Condolence & Memory Journal

When I was a kid in what my mother's family in Cincinnati considered the boondocks of Orrville, Ohio, I was thrilled with every visit from Frankie and Larry. I considered them the most urbane couple alive. They were golfers, smokers, drinkers of highballs, drivers of Cadillacs, and owned pedigree dogs that were the size of ponies. It was like they stepped out of Life Magazine ads and settled comfortably in our winterized porch to entertain us. Think Johnny Carson guests. My parents were very square and to me Frankie and Larry were the opposite. I think each Feltes niece or nephew, all six of us, dreamed of what it might be like to be rescued from our small town existence by our cool aunt and uncle.

As I grew older I was fortunate to know my more nuanced and wonderful aunt. Frankie was still cooler than my parents, a good confidante, and always funny. There was nothing better than a Sunday evening telephone call with Frankie starting the conversation somewhere in the middle and teasing you into laughter. In my mind's ear, I hear the hoo, hoo, hoo introduction to her laugh. She made me feel valued and special. I'm sure that all of her nieces and nephews felt that way.

She shared a lot of wisdom and support during my mother's Alzheimer's. She taught me to accept the bad days and balance them with the good ones. She was a realist and didn't sugarcoat what was happening, but neither did she lose herself in despair. She was life-affirming in the face of life's challenges. Her losses by death she weighed against the births of grandnieces and grandnephews and great grandbabies. There was much to learn from her.

I was fortunate to have such an aunt. She will be missed.

Posted by Gretchen Feltes - New York, NY   November 03, 2016

Candle

Pamela Kathman Boucher and Duane Boucher

Posted by Pamela Boucher - New Richmond, OH   November 03, 2016