Alice Marie Townsend

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Alice Marie Townsend, 87, of Fort Scott.

Mom's Obituary

If you ask someone who loves a person to write their obituary, it's a struggle to stick with the usual form.

Yes, she had a name -- Alice Marie (Cronk) Townsend.

Yes, there was a birth date -- 29 November 1927.

And a death date, of course -- 22 February 2015.

She was raised by her mother and her stepfather, Harry Easter.

And children. Six who grew up in her presence. Two miscarriages. Two who died after only hours on Earth. One who lived for 16 glorious months before the terrible fire.

Joys and sorrows, like every human life.

And you're supposed to mention grandchildren -- ten.

And great-grandchildren -- thirteen.

The usual stuff that doesn't differentiate her much from any other woman on the planet.

But what I'd like you to know is she made beauty out of scraps; out of leftovers. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren have comforters she pieced and quilted with tiny, even stitches. Her shed is filled with file cabinets filled with fabrics sorted by color. She went back to work at age 70 after her husband died. She felt left with a scrap of a life and she needed to live since she was alive. So she made new friends, sewed with old ones, drove 30 miles every week to meet with them. They sat around a quilt frame, stitched, talked, created symmetry out of squares left over from somebody else's blouses or skirts.

And she prayed. Constantly. If someone went on vacation, she didn't get a t-shirt. She got a rosary. Rose quartz from Taos. Koa wood from Oahu. Crystal from Alabama, Pearls from Atlanta. These would hang from her bedpost or a cross on the wall, or sit in her jewelry box. Usually, she used a plastic one that slid easily through her fingers. She loved to pray. She loved the rituals of Catholicism. She loved her God. To sum her up: she loved.

Her cancer was fast. From diagnosis to death: one month. The pain was unbearable. It is good that it is over. One day, about a week before the end, she sat in her chair and told me "I wish my mother were here." Yes. Me too.

The Funeral Mass will take place 11:30 Friday, February 27, 2015 at Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church with burial following at the Fort Scott National Cemetery, under the direction of the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home. The Rosary will be 7:00 p.m. Thursday evening, February 26, 2015 at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary's Catholic School and left in the care of the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home, 15 W. Wall Street, PO Box 309, Fort Scott, KS 66701. Condolences may be emailed to expressions@konantz-cheney.com.