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Joanne wasn’t my mother, but she reminded me so much of my mother that when we met I always greeted her as “Mom”. She liked that nickname, and I think my mother, who died in 1999, would like me feeling that way about this wonderful woman. Physically they looked similar, but it was the easy friendly manner they both naturally exuded that made them such a delight to be with.

Joanne Willson in 1994

Joanne Willson in 1994

Yesterday I attended the memorial service for Joanne held in our new Unitarian Universalist Fellowship building here in Bend, Oregon. Someone mentioned that it was the first memorial service held for one of our members, but it was mentioned last week from the pulpit that there had been a service for Ed Endsley a few days before. I didn’t know that he had died. Ed was a friend of mine from our photography club, and we encountered each other often. The last time I saw him was at a symphony concert and his luxurious and super abundant hair was gone. He said it was chemotherapy that knocked it out. We both laughed, and expected that it would grow back as soon as he was finished with the chemo.

Ed Endsley at his Bend Oregon photo show opening

Ed Endsley at his Bend, Oregon photo show opening, 2011

Both of these services were held on the Unitarian Universalist altar.

A photograph of the UUFCO altar

Unitarian Universalists of Central Oregon altar, UUFCO May, 2016

I love my life in Bend, and the friendly people, and I fall back emotionally on my current motto – Live and participate. These two friends lived their lives that way.