So sad to share that Mom died early Sunday afternoon, Oct 1st, 2017 at the age of 92. She was at her beloved home surrounded by pictures, music, and stained glass as she was supported and cared for by her family. Until her final moments she was able to enjoy her favorite simple pleasures and savor every treasured memory of her long and beautiful life.
My father lost the love of his life after 70 years of marriage. We children lost our mother, the focus and grounding force of our life. West Liberty lost one of the founding members of the first ever Chapter of West Liberty Alumni. Since then they’ve met to share stories of joy and sorrow, celebrating their time together as their lives unfolded.
It all started on that beautiful campus where they met and fell in love. He, a returning soldier she’d tell you looked fearsomely handsome and cocky, saw her from a distance in the cafeteria. She was, he says, strikingly beautiful, fiesty and celebrating her birthday so he asked “How old are you?” She flashed her bright eyes and tossed her thick black hair saying “Old enough to take care of myself!” in a deep spirited voice as she pranced off – and that started the greatest love story of all time. Having separated for Christmas vacation they quickly came back early to the quiet campus so they could be together, walk and talk about their dreams. He sang to her every song he ever knew, she believed in him and was completely devoted to their love. Quietly confident, strong and farm-wise she nurtured their incredible life, love and family over these many years. I’ve included a picture of them on campus in 1947 and one from a few years ago, still and even more deeply in love. They have had an extraordinary life.
Please understand that although we choose not to have a memorial service and request outreach by mail or email only, no telephone calls or visits please, we invite you to share your memories of her by doing something good and special for yourselves and for each other. Embrace and pass on her gloriously vibrant and engaging sincerity and warmth. We cherish memories of the far-away friends that we have already lost and now make room for those who follow in her footsteps at West Liberty. May they find her gentle honesty, courage and kindness every step of the way.
Our best wishes and deepest thanks and gratitude to our many friends from West Liberty, now and forever.
Donna Jean and James M. O’Hara, PhD along with Robin, Al, Joe, Troy, Ryan, Austin and Cory