April 5, 2008
My Lillie Died
My Lillie died a month ago - March 13, 2008. Our 7th wedding anniversary would have been a week from today – April 12th. It is still very hard to accept the fact that she is gone. I have not yet become accustomed to the unfamiliar quietness in our now lonely house.
We met on the internet in January of 2001 on one of those Web Match sites. Lillie’s previous husband, Adrian Artiano, had passed away in 1998. My previous wife, Elizabeth (Betty) Bergeron, died on August 28, 1989. Lillie lived in Oregon City, Oregon when we first met. I lived in Colinton, Alberta. After a brief courtship, e-mailing each other several times daily and commuting back and forth a couple of times over the 1100 miles that separated us, we were married in Saint Alberts, Alberta.
The next seven years went by very quickly. We bought a mobile home and lived it in for a few months. Then, after traveling across Canada and the US for a while, settled down to build a permanent home together. Lillie designed our house and I (with a lot of help from my son Guy) constructed it. I was 74 at that time.
Lillie loved to travel. In addition to motoring around North America, we took a Mediterranean cruise and visited five European countries. Lillie made numerous trips by herself as well, visiting her family and friends down in the States. She never hesitated to venture out alone on long drives when I could not accompany her. She was a remarkably independent and competent woman.
Lillie was an artist. Not only was she an accomplished painter, she was also a knowledgeable and talented potter. She and her dear friend Kathy spent many hours together sipping tea while painting. Our house was filled with works of art and pottery.
This was her third bout with Cancer. Her determination to beat the dreaded disease the first two times was successful and added another twenty years onto her life. Although she fought valiantly to the end, she no longer had the strength to survive the third and final attack.
I and your many friends miss you Lillie. May you rest in peace.
Following is a poem that Lillie’s brother Frank wrote in memory of his sister, whom he and most of her family and Oregon friends knew as “Voni”:
Yes the world is less lovely without her
This unique and adventurous gal,
And the love of life she is leaving behind
As viewed by her brother and pal.
She was clearly alive every day of her life,
A class act from beginning to end,
With talent for making things beautiful
And a gift for the making of friends.
I’ve known her, of course, since childhood
And have seen how she stayed resolute
In the field of exquisite creativity
In her many skillful pursuits.
She designed magnificent gardens
And toiled in them tirelessly too.
She read many books on the subject
And it showed in the things that she grew.
One more of her gifts was painting,
Her work was in many a show.
Illness canceled her forum in Tuscany
Only a few months ago.
I can surely attest to her potting skills,
She made teapots donburi and plates
That I used in my family Japanese restaurant
Until I retired of late.
Her dishes in fact were our calling card there
People came in expressly to see
Her unique rendition of a Japanese period
Momoyama and Muramachi.
A lover of life and of travel.
A lover of family and friends.
Yes, the world is less lovely without her
An achiever right though to the end.
By Frank Partridge, 2008.