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There's no easy way to tell y'all this. At about 11:30 p.m. I got a phone call from St. Patrick's Hospital and they advised me that Valerie's condition had changed and she was critical. I drove to the hospital and they informed me that she had died about 11:15 p.m. They did not want to give the news over the phone.

She had been improving, and we felt that we were on the road to recovery. The nurse said that about an hour earlier she had gone in and checked on Val and she was reviewing the menu for tomorrow and was in good spirits. They had talked about the Mr. Lincoln roses and the redbirds in her garden. When she went back in, Valerie had stopped breathing. Since we had a DNR order in place, they immediately called me.

I have, of course, contacted the Gunny, her brother, Bernie and her cousin Shirley (who was like a sister) in Mass. I also called the Hankins, who insisted that I come to their house as soon as I left the hospital which I did. In the meantime, they had called Mike and Brenda Goldman and they were also there.

We are not sure what the arrangements will be or when. I will find out more tomorrow when I can contact the funeral home and the Rabbi, who happens to be in town. Valerie had asked for no “funeral”, she said she would rather have a service like we had for my borther Jack, his wife Chris and her mother, a celebration of life. Accordingly, I plan to set up a very simple private interment for the family and to have a service, probably at Temple Sinaii. Mike and everyone there will help me work it out. In keeping with Jewish tradition we will ask that no flowers be sent ... a donation can be made to the Temple Sinaii Sisterhood or the Carlyss Lions Club in her remembrance. I will publish the address later.

I am o.k., it's just hard to realize that a 46 year loving relationship has been brought to an end. We were both very blessed over the years to have had each other. I am so glad that that the very last words we said to each other were, “I love you.”

Thank you for all your prayers and good wishes ... btw, she really enjoyed talking with MizWiley and BillF tonight. It was a very special thing y'all did for her. Thank you.


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