1920 ~ Mary "Ibbeth" and her doll baby.

Mary “Ibbeth” and her doll baby.



July 12, 1918 ~ December 22, 2016


A woman whose faith sustained her, whose love and kindness sustained others, and whose devotion to children everywhere made a difference in generation after generation.

1949 ~ Ray and Mary and their family, daughter Marylin and son David

Mary and Ray with their family, daughter Marylin and son David

1978 ~ Mary holding Marylin's daughter Molly and David's son Andrew- grandson Nic born later)

Mary holding Marylin’s daughter Molly and David’s son Andrew (grandson Nic was born three years later)









Ray and Mary holding their first great-grandchild, Grace

Ray and Mary holding their first great-grandchild, Grace (soon followed by her brother)

Mary with their two great-grandchildren, Grace and Gannon

Mary with their two great-grandchildren, Grace and Gannon






"Be near me when my light is low."  ~ from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's "In Memoriam" by

“Be near me when my light is low.” ~ from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “In Memoriam”

In loving memory of a life well lived.




Filed under "Christmas Memories With Mom", Dementia/Alzheimer's, lessons for great-grandchildren, making a difference, Spiritual connections, Things to be thankful for

112 responses to “IN MEMORIAM

  1. Molly

    I love and miss you Grandma!

  2. Carol Stoffel

    Oh Marylin. I am so sorry. My prayers are with you


    On Thu, Dec 22, 2016 at 10:02 PM Things I Want To Tell My Mother wrote:

    Marylin Warner posted: ”


    July 12, 1918 ~ December 22, 2016

    A woman whose faith sustained her, whose love and kindness sustained others, and whose devotion to children everywhere made a difference in generation after generation.


    • Carol, our journeys together as writers, friends, and daughters of wonderful mothers have taken us on similar paths. And now we’re both the “senior” moms involved in the lives of our children and grandchildren. Whew. Such life journeys we have. ❤

  3. Mary Zalmanek

    Hi Marylin,

    I’m so sorry to hear this news. What a wonderful, long life she had. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Love, Mary >

  4. I am so sorry for your loss . I know you loved your mother very much. You wrote wonderful stories about her and kept her memories alive with this blog. I lost my 92 year old mother two years ago at Christmas.

  5. Holding you close to my heart, Marylin. It was, indeed, a life well-lived. The world was a better place for having her in it…and she leaves a legacy with every deed she did…and every hand she held. Sending prayers for you and your family.

  6. Through your posts and beautiful stories, we have all come to love you, your mother and your family. We are with you in spirit.

    With deepest condolences,

    • Thank you, Lisa. My “family” includes so many more through this post, and from so many places. I appreciate so much all the loving comments about my mother’s life as I shared her life stories.

  7. Marylin, I am sending hugs and blessings, and I am remembering all the wonderful stories you have shared with us. Definitely a life well-lived. I am imagining how your mother would smile at the idea of people from all over the world keeping her company in her final years. 🙂 With love…..

  8. Hope in deep sorrow: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:15

    May you feel the love and support of your many friends here. Be assured of my prayers, Marian

  9. I’m saddened to hear your news Marylin. but I’m sure you’ve managed to tall your Mom all the things you wanted her to hear now and she’s left you in the full knowledge of how loved she was and how much she loved you all.
    My condolences to you.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  10. Jane Sturgeon

    Lovely Marylin, my love is wrapped around you and your family. ❤ Your Mom touched this world in a very special way and her loving ripples will be felt for generations. Her love lives on. My love is with you. ❤ xXx ❤

    • Jane, your love is indeed wrapped around us now. Your comments, and your wonderful email, do make me feel she touched the world in ways she didn’t realize, but the stories of her life reached new friends in other countries as well as here at home. ❤

  11. Oh Marylin, please know that you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. My heart is heavy. I feel as though I knew your mother through your beautiful stories. 💕

  12. Dearest Marylin, I am so very saddened to read this news of your dear Mom’s passing. Please know that my thoughts, love and prayers are with you and your family at this time of deep loss. It has been an absolute privilige to read about your mother, I feel as if she has spoken such gentle and faith-filled wisdom to me through your beautiful words these few years I’ve known you through blogging. A priceless gift , your mom’s legacy lives on, worldwide. God Bless you my dear friend ❤

