We gather today to celebrate the life of Blanche Emily Curry Loyd. She will be remembered as a mother, grandmother great-grandmother, wife, friend and devoted companion. She was married to Howard for 36 years, and lived with him and their daughters Marilyn & Suzanne in a pile of places around the world. After my grandfather died in 1980, she met Carl, and Carl has been in her life and our lives ever since. Carl was by her side through thick and thin over the past 27 years and was a grandfather figure to all four of her grandchildren.
As Blanche lived all over the
When they were living in
She was the Girl Scout cookie chair when her girls were active in the Scouts. Marilyn & Suzanne both remember the house being wall-to-wall cookies ever year. Blanche wasn't ashamed to call her self the "great scrounger" for things that the Girl Scouts needed. She knew someone would be willing to donate whatever they needed as opposed to having to spend the money on it. She was a supportive mother who always wanted to give her girls more, but was almost always home when they back from school.
Blanche was a smart woman, and she had high aspirations for her daughters. There was never any question that both of her girls would go to college. They not only graduated from college, but have earned advanced degrees. She took great pride in her children and her grandchildren, and she must have done a good job, seeing how well both daughters turned out, and in turn, how well all four grandchildren turned out. :) The success of her grandchildren, of course, would not have been possible had she not personally picked out her sons-in-law.
She took the Civil Service exam at age 20, and scored high enough that she was offered a job with the State Department in
She was also known for being able to throw a feast which could not be out-done. We had to have two kinds of Ba-tatoes, at least two kinds of meat (one of which was ham), at least three things from a casserole dish, the marinated mushrooms & onions, and a dish of black olives for Patrick & I. That was just for starters. Then there was dessert...
She and her favorite granddaughter, Emily, spoke the common language of earrings, always bringing each other earrings or compare their latest bounty.
One of the qualities of Mama B that I will always remember is that she was not afraid to tell you what she thought. She was rarely a warm & fuzzy character, and might have been one of the most blunt people I've ever known. Moment of truth: Raise your hand if you were ever on the receiving end of one of Blanche's opinions. To borrow a line from the late Jerry Garcia, she wasn't often right, but she was never wrong. I've told this story on more than one occasion, and my wife knows I'm going to tell this story even though she's back in
The other memory I have of Mama B is of her determined spirit. Apparently, when she was a young girl, her mother wanted her to wear a particular dress for some occasion, and little Blanche did not want to wear that dress. So she put her hands on her hips and declared, “I’m six years old, and I can do whatever I want.” And the tone was set for the next 82 years. The “I can do it” attitude carried her through her Rosie the Riveter Days in World War Two and through the many moves while Howard was in the Air Force. I remember one Thanksgiving weekend about six or seven years ago in
It would be easy to think of her death as the end; the end of these stories of her life and how she has impacted everyone in this room. However, we are a people of Resurrection. We know that death is not the end; it is merely the beginning of new ways to be a blessed and beloved child of God.
Blanche Emily Curry was washed in the indissoluble waters of Baptism, welcomed and marked as one of Christ's own nearly 88 years ago at
May we remember not only Blanche, Mother, Mama B, but also the gifts God has bestowed upon each of us, and may we continue to be the light of Christ that the world so desperately needs to see.