Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Remembering a Great Aunt

Dortha June Smith
October 5, 1911 - October 19, 2009

Early Monday morning I heard the phone ring. It was my mom, and I knew immediately why she was calling. My beloved Aunt June had passed away, at the age of 98. She was my great aunt, in both meanings of the word "great."

Aunt June was my mom's mother's sister, but she helped raised my mom, so she was so much more than an aunt. She lived in Farmington, Missouri for most of her adult life. Though my family moved from St. Louis to Phoenix when I was 2 years old, we still went back to Missouri to visit from time to time. I have fond memories of going to my aunt's little home. Most of my memories, though, revolve around Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. Aunt June had a clear glass bowl on top of her refrigerator, filled with single sized Reeses (not the little bite-sized ones). When we would come over to visit, she would get it down and give us one peanut butter cup. It became a tradition, and to this day my all-time favorite candy bar is Reeses. It's all Aunt June's fault.

Aunt June was a strong woman. She married a military man in 1941, and less than 19 years later, she became a widow. She remained unmarried for the next 49 years until her death. She also outlived 10 brothers and sisters. She was an aunt of five generations.

I also remember Aunt June for her spunk. She was feisty. She knew what she wanted and could not be deterred. A few years ago, when her health began to slightly fail, she was upset because she was no longer allowed to push her wheelchair-bound friends to chapel on Sunday mornings at the retirement home in which she lived.

Aunt June loved God with all of her heart. Now she gets to see him face to face.

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