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Anna Shafer

Eulogy for Anna L. Shafer
1925 – 2005

I was a little girl when Anna came into our family as the bride of my uncle. I can remember being very impressed with the way she looked. She had fiery red hair and was very pretty. She and my Uncle Dick settled down on the farm east of town. When the Shafer’s settle down, the roots go deep. For nearly 60 years the old farmhouse out on the hill was home to them and their family.

It wasn’t an easy life when they started out. There was no electricity, no plumbing. Today’s young married people wouldn’t even consider a start like that, but this was a couple from the “greatest generation”. They worked side by side in all that they did.

The children started coming almost immediately. Nobody loved a baby more than Anna. Glenn and Dee arrived one after the other. A baby was lost in the middle and then Roy and Janet completed the family circle. Things were always hard to come by, but they all accepted their humble status and were proud of what they had.

Those four kids grew up out there, turning out to be responsible, decent, hard-working, VERY intelligent individuals. Each has been a credit to their parents.

Dick and Anna saw that they all were in church every Sunday. This was important to them as parents to start the kids off on this path.

Anna was a seamstress who was very skilled in her projects. Her sewing machine was out all the time and she was sitting there whenever she could. It was hard sometimes to find the time to sew with 4 children to care for and all the chores associated with living on a farm. But it was her passion, and we all know she was a determined lady. That red hair was a symbol of her determination. Some of us might get stubbornness and determination mixed up, but we all know what I’m talking about! She loved clothes and made herself dress after dress. It was economical and her hobby. She won some contests with her sewing abilities.

Later on she discovered quilting and created some works of art that her children are proud to own now. She enjoyed the friendship of her fellow quilters and was faithful in her attendance with these groups just as she was with church. You could count on her.

Another of her accomplishments was cooking. Her Sunday dinners were a mainstay of the family for years. According to her kids even today, there’s no fried chicken like Anna’s fried chicken. And her lemon meringue pie was a beautiful creation...made from scratch. Several family members and friends use the pie crust recipe Anna gave them and tell of great success. But I’ve never heard of anyone saying their lemon meringue pie compared to what she made. We were all glad to see her coming at church socials.....here she came in the door carrying that pie like a prize. And it was! There was never enough of it.

Although most of her children scattered far away, they maintained their ties with home. It was always the same to come back to...always there for them.

There’s something very reassuring about having a place to go to that never changes. In today’s world, it’s very rare.
After Dick died, she was lonely. They had done everything together. Anna picked up the pieces and stayed involved and coped with it the best that she could. She loved the telephone. She had many friends to talk to each day.
Most of her friends she has had for over 50 years.

For someone who had been so hard-working all of her life, the illness that struck her was a devastating blow. When she told us she had congestive heart failure, most of us didn’t know what to expect. It didn’t seem to me that she knew. Or if she did, she chose to ignore it and just kept on keeping on. But it soon became apparent that she couldn’t keep up the pace she had always maintained and it was very hard for her to give up some of her activities. She did as much as she could until the illness finally put her flat on her back fighting for each breath.

Her last hospital stay was lengthy and broke our hearts. We saw her fading a little each day. She stayed lucid and interested in what was going on, but mostly could only smile and make whispered comments. She appeared to enjoy each visitor as each old friend came to her bedside to say good-bye.

As she lay there it seemed that she became smaller and smaller each day. And her once fiery red hair faded to gray almost as we watched for the illness was taking its toll in every way.

Anna left her mark on all of us. And her memory lives on. We are thankful to have had her a part of our lives.

Sharon Wiggins

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