    • Sherri, I remember sharing one of your comments with her. It was years ago, when she could respond, and when she said, “I know her, I think,” and I told her you’d lived in California but then went back to England, she nodded and asked if you’d stopped by to say good-bye. She wasn’t clear on many details, but I think she felt the caring and goodwill and love of so many friends who’d gotten to know her through her life stories. ❤

      • Oh Marylin, I am only barely emerging after Christmas to read your words here and I am so moved that I don’t know what to say. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story with me, I am blessed beyond words. To know that your dear mom said that and that you shared one of my comments with her, I feel as if I did stop by to say goodbye to her before I left California, that I took a trip to see her one last time. That is the power of your story telling, of bringing your mom’s life and legacy into all of ours here; she lives on and always will in the hearts of all who knew and loved here, on and off blog. I want to give you such a big hug my dear friend. I hope you are alright, I have held you in my heart, thoughts and prayers this Christmas time and continue to do so and pray that the New Year brings you peace, healing, comfort and the happiest of memories of your beloved mom, surrounded by the love of your dear family and friends. Much love to you my dear, dear, friend ❤

      • Oh, Sherri, If you had stopped by, any time but the last year, she would have “thought” she did remember you, would have smiled and given you a hug. You have that kind of smile and personality, and your love shines through. Thank you, dear friend, for the prayers and love. I am so sick right now–which is not unexpected after a stressful three weeks, I’m told– that I definitely need the prayers for healing.

  13. Marylin, i am so sorry for your loss! I’ve loved learning about you, and your mother, through your writings. Thank you for sharing her life. My heart goes out to you in this sad time.

  14. My heart is breaking for you, Marylin. Through the years, you’ve shared bits and pieces of your mother’s incredible life and because of that, I feel a huge void in my heart this morning. Your mother couldn’t have asked for a more incredible daughter. God bless you and your family. ❤

  15. Dear Marylin, you’ve been in my thoughts this week as the absence of a weekly post from you alerted me that something was amiss. I’m so very sorry to hear about your dear mother’s passing. Like so many of your regular readers, I feel as if I knew her through you and feel a sense of loss too. Sending my very best and heartfelt wishes of sympathy to you and your wonderful family.

    • Thank you, Jenny. And I’ve felt that as I told her life stories and received comments and insights and shared stories from so many, that without Mom realizing it, she had an extended family she’d never met but who cared about her.

  16. Glee

    Beautifully written, Marylin. Your mother’s love, kindness and compassion will continue to radiate through you! You have shared your mother’s life with so many people. I am so blessed to have been able to call her “Aunt Mary “. Much love to you and your family.

    • Thank you, Glee. And she would tell you that being Aunt Mary to all her nieces and nephews was one of her blessings, too. Now she’s with your dad and Aunt Wanda and Uncle Ira, her mom and dad and all the family and friends who’ve gone before. We’re so fortunate, Glee, to have been born into this family. Love to you and all your beautiful grandchildren.

      • Glee, when you walked into the room where we were have the luncheon before the funeral, you will never know how much it meant to have you there. You, Mark, Matt, David H., Jason, Beth, Sandee and Larry, Stan and Sue, were such an important and supportive part of that day. Our parents, the siblings who now are all gone, were there in spirit, too, and it meant so much to have my grandchildren be included in this ongoing loving family connection.

  17. Dear Marylin a sadness came over me as I saw the title of your post. I think all your readers feel a share in your loss as we have come to know, love and appreciate such a special person.
    You have been such a faithful daughter and friend to your mom and have enriched her life even as her memory diminished. This will be such a different Christmas this year. I pray you and your family will be able to share much laughter among the tears. You had the privilege of loving and being loved by a remarkable person.
    As a Christian family take heart in the promise and hope of the resurrection as you experience the emptiness of grief.
    You are in our prayers and thoughts
    Rod and Susan

    • Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement, Rod. Already there is a sense of our family and friends who’ve gone on before welcoming Mom, and that somehow connects us all with joy this Christmas.
      I feel surrounded by the thoughts and prayers and I am very grateful.

  18. Nancy Saltzman

    Thank you so much for sharing her life with all of us. As Just Rod said, a sadness came over me as I saw the title of your post. I feel as though I have lost a close friend but I am lucky because I know that your writing and sharing will continue to remind us of the wonderful people in our lives. Much love and many hugs.

  19. Don

    So deeply, deeply sorry, Marylin. Thinking of you and may peace and strength be yours.

