Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Company affair and a force to be reckoned with

We seldom answer the home phone. Bill just picked up and heard a recorded message from someone at his old utility company: "Due to severe cold, and resulting water main breaks in your area, you may suffer water outages today."

He headed immediately to the shower. I coaxed him to hurry.

I don't know about you, but I despise winter. This bitter cold is making my skin dry; the static electricity is causing shocking effects on the cat. I think she thinks we don't like her.

Speaking of liking someone. My Aunt Shirley suffered from heart failure. She passed away on Christmas Day, three months before her 82nd birthday. She was a tiny force to be reckoned with, and EVERYBODY liked her. She made each of her nieces and nephews feel special, and just about everyone she met took a liking to her. She had perfectly styled white hair, an osteoporosis bent back, painted on eye brows and she wore lipstick. Shirley took care of herself; she dolled up.
                                          Twins Dorothy and Shirley on their 81st birthday

Shirley worked at Six Flags in Eureka, MO for more than 25, maybe 28 years. Regardless of weather extremes, hot or cold, she worked, didn't take breaks and stayed after hours, often on her feet for many hours every weekend and some Wednesdays.

Last evening, Six Flags held their first ever memorial service on the premises for my aunt. Her coworkers spoke fondly of her, recalled fun things about her, and her boss, a young woman, perhaps 40 years old, made us all laugh.

"That little four-foot-something, white-haired old woman scared the crap out of me when I assumed my position as THE boss. She told ME how it was going to be. She would not take a break, she would confiscate tickets if someone was fraudulently using a pass. And by golly, she was the best guard on the premises, although she was really only a ticket taker. Those young punks who thought they could pull one over on a little old lady learned quickly NOT to go through her line. She'd grab the pass from their hands, eyeball them and say, "This is NOT you. Go! Get out of here!" And she'd keep their pass. We even saw her chase down a giant of a man and send him packing."

Aunt Shirley was spunky according to some; feisty, others said; funny claimed her friends who knew if they got her to laughing they were in for it. She had a unique high pitch laugh that left her gasping and squealing. It was contagious. She was playful and fun, and she showered her nieces and nephews with her courtesy tickets, which she had to earn, so WE could enjoy Six Flags entertainment and especially the Holiday in the Park Christmas Lights and Nativity show.

She will be missed by so many, and to prove that point, her boss said, "Six Flags season passes can be used at any 6 Flags Amusement Park.  People from around the country and even the world, and I do mean the world, came through Shirley's line especially to see her, year after year. Then they wrote to tell us how wonderful she was."  One laudatory testimonial was read at her memorial. Her boss said they had stacks of them.

Shirley was young at heart. My aunt left an imprint and positive vibe on people of all ages. She was loved by many and will be missed  by all. She really was one-of-a-kind. She is survived by her twin sister who recently lost her husband, and nieces and nephews who loved Aunt Shirley dearly.


Pat Wahler said...

What a sweet tribute to your aunt. I'm sorry for your loss, but it sounds like she had a truly wonderful life.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Did your aunt ever give you advice? If so, you could work her into a CS story...

Val said...

I love the the thought of Aunt Shirley putting those young punks in their place! And OUT of HER place, Six Flags! I'm sad to hear of her passing, but glad to hear what kind of career woman she was. Sounds like a LOT of people have lasting memories of Aunt Shirley.

Connie said...

I'm sorry for your loss. Your aunt sounds as if she was a very special person who left behind many good memories for her friends, family, and co-workers.

janet smart said...

So sorry to hear about your Aunt Shirley. She sounds like she was a very special lady.

Lynn said...

Oh gosh Linda, I'm so sorry for your loss. Your aunt sounded really special and quite the gal!

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Your aunt sounds like a real character, the kind of memorable person we'd all like to know...or be. I'm so sorry for your loss.