Genevieve Margaret Sennett Williams
My mom passed away on September 19th, 2004. I really appreciate the condolences and support I've received both during her illness and after her passing. Thank
There isn't much more I could
express better than my sister Martha, who gave the eulogy at the
funeral mass, but hey, she's the one with the Masters in English!
It was fitting and proper for the
following eulogy to move those of us gathered at the mass and yet
annoy the priest. After all, my mother was a good Catholic, but
she also had a strong, if a bit strange, sense of humor. God
knows the difference.
We are here to honor and remember Genevieve Margaret Sennett Williams,
daughter of Elizabeth Finucane and George Sennett. We are grateful for those who have gone before.
You have an angel's eye view of heaven where you see a group of new arrivals finishing a game of "Earth Jeopardy." The game seems to help with their transition once they're beyond the pearly gates. They play it with curiosity and good humor. They're at the end of the game and St. Peter gives the final jeopardy category:
IRISH CATHOLIC NURSES FROM THE SANDSTONE CENTER OF THE WORLD
The contestants laugh at that and await the answer. "After marrying a musical Welshman named J.C. and giving birth to five little blessings, this woman gently, capably and ever so happily assisted in the birth of many babies in her community and parish."
In heaven, the final jeopardy players always know what the question is, and this time was no exception. They all answered: "Who is Genne Williams?"...loving daughter, sister, wife, friend, mother, aunt, grandma.
Genevieve lived her life fully and joyfully. If you checked her hand or pocket after a walk, you'd be likely to find a seed pod or a cutting she hoped to cultivate. In the upstairs bathroom at our old house there was a rattan rabbit basket which held odds & ends and thises & thats, of which there were many. Placed in each of the basket bunny's ears was a Q-tip. She golfed. She was the youngest member of her bowling team, if you can imagine that. She read the papers every day. She loved her martinis, her family, her church, and her community.
I've known my mom pretty much my whole life. Through it she had an ever-changing assortment of prayers, thoughts, and quotes taped or pinned in various locations throughout the house. One
particular collection contained three newspaper quotes which she cut out and taped together in a funny, picket-fence sort of way.
For quote number one, Martha Washington offered this: "The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances."
Throughout her life, mom amazed those around her with her good attitude. Even in times of great difficulty she did not dwell on(or couldn't remember) the negative. That was remarkably true even while she struggled these last years.
A second "Gem of the Day" read:
Two final bequests
More important than things
Give our kids roots
Then let them have wings.
Genne was a partner with her husband; side-by-side they raised five children, worked out their differences, loved each other and to the end laughed together. Mom and Dad gave their children loving and stable roots, and when the time was right we did find wings.
She was a friend and role model to us, and in each of our lives was and is a strong and positive presence. When I was growing up, my friends would tell me how lucky I was to have Mom as my Mother. Women I didn't know would approach us on the street and say things like: "Do you remember me, Mrs. Williams? My water broke on you.." -OR- "Mrs. Williams, thank you again for saving my baby." She gave love and comfort, compassion and humor to the stray cat under her porch or the stranger she met at the grocery store.
Perhaps the most surprising of the three quotes was this from Walt Whitman: "Nothing can happen more beautiful than death." And what a gift it was. Genne died the way she lived. Laughter and fun were there every day, even at the end. But in all fairness, I must say that though Mom could be good but she could also be a bugger. One 3:30 am adventure the week before she died demonstrated that. "Let's go find Jake." she said. "Okay, mom." So the two of us, engine and caboose, chugged our way to Dad. She giggled, reached down and tickled his bare, sleeping feet. Dad jumped a mile, laughed and told me that for years Mom had driven him nuts tickling his bare feet.
In the early morning, 24 hours before she passed, Mom again asked for Dad. She sat on the edge of their bed, faced him and took his hand. "Thank you so much for everything. Wasn't it all just wonderful?"
We dedicate our actions that all beings might find that kind of joyful love Genne offered to so many.
Thanks, Mom. - Martha Williams
Genevieve “Genne” M. Williams (Official Obituary)
Genevieve “Genne” M. Williams, (nee Sennett), 77, of Amherst, OH died Sunday, September 19, 2004,
at her home following a long illness. Born in Titusville, Pa., she
graduated from Harvey High School in Painesville OH, and completed her
education at St. John’s School of Nursing in Cleveland. Mrs. Williams
moved to Amherst in 1949 and worked in the Obstetrics Department of
Amherst Hospital until the 1960s, when she went to work in the practice of
Dr. M. Brandon until his retirement. She later went back to work at
Amherst Hospital as a nursing supervisor until her retirement in 1989. She
was active in several bridge clubs and was a member of the Oberlin Golf
Club for 20 years. She loved to travel, play bridge and golf, instant
lottery games and her cats. Survivors include her husband of 55 years,
J.C. “Jake” Williams; daughters Beth Zaworski of Amherst, Becky Galdo
of Marietta, Ga., and Martha Williams of Provincetown, Mass.; sons John C.
of Cleveland and Paul of Columbus/Quarkspace; five grandchildren; a
sister, Jewel Hine of Painesville; and brothers George Sennett of
Millington, New Jersey and Dick Sennett of Milford, Conn. She was preceded
in death by her parents, George and Elizabeth (nee Finucane) Sennett, in
1939 and 1968 respectively; and sisters, Mary House, in 1998, and Eileen
Kallay, in 1991. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Lorain
County Community College Foundation, Memo: The Gen RN Memorial Nursing
Scholarship, 1005 North Abbe Road, Elyria OH 44035.