On Saturday, I attended the memorial service for my maternal grandmother, Grammy Wilma. The service was in the Florida town where she had made her home for most of her life–where she had been a businesswoman and an actor/director and a pillar of the community. I cannot do justice to her life in this blog post, but I can at least post a couple of photos, one of which was taken at my wedding, and the other is from the late 1920’s, when my grandmother was a teenager. I wore that necklace to her memorial – it is a favorite of mine.
Things I remember about her:
- She came to hear me give the first talk I ever gave at a national meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers, when I was in college
- She sent me oranges from her grove in the winter, also when I was in college
- She always welcomed me to come and visit, even on my own as a pre-teen. Once after a busy day I fell asleep on her sofa, and she had to drag me into the bedroom. I have no idea how she got me into the bed!
- She never forgot the Fourth of July that I spent with her. I refused to use the very stinky port-a-potties at the park where we spent the day (and watched fireworks that night) and she was very impressed by how long I was able to “hold it.” I still have a steel bladder, which comes in very handy as a teacher!
Grammy Wilma is fondly remembered by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, as well as by the community theater people of St. Lucie county and the Women’s Club in Fort Pierce. She died on December 8, 2007, at the age of 93.
Left photo ©2005, John Shetron Photography
The inscription on the right photo reads “Love Always, Jus’ Wilma” in her impeccable copperplate handwriting.