herb@WidowersSupportNetwork.com/ (615) 579-8136

Comforting Widowed Men & Those Who Love Them.

WIDOWER Contributors

WIDOWER Contributors2018-09-14T20:17:53+00:00

Orgene and Sally BakOrgene Bak

Age: 86
Alexandria, MN United States
Broker

Sally went to be with her Lord on May 6th after 59 years of marriage. She was the perfect person for my life and together we spent 20 years in Yanakton SD; 20 more years in Minneapolis suburb as brokers together; than retired for 17 years in the Villages. Sally grew up in a family of faith that held the Bible in high regard; Gene, while in the US Navy Sea Bees had just gone through a discovery of the what a “New Life in Christ” meant, I sought a person similarly inclined. Again, Sally was that perfect person. We met in Oxnard Ca and fell in love-the perfect person at the right time for me. Needless to say. I am extremely lonely and miss the love of my life much. She was amazingly used in the lives of many acquaintances in our past. I being just 86 years old found over-whelming details of home maintenance and health issues, have just moved closer to kids to a large senior complex in Alexandria, Mn. I will be close to a daughter who is a music director in a large church there. I hope to share with other widowers there. Herb’s resources may be called upon-certainly his book anyway.

Orgene and Sally Bak

Sally Bak

Age at time death: 86
Date of death: 5/6/2018
Cause of death:
The Villages, FL United States

Anthony (Tony) Cabuno

Anthony (Tony) Cabuno

Age: 50
Struthers, OH United States
Sales

Dawn was one of the greatest people I ever met. We were so much in love for every second of our lives together. She was the best wife and mother to the kids we could ever ask for. It was truly a tragedy for me and our 2 sons to lose someone like that in such a bad way. We miss her everyday and wish she could have seen our sons grow up to be great men. Dawn, you are missed by so many and hope you’re looking down and smiling at all of us. We miss you and send Love from all of us. Tony, Nico and Dante

Dawn Elizabeth Yancsurak Cabuno

Dawn Elizabeth Yancsurak Cabuno

Age at time death: 40
Date of death: 2/8/2007
Cause of death: Multiple Sclerosis
Boardman, OH United States

Philp Carbone

Philp Carbone

Age: 59
Amherst, NY United States
Banking

I can still picture the first time I saw Lisa as a freshman on the campus of St. Bonaventure University. She had a wide smile that underscored her beautiful brown eyes, and carried a bright energetic air as she conversed with one of her girlfriends. Thinking back on our life together, and our marriage of nearly 27 years, what made Lisa so special was that she made you want to know her just by being who she was. Lisa loved to be with people and she loved to make our home a refuge where everyone felt comfortable and welcome. She was the friend who was always there; the mother who always made time for her children; the daughter who loved her parents; the sister who could always be counted on; the aunt who never forgot a niece or nephews special event; the co-worker who took on extra work just because; and, the wife of one of the worlds most fortunate men. Lisa demanded much and gave even more. In her professional life, Lisa took great pride in her work—early on as a photographer/journalist, then in advertising and sales, and most dearly to her work as a medical librarian. She was an ardent advocate for patient and family education and she was always willing to do research for people needing medical information. This was particularly difficult in the early days of the internet. But, Lisa felt that information gave people the knowledge and strength to make important decisions and to face their challenges with conviction. It was with compelling strength that she used those skills during her own medical challenges. Her understanding of the disease, treatment options and exploratory considerations amazed her doctors and care-givers. And, that knowledge ultimately gave Lisa an inner peace that she had faced her challenge with all the tools she had available to her at the time. Lisa was an amazing mother to our two children and she set an example of love and strength that will see them through any adversity. She gave me the strength and direction to continue to embrace life and all its future possibilities. I hope that I had given back to Lisa even a small fraction of what she gave to me.

Lisa Saviola Carbone

Dawn Elizabeth Yancsurak Cabuno

Age at time death: 49
Date of death: 11/15/2005
Cause of death: Metastatic Breast Cancer
Baltimore, MD United States

Doug Covert

Doug Covert

Age: 85
St. Augustine, FL United States
Professor

(Written by H. Knoll) The following are excerpts from an interview with Dr. Doug Covert. “Caroline and I grew interest in each other because we had common interest. We both liked sailing and we both were earning our PhD from Michigan State University. Some time during this period I fell in love with her. Later in life, we both were employed at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. Given our teaching credentials, I was able to ‘fill in” at Caroline’s classes when she wasn’t feeling well. We had a loving, full and eventful life together.”

