St. Anne's was indeed a temporary home for Mom, and her last home here on this earth. There wasn't much left for her here in this life, and on October 11 she passed on to her eternal life. There is much to say; I will share more thoughts in the days ahead.
A celebration of Mom's life was held a little over a week ago. And it truly was a celebration. Mom was blessed with a full life. I'm so grateful for the special memories that were shared that day by so many who loved Mom. I'll leave this post with the words written for the program:
Irene Elizabeth Weigly July 24, 1923 - October 11, 2011
Irene was born in Highland, Indiana to Julius and Elizabeth Szur; she was the oldest of two sisters. She married Theodore ("Ted") Weigly in 1955 and had 3 children. They lived in the Chicago area before moving to Florida in 1967.
Irene was a full-time wife, homemaker and mom. She loved to host parties for family and close friends, as well as intimate gatherings for 200, and served as the unofficial caterer for the weddings and special events of family and friends (prior to marrying Ted, Irene worked with a caterer in Chicago, which might explain some of the fabulous canapes and hors d'oeuvres she created). Irene was known for her prowess at canasta (rumors of cheating are unfounded); her adeptness at cooking large vats of Hungarian specialties, her love of boating and deep-sea fishing, and her eagerness to participate in "unique" family adventures. A typical vacation planning conversation:
Ted, after arriving home: "How would you feel about taking a trip to Florida?"
Ted: "Tomorrow morning."
Irene and Ted were married for 36 years before he passed away in 1991. In her later years, Irene took great pride in her children and grandchildren while continuing to enjoy life and travel. Two of her favorite destinations were Las Vegas and Biloxi, where she could be found at the nickle slot machines. She loved living by herself in Cairo, Georgia, and pampering her Great Dane, Jake. She also continued to cook large vats of her Hungarian specialties, eagerly freezing portions and giving them as care packages to her grateful children.
Late in life, Irene sought to study the Bible and learn about God. She developed a deep faith in Jesus and was baptized at the age of 85. Her love for God carried her through her last years of life, and she often expressed her gratitude for the new family God gave her within the church.
Irene is survived by her three children and their spouses: Mary Weigly (and David Traub), Mark (and Lynn) Weigly, and Ann (and Doug) Deam; her grandchildren: Christopher (and Crystal) Weigly, Michael (and Ginny) Weigly, Elizabeth Deam, and Theodore "TJ" Deam; and her sister and nephews: Eleanor (and Keith) Long, Ronald (and Arlene) Long and family, and Larry (and Helena) Long and family.