Doug's mother died in 1970, when Doug was 28 years old. About a year and a half later, Doug's dad married Lil, the widowed mother of four young-adult children. Doug's dad died 12 years ago, leaving Lil a two-time widow. Now, Lil has also passed away at the age of 89.
Lil - May 6, 2011
Lil and Doug's Dad
Lil was an interesting lady. Having been born and raised in Great Britain, she told stories of the World War II bombings of her country and the terror that those bombs caused. She served in the Women's Land Army, a British civilian organization which put women to work in agriculture, replacing men called up to the military. A few years ago, her children sent a request to England and obtained for Lil a citation, commending her for her service in the Women's Land Army, and signed by then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. Her pride in receiving that recognition was understandable.
She was also very proud when she received her American citizenship several years ago.
Lil's youngest son, a truck driver, was killed in a truck accident 14 years ago. His traveling companion, a blond cocker spaniel named Freeway, survived the crash and lived out the rest of her life with Lil. They were good company for each other, and Freeway sort of helped Lil feel an ongoing connection with the son she had lost.
Lil's daughter and twin sons and their families are a very close-knit group. Before Lil's health began to decline, she hosted family gatherings on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. More recently, her daughter has taken on the challenge of hosting those gatherings.
Lil with one of her great-grandsons, May 30, 2005
Lil, arriving at her daughter's for a surprise party for her 83rd birthday in 2006
Lil enjoyed a good long life, at the center of a large family who loved her. She endured hardship and losses, of course, but always with the support of her family. She will be missed.