Saturday, August 02, 2008

The passing of dear friends

NOTE: Click to listen to the DearMYRTLE podcast version of this blog entry.

Just this past week, I learned of the unexpected death of a good friend Jo Ann French. She was part of a strong community of genealogy researchers in the Bradenton, Florida area. She served as a volunteer at the Manatee Central Library’s genealogy department, and was a well-respected and much loved member of the Manasota Genealogical Society and a long-time member of the Manasota PAF Users Group. Her kind, soft-spoken ways helped many to understand how to make progress with family history research.

Unfortunately, these past years have brought sad news of the deaths of more than a handful of friends, who were typically older, retired folks who gave their last years to the study of ancestors. Some have been former computer students who kept track of me through my travels to care for my daughter and my elderly parents. Some moved away a few years earlier due to failing health in order to be nearer their children.

Call me silly, but I still cannot bring myself to remove their names from my email contacts. Just scrolling past them on the list brings back happy memories of days gone by. Their influence continues to inspire.

Though it is good bye for now, you are not forgotten, dear Jo Ann. Rest in peace.

God bless you and comfort your dear loved ones as well.