Caroline Dow

Caroline Dow

Age at time death: 62
Date of death: 9/4/2004
Cause of death: Pancreatic Cancer
St. Augustine, FL United States

Paul Dispenza

Paul Dispenza

Age: 57
Amherst, NY United States
Bartender

Melissa Suzanne (Utley) Dispenza: Friends & family said our love was like “Christmas in Disneyland” & they were right. For three years we were friends & co workers at a restaurant called Peter’s Pub, where Melissa was a waitress & I was a bartender-manager. Our first date at the Buffalo Zoo started a 6 year courtship followed by close to twenty years of marriage that enriched an already wonderful relationship. We had three children together. Our first was still born after 9 months. Now I have two Angels, as Melissa has joined Elisa Christabell Angel Dispenza in heaven. Melissa was a wonderful mother to our other children, Samantha Christine who is now 16 & Michael Andrew now 14. She was well loved by many, her co-workers of 25 years at Rich Products, friends and family. This was evident by the one thousand + people who came to the one day wake on a sub zero day & night. Afterwards I found out numerous people could not even get in. Then over 300 came to the funeral in a snowstorm. Melissa was a Eucharistic minister at our church, St Benedicts. Melissa said she saw Christ in the eyes of people coming up for communion. Melissa was my lover, the mother of my children, my golf partner as well as my partner in all things in life. Most of all, my best friend Melissa is missed by many.

Melissa Suzanne Dispenza

Melissa Suzanne Dispenza

Age at time death: 55
Date of death: 1/28/2013
Cause of death: Struck by car
Buffalo, NY United States

Robert (Bob) and Maureen J. Dunst

Robert (Bob) J. Dunst

Age: 79
Lady Lake, FL United States
Director of Proposal Development

We were born in 1938 and raised in the Philadelphia area. We never lived more than five miles from each other. We attended St John the Baptist elementary and high schools together although boys and girls classes were separate. Many activities were joint, however. In eighth grade, we actually danced together in a joint performance. In high school, we worked together on school projects such as dance, yearbook and newspaper committees. And we attended Sunday Mass together in separate pews. We started dating in our Sophomore year, graduated in 1956 and married in 1959. Maureen loved children and became a fourth-grade teacher in various Catholic schools and won an award for Outstanding Teacher of the year. After 20 years of teaching Maureen was asked to become the Parish Director of Religious Education. Now she was responsible for all school children and about 100 children in the CCD program. She was also responsible for adult education as well and we worked together on Baptism and Marriage Preparation Programs. We also worked together on the RCIA program to prepare individuals to enter the Catholic Church. But the children always came first and she was quick to institute things such as a Pet Blessing Day. In the meantime I began work as a Draftsman at Philco Corporation which became Ford Aerospace, then Loral and finally Lockheed Martin. By that time I was the Director of Proposal Development and headquarter services such as procurement, computer support, drafting, word processing and building maintenance services. Maureen and I had two children together and adopted two. We now have 11 grandchildren. During all of this time, Maureen and I attended St Charles Seminary in Philadelphia pursuing our Master in Theology degrees. Maureen earned several awards as DRE and was well respected in 1999 when we both retired and moved to The Villages in central Florida. Immediately she took over the CCD program and organized the first Confirmation program attended by the Bishop at St Timothy Catholic Church. We were both Eucharistic Ministers at the Church and I ran the RCIA program for two years. Maureen enjoyed playing golf (She made a hole in one) cruising, traveling, going out to dinner, trips to Disney World and organizing various activities for our six grandchildren who lived nearby. She passed away on March 15, 2018, after various illnesses and almost three years in a wheelchair. How do say goodbye to someone you first met when you were seven years old?