  20. I am so sad to hear this, Marylin. Take comfort knowing that you are in our prayers and thoughts. “When you lose someone who is part of who you are, time will heal the wound but not erase the scar.” Sending much love and many hugs, Darlene ❤

    • And a part of her lives on in us, Darlene. When I remember something she did or said, especially before Dad’s Alzheimer’s and her dementia, it is especially sweet because at that moment I’m reminded of their lives. Thank you, Darlene. ❤

  21. May the constant love of caring friends soften your sadness. May cherished memories bring you moments of comfort. May lasting peace surround your grieving hearts.

  22. I am so sorry for your loss. Through your writing, we all came to know your mother. She was quite a woman. Hugs to you all.

  23. juliabarrett

    Oh dear Marylin, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Your mother epitomizes a life well lived. I’m so grateful she came into this world. I know she left it in peace.

  24. Tammy Heimsoth

    Dearest Marylin,
    My heart, thoughts and prayers are with you and family. Sending loving hugs to each of you.

    • Tammy, you did so many generous, patient and helpful things for Mom. I have many memories of you fixing special foods, dressing her warmly, talking to her, smiling as we lit a single birthday candle on a cake and you helped her blow it out. You were my link in Kansas when I was in Colorado, and I knew she was in good hands. Thank you so much. ❤

      • Tammy, seeing you at Mom’s funeral was special, but when you came by the apartment that night as Molly and I were trying to clean out things and finish up, it meant so much. Leaving Fort Scott without saying goodbye to you would have been awful; you were such a loving, caring and supportive person in Mom’s life, and in ours. Thank you.

  25. I am so sorry to hear about your mother’s passing. From all your posts Marylin, I know you loved her very much. What a blessing that you were able to honour her the way you did and share her life with the rest of us. Thank you for that. My sympathy to you and your family. May she rest in peace.

    • When I shared her life stories on the blog, Diana, the blessings were mine. Years ago, when she could still respond, I would read aloud to her the stories I’d shared and the many responses, and she would smile and nod and sometimes ask, “How do I know them?” I would tell her again about the blog, and she would smile. The idea of blogs and the internet didn’t mean much to her, but I think she felt the caring from others.

  26. Keeta

    Your mother certainly had a life well lived —-so do you!! A life of love!!

  27. Blessings in this time of loss. May you find new ways to make good things out of difficulties as you have with this powerful website.

    • Oh, I hope so, Ellen. It doesn’t feel like it now, but maybe it will evolve. When I started the blog 5 years ago, I didn’t think I’d have enough memories, but the more I wrote, the more I remembered. We’ll see what happens next.
      Thank you.

  28. My dearest Marylin,
    I cried when I read that your mom has passed on. Thank you for blessing me (over the years) with your uplifting and inspiring posts about your family, and especially about your mom, Mary. I’m praying God will comfort you and your family at this most difficult time, Marylin.
    Christmas Blessings of Love, Hope & Joy,

  29. Dear Marylin, a note to add my love and prayers

  30. Life and Other Turbulence

    So very sorry for your loss. Beautiful tribute to a wonderfully loved woman.

  31. What wonderful memories you have shared through the years. I know you are happy for your mother’s liberation and transition while at the same time realizing the hole in your daily life without her. Blessings on all of the memories that will soften and fill in the sharp edges of that hole. Xxoo

    • It is a bitter-sweet mix right now. You’re so right; I’m happy that she’s now with those who’ve been waiting for her, but there is a sadness, too, more than I expected. Thank you for the reminders.

  32. Nancy Parker Brummett

    Oh, Marylin, I’m so sorry. Even though you’ve been expecting it, and watching her decline for so long, it’s still hard to lose our moms. Praying you will feel the Lord’s comfort and peace in a very real way. Much love.

  33. I’m so sorry Marylin. I’ve come to know and love your mother through your stories, she was an amazing woman and left a wonderful legacy in you.

    • It’s a special, sweetness to know that others who met my mother through these years of reading the stories about her life do feel like they knew her and loved her. Thank you, Andrea. for your kind words. ❤

  34. I’m sorry to read this and very sorry for your loss, Marylin. This is a beautiful tribute. I hope the memories bring you some peace, and that you find comfort in the love of your family and friends.

    • I do, Merril. Christmas isn’t the best time to plan a funeral for a loved one, but our family is all together, and we all celebrate her life. Just a few days ago, Molly and Grace and Gannon and I were with Mom. We knew the end was near, but we read to her, told her our favorite stories, and spent precious time with her.

