Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Personal Note


My Uncle Bud, Windsor Smith, died yesterday. He was my mother's oldest brother, and the second oldest of seven children born to Otto and Hildegarde Smith. He was 82.

And, after my Grandma died, Uncle Bud was one of the strongest linchpins that held the family together. This personal note only means something to my family, but it's one reason I blog, and one reason I appreciate words.

My family has loved words and books for generations, and words and books linked us. Grandpa Smith graduated from Ohio State with a degree in journalism. He was Farm Editor of the Fremont News-Messenger, and I treasure a picture of him with President Lyndon Johnson. My Grandma Smith only went through eighth grade, but she was a reader, a woman who enjoyed crossword puzzles. And, she was my Grandpa's proofreader and copy editor. Grandpa trusted her to check his work. Grandpa shared his love of Ohio State and sports with his children. He shared his word skills with his son, while Grandma shared her love of reading with so many of her children and grandchildren.

Uncle Bud graduated from Ohio State, and, eventually wrote the news for WKYC Channel 3 in Cleveland. He was a writer and researcher. He researched family history, wrote one to share with his brothers and sisters, and, for a number of years, linked brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, and distant cousins through a family newsletter. It was always a treat to receive that in the mail, and catch up with family news. And, he shared that family passion for Ohio State.

Today, the women of two generations of the family write the family stories in our round robin letters we send each other. My cousin, Carol Jeanne, and I originally kicked off the letters, but my mother, both my sisters, two aunts, and four other cousins are linked by the stories we share. Uncle Bud's family newsletter might not be published anymore, but the women in the family keep our stories alive. And, we all share that passion for Ohio State.

I blog about my passion for books, something I shared with my grandparents, my parents, my sisters, my husband, aunts, and cousins. And, when my blog is picked up for syndication and published anywhere, I've always said to my mother, "Grandpa would be proud."

There are wordsmiths in this family. Carol Jeanne referred to Uncle Bud as the "Keeper of Memories". But, we've all shared a love of words, writing and reading. Uncle Bud is going to be missed by his wife, his nine children, grandchildren, and remaining sisters and brothers. And, we owe it to Grandpa and Grandma, and Uncle Bud, and, each other, to keep those memories, and the stories, alive.

So, thank you, Uncle Bud, for sharing the memories and words with all of us. Rest in Peace. And, here's a final family tribute, to you, Grandpa and Grandma, and the entire family.

GO BUCKS!




------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Windsor James Smith

WINDSOR JAMES SMITH age 82. Devoted husband of Janeearlene (nee Dawson). Loving father of Theresa Carlin (Martin), Gregory (Lynn) of Avon, Stephen of Columbia, MO, Victoria, Daniel, Laurel Eckert (Tracy) of Marblehead, Patricia Crane (Dr. Stephen) of Copley, Courtney (Tessa) and Brian. Dear grandfather of 15 and great grandfather of four. W.W.II Army Air Corps veteran. Funeral Mass will be Saturday, Feb. 28, at 11:30 a.m., at St. Bernadette's Church, 2256 Clague Rd., Westlake. Interment St. Joseph Cemetery in Fremont. Friends may call at the DANIEL L. BERRY & DONALD MARTENS AND SONS FUNERAL HOME, 26691 DETROIT RD., WESTLAKE, ON FRIDAY, FROM 2 - 4 AND 7 - 9 P.M. Family suggests contributions to Sisters of Notre Dame, 3837 Secor Rd., Toledo, OH 43623 or the Carmelite Sisters, 3176 Fairmount Blvd., Cleveland Hts., OH 44118.

58 comments:

Liz said...

Thank you, Lesa. What a wonderful tribute to my "loving brother". He will be sadly missed by many, but we have so many great memories of him.

Love, mother

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Mom. Those are a few things I'll treasure and remember. I think he would have liked the comment about his writing, his keeping the family connection, and Ohio State.

I love you.
Lesa

Molly said...

A beautiful tribute. Thoughts and prayers go out to you, your family and your extended family. It seems Uncle Bud touched many lives. and has left behind quite a legacy.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Molly. Yes, he did leave behind a legacy. Thank you.

Aunt Janie said...

Lesa, What a beautiful tribute. Uncle Bud would be proud of you as we all are.
Love,
Fremont Aunt Janie

bookfool said...

He sounds like a wonderful man, "the Keeper of Memories". I like that. My condolences to you and your family.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Aunt Janie. I hope the family appreciates the tribute. I just had to contribute something, since I can't be there.

Love,
Lesa

Lesa said...

I liked that phrase, too, bookfool, when my cousin wrote it. It just shows what I said about the family being wordsmiths. I have no idea what kind of "smiths" we were at one time, but that's the one I like to think we are now.