Robert (Bob) and Maureen J. Dunst

Maureen Dunst

Age at time death: 79
Date of death: 3/15/2018
Cause of death: Various illnesses
Lady Lake, FL United States

Gregg Elliott

Gregg Elliott

Age: 76
Summerville, FL United States
Catholic Priest

(Written by H. Knoll) Before being ordained as a Roman Catholic priest, Father Gregg Elliott’s was married to his beautiful wife Janette who he lost to cancer on March 25, 1996. A career Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force, Father Elliott and Janette had three beautiful children. It was in part due to Janette’s love and encouragement, Father Elliott became a Roman Catholic Deacon in 1983 while he was still in the military. Father Elliott furthered responded to his religious calling following the passing of Janette when he was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 2000. As a widower himself, Father Elliott has volunteered to serve as one of WIDOWER’s (the book) subject matter experts. (To learn more about Father Elliott, please see “experts” listing tab on the home page). The readers of WIDOWER are sure to benefit from the insights of this very special man and his very unique perspective about the life one lives as a widower.

Janette Irene Elliott

Janette Irene Elliott

Age at time death: 55
Date of death: 3/25/1996
Cause of death: Cancer
Long Island, NY United States

Rutilo Flores

Rutilo Flores

Age: 58
Elmwood Park, IL United States

It is almost three years ( June 13th) since your departure. I still can feel your presence in every corner of my new condo and everywhere I go. Last night you came to take me by my hand and you gave me a good night kiss. You thought me so many things during the 30+ years that I knew you and during the 25 years of our marriage but you never thought me how to live without you. I will always love you and I am awaiting for the time we get together again. Thank you for the two lovely sons Ernesto Gerardo and Ivan Alfonso, that you left with me. I will look after them as our two precious jewels.

Raka Kumari Flores

Raka Kumari Flores

Age at time death: 57
Date of death: 6/13/2011
Cause of death: Breast Cancer
Aurora, IL United States

Jeffrey R. Gower

Jeffrey R. Gower

Age: 58
Summerfield, FL United States
Stock Broker

Susan colored my world and everyone’s around her! Her drive and passion for life and excellence was matched by few. Born and raised in Springfield Illinois as Susan Eleanor Marie Egizii, she took advantage of every opportunity to further her education as provided by her loving parents Tony and Eleanor. While earning her BA in Nursing and MSN, she was actively engaged in dance, singing, and theatre. Along with the performing arts, she was a member of the Missouri Botanical Gardens, American Liver Foundation, Assistance League of St Louis, Tibetan Terrier Club of America, St Martins Episcopal Church Choir, 1897 Associates of Bradley University and the St Louis Area Bradley Alumni Chapter. In 2001, Susan was awarded Bradley’s highest alumni award for outstanding service to the university: the Lydia Moss Bradley Award. When not beautifying her home or many gardens, she was most excited to be at an art show and not just annual events in St Louis, but affairs from Michigan, to the northeast United States, France, Italy and Ireland. Susan vividly colored every project she touched and made it her own work of art; especially the precious gifts that she made for others. Her greatest accomplishment was her gutsy survival of ovarian cancer for over four years and the example that she set for those around her. Through it all, she encouraged everybody to take advantage of the gift of today, the Present; and how to be thankful for even the smallest of blessings.

Susan E. Egizii-Gower

Susan E. Egizii-Gower

Age at time death: 57
Date of death: 4/19/2005
Cause of death: Ovarian Cancer
Wildwood, MO United States

Carl H. Jahrstorfer

Carl H. Jahrstorfer

Age: 69
Cheshire, CT United States
Planned Giving Estate Officer

Patricia Ann Dorothy Concetta LaRussa Jahrstorfer was born in Brooklyn NY, graduated from Brooklyn College and taught 5th grade in the NYC school system. Pat joyfully mentored many women and she possessed an innate talent of stringing words together like pearls on a strand becoming spiritual truths. Pats wisdom and wit enlightened and encouraged those around her. She took great joy in being my devoted wife , mother of our 2 daughters and their husbands and grandmother of our 5 grandchildren. Her frankness, honesty, wise insight and unforgettable laugh inspired joy, peace, and even tears in all who knew her. Free to be Pat. This is her bio, now her journey. WRITTEN 4/7/2012 – So after 8 short months from diagnosis to completion it is with a heavy heart but a joy in my spirit to tell you that our little but brave Patricia has left this earth of pain and tears to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The little girl who had been talking about holding Jesus hand while riding her three wheeler as a four year old is now complete. Pat is free to sing with all the angels of heaven. Jesus has carried her through. Pat was a miracle surviving major 5 hour abdominal surgery, enduring six cycles of chemo and severe pain from newly formed cancers. She never complained or questioned why. She endured the trial of her life by envisioning herself in a bubble holding the hand of Jesus, the author and finisher of her faith. I believe Pat Over Came Ovarian Cancer. She faced the enemy of our souls. She fought the good fight and she won the victory. Pat cried out in her soul (like Jesus in the Garden and on the cross) in the middle of the night. It was a Good Friday, last night. She now joins the saints of heaven singing the Hallelujah Chorus the way she always wanted- with trumpets, drums, and cymbals. The life she lived- seeker of truth, a laugh and a smile that radiated wholeness peace and joy; yet a personality and a character that was a challenge to behold. Pat’s constitution was strong; she was direct, even blunt sometimes causing hurt but her forgiveness was real. She loved to laugh, read, talk, write and she loved to encourage us to grow in our faith to find the TRUTH for the truth will set you free. WRITTEN 7/7/14 – And so, even today, after 27 months women keep writing me saying how they miss Pat’s words, her knowledge of scripture, her love for music, but especially her friendship and touch as do I. Carl J.

