked herself (and her BP) up for those gatherings! Gma would cook and enjoy the company and granddad would tell about his latest book or magazine readings. Oh, how gma missed Charles. He was always on her mind and heart.
Helen was Carola’s best friend. They thought alike. Carola visiting Maplewood was like going on vacation with my best friend.
Gma – your legacy will live on. Now your family and friends have the joy to reminisce about your life. Gma was recently asked if she knew Jesus Christ as her personal Savior, to which, she responded “Yes, I do.” I have no doubts Gma and Gdad are re-united and happier than ever.
Gma ended her stories with this phrase. And so I end with the same – “those were the days my friends…”