For those of you who read this post, What do you do when the unexpected happens? about my Mom’s fall or followed the dialog on Facebook or Google+, Mom died at 7:30pm on July 8 at the age of 84. Today is the visitation and tomorrow the funeral or as I called it, the celebration of her life.
Thank you to all of you who have talked to me or my brother, Andy, on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ or called or e-mailed. I think we are both at peace with her death.
This morning when I looked out my office window, the rainbow above greeted me. There was no rain just a glorious rainbow. I have never ever seen a rainbow from that window before and I have never seen one when there was no rain. Remembering why God gave the rainbow to Noah as a promise, I saw it as such for me.
I wrote Mom’s obituary and I would like to share it here with you:
Marion Ione Plath, 84, died Friday, July 8, 2011 at Aspirus Wausau Hospital from complications from a fall on June 28 at her home. Marion Plath was born Marion Ione Werner on March 12, 1927 to Julius and Lydia Werner in Wausau, Wisconsin. Lydia was 43 when Marion was born. Marion joined her sisters, Viola (Werner) Behling, Hildegard (Werner) Birk, and Berdina Rice. As her sisters were starting their own families as Marion was growing up, Marion was surrounded by nephews and nieces throughout her early years in life.
Marion married Robert Plath on August 13, 1955. They had one daughter, Julie (Bill) Walraven and one son, Andrew Plath within the first years of their marriage. Extended family was always important to Marion and she was born in the same house on South Fourth Avenue and never moved during her 84 years of life. Lydia lived in the lower apartment until her death in 1979 where Marion cared for her in later years.
In her youth, Marion was an active member of the Trinity Lutheran Walther League, traveling to national conferences throughout the United States, snapping photos with her little Brownie camera and creating scrapbooks to detail her trips.
Marion loved music and singing. She even invested her time into voice lessons so that she could share her gifts as a soloist at many weddings, funerals, and she was also an active member of the Trinity Lutheran Sanctuary Choir until her children were born.
She loved gardening and at one point, even entered her gladiolas at the Wisconsin Valley Fair. Even this year just days before the sudden accident that led to her death, she was still out in the yard planting flowers and weeding her many flower beds.
Marion spent most of her career as a secretary for what is now Thrivent Financial, formerly AAL Insurance. She served as the office manager and grew to be a strong support system for the general agent, Ernst Heinecke and what her children called, “the men.” The agents and their families also became part of her extended family and built lifelong relationships.
Marion gathered friends and kept them for years. Early in life, she worked for the H.C. Phillips Company and for years after she left, she gathered with a group of 6 to 8 women for monthly “club” meetings. She did the same with her coworker and two other friends who worked in the same complex as the Thrivent location, dubbing that group the “4 Squares.” She also bonded with early friends from Trinity, in the “Trinity Friends” group that met periodically and was made up of grade school friends.
Reading and writing
She shared her love of reading and writing with both Julie and Andrew and transferred all her creative pursuits to interests that later became big parts of her children’s lives. A regular for years at the Marathon County Public Library, Marion kept a huge binder listing all the books she read, organized by author, and detailing all of the titles so she could track what she read. She also believed in the fine art of letter writing and wrote many hand-written letters throughout her life to friends and family.
Marion is survived by her children, Julie and Andrew, her grandchildren, Tim and Dan Walraven, all of Wausau, her niece, Judy (Robert) Johnson, La Crosse, and her sister-in-law, Mary Lou (Harry) Feirer, as well as many other extended family members and friends. Marion was preceded in death by her parents Julius and Lydia, her husband, Robert in 2007, and her sisters, Viola, Hildegarde, and Berdina.
A celebration of her life will be at 11am on Friday, July 15 at Trinity Lutheran Church on Stewart Avenue, Wausau. Visitation will be at the Helke Funeral Home, Wausau, on Thursday, July 14 from 4pm to 7pm and from 10am until time of services on Friday, July 15 at the church. Reverend Gary Schultz will officiate. Burial will be at Pine Grove Cemetery Wausau. Memorials may be directed to Trinity Lutheran Church. Online condolences may be expressed at www.helke.com
For today, this is enough. Thank you again for all of you who have cared. It means so much to all of us.