Patricia Jahrstorfer

Patricia Jahrstorfer

Age at time death: 68
Date of death: 4/6/2012
Cause of death: Ovarian Cancer
Cheshire, CT United States

Norris George Jergenson

Norris George Jergenson

Age: 72
The Villages, FL United States
Director of Materials

Darleen was a caring unselfish lovely lady. I did not deserve her! She was quiet and a little shy at times. Darleen always kept our homes well decorated and clean. She was into food preparation and loved to bake, especially during the Holidays. Her passion was her kids and grandkids. Darleen was my best friend who took care of me.

Darleen May Jergenson

Age at time death: 69
Date of death: 7/4/2012
Cause of death: Ovarian Cancer
The Villages, FL United States

Nyle Kardatzke

Nyle Kardatzke

Age: 75
INDIANAPOLIS, IN United States
Retired Headmaster and Economist

I was married thirty-nine years before my wife, Darlene, died of metastatic breast cancer. That was four years ago. I have self-published a journaling book for widowed men: Widow-man: A Widower’s Story and Journaling Book. Darlene loved children. She was a developmental pediatrician with an, especially gentle touch. She was the loving mother of our three children, and she delighted in our grandchildren.

Darlene Kardatzke

Age at time death: 65
Date of death: 10/25/2010
Cause of death: Cancer
INDIANAPOLIS, IN United States

Michael Joseph Longo

Michael Joseph Longo

Age: 60
Amherst, NY United States
Real Estate

My wife was a wonderful woman, an exceptional mother, and a very dedicated educator. Faith, Family, Friends, and Food were her 4 most important things in her life. She lived every day to the fullest. She cherished our 3 children and always talked about them every chance she had. She was a loving daughter who took care of her mother on a daily basis. She was highly respected in her school and the school district taking the lead on projects. She had a passion for her little kids. She wanted the best possible start for each of them as they came to her classroom. She is missed tremendously by her family and friends. We are from Buffalo, NY. I am semi-retired. Real Estate sales and investing. I have three wonderful children, one married and two others to be married in 2018. Formed a foundation in memory of my wife. We contribute to the school and children she was dedicated to during her teaching career. We support activities for pre-k and kindergarten classes.

Penny Gertrude Longo

Penny Gertrude Longo

Age at time death: 55
Date of death: 5/13/2017
Cause of death: small cell and non-small cell lung cancer
Amherst, NY United States

John (Mac) McCarthy

John (Mac) McCarthy

Age: 76
Kenmore, NY United States
Clothing Salesman

John and Barbara McCarthy were married for 52 years when Barbara died of cancer. “Mac” (as he was known) loved Barbara deeply and was devastated when she passed. Twenty-seven hours later, “Mac,” an outgoing and fun-loving Irishman whose passions included Notre Dame football – was found dead of a heart attack suffered while relaxing on a couch and watching television. Those close to the couple believe “Mac” died of a broken heart. “Mac’s” son Tim reports how when he found his father, he was still holding a beer in his hand. – Tim McCarthy (son of John and Barbara McCarthy)

Barbara J. McCarthy

Barbara J. McCarthy

Age at time death: 73
Date of death: 4/18/1993
Cause of death: Cancer
Kenmore, NY United States

Earnest E. Moran

Earnest E. Moran

Age: 74
Yuma, AZ United States
Machinist/Photographer

Dianna Maria was my wife for 46 years. She was the mother of my children. I hurt from the loss every time I think of her. She was “the wind beneath my wings.” God has her now in his arms. I pray I will see her again. – Earnie Moran