  35. Jim

    Well, sweetie, as difficult as the moment is, let’s affirm that your blog is not only a tribute to your mom’s “life well lived” but also a tribute to YOUR passion and persistent effort to preserve her endearing legacy. I have personally witnessed your ‘blood, sweat, and tears’ to compose your blog every week for the last five years. You never missed a week until the stressful final moment. The comments and emails from your many wonderful friends both near and far have been overwhelming. I join so many others in telling you that the thoughtful messages that often lay behind your memories were inspirational. I love you so much. Jim

  36. Oh, sweetheart, thank you so much. If if hadn’t been for your computer help, I would have been in trouble trying to post blogs many times, but you always bailed me out. <3. ❤ ❤

  37. jakesprinter

    Seasons Greetings Marilyn

  38. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing her with us through your touching blog. You have honored her well.

  39. Dearest Marylin!

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Through your writing and your stories I always felt what a special woman your mom was. I loved all the stories. I also felt like I was a part of your newer stories and of your family. I actually have tears in my writing this. I know your mom will live on in your memories and in the heart of you and your family. Hugs, Ilka

    • Thank you, Ilka. I’m glad you felt a part of the stories and my family. It’s been a special journey, sharing these stories about my memories of my mother and reading them to her as she struggled with dementia. Now those stories become even more special, as the stories are all her great-grandchildren will have to remember her.

  40. I am sorry for your loss Marylin. Thank you for sharing her wonderful life (and your love for her) through your blog.

  41. Janet Armstrong

    Marylin, the memorial service for your mother was a wonderful tribute to her life. Rev. Carr, Molly, you, Sharon and David made her Christian life very evident to those present. She was an example of what we should all strive for in our lives. Prayers for your family.

    • Seeing you at the funeral yesterday meant so much, Janet. I remember years ago when she was in the hospital and I was with her. I looked up and there you were, the same smile as from high school, and how we sat in the cafeteria and talked and talked. Thank you, Janet for being there for us.

  42. Anna Marie Wray

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, Marylin. I was privileged to have been part of the team who cared for your mother a few years ago. She was one of the bright spots in the village. I’m sure the girls who are still there will also miss your monthly visits. Your cheerful, loving spirit is a tribute to her. God be with you.

  43. jakesprinter

    Wish you all the best Marilyn

  44. Oh Marylin! I have been so behind on email and am just now catching up and saw your post. I am so very saddened by your loss. I have loved your writings and musings about your mother for so many years now. My heart is aching for you and your family. Please know you will be in my thoughts and prayers. Blessings to all of you. XO

    • Thank you, Robyn. It was a long 20 days, yet at every stage I knew without a doubt that she was ready, and that those who’ve gone on before her were lovingly waiting to welcome her.

  45. Oh Marylin, I haven’t checked in with you for a while, and now I know why. I feel my own loss because you have made your love for your mother so concrete and vital here. Her move into eternity presages the passage for all of us, and helps those who still have at least one living parent treasure them all the more. Love never dies!!

  46. Dear Marylin— my deepest condolences on the loss of your beloved mother. Please know I am thinking of you and your family during this difficult time. Sincerely, Marti Benson Smith

    On Thu, Dec 22, 2016 at 10:01 PM, Things I Want To Tell My Mother wrote:

    > Marylin Warner posted: ” MARY ELIZABETH SHEPHERD July 12, 1918 ~ > December 22, 2016 A woman whose faith sustained her, whose love and > kindness sustained others, and whose devotion to children everywhere made a > difference in generation after generation. &” >

  47. Dear Marylin — I’m late with my condolences, as I haven’t been following blogs for quite a while, and just popped back in now to check on you. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss.

    What you did here — memorializing your amazing mother through the years — is so inspiring. May you be surrounded with comfort, grace and peace during your time of mourning.

  48. Dear Marylin, I have been off Word Press for ages and just decided to take a look today. Your name was conspicuously absent in my feed, and so I sought out your blog.
    I am sorry for your loss. At the same time, your whole blog makes clear how much you any so may others have found and received and hold within you as a result of having this wonderful woman in your lives. And from that abundance, you continue to give.
    I wish you a bright and happy Spring as the cycle of life continues to unfold.

  49. Marylin, I Googled your name this morning as I haven’t heard from you in such a long while. I hadn’t realized that your mother had passed away. I was no longer getting posts and you know, life with family demands and all, can get away on you. I am so sorry about your loss. I loved all the blog posts about you and your mom. You have such a creative way of telling all those intimate details. Sending you a hug.

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