When she was 17, at the end of her junior year in high school, her father's work moved the family to Northern California. She graduated from Burligame High School in 1938. From there she went to the University of California at Berkeley. She was a member of the Phi Mu sorority. She loved sports and never missed a Cal football or basketball game. She always referred to it as Cal, never Berkeley! She was a journalism major and after graduation worked as a newspaper reporter for the Redwood City Tribune. Working at the newspaper just wasn't exciting enough for her, and when a co-worker at the paper told her that TWA, Trans World Airlines, was hiring stewardess's, she jumped at the chance! She worked for TWA for two years, and then quit to join the American Red Cross and help the war effort. Once the war was over, she went to work for Western Airlines, where she met my dad. They were married in 1948.
They were married for 9 years and no children. That's when they decided to adopt. I was three days old when they took me home from the hospital.
my baptism dayAnd the rest they say is history!
My mom was not your typical 1950's mom.. you would not have called her June Cleaver by any stretch! She did not know how to do laundry when she got married, my dad taught her how. She didn't vacuum or dust everyday. She loved collecting things and saving letters, envelopes and stamps! She was an amazing baker, and she did beautiful embroidery. She loved wearing aprons when she baked. She made sure when you set a table, you did it the "right" way. My mom never watched a soap opera...she wrote, she gardened, she read everything she could get her hands on and she loved politics! We often distributed fliers for the local congressmen, and councilmen running for office. She volunteered at church and the library. She had cancer, melanoma, when I was 7 and after that she volunteered at the American Cancer Society. She loved animals and at one point during my high school years, she rescued three cats...we found out the hard way that they were all females when they each had 6 kittens within weeks of each other! And she worked..at J.C. Penney's in the women's dress department so I could go to parochial school.
Oh, and she LOVED a good party and she LOVED to dance!
my favorite picture of my mom and daughters 3 and 4..dancing!
Growing up in Long Beach, she was a beach girl. She married a man who grew up in La Jolla, California....my dad used to say so she had someone to go to the beach with! I am not sure how many times she drove my friends and I to Santa Cruz...she was the mom that we always asked, we knew she'd say yes, grab your suits, blankets, chairs, pack a picnic and get in the car! She taught my girlfriends and I how to body surf.
I thank my mom for my love of collecting anything that strikes my fancy. I am still unpacking boxes of things that she saved. It's like a trip back in time!
My mom loved colors and was game for repainting my room any time I wanted to. And any color! I had rooms painted purple, aqua, and bright yellow. Once I told her I wanted a pair of purple tennis shoes....we looked every where, but could not find any....so she got out the Rit Dye and dyed them in the washer... what she didn't realize was the dye would leave a little residue in the washer and turned my dad's clothes purple!! My friends brought their shoes over too and the whole neighborhood had purple tennis shoes! Including my mom!!
She loved taking pictures, she didn't often take pictures of people..she took pictures of her china, her animals and the flowers in her yard! She adored her five granddaughters, and she adored Mr. Math! She often said the later years of her life were the most special!
The last 2 years of her life she lived with us, in the Xavier Ct. House. We had some construction done and combined 2 bedrooms for her...she had a bedroom and a bath, and a small sitting area. It was just what she wanted!!
My mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in May of 2007. At 87 we did not have many options, nor was she interested in any. We made arrangements for hospice help and together with Mr. Math and the daughters we cared for her the last 3 months of her life. She passed away on August 11, 2007 where she wanted....in her blue bedroom that was her special place.
There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of her. My mom helped make me who I am....
A collector, a lover of bright colors, and an animal lover. A hard worker and a woman who prays, and volunteers..it's the best way to give back, that's what my mom would say. I love to bake, I don't do much embroidery, but I do love to quilt....apparently like her grandmother. I love sports, but more baseball than football. A good friend, and...
a loving mom.