Dianna Marie Moran

Age at time death: 67
Date of death: 2/7/2009
Cause of death: Auto accident

Earnest E. Moran

Earnest E. Moran

Age: 74
Yuma, AZ United States
Machinist/Photographer

Marge was the second special lady God put in my life. She was so special with a relationship unlike anything I could imagine. I could not let her out of my site. We had 5 months of bliss and love I will never forget. She also is in the arms of God. I lost her to cancer. I always come to tears when I think of the two ladies God put in my life. – Earnie Moran

Marge Moran

Age at time death: 78
Date of death: 11/11/2010
Cause of death: Pancreatic Cancer

Harold N. Moran

Harold N. Moran

Age: 63
Johnstown, NY United States

Barbie was the type of person that always put the needs, wants and feelings of other first. She enjoyed working in her garden in the summer because it gave her a sense of peace and comfort. It was fulfilling for her to create things from this labor to give to others. For all of her working life she strived to make the lives of others better, being a part of Head Start for most of those years. Barbie had the heart of a servant and to this day, I’m still trying to grasp how deeply she loved me. She has left an everlasting mark on my heart. – Harold Moran

Barbara J. Moran

Age at time death: 55
Date of death: 4/21/2013
Cause of death: Brain Hemorrhage

Harold N. Moran

Harold N. Moran

Age: 63
Johnstown, NY United States

Connie was a woman that loved her children dearly and relished the coming of grandchildren. Family was always number one to her and she worked hard to instill that in our children. We were married when she was 18 and for 30 years we grew together, shared our lives and loved more deeply every day. She loved camping, long canoe rides and time alone in the outdoors. She (we) believed that we were married to be together and that is when she was most happy. She left a big hole in the lives of many that loved her. – Harold Moran

