Thursday, March 20, 2008

In Memoriam: Catherine Callaghan Grisdela

Today, for me, is one those days when life comes front and center to remind us of what is truly important.

My mother died peacefully in her sleep last night at age 81 after suffering from poor health associated with Parkinson's disease. She joins my father, Elmer, in eternal rest.

There are so many characteristics that I admired in my mother, but the one thing that stands out the most was her daily commitment to doing the right thing for her family, friends, community and church. She and my father raised eight children (born within 10 years) to be close, productive and caring adults. She always had a kind word for people. Despite the daily stresses of life, she was never ill-tempered.

She assumed leadership volunteer roles in the United Way, Michigan Parkinson Foundation, and worked as a religious education director at St. Alphonsus Parish in Dearborn, MI.

Before marrying, she earned two Masters degrees. A strong sense of education was instilled in her children, who all went to college and four to graduate school. She was a fan of the Detroit Tigers and classical music. Her circle of friends from Marygrove College (1948) remain close to this day.

This weekend we celebrate her life. Warm memories of her will live in our hearts forever.

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