september {sacramento trip}

 we had a really great six days home. my dad flew me & kruz out for my grandma donna's viewing and funeral, it was pretty emotional. i'm still trying to recover from everything...it's pretty draining! my mom was so sweet! every morning when she heard kruz start to cry she would sneak into my room & grab him. it was SOOO nice to get to sleep in! i had to speak at my grandma's funeral, which was SO nerve wracking! i was just afraid i would cry the whole time, thankfully, i didn't! i could really feel all of the prayers just guiding me through my talk! it was really special to be home, but at the same time so strange! my gma was always one of the first people i saw when i went home & was always at every function. the viewing was sunday night & we literally landed like 30 minutes before the viewing was over. being in a different state i don't think it really hit me that my gma had gone so as soon as i got to her viewing i went in & signed the guest book & tears just started rolling, i could not contain myself! {i am going to post the eulogy that my dad read & then my talk just for my journal purposes...& for when i print out my blog, so feel free to skip it.}

 {my talk}

the world has lost a very special person, i am so lucky to have known such a wonderful lady & to be able to call her my grandma! she was such a sweet and supportive grandma, i dont remember a time where she wasn't there for us! i'm not sure if any of the grandkids could count the amount of little league games she has been too! i can just remember her saying throughout my years, "oh, kaysi that is wonderful" or "im so proud of you!"

grandma, was a total perfectionist. her house was always immaculate, she was always on time, the laundry & dishes were always done & she always had a delicious dinner on the table at 6! she was amazing, i think my dad had a hard time adjusting to married life because his "underwear wasn't ironed!" we always loved when grandma would come over to the house before school because by the time we got back all of our rooms would be spotless & there would be a plate of brownies on the table!

poor grandma always had a hard time remembering my name, i always remember being called, "stacie, macy or lacy until she finally realized my name was kaysi! i always gave her a hard time about that!

she really did everything for her family, if any of us ever needed anything she was always there to help! she taught us the importance of school, having a savings and polite manners!

i will never forget going over to her house playing with her green tub full of all of our toys, looking at all of her souviners that her & my grandpa got from different places around the world, making peanut butter cookies with her, looking at the jc pennys magazine, playing in the sprinklers in her yard with my brother, flying up to lake almanor with her & my gpa dean, fourth of julys at the cabin, christmas dinners, going shopping & her tuna fish sandwiches{they were always the best}.

grandma was always such a fashionista & was always so put together. she was always the person you wanted with you to pick out an outfit because not only would she give you an honest opinion {even if it hurt a little} she would have you out of the store with the dress that complimented you the most! i always used to say at christmas when i would open a box and it had "macys" on it {or whatever store it was} "ohhh, grandma's favorite store." she definetly loved to shop! i really think she is the reason my cousins & i have our eye for style!

i am really going to miss talking with her on the phone! i know how much she enjoyed talking to her grandkids and hearing all of the new things going on! she was always so supportive & enthusiastic about everything in our lives!

i was talking to my mom the day she passed about how sad i was that she only got to know one of my kids & that she won't get to meet the rest of them, but then i realized that my grandma is spending time with them right now & that really comforted me! i'm just thankful that i got to see her last month and visit with her! i can only imagine how happy she is to be back with her sweetheart smiling down on all of us!!! we love you GG!!

{my dad's ulogy for gma}

Well, as you can probably tell, the short people in the family lost the bet on who gives the eulogy!

But anyway, Kaysi, my daughter, and I, on behalf of the family would like to extend a thank you to all of  you, for the prayers, friendship and love shown throughout mom's journey, which has brought us all here today.

Donna Maxine Battenberg, mom, was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana on November 25th, 1927 to the parents of Frank and Pearl Battenberg.

She was the youngest of five children, Lester, Russell, Della, Robert, who passed away at the age of two from Teberculosis, and mom!

They lived on a small farm 20 miles outside of Fort Wayne, Indiana in Woodburn. Grandpa Battenberg had a bread route and worked the farm. Milked cows, chickens, raised corn and a truck garden, which kept them all busy. Mom told me that she remembered having no electricity in the house as a young girl, along with an outhouse, for a bathroom. Typical to her nature, it wasn't a complaint, more a fond memory.

Grandpa and Grandma Battenberg expected mom to help with the chores of milking cows, feeding and butchering chickens and housework. She learned to work hard and save money early in her life, a gift she tried to give to all of us.

She had a dog named "SHEP" that walked with her about a mile to the bus for school. During those cold Indiana winters, it "PROBABLY" was "UPHILL" both ways!!

She attended Harlan High School and graduated in 1945. Mom, then went to business school to become a legal secretary for the law firm of Barrett, Barrett & Mcnagney.