Constance L. Moran

Constance L. Moran

Age at time death: 48
Date of death: 10/19/2006
Cause of death: Breast Cancer

Ed Nelson

Ed Nelson

Age: 50
Orland, CA United States
Crime Prevention Officer

WSN – Presents the following from the pages of Widowers Support Network – Members Only (Facebook) (Open to widowers, caregivers (males) and subject matter experts (males). Fellow Widowers by Ed Nelson (Widower) of Orland, California” “Fellow Widowers…I wanted to take a moment to let you know that you are NOT alone. Here is my story: When my wife passed one year ago (1-year yesterday), things couldn’t have been darker for me. We had been together since 1985 (high school sweethearts). Through thick or thin, it was always the two of us against the world. Our marriage was amazing. She had some heartbreaking health issues in 2013, and I stepped into the role of caregiver and stepped up my husband game. Despite her medical problems (she had 2 strokes and full kidney failure, causing her to do dialysis 3 times a week), I was determined to make her like as full and enjoyable as I could for her. The photo was one of the last motorcycle trips we made to the California Coast to ride in the redwoods It would have been easy for her to give up on life, but she made the best of what she was given. She was amazing. Out of the blue…completely unexpected during a dialysis treatment…she had a medical event and essentially passed away, but kept alive at the hospital on life support. After a week, I made the horrible but necessary decision to transition Julie to comfort care and remove life support. It was an impossible decision I had to make, but I knew it was the right decision…we had discussed her wishes just weeks prior as she was preparing to be placed on the kidney transplant list (she was officially listed on Wednesday, and passed on Friday). We had signed full Powers of Attorney just in case something happened in the future…not knowing the future was just weeks away. Suddenly, I found myself alone in our house. The family all left and I was surrounded by every single thing we had purchased together. Every single item around me was a reminder that she was not there…and never would be again. Like I mentioned…I wasn’t dealing well. I took 3 weeks off work to make all the arrangements. I’m not going to lie…I was seriously considering checking out. Life just wasn’t worth living without my 2nd half. But then a couple of things happened…I started doing some research…how do I deal with this?? My research showed very little was out there to help. I bought a Kindle Copy of “The Widower’s Journey”, and it was like it was written just for me. I copied and pasted dozens of quotes and facts from the book for reference. Secondly, I spoke to my primary doctor, who helped me understand that I was overwhelmed. He prescribed a short-term prescription of Wellbutrin for my depression. I didn’t really help, but it was a start. My doctor talked me into talking to a professional, which I didn’t want to do (I had tried it when Julie had her brain bleeds/strokes). I attended two sessions in a week and it just wasn’t my thing. But I did stumble across my thing; writing. I started an online journal (technically Facebook Notes, but with privacy setting set to “only I can see”). A couple of times a week, I would write a few lines or a few paragraphs about what I was experiencing, what I was feeling, or what I was doing. How I was feeling or how I was (or was not dealing). It was cathartic. I eventually let two of Julie’s cousins (they we close enough to be sisters, rather than cousins) read them, with the caveat that they couldn’t comment. I wanted to share, but I wasn’t looking for sympathy or pity. After 4 months, the black clouds started to part. I was crying less, and figuring out how to be a widower (I have learned to accept having to do laundry and clean my own dirty dishes). Work was returning to the regular schedule that I was used to. I took a 10-day vacation to Maine (I had never been east of the Rockies) and reconnected with my best friend from high school (it was his idea for me to visit). The change of scenery helped, as did seeing the happy relationship he shared (he and his partner had a half-dozen divorces between them). If they could eventually find happiness…maybe I could too someday. After my vacation, I decided to begin living again. It would be a different life, but I knew my late wife would be upset if I pissed away my life because she wasn’t here. After a few months of getting my personal life back together, I decided to ask a gal I knew out on a date (something I hadn’t done since 1985!). To add to the pressure…it was my high school prom queen that I had had a crush on since 1980! And holy cow…she said yes! A couple of dates proved we were completely incompatible, but the ice was broken, and I asked the second woman out that I had met through work prior to my trip to Maine, and she said yes. The good news is we have been together for several months. We fell into place pretty naturally. It weird. It’s different. But I’m happy…something I thought would be forever impossible 1 year ago. So…I said at the beginning that you are not alone. As a new widower, you might feel like you are (I sure did), but there is support if you need it. Here on the Widowers Support Network, or your primary doctor, or your family, or professionals. Don’t be too prideful to ask for help. You don’t have to deal with this alone. I tried to make it through alone and was drowning. As soon as I started asking for help, I found my life changing. Be there for the people on the Network. We all need all the help we can get. If you are a new widower…I’m so sorry. It sucks. A lot. It’s horrible. but it’s not an impossible hill to climb. You can do it, even if you think you can’t. I wish you all peace and happiness.”WSN –

Julie Nelson

Age at time death: 47
Date of death: 6/17/2017
Cause of death: Multiple causes
Orland, CA United States

