Sunday, January 23, 2011

Aunt Jenny Goes to Heaven

I am sad to let you know that my husband's aunt, whom we called Aunt Jenny, passed away Saturday just after midnight. She fought a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 78 years old.

I cannot speak for my husband, but I know he has fond memories of his aunt, who lived on the family farm just as he did. She raised her three sons there and they played together. The family spent Christmases together at his grandparents' home, also on the farm, and I know he will feel her loss keenly in coming days.

Aunt Jenny was one of the first to welcome me to the family some 28 years ago, telling me in her gravely voice that she was glad to see her nephew marrying me. We had actually known one another for many years, Aunt Jenny and I, for she was a substitute teacher when I was in elementary school. I remember her from the second grade, so I have known Aunt Jenny for 40 years. Her middle son and I went through school together, so I have known him just as long. I now call him cousin.

I often thought Aunt Jenny reminded me of Bea Arthur, particularly in voice but also in looks and body type. Aunt Jenny was tall and willowy, a striking figure and somewhat daunting as a teacher at the lectern. She doted on her three sons and on her husband. I know she spent much time caring for older folks in the family, ranging from cousins to her mother. In particular she took care of Aunt Lenna for many years.

She inherited her mother's ability to arrange flowers and create art but she did not pursue it as her mother did. But in her home I spied creative flower arrangements and other spots of beauty that indicated to me that she had this wonderful creative bent that she used sparingly but well.

Others who knew her better would have many other wonderful things to say about her, I am sure. Her children and grandchildren will miss her very much.

Aunt Jenny was always nice to me, and in a world where niceties are at a premium, I will always remember this about her.

I know she is at peace and her pain is gone. God bless you, Aunt Jenny, and I thank you for your kindnesses to me over the years.


  1. i'm sorry for your loss...she sounds like a great woman for sure!

  2. I'm sorry for your family's loss, Anita. Thank you for introducing us to Aunt Jenny and giving us a little glimpse of the special person she was.

  3. Aw, I'm sorry about Aunt Jenny. She sounds like she was a wonderful lady. It's really nice that you wrote about her.

  4. I'm sorry to hear of your loss, Anita. This is a wonderful tribute to your Aunt Jenny---she sounds like a lovely lady. I know your family will miss her---my condolences.

  5. Condolences to you and to your husband who I know has suffered a great deal of loss over the past year. Time heals all.



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