Up to this point, it was pretty much typical life of an Indiana girl; High school, proms, dances, movies, sunday dinners with her family, brothers, sister and cousins.

 Her brother Lester married a girl named Hazel Bourey. Hazel had a brother named Bud, who was on the same Navy destroyer as our Dad, Dean Van Dyke. The USS Charley Lawarance has just come back from "Picket Duty" in Okinawa. That was where the Japanese has resorted to "Kamakazies" suicide missions in a last ditch effort to maintain control in the Pacific Theatre. The ship needed repairs so Dad & Bub sailed through the Panama Canal and on up to Norfolk, Virginia for dry dock repair. They were given a two week leave and Bud said, "Why don't you go up to Fort Wayne with me for Christmas?" And as any 19 year old would say, "SURE!"
Did you catch the part about christmas? December weather can be brutal for 2 guys in their  light weight dress whites from the South Pacific.

They caught a train to Chicago, but then hitchhiked to Fort Wayne. Nobody wanted to pick them up, as Dad said and they about froze to death, but the two did make it to Fort Wayne.

While staying with the Bourney Family, mom was setup on a blind date with this guy from California. Mom told us that she didn't want to go because she was dating this attorney at the law firm, but her sister in law Hazel persuaded her. I have to laugh because when dad walked into the house, Mom ran up the stairs to hide! However, to quote my Dad, "she did come back down!"

Well, I am sure the sparks flew in that town during the two week leave. Mom and Dad continued to write each other during the next year! In 1946, mom rode the train out to California to meet dad's parents and check out the social life in Pleasant Grove. WOW!!!!

Dad was dischared from the Navy, in June of 47, proposed to mom and were married December 13th, 1947. Honeymooned to San Diego and out to Catalina Island with family friends dad knew while at sonar school for the Navy!

Mom and Dad, lived in Pleasant Grove in a house that Pop and Grandma Van Dyke moved out from a lot in North Sacramento, where dad's brother Dick had a fabrication and machine shop. Mom's best friend became Dorthy Van Dyke, who lived next door. She said to me many times that if it wasn't for Aunt Dorthy she wouldn't have known what to do. Imagine, 20 years old, 2000 miles from family and NO FACEBOOK! She always would look for the good, tuff it out and try to be happy! When the going got tuff, our little energizer bunny kept going!

Mom and Dad, raised three sons, Robert, Gary and myself in that home. Yes, it was remodeled a couple of times, but it was never a house mom always made it a home! She was a homemaker. Snacks after getting off the school bus, ironed laundry, 3 meals a day, and it was always picked up! Dad said he tried to hire a cleaning lady, but mom picked up the house before she got there!

Pleasant Grove parents club, 4-H community leader, 10 + years, cub scout den mother and a member of st johns lutheran church to name a few!

Bob and Gary remember mom bringing cookies to class, but mom would rotate which class got the cookies and Gary said he was mad when Bob's class got the cookies! We all remember some Friday nights as kids when mom would make pizza dough and we would have homemade pizza! Other times, we would go for a 19 cent hamburger at Harvey's Drive-In on Fulton Avenue and go to see a movie at the 49er Drive-In.

Mom loved to travel. Her and Dad saw all lower 48, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, and even square danced with a group from Yuba City on the Great Wall of China! Mom liked to have fun and was usually up for anything!

In 1978, they purchased a lot at Lake Almanor, California with some persuasion and guidance from dear friends, Bob and Maryann Gallagher. Our Family, got involved in turning a garage into a cabin. Bob, Karen, Gary, Mary and their kids and myself all pitched in! Mom loved that place, however, it was a comprimise. Yes, she wanted the ocean and dad wanted the mountains! So he got her a LAKEFRONT LOT!!!!

In 1984, the big cabin was finished, which some of you here have been! Mom was so happy at the lake, she loved to entertain her family and friends there. Time with her for me was truly precious.

Mom, had a great journey through her mortal life here on earth. Filled with joy, laughter, a loving husband, family and friends. She was so proud of all of her sons, daughter in laws, grandkids and great grandkids. It is our wish that she knew how proud we were of her.

In closing, I would like to add, even though she was short in stature, she had a big personality. She could light up a room with it! She would never stop loving you, in good times or bad. Was friendly to everyone and was my BEST FRIEND! Even though her journey on earth has ended, her eternal life has begun. I know she is in a wonderful place, probably saying, "NOW DEAN!!" She truly did accomplish the greatest work on earth which is inside the "Four walls of your home."

Thank you all again for attending mom's service.

1 comment:

Mills Family said...

Oh what a little cutie you have! It's fun to see him growing up! I always love to see the cute family pictures that you post.