Our Mother and our Grandmother
On the day we all gathered for the funeral of our dear Mother and Grandmother, many of us took a few minutes to write down some thoughts about her. I want to share those memories with all of you. The pages that follow will never tell the whole story of Gladys and her impact on our lives. But, may it bring you some smiles and perhaps even a tear or two. She is a part of all of us, and though she is gone from this world, she will live in our hearts forever.
MEMORIES OF OUR MOM
I had the most unique relationship with my Mom of all my brothers and sisters. This was because I lived 1/4 mile from my folks after I married. I saw her almost everyday until she moved to Clark when I was in my mid-fifties. She was not only a great Mom, but she was also my best friend. Her funeral will be the celebration of the life of a great and beautiful lady. We were truly blessed to have such a neat Mom.
Her middle son, Duane Bymers
"You canít make a silk purse out of a sowís ear." "Still waters run deep." "A quiet sow drinks most of the swill." These are a few of the sayings of my Mom that have stayed with me. Too, I shall always remember how she would come and sit on the bed when we had been out on a date, and would want to hear about everything we did! Sometimes, maybe, we didnít tell her everything! It made us feel good to know that she cared.
Iris Bymers Rasmussen
I especially remember how well she managed such a large family. We four older girls were born just a little over a year apart. One of my aunts told me Mom always had a neat house. She was dedicated to her family, but certainly did not spoil us. We will always remember when she showed "Little Patty" how to bake chocolate cakes when she was 5 or 6 years old. We had our chores to do in and out of the farm home where we lived. We can thank her and Dad for the lessons we learned from them: willingness to work, ambition to succeed, and to do our very best. After I was married with two little kids, she became a reliable baby-sitter. Steve and Sheila spent many nights with Grandma. Thank you, Mom.
Valois Bymers Danekas
A few memories of Mom. I spent a big part of my life with her, more than the other kids. The only part of my life that I didnít eat noon lunch with her everyday was the 4 years I was in the Navy. This happened until she left the farm. Then I had to eat cold lunches! I guess what I remember the most was that everyday before Duane and I went out to work, we had a conference in the folksí back room. Many things were discussed, both business and pleasure.
All happy memories, Mom.
Your oldest son, Dean Bymers
MEMORIES OF OUR GRANDMOTHER
Grandma put up with lots of things from the grandchildren, but very seldom did she ever get upset. However, I do remember one time when we pushed her to the limits! The basement was a great place for hide-and-seek, so one time some of us grandchildren (possibly Reed, Deb, Steve and maybe others) had a great game going. We were hiding in the closets, the trunks, and any place else we could squeeze into. We were very loud and finally Grandma came down and gave us a real talking to! "Stay out of those closets! Stay out of those trunks!" It might have ruined our fun for the moment, but we soon turned our attention to other things.
I remember Grandma always using an old lawn mower with the motor taken off to haul her garbage to the burning barrel.
I remember eating Grandmaís chocolate chip cookies and wishing sheíd leave out those walnuts!
I remember Grandma listening in on the party lines to learn the news of the neighborhood.
I remember all the beautiful afghans that she crocheted. One still covers my sofa.
I remember that she went with Mom and I when I was shopping for a wedding dress, and she was a part of that big, decision making process.
She came to see me twice after I was married. The first time she and Grandpa came and they no more than arrived when the call came that great-grandma Schultz had passed away, so they headed home. The second time she came, she fell and broke her arm! What luck!
Sheila Danekas Frey
I have been visiting Grandma my whole life. As a little boy with my folks, later when Sheila and I were old enough to visit on our own, later yet as a teenager and college student when we could drive over to the farm for a visit, and still later after marriage when we would bring our own kids to visit Grandma. The visits were always good, always friendly, and Grandma was the best. I have many fond memories and I will miss her.
I clearly remember going to Grandmaís for fried chicken dinner on Sundays. It was always the best.