Robert Page

Age: 68
The Villages, FL United States
Associate Pastor

My memories of Linda trace back in time to when I was 10 and she was 7. As a tow-headed little girl, she was trying out every chair for size as a new church was being started, and was meeting at what seemed to a child as a most mysterious place called “The Odd Fellows Hall” in Ashtabula, Ohio. She would later claim that she knew before she was a teen0ager I was the one she would marry. When she turned 16 and finally had parental permission to date, I was the first and the last young man she ever dated. I was her escort to both her junior and senior proms. And we were married when she was still 18 and I was 21. Our marriage went through one particularly rocky time, but it was Linda who prayed us through it and out of it with the result being that God captured my heart to leave a journalism career as a newspaper reporter and editor to pursue seminary training and ultimately to become a pastor. And it was Linda who, though a mom of our two little girls, returned to the marketplace to help support our family during those years of preparation to fulfill God’s calling. She was always the one who sacrificed the most for our family. Pastor’s salaries are notoriously “below average” and it was Linda who worked numerous part-time jobs over the years for that extra bit needed to fund family vacations and to make ends meet. She was always my greatest cheerleader, believing in me even when I found it difficult to believe in myself. She was my partner, my confidant, my soul-mate, my lover, my best friend, truly the wind beneath my wings. She not only completed me – she compensated for my many weaknesses and spurred me to greater heights and to lots of life adventures that I never would have experienced apart from her prodding. Linda had a voracious thirst to learn and to keep growing as a person spiritually, intellectually and emotionally. When I was pursuing a doctor of ministry degree, I dedicated my dissertation to her as the only one in our immediate family without a college degree, and yet the wisest, brightest and sharpest of us all. She bloomed to become a public speaker, a leader and strategist in women’s ministries in our denomination, and a counselor who specialized in ministering to women who suffered the emotional horrors of various forms of abuse. When Linda found out she was terminally ill as the result of kidney cancer that had metastasized into several areas of her body, she embraced the adventure of dying with the same zest she had embraced the adventure of living. She would tell me repeatedly, “You know, Bob, I’m getting the best part of this deal! I’m going to heaven to see my Savior face to face and be done with the ugliness of this world, while you’re left behind to pick up the pieces.” She planned her own memorial service, trained the successor of her part-time ministry position at our church, gave parting and cherished gifts to each of her children (with a personal message to each of them to keep growing as people and to keep trusting in God “for He makes no mistakes”), and she challenged our children to support me in whatever new adventures life might hold for me. even the possibility of a new mate (“Just make sure he doesn’t marry a bimbo!” she said with a mischievous smile on her face). When she entered what the wonderful Hospice people called the “active dying” stage, the elders of my church gave me the exquisite gift of the freedom to step away from ministry to hundreds so that I could focus all my time and energy on that one person who had given her whole life in sacrificial love for me and our three children. Every diaper change, every careful administration of medication, every fluffing of her pillow or manipulating of her weakened body to make her more comfortable – they all became privileged moments of giving back to the one on earth I loved the most. During those 82 days, from the moment we found out she was “terminal” until the day she died, I journaled prolifically and tried the best I knew how to savor the time together we had left. I became obsessed with the fact that son I would be “alone” and that word began to bore a dark hole into my soul. Then one day, as I was reading in John 16:32 of Jesus looking at His own death straight in the eye, I came to these wonderful words of my Savior, “Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.” Those words became my personal comfort, courage and strength unto the moment God called Linda home. And they have continued to comfort me in the years since she left my side on February 27, 2009. I remember coming home after greeting a steady stream of several hundred people for five hours at her wake, having heard story after story of Linda’s impact upon the lives of women, many of whom I had never met. And the thought hit me for the first time, “I was sleeping beside greatness and didn’t even know it.” To me she was just Linda – fun, quirky, adventurous, intense, fiercely devoted to me and our kids, their mates and our grandkids. Though I miss her every day, my heart is warmed constantly by the gratitude of how much her expansive life has rubbed off on me. For that I give God all glory!

Linda Page

Linda Page

Age at time death: 60
Date of death: 2/27/2009
Cause of death: Kidney Cancer
, United States

Robert Schlieper

Robert Schlieper

Age: 63
The Villages, FL United States
Retired Banker

Ten years ago, December 2004, a very special angel gained her wings in heaven. Marian was a terrific spouse and best friend, an incredible mother to our twin boys, and would have been an even more incredibly doting grandma. Though she never physically met our grand daughter, Hannah, here on earth, she lives on in her granddaughter’s spirit, quick wit, and her ability to light up a room. My dearest Marian, you may be gone but you are never far or forgotten. You will always be loved and cherished, and will live on in our hearts and memories!

Marian Schlieper

Age at time death: 50
Date of death: 12/28/2004
Cause of death: Lung Cancer
Hamburg, NY United States

Aaron Seiden

Aaron Seiden

Age: 88
Baltimore, MD United States
Social Security Government Official

After landing on the beach at Normandy, France on 6/19/44 and at the age of 18, I didn’t feel I would survive. Over subsequent months, I fought at the Battle of the Bulge and was twice wounded. You can imagine how I was ready to find a loving woman to share my life with once I got home to the USA. In March 1948, a neighbor asked me if I wanted to date his cousin, Lorraine Rothstein. Our first date was on April 3, 1948, when Lorraine and I went to Radio City Music Hall to see the movie I remember Mama. On a scale of 1-5, I thought our date was a 4.5. I guess I was right because we married five months later on September 14, 1948 and honeymooned in the Catskills of New York State. Our marriage was for 37 wonderful years during which we had three terrific children, two boys and a girl. Lorraine once had a case of scarlet fever which damaged her heart. She needed surgery to repair it. So on 7/14/75, at the age of 46, Lorraine endured open heart surgery. At one point, the surgeon came out of the operating room to say. “I think we are losing her.” But I wasn’t ready to for this. Lorraine was in the ICU for six weeks but went on to live until the age of 61. As I write this article I note how it has been 27 years since Lorraine died suddenly and unexpectedly while we were living in Pembroke Pines, Florida. On January 23, 1986, while preparing supper before going to a bingo game, I heard Lorraine say her last words to me. “Aaron, I don’t feel well.” My beloved Lorraine died in my arms while awaiting for an ambulance to come.

