A woman of zest, her life-long stitching delved into her brokenness and produced intricate patterns of liveliness, both within and without.

She was an only child, born into the short-lived affluence of the Central West End until she and her mother had to move into a cramped apartment in Clayton. Her mother’s earnings from a dress shop in their old neighborhood supported them as she grew up. Interest in fashion design led to studies at Washington University and sparked her passion for sewing: her future way of enlivening others with colorful apparel and home furnishings.

To support her three children following a divorce from an alcoholic husband she opened up her sewing machine and set to work. Word of her talent spread and many found their way to her door. How her brown eyes danced within their satisfaction.

As years passed still other patterns developed: tending the needs of her invalid mother; of her former mother-in-law, a stroke patient; and even of her former husband until they died. No matter that her days/nights were impossibly full, she still made time to serve in the Legion of Mary and in Birthright.

Continuous involvement with her adult children and their families formed more patterns, testy at times, until resolved.

However, decades of heart ailments crimped some of her stitching but only quickened her prayer for others. Her last peaceful breath occurred on the morning of January 20, 2016. Imagine her surprise, experiencing the unique pattern of her fully developed woman-spirit in pristine pinks.

We will miss her.

Her name was Betty.

 

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