Friday, May 10, 2013

GG Betty

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 number  5 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 began  I’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 competitive. 

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 7, 2010.

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.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice Julie!!
    She was a world traveler?

    Gma P