Lorraine Seiden

Lorraine Seiden

Age at time death: 56
Date of death: 1/23/1986
Cause of death: Heart Failure
Baltimore, MD United States

Otto W Souder

Otto W Souder

Age: 88
Summerfield, FL United States
Banker

Dolly Garvin Souder was my woman: caring, loving, patient and giving. She gave her all to her marriage, our relationship and her family. I was her man. Dolly was a beautiful lady with a heart and spirit that made our journey full of life’s gifts. (My) dearest friend. We were married for 60 years.

Dolly Garvin Souder

Dolly Garvin Souder

Age at time death: 83
Date of death: 9/17/2010
Cause of death: Undisclosed

Quentin Strode

Quentin Strode

Age: 51
Inglewood, CA United States
Business Executive

Shanda was one of the most generous and wonderful people I’ve ever come into contact with. She was very much interested in her family, and career. Our family was also a major focus in her life, and the church really rounded out what my wife was about. We were connected in a different way, we met as we both were coming out of divorce situations on a blind date. I miss the conversations and the closeness the most, she acted as a real confidant for me, she had a big influence on the way I handled the ups and downs of corporate America. I miss her beauty; Shanda was stunningly beautiful and carried the sophistication that went along with being smart and good looking.

Shanda B Strode

Shanda B Strode

Age at time death: 48
Date of death: 2/1/2005
Cause of death: Pneumonia
Inglewood, CA United States

Christopher Sweet

Age: 42
Navarre, FL United States
U.S. Air Force

BRIDE IN UNIFORM Jessica and I had fallen in love while we were both assigned to our first duty station at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina. Once we got together, we knew instantly that we would be together forever. She was my soul mate and I was hers. She was an amazing wife and mother with a spirit that just glowed with energy, compassion and strength. She loved serving her country, serving with great pride for nearly 12 years. As much passion as she had for her service, her family was always the most important thing to her. Her energy, compassion and strength live on in our three beautiful children, Katelyn, Ashelyn and Raymond. NOTE FROM HERB KNOLL Technical Sergeant (E-6) Jessica Sweet was serving in the U. S. Air Force as a Material Management Craftsman at the time of her death. Jessica was deployed three times, once for 120 days to Bahrain in 2002, once to United Arab Emirates in 2004, and finally, Afghanistan in 2007. Jessica’s husband is also a career member of the U.S. Air Force where he currently holds the rank of Master Sergeant (E-7) where he currently serves as the Superintendent of the Joint Base Andrews Military & Family Support Center. Chris volunteered for this special role following Jessica’s passing as his way of giving back and using his experience (loss) to help other families. Chris has been deployed to Saudi Arabia right after 9-11, Spain for 179 days in 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, United Arab Emirates in 2004 (w/ Jessica). I also have deployed in support of NATO missions in Norway, Croatia, Belgium, and Cape Verde, Africa. Jessica was diagnosed with Leukemia about a year after returning from Afghanistan, on September 18th 2008 at Landstuhl Army Medical Center in Germany. At the time, both Jessica and Chris were stationed in Germany at Ramstein Air Base from 2004 until Jessica was med-evacued to the states in Sep 2008. Jessica died at Walter Reed in DC, February 12th 2009.

Jessica Sweet

Age at time death: 30
Date of death: 2/12/2009
Cause of death: Acute Myloid Leukemia
Youngstown, OH United States

John Von Der Haar

John Von Der Haar

Age: 68
Palm Coast, FL United States

Natives of Indianapolis, Indiana, Mary and I met while working for the same company. During our life together we were lucky enough to be able to move to several locations around the country. Also, we both loved travel and boating. When we decided to retire early, we were fortunate to be able to move onto our boat. We enjoyed it so much; we lived on board for six years. Mary and I traveled the east coast, gulf coast and the Bahamas. Mary always found it easy to make new friends; each lasting a lifetime. We were married for a little over forty years. I miss her and the excitement she added to my life. – John Von Der Haar

Mary Jane Von Der Haar

Mary Jane Von Der Haar

Age at time death: 63
Date of death: 5/18/2013
Cause of death: Lung, Liver and Metastatic Cancer

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