Thursday, August 18, 2016


Today I want to celebrate the lives of three women who have crossed my path and left it a better road to travel.

First is a woman named Doris H. whose obituary I read a day or so ago. She lived in my town for many, many years, and taught third grade in various schools in our district. After her retirement from teaching, Doris volunteered in different arenas; the one I knew best was her work with the Stephen Ministry program in a church where I was a member. Doris and another member took intensive training so they could, in turn, train other members of the congregation in ministering to the needs of the parish. They both gave many hours of service to prepare other Stephen ministers who would work with people in need.

In Doris’s 94 years, she was foremost a teacher, an encourager to all who met her.

Iola's roses
Second in my list of amazing women is a woman named Iola W., who died a couple of days ago. She was 83, a native of Kentucky, and one of a large family. Iola was my neighbor for over fifteen years. Her love of the outdoors kept her from languishing inside during almost any weather. Even winter. During nice weather she could be seen strolling through the neighborhood, admiring other people’s flower gardens, stopping to chat. When the city street department worked in our area, Iola was out there asking what they were doing.

Nobody took offense, because Iola was a kind, loving soul. That is how I’ll always remember her.

My third woman is one I’ve never met, though I’ve heard about her and heard her voice on my answering machine. Her name is Frances K., and her age, I’m told, is in the upper-90s. In her younger life she was a professor of history. Until recent years, she attended Bible study at my church, but now her health is less certain and she has trouble getting around.

Yet, despite Frances’s health problems, she recently phoned a member of my sewing group and asked to be included. She has a sewing machine, she said, and she might as well help. So a small sampling of blanket kits was sent to Frances. In a few days, she left a message for me: If you’ll send me 10 or 12 more blankets, I’ll mail them all back together.

Frances, an amazing woman, is a doer.

All three of these women have been on my mind during the past week. Frances, of course, because she phoned. Iola and Doris because their obituaries were published locally, and memories of them flooded in.

What better mentors—intentional or perchance—could anyone have? A dedicated teacher—a loving neighbor—a woman who won’t let age stop her from doing her bit.

I lift up these women to you. And I hope you also are blessed with amazing women—and men—in your lives.


  1. A nice tribute to wonderful service and lives well lived.

  2. Inspirations to all who met them. Thanks, Liz.

  3. I second Liz, and add that the flower photos are an apt accompaniment.