Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Shared at the family memorial service the night before the funeral:

There is a certain special bond that mom had with each of her children. She always seemed to know right when we needed her most, when only the warmth and reassurance of her love could make us feel better.

Growing up, I can't tell you how often that kind of caring helped us undersand ourselves and helped us decide what was right for each of us. Those loving ways guided us through our growing up years. And whenever we are facing challenges, we think of the kind of encouragement and advice she gave us, and our choices become so much clearer. So much that's good about our lives today comes from having a mom who cared enough to raise us right and loved us through thick and thin. Her wisdom and caring have made a difference in our lives. No matter what the years brought us through, we always knew one thing that would remain the same--mom love us unconditionally.

If it hadn't been for mom, we may have never known how truly strong and courageous a woman could be, how welcome and assuring a home could be, how beautiful and lasting a mother's love can be. Mom was a person of courage and strength and nothing could take that away. No circumstance that came into her life could alter who she really was. She was a person of kindness and warmth with uncounted gifts. No matter how stormy her world was, her spirit still shined through.

Her journey was not easy, but her faith never faltered and her heart never surrendered. She was our courage, our home and inspiration, and our love for her is a love that we will never outgrow. She was, and always will be, cherished, and she will always play a special part in the circle of our family.



I just wanted to thank everyone for coming and would like to say a few words about our mother. The last few years had been very hard for her. Mom always has some kind of "owies" as she called it. But through everything she was always lifted by her family. Her strength was always from her undying love of her family, and not just from her children and grandchildren, but from the whole family. Her sisters and brother, nieces and nephews, cousins, and of course her mother and father.

One of her greatest joys was to get news of the family. Mom remembered everyone and genuinely adored them. I remember her talking about her Aunt Beulah and when she stayed with her when Grandma was teaching, and Grandpa was farming. She remembered it all! Mom wanted me to know who my family was, and how much they meant to her. So, I just wanted everyone here to know how important your family is to you. Always to give hugs and kisses when you see them and especially when you say goodbye.

In the last few months I tried to give my mother a hug and kiss, and tell her I loved her when I was leaving. I could tell in her face that this gave her the greatest strength to cope with her "owies." I hope everyone here will do the same with their families. It has more healing power than you will every realize. Again, my sisters and I thank for for coming and your support.

Saturday, January 23, 2010



Julie took these very nice photos of various family members at the church and at Dad's!

Friday, January 22, 2010



Although we all gathered in sadness to give tribute to an amazing woman, we were able to find laughter through the tears. Grandma Lila would have been proud of the way her family came together, and told great stories and ate good food. She will be greatly missed. Here are a few pictures taken throughout the week after her passing. Emma was able to finally meet her Great Great Grandfather, which Grandma Lila would have been so happy about. In my heart, I truly believe that Grandma is now enjoying afternoon card games with Great Grandma Lassey, and eating WHATEVER she wants. I know in my heart that she is filled with love and laughter and surrounded by those that she has missed for so many years. May she rest in peace. I can't wait to join her someday.

With love,



Lila's greatest virtue was her love of her family--her parents, siblings, kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. From what I hear her love of family was followed closely by love of garage sales!

Lila was loyal to her family and her greatest joy was family gatherings and time with her family. She inspired loyalty in her family. She was a mother who raised a family that has modeled her behavior. They are wonderful people who are kind to others as she was.

Lila loved family history. As an example, she read dad's memoirs with a magnifying glass. She loved to read copies of the lasseyclan blog that were sent to her every month or more often.

She love to share her stories of the family history. I remember my trips to Miles City, and Lila sharing stories that were not the one's written down!

She loved to read, and especially loved socializing over card games.

Despite her many health issues, she was always sharp, and always kept track of everything going on.

Dad shared a fond memory of Lila traveling with Ron and Mavis to Arizona to visit them, and how she enjoyed other travel, like to Hawaii with Grandpa and Grandma Lassey.

Lila was a good-hearted person who treated people well, and was always kind.


Our return trip to Tucson has been slowed a bit by the bad weather moving east from the California storms. However, we have enjoyed talking about both the sadness of Lila's death, and the pleasure of seeing all the family at Dad's house after the funeral. As Jenny said, there was lots of fun and laughter that Lila would have thoroughly enjoyed. She would surely be pleased at the big and joyous family gathering!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jenny sent these photos taken at the time of Lila's funeral. She also sent a very nice message that I have not yet been able to transfer to the blog.

We are still in transit from Cartwright to Tucson. I'll add some notes from Maureen and Tim's comments at the funeral as soon as I can.


Thursday, January 07, 2010


Marilyn and Issy were, unfortunately, sick much of the time when in Sidney for the Holidays. They were both feeling better by the time they returned to Yuma on January 6, and enjoyed the time at home despite the discomfort. Marilyn celebrated her 74th birthday on January 5, with lunch in Williston, accompanied by Mavis, Ron, Julie, and Dad. There was a second pizza birthday party at Fairview in the evening.

Julie is now living in Minot (temporarily care-taking her employer's house) and commuting from there to Williston two days each week for her job. Ashley is attending beauty school at Albert Lea, Minnesota, and is living with Susan.

Mavis and Ron are leaving this week for a winter vacation (it was 27 degrees below zero when I talked to Mavis yesterday!), in Montana (with Lana), Nevada, California and Arizona (We look forward to their visit here in about 10 days!) After a week at home they will fly to Rotan, Honduras (a resort island) for two weeks. Will is already there practicing rescue diving. Dad will have the good company of Luke and Abbie, with some help around the house from Rhonda and Vicki.

Lila was in the hospital with a rapid heart beat for a couple of days before Christmas, but was out in time for a gathering at Cindy's and a traditional Ukrainian Christmas meal (that included Tim, as well). Mavis, Ron, and Dad were there for a medical appointment on December 23d, and enjoyed lunch with Tim and Cindy.

Hope your new year is off to a good start!


Sunday, January 03, 2010


The photos are of Dione and their house and yard in Yellow Springs.

Dione has started an interesting new blog: www.findingourfamilyfootprint.blogspot.com. It is about their family "journey to live more lightly on the earth," and describes the philosophy that led to changes they made, from living in a large house in Yellow Springs, to a smaller house that is much more energy efficient, but with a large yard that they have turned into a huge and unique garden--enabling them to grow much of their own food. Dione has done a beautiful job of combining narrative with photographs. It reads best if you go to the end (the earliest entries) and then page upward to the most recent entry. Happy reading and looking! Comments and feedback are encouraged.

We hope your new year is off to a good start, as ours is!

Bill and Marie