My kids called her GG. I called her Grandma. She was an incredible women who taught me so much. She went to be with the Lord on Wednesday April 17, 2013.
This was last year Mother's Day at her house.
I had the honor of eulogizing her and wanted to share my words about her:
Good Morning and Thank you for being here today.My name is Julie Coughlin, most of you know I
am number5 in the line up of Betty’s 7 grandchildren.Some of you might also be aware that I am one
of 7 Assistant Managers of The Grandma Hilton Hotel.Did you have the chance to visit the Grandma
Hilton Hotel?Perhaps you did and you
were not aware.This lakefront property
was home to tire swings, puppet shows on balconies, afternoon tea parties,
heated card games, fishing tournaments, boating, ice skating and a gathering
spot for all holidays.Three things were
always guaranteed when you planned a visit to the Grandma Hilton Hotel 1: You
would never leave hungry, 2: Memories would always be made and 3: The
“Management” was the best looking crew around.The Grandma Hilton Hotel was MY Grandparents house.
For anyone that knew my Grandma – it is not a surprise that we
would have termed her home The Grandma Hilton Hotel.She had a hospitable spirit.Her cookie jar was always full.The Iced Tea always fresh and cold.The candy dish never reached the bottom.Her home was always clean and put together; always
prepared for the next guest to arrive.She hosted holidays, birthday parties, card groups, 4th of
July Parties, dinner parties or anytime the weather was warm and friends wanted
to go for a boat ride.She knew how to
entertain and her home was always a place where visitors were welcome.
Now it is probably NOT a stretch for most of you to realize
there may have been 7 assistant managers but there was only ONE manager and
that was my Grandma.And like every
great manager she was…how should I say…good at managing.Since my own professional career beganI’ve often thought if my Grandma had been
given the same opportunities I’ve had – she would have been climbing the
cutthroat ladder of corporate America.She was independent.She was
strong willed.She was stubborn.She was persistent. And boy oh boy she was
But while the ladder climbing of corporate America is not a
part of her story, her story is no less successful.Wife of Tom.Mother of 3.Grandmother of
7.Great Grandmother of 7.She also carries with her the titles of world
traveler, avid reader, sewer, golf player, card shark, dominos dominator,
cancer survivor, green thumb gardener, cook extraordinaire and believer of God.
You know last night – after the visitation, our family
returned to her home.We broke bread
together. We looked at pictures.Children
ran thru the green grass in her yard. We played games.Flowers were picked from her garden. There
was laughter.There was love in that
home.What greater success in life is
there?She will be missed, even that
fiery spirit that kept us on our toes.So while this time comes with sadness – for me I mostly want to say
thank you to my Grandma.She leaves me with
her greatest gifts and achievements – the people sitting in these first few
rows of the church today, ALL OF THEM.For
that, I will be forever in debited to her.
Three Years ago in June my Grandpa left us to be with the
Lord.On the day we honored his memory I
shared this poem I had found. I still find great comfort in its message – so I
end today with the same poem:
Death is nothing at all-I have only slipped away into the next
room. I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we still
are. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way you always
used. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play,
smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it
always was. Let it be spoken without the ghost of a shadow on it. Life means
all that it ever meant...There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere
very near, just round the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is
lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at
the trouble of parting when we meet again!
After her funeral - my family at her house:
Betty Sacco, age 83 of Knoxville, died at 1:35 P.M. on Wednesday, April 17, 2013
at ManorCare in Dubuque, Iowa.
She was born on April 3, 1930 in Moline,
Illinois the daughter of Oscar and Irma Pisman Willaert. She married Tom Sacco
on September 17, 1949 in East Moline, Illinois. He preceded her in death on June
She is survived by one daughter: Christine (Jim) Coughlin of
Peru, Illinois, two sons: David Sacco of Phoenix, Arizona and Dan (Penny) Sacco
of Dubuque, Iowa. Also surviving are grandchildren: Keith (Sarah) Coughlin of
Arlington, Virginia, Kristin Sacco of Portland, Oregon, Erin (Michael) Sacco
Pineda of San Diego, California, Tracy (Scott) Leffler of Fridley, Minnesota,
Julie (Dan Paulsrud) Coughlin of Waukesha, Wisconsin, Natalie (Jon Kremer) Sacco
of Dubuque, Iowa and Gabriel (Amanda) Sacco of Dubuque, Iowa. Seven great
grandchildren: Grace Leffler, Connor Paulsrud, Nolan Sacco Pineda, Jacob Sacco
Pineda, Riley Sacco, Kendall Paulsrud, and Charlie Leffler. One foster sister,
Agnes Babeu of Reynolds, Illinois. She was preceed in death by her parents, one
brother and her husband.
She received her Associate Degree from Clarke
University of Dubuque, Iowa. She was a member of the Corpus Christi Catholic
Church and attended St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Galesburg, Illinois. She
was a member of the Altar and Rosary Society, the St. Vincent DePaul Society,
and the American Cancer Society. She enjoyed fishing, golf, and card games,
especially bridge and euchre, with family and friends. She enjoyed her flowers.
She was also a member of Oak Run in Dahinda, Illinois for many years.
Funeral Mass will held on Monday, April 22, 2013 at 10:00 A.M. at Corpus
Christi Catholic Church in Galesburg, Illinois. Father Deus-Dedit Byabato will
officiate. Visitation will be held from 2:00 to 5:00 P.M. on Sunday, April 21,
2013 at the Hurd Hendricks Funeral Home and Crematory in Knoxville, Illinois
with Rosary at 4:00 P.M. Private Inurnment at a later date at the Rock Island
Arsenal. Memorials may be made to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.