1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



One generation passeth away,

and another generation cometh:

but the earth abideth for ever.

Ecclesiases; 1:4
Dan Duff

Her passing was virtually unnoticed except for a few friends and kinfolk.  No major news organization felt any need to bring her obituary to the attention of the masses.  She had not been a person who had attained notoriety nor did she ever seek it.

The obituary was simple and to the point.  Her name. the last of 15 children, passed away at the age of 82.  It listed the names of her living children and those that had preceded her, along with her late husband.  She was mother, aunt, friend and she was the last of a generation.  There is something very solemn about the last person of a generation to pass.  It is so finite, so absolute, so foreboding.

Her obituary could have said that her two boys who were pretty good running backs, when they played football for Alderson High School and a daughter that was one of the prettiest cheerleaders ever to keep the Friday night boosters rah-rahing through wins and loses.

It could have said she could put as fine a meal on the table as Duncan Hines ever stuck a fork in, but she would have frowned on those braggadocios remarks.  She would say she was just doing her job.

She did not leave a vast fortune behind for her next of kin to fight over, but she did leave a wealth of things behind that has and would guide the next generation through their life’s journey.

To her children she left dignity.  She had taught her children that she expected them to behave themselves,  to live their lives as an example to the ones who would be looking up to them as examples.  She gave them stern warnings that if they should have their name dragged through the mud, that she would be dragged through it also.

She left them resolve.  She instilled in her children the resolve of getting their lives together with purpose and to stick with the job until it was finished. 

She taught them honesty.  If you gave your word to anyone, it was as good as any agreement drawn up in a lawyer’s office. To go back on your  word was one of the greatest of sins you could commit against another.

She taught them to be patient with others and to show kindness, but she also taught them to be wise and watchful, lest people take advantage of them.

She gave them love and understanding so that they could come to her for guidance.

She taught them to respect their elders and those who have authority over them, but she also taught them to speak out for themselves and others if they were mistreated or taken advantage of.

She taught them to give.  To give of their wealth, to give of themselves, their time and talents.

She showed them how to be wise with money and to be good stewards of it.

She showed them forgiveness.  For great or small transgressions, she gave absolute and total forgiveness. 

About now you might think that I am taking the opportunity of this column to brag about my late aunt and give her, her fifteen minutes of fame,  but you would be wrong.  I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to do so because she was a great lady.   She will be missed by us who had the  opportunity to know her. No, I wanted you to meet her for a reason.  In this “me generation”  I thought it would be nice to let you know what the “you” generation was about.   To give you just a few examples of the things she taught and showed her children to make their lives a better life for them and the communities where they live.

Children today are not taught those principles,  in fact their character is molded mostly by what they get from cartoons from television.  By the time they start school they already have an attitude that makes most teachers cringe when they see the children enter the classrooms.

Children are being taught today that whatever happens to them, its someone else’s fault.

No matter what is wrong with the way we are living, the government has the solution and an obligation to take care of it.

Most children believe that the consequences doesn’t matter as long as they get what they want.

Their parents are teaching them that it is absolutely OK to lie if you are doing it to get to where you want to go.

By example the parents tell them to look at the big picture.  Sure there is collateral damage, but they should try to keep it to a minimum.

What are you teaching your children?  When you get on your death-bed, what will you see in your children?  More importantly, what will they say of you? When your generation passes, will it have made a difference?  Enough difference that someone would want to write an ode or praise of a life?