So way back in 1976 we bought a house in Edgerton. A wonderful little house. The neighbors were the best you could ask for. My neighbors to the south were Jo and Ray Braun. Great neighbors, wonderful people.
Jo and I go way, way back. She was there when I was born. Not in the room, but the room next door. My mom was in labor at Reece hospital. The doctor came in and told her she needed to speed things up; Mrs. Braun was next door, and she needed the delivery room. I was born on the 17th and Mary Jo was born later on the 18th.
Having the Braun’s next door was like having an extra set of parents. Let’s face it — we all need our parents in our 20’s; we just don’t listen to them.
Jo had the most beautiful garden. She had corn and tomatoes and things to feed her family. My dog grabbed one once and ran through that garden. I went to tell her how sorry I was. Her reply was “well it isn’t much of a garden if it can’t stand up to dogs and kids.”
She could often be seen sweeping and shoveling snow at the Catholic church we lived across the street from. More often than not she had it done well before people were up and about.
She kept her house painted — every two years I think. She gardened . She mowed .She could sew; made and bow ties and cumberbuns for the men in wedding parties. Her talents were many.
The kids and I knew if we could get across our yard when the tornado sirens sounded we would be safe in the Braun’s basement. We were always welcome.
We finally put up a fence for our dogs.
In our backyard was a very tall swing set. She told me years later that she would hold her breath when she saw my daughter Christy on that platform twelve feet up waving and saying Hi.
I asked for her advice from time to time, and she gave it to me. I hold those words of wisdom close to my vest.
She recently passed away.
I will miss her smile and her laugh. I am grateful to have known her.
I have such great memories of living next door. I learned a lot of valuable lessons.
So Bill, Mary Jo, Teresa, Steve and Linda. I am so sorry for your loss .Thank you for allowing me to know your Mom and your Dad.
They will never be forgotten.