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The Passing of My Mother

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UPDATE: Thanks to everyone for the kind words.


Christmas 1973, dad, me, my sister and mom. This is one of only a handful of family pics as mom hated to have her picture taken. Boy, those are some early 1970s clothes!

This morning at 2am my mother passed away. She was 82. Over the course of the year she’s endured strokes and several heart attacks, but it was especially in the last month that she faded quickly, both physically and mentally. I am gratefuly she went relatively quickly, unlike my father, who passed in 2019 and whose stroke in 2002 set him on a slow decline for more than a decade.

As many of you know, this comes on the heel of my mother-in-law’s passing in September; we surely didn’t expect my mother to follow my wife’s mother so quickly.

My mother was born in Seattle in 1939. Her father was an aeronautical engineer at Boeing, where he worked, initially, in the famous red barn, the original home of Boeing. He was a fun, silly man who loved woodworking, singing, and mischief.

Her mother was tough as nails, having grown up on a farm her parents homesteaded in Idaho. Because of this, Mom grew up with one foot in Seattle, a suburban teen, and one foot in Idaho, a farmer girl.

She attended Franklin High School in Seattle. That’s important specifically because her group of high school friends remained a tight group to this day. Her passing means that her group has dwindled to only five and all five are surely heart broken this morning.

After she married Dad in Seattle, they moved to Renton in 1963. She gave birth to me in 1965 and lived in that same house until we moved her in November to the elder care home.

When my sister got into gymnastics, my mother did as well, eventually becoming a judge. She worked as a judge at multiple levels for over 40 years.

Mom’s farmer-girl side got great joy out of her seasonal garden. We learned to pick strawberries, shuck corn, collect peas, and much more. During the summers we ate fresh fruit from our property: strawberries, huckleberries, black berries, blue berries, apples, raspberries, cherries, along with the fresh fruit and herbs. That was all her (dad on the other hand loved to grow trees).

When my sister wanted a horse, mom was right there, supporting her efforts emotionally and financially, support that continued right up until the day she died. This relationship and support of my sister naturally meant that they were closer.

I, on the otherhand, more independent, was not as close to her. Over the years, mom and I grew farther apart as our politics and other issues divided us more. My separation/divorce from my first wife in 2000 really ripped us apart and we didn’t speak for more than a year. It was actually dad’s stoke in 2002 that forced us to start communicating again. Still, and sadly, there was always a bit of distance.

From the time I started eWillys in 2008, mom often checked the site. She really loved to follow our trips and was a frequent commenter on the posts. She was always amazed and proud of the warmth, friendship and kindness so many of you shared with Ann and I on our journeys.

Mom was also a big fan of my books. She always wished I would contact Hollywood so they would make a movie of the Amber Panels book. She never quite understood that rewriting the book into a screen play was a non-trivial under taking, me for which I did not have. Still, I’ve always appreciated her support of that notion.

Despite our differences over the years, I never doubted that she was kind, thoughtful, and had a big heart. Having lived most of her life within a 10 mile area, she developed many friends and collegues over the years and those folks are mourning her this morning.

Godspeed Mom on your journey to join Dad.

Obviously, eWillys will likely remain lightly updated over the next week. Best wishes all for a better 2022.


One of the few pictures of mom driving the jeep. She and my sister are trying out a balance event at a jeep playday in the early 1970s.


44 Comments on “The Passing of My Mother

  1. SteveK

    May all RIP knowing the pain and suffering is over and they are in a Better Place. Hopefully, you will have a HAPPIER NEW YEAR!

  2. Jacob

    Dave, my thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. Take all the time you need and we’ll all be here for you when you are ready to return to regular posts.


  3. Marty Tilford

    Im sorry to hear of your moms passing. I always loved reading her comments on here from your posts. Our families thoughts and prayers are with you.

  4. Illinois Larry

    Sorry to hear of your loss. Your Mom sounds like a wonderful person who had a great life. You and Ann were there for her when she needed you the most. You will always treasure the time you spent with her in her final years. She is now at peace in God’s presence. Prayers for you and Ann

  5. Colin and Lillian Peabody

    Dave and Anne-
    Please accept our condolences on the loss of both your mothers in such a short time frame. Dealing with the los of a parent is difficult at best, but to deal with the loss of two much more so.

    YOur thoughts about your mom are wonderful memories for you to hang on to and cherish.

    Please take time to grieve in your own ways. but remember, your eWillys family is still here.

  6. Bingo

    You flipped ‘er end over end, w/o a roll bar Dave. As time passes, you & your TX sis may find that you were closer to your mom than all y’all thought. Where it counts….sans geography! My condolences

  7. vernon

    hola Dave y Ann, Lamento mucho tu pérdida, todas las cosas deben pasar cantaron el notable beatle jorge harrison cantó una vez, perdí a mis dos padres en los últimos años, así que sé cómo te sientes, la gente muere, los jeeps willys viven para siempre . sinceramente vernon

  8. Brian

    So sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing Dave. Your remembrance is lovely. My folks have passed on as well, and I can appreciate the challenges you and Ann have faced as you worked to help your Mom through her declining health. Hang in there. Like your Mom, we eWillys readers sure enjoy your writing and eWillys posts!

  9. Allan J. Knepper

    Sorry to hear about your mom’s passing. Our family has had it’s share of deaths right around the holidays, so we can appreciate some of what you are going thru. Your write up was very, very well done and we all appreciate the insight into what made you the way you are !!
    May you and Ann both get these major events behind you and we will pray for your mother and a great 2022 going forward……….and yes, take some time……we will all be here.

  10. Barney Goodwin

    Thank you for sharing this. All the best to you, your family, and her many friends during this time.

  11. JohnfromSC

    My condolences, Dave. The ending to a number of tough chapters in your life story.

    May you and Ann have a blessed 2022!

  12. van remoortere charles

    dear dave -ann – accept my condolences for the loss you have to take – charles -belgium

  13. Mike

    Dave, very sorry for the loss of your mom. She is now with your dad in Heaven. Please, except my sincere condolences to you and Ann.

    Mike- Idaho

  14. Ivan T

    Condolences, David, so sorry to hear about your mom. My father also passed away a few days ago, on Tuesday 12/22/21, at 87. Their spirit goes on, somewhere.

  15. SE Pennsylvania Steve

    Sorry for your loss. Your internet eulogy was quite touching. Thanks for sharing with all your fans, we all appreciate it.

  16. Gary Kujawa

    Dave, Sorry to read about your mother. You and Ann have my condolence. Your Dad & Mom now can be Jeeping thru the clouds.
    3B Guy,Western, N.Y.

  17. Dave T in CT

    sorry to hear of your mom’s passing – you wrote a beautiful tribute to her – she sounds like quiet a gardener which is a real talent – know that you and Ann are in my thoughts and prayers – may time bring both of you peace

  18. Jim D

    It seems that no matter when the end comes, it is always too soon. If only a few more days or even hours, we might be better prepared. But, it is always out of our hands! So, all we can do is relinquish our loved ones into the caring and loving arms of the One that gave us the gift of their presence in the first place. A prayer sent.

  19. Mark

    Warmest condolences and sympathy from a long time reader. Thank you for sharing on this site.

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