Pat R. said...

My deepest sympathy to you and your family. I am sure he will be long remembered.

Pat R.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Lesa, for that beautiful entry on your blog. I know Dad would appreciate it, as all of us do. It is beautifully written, of course brought me to tears. And thank you to all of your friends and relatives who respond, maybe not in words, but by a simple prayer for Dad and for all of us who will miss him so much.
Terri

caite said...

It was a lovely tribute to your uncle...and to all your family.

Jim said...

Thank you Lesa, I'm glad that your Uncle Bud, helped make your family the wonderful family that gave me you. Rest In Peace, Uncle Bud.

Love Jim

Corey Wilde said...

You've given your uncle a beautiful and touching tribute, Lesa. Clearly he was a special man.

And I think he'd want me to add, GO BUCKS!

Lesa said...

Thank you, Pat. Yes, I'm sure he will be remembered with love.

Lesa said...

Ah, Terri.

I'm so sorry about the loss of your father. He was very special to your family, but also to all of us that he joined together with his newsletter, and his love. He and the family will be in a number of prayers today, and in the the coming days. Take care of yourself, your family, and most of all, your mother.

Love,
Lesa

Lesa said...

Thank you, Caite. It's always interesting to sit down to write about one family member, and realize what we do all share. Thank you.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Jim. He would appreciate that thought.

Love,
Lesa

Lesa said...

Thank you, Corey. He was special. And, you're right. He would want you to add Go Bucks! He told me just recently he thought he had one of the biggest collections of Ohio State books out there. And, I'm happy I was able to tell him about one that he read and enjoyed a few months before he died.

Joe Barone said...

A life well lived! Nothing better could be said about a person! My condolences. --Joe Barone.

Anonymous said...

Well put, Lesa. I'm sure Dad appreciates this wonderful tribute.
He's always carried pride for you and your wordsmithing. Enjoy that!
Our family also appreciates your kind words. Thank you!
--Brian

Lesa said...

Thank you, Joe. And, that's exactly what my mother said when we talked about him, "He lived a good life."

Lesa said...

Thank you, Brian. I appreciate your comment about your father's pride. I will treasure that, coming from someone who was gifted.

Your family remains in my thoughts and prayers. Please take care of each other, and your Mother. Friday and Saturday are going to be exhausting days for her.

Victoria said...

Lesa

Thank you for the blog about my dad. It was heartfelt and brought me to tears.

I love the "Keeper of Memories." I too love reading, taking pictures and miss my Smith Family newsletter.

Thanks too all the comments and prayers.

Victoria

Lesa said...

Hi Victoria,

Wasn't that a beautiful phrase Carol Jeanne used, "Keeper of Memories"? Yes, I miss the Smith Family newsletter. And, he had all of the distant family connections to make it happen.

There are a good number of prayers for your family, Vicki. Take care of yourselves, and your Mother.

Lesa

Janet Rudolph said...

What a wonderful tribute. Keeper of the Memories!

Lesa said...

Carol Jeanne can be quite proud of that phrase, Janet. It's the phrase that leaped out at me from her note yesterday. And, it's the one that leaps out at other readers.

And, as readers, wouldn't that be a beautiful title for a book? Keeper of Memories. I always said I wasn't interested in writing, but I do like that title.

Thank you. I'm so pleased that Uncle Bud's children, sisters and sister-in-law have appreciated the words I wrote in his memory.

Meljprincess said...

Lesa,
Please accept my sincere condolences. Your post is very touching and even though I don't know you well it made me cry. You and yours are in my thoughts.

Mel K.

Serena said...

Lesa, I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of Uncle Bud! This is a great tribute, which I am sure he would have appreciated.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Mel. As Terri said, they appreciate the thoughts and prayers.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Serena. I do hope he would have appreciated the thoughts.

Scrap girl said...

What a beautiful tribute. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your uncle. I can understand how you and your family are feeling at the moment, as I lost my nan three weeks ago. She was the one who first got me interested in reading and organised my first library ticket when I was nine. We all have to remember the good times that we spent with these people and the legacy they leave behind. My thoughts are with you.

Lesa said...

Oh, Scrap Girl. I'm sorry about the loss of your nan. And, to lose someone who brought you to reading. Those are special memories and thoughts to cherish now that she's no longer here. Thank you for the kind note.

Patricia said...

Oh Lesa, I'm so sorry for the loss of Uncle Bud, he sounds like a man that I would have loved also. Thank you for sharing him with us at this time.

Blessings,
Patricia Punt

Lesa said...

Thank you for the blessings, Patricia. He was a very special person.

Maria said...

So sorry to hear that sad news.

Go BUCKS!