I clearly recall Grandmaís candy dish was always filled with lemon drops and the occasional butterscotch candies. That was the first place I made a bee line to when I arrived at her house. To this day I can recall the tart sweetness and still crave those candies.
I remember going to Grandmaís and there was always Chicken-in-the-Biscuit crackers and peanut butter cookies.
I was lucky enough to grow up just down the road from Grandma. Every morning during the summer, I would ride my bike down to have breakfast with Grandma and Grandpa. Breakfast was always the same, peanut butter toast and chocolate milk. I would usually be able to stay until about 10 AM before Mom would call and make me come home to work in the yard or garden. As I got older, I would mow her yard for her every week and sometime drive her into Clark to get groceries.
Iím so glad I got to see her so much, and after and I moved away to Virginia, I still always looked forward to visiting her in Clark.
Gonna miss you Grandma!
Your youngest grandson, Doug Bymers
Grandma is the only person I have ever encountered that made braided, scrap wool rugs. I remember her sitting at the dining room table folding and stitching together the long, woolen strips into ovals. The one she made for my college dorm room has since been used at the University of Minnesota and is now in residence at Western Michigan University. It is still sturdy and vibrantly colored.
The evening after her death,we had a "Grandma Gladys" salute at water aerobics. Iíve always called the underside, hangy down parts above the elbow "Grandma Gladys Arms". I have them, my sisters have them, even Seth has them. My water aerobics friends were privy to this, so when I went to class that night and said Grandma had died, we all waved our arms in her honor!
Deb Bymers Lengkeek
My memories of Grandma Bymers illustrates how much she loved to talk. When we were small, we would go to visit her frequently in the house on the farm. Even if we stayed all afternoon, she was still chatting with you as you walked out the door.
Grandmother Bymers has created a legacy in her children, grand, great and great- great grandchildren. May we all get one ounce of her bountiful energy and spark.
My memory of Grandma is of a person who was always friendly and helpful. And she usually had something good to eat. I have fond memories of being at her home when I was sick, or just stopping to say "Hello." She was a perfect Grandma, and, in my eyes, maybe a perfect person. She was a kind, generous, uncritical person. I have no unpleasant memories of her.
I have memories of playing in your cool basement and snooping in your country cupboards hoping for treasures. Your busyness and determination have been passed on. Your candy dish was always a favorite too!
Jenny Kirkeby Kadura
Grandma saved me often from Karenís tormentings when I was a little kid. She reassured me that there werenít ghosts or ghouls who would "eat me up." Of course, Karen had every right to dislike me because I was such a snoop. Grandma would temper Karenís rightful anger, but never at my expense. I also remember that Grandmaís phone was on a party line. I also remember the rain barrels that collected the water which she used to water her flowers. I really could go on and on. There were always cookies in her cookie jar.
Sandy Fey Trobak
I remember going to Grandmaís house and having chocolate chip cookies. Grandma always seemed to have all kinds of sweets around the house.
I was always scared to death of Grandpa when I was little! Grandma was my refuge from Grandpa. I could always hang around her and feel safe. She would always send me outside to find eggs.
My best memory of Gramma was many years ago when I stayed at the farm for a week. Gramma needed the coop painted, and she paid me the sum of $1.00/hour. This was my first hourly wage, and I felt quite wealthy. I doubt the job I did was very good, but she paid me anyway.
Mom informed me that some of the grandkids had written a few things down about their memories of Grandma and asked that I do so as well. Quite frankly, I didnít mature as early as most other Bymers/Rasmussens. In some ways, my maturation is in direct correlation to my marriage to April and is still an on-going process! Regardless, it is unfortunate for me that I was born with this "maturity challenge" as most of my memories from childhood (until age 28 or so!) are clouded with my own stupidity. Therefore, most of my memories of Grandma during this period were of me being foolish. But I do remember that Grandma did comment on me and things that I did. She never seemed too surprised or too concerned about me. Regardless of what I was doing-good or bad- she always said to mom-"Oh that Dirk...:"
Recently, (29-36 years) my memories of Grandma were much less about me, and more about her. And that is a far better memory. I had the chance to see Grandma one to two times a year for the last 6 years or so. These years were special because not only could I talk to her, but I could listen as well.
Through all the changes in my life, I could always count on one thing- a birthday card from Grandma each and every year. And inside that card-a crisp $1 bill. Now, $1 didnít seem like that much money when I was getting it. But, as I got older, itís not about the money, itís about whoís sending it to you. Itís very special and humbling to be remembered each year by such a person. Iíll miss those cards...and the money...
The last time I saw Grandma was this past winter. At that point she was bed-ridden, had lost her memory and could no longer speak. But, somehow I think she knew me. And when I left, she gave me a smile, the same smile she always gave me- "Oh that Dirk"...
Whenever I went to Grandma and Grandpaís house, I remember how they always had the volume turned up on the TV. It was on very loud.
I will always remember playing Yahtze with Grandma and trying to win that game with the golf tees and the wooden block. But I never came close to winning the golf tee game.
I remember when my sister Lee Anne was born, I stayed with Grandma and Grandpa. Grandma made me a beautiful, ivory colored dress with puffed sleeves and a green sash belt. Later we went to Pat and Rollieís for a family visit, and I felt like a little princess in that dress. I also remember her wonderful cooking and her big jar filled with buttons.
I also remember the time Steve Danekas and I got in trouble for swinging off the back porch holding on to her beloved vines!
I will never forget her chasing off that old, nasty rooster each time she protected us when we left the safety of the fenced- in yard. Her memory will be forever engrained in my heart.
Gramma always wondered for years what happened to "Old Cluck" (a setting hen that pecked you when gathering eggs.) Well, Buddy finally confessed after we had been married about 15 years. He hung old cluck! Buddy had to gather eggs and got pecked, so he took Old Click into the hay mow, had a trial, and hung her! Gramma kept asking Buddy what happened to the hen, and he kept telling her he didnít know.
Bud and Brenda Hansen
My memories of Grandma were walking in the back door and the smell was unbelievable. She was baking cookies, something wonderful!! Those are the smells I will remember forever. Then when she moved to Clark and was living in her little apartment, I remember how happy she was when you walked through her door to visit. She was always so proud to put up the new pictures we gave her of our kids, her great-grandkids. The new pictures went right up on the board. The memories will be with us forever.
Love you, Grandma, Lee Anne Bymers
I remember spending time playing on the bed on the front porch. That seemed to be another gathering spot for the grandchildren.
As was illustrated at the services, my favorite memories of Grandma were watering her new evergreen tree, every day in the summer, with her watering can, and also the handmade birthday card, with the usual dollar, that she made when I was three years old. It was probably hand-made because my birthday is March 1, and weather and Grandpa didnít always allow her to get to town. This card with its special message will always remain with my keepsakes.
Susan Bymers Crews
I know I have talked to you (Valois) since your Momís death, but Iím not sure I really said how important a person she was to all of us. She started out as a glamorous older cousin, then was a part of that great "Pete and Gladys" team and your family that has meant so much and added so much sparkle to get-togethers, a quality pretty well implanted in all of you. So great that the pattern carries on.
When Gladys was an active member of the Presbyterian Women, she was so willing to do whatever she could to help in any way. And she was such a joy to work with. Rest assured she has found the love and peace Christ promised each of us who accepts and believes in Him.
Merrill & Peggy Hurlbert
What a great lady Gladys was! She loved to laugh and have a good time and truly loved life. I loved her wit and humor. She was so proud of all her family. They say a parentsí worth is measured by the deeds of their children. She was a good Mom and taught all of you well. I feel fortunate to have known Gladys.
Pam Lee (A nurse at the Care Center)
Updated Jan. 27, 2001