Maria

Lesa said...

Thank you, Maria. Uncle Bud would really have appreciated your Go Bucks! shout-out.

Lesa

pattinase (abbott) said...

Having just gone through this, I know how it feels to lose someone from the Greatest Generation.

Lesa said...

That's the perfect description, Patti. And, it does feel as if the whole family lost that family historian, and part of the family history.

thurbersofrichmond said...

What a beautiful tribute. I am very sorry for your lose.

Lesa said...

Thank you. We appreciate all the nice notes from everyone.

Carol said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your uncle's death. That was a very beautiful tribute to him. I know he will be missed.
Carol M

Kay said...

Lesa, what a lovely tribute to your uncle. Thank you so much for sharing it with us and sharing your family with all of us. He must have been a wonderful man. It's sad that we are losing so many of that generation that remembers WWII and before. But, I guess that is the cycle of life.

I'll even say GO BUCKS one time (and you have no idea how hard that is for this Longhorn fan!! :-) )

Hugs to you and I'm sorry you can't be with them in Ohio.

Red lady-Bonnie said...

My sympathies to you and your family Lesa. Your Uncle Bud sounds like a wonderful man. How wonderful that you have honored him here on your blog. I love the idea of Round Robin Family Newsletters. What a fabulous way to share and preserve family memories. As a fellow OSU grad I must add, GO BUCKS!!

Kris said...

Sorry for your loss, he sounds like a wonderful man.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Carol. He will be missed, by the entire family.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Kay. You're right. We're losing so many of that generation, and, actually Uncle Bud was one of the younger ones. And, it's hard to lose their wisdom and knowledge.

I do appreciate the Go Bucks cheer, since I know how hard it is for a Longhorn to say it. But, think how hard it is for us to accept it from a Longhorn! (grin) Thank you, Kay, for your kindness.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Bonnie! I know how much you appreciate that emblem on the blog. And, thank you. The family newsletter, and the round robin letters have been a wonderful way to keep the family in the loop as to successes, illnesses, and family events. I've enjoyed them all.

And, I know when we receive that round robin, we all sit down to read it as soon as we can devote an hour of time to it. It's very special.

And, Uncle Bud's family newsletters were very special.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Kris. We appreciate the comments and kindness from everyone.

Literary Feline said...

He sounds like a wonderful man, Lesa. I am so sorry for your loss.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Wendy. The family appreciates all the notes of sympathy.

Les said...

What a beautiful tribute, Lesa. I do believe you are quite a wordsmith yourself!

I especially love the "Keeper of Memories" nickname. Makes me think of my grandmother who would have turned 102 this coming month. She always told the greatest stories, entertaining friends and family with great humor and interesting details. I can only imagine what a loss Uncle Bud's passing will have on your family. I'm so sorry.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Les. I wasn't in Ohio for the funeral today, but, according to my mother, the priest even told stories about Uncle Bud. And, the family gathered from all over for his funeral. It's kind of strange to think that that many family members won't come together again. It is a loss.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lisa & Jim,
The two of you were special to Bud in many ways, especially for your love of OSU.
When I read your blog, Lisa, I said we had to have copies at the Funeral Home as it was such a beautiful tribute to him. He would have loved to have read every word and I sincerely hope he did read it from heaven above.
He loved to hear from you regarding any book that might be interesting to him, but especially the Ohio State ones. The last one you mentioned to him, he was able to acquire at our wonderful Porter Library and I don't think he stopped reading it until he finished. He enjoyed it so very much.
We, his family, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your wonderful words regarding his life.
Love, Aunt Jane

Lesa said...

Thank you so much, Aunt Jane. I'm so sorry. I hope the love and respect came through in the blog. It was such a pleasure to share his family stories.

And, the tribute in the Fremont News-Messenger and on WKYC were so nice. I'm glad I was able to see them.

You know you are in our thoughts and prayers. Take care of yourself.

Love,
Lesa

Pat Browning said...

Lesa,

Your blog was lovely, and a powerful tribute to your Uncle Bud and your family.

Thank you for sharing Uncle Bud's wonderful story. The world can ill afford to lose such a man.

Pat Browning
Absinthe of Malice
Krill Press 2008

Lesa said...

Thank you, Pat. We all appreciate all of the comments. What I appreciate is that his wife, children, brothers & sisters were pleased with the tribute. It was my way of reaching out since I couldn't be there for the funeral.

Anonymous said...

Lesa
Your tribute to dad was absolutely wonderful! It made me think about so many things and bring (happy) tears. You captured him so well.

Thank you for your love and kind words.

Trish

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Trish. I tried. And, I must have captured him, since so many people who never knew him commented on the blog.

Take care of yourself, and your mother.