Heather and Brad, the happy couple, with my son Wes and daughter Danielle
Weddings and funerals draw together extended families. The one occasion is to rejoice and celebrate, the other is to mourn a loss, but celebrate a life. Unfortunately in some families, it is the only time we have the opportunity to see nieces, nephews, in-laws, aunts, uncles and cousins who live far from us.
We had two such occasions in our family this past year. My nephew was married on July 30, a happy occasion which brought my brother-in-law Dave to town. He's the husband of my sister who died in 2007 and I've seen him only twice since Gail passed and he moved away.
Dave, a great brother-in-law
My deceased brother's family also came to town for the wedding. Sister-in-law Sheryl, niece Shaney and her husband Justin, nephew Collin, niece Heather, her husband Damon and their three children. It was a joyful occasion full of love. Our extended family continues to grow with lots of little ones (two babies born in June 2010).
On the other occasion, we celebrated the life of my aunt Virginia Kloepfer (Jinny to me, Ninny to her grandchildren). While we mourn her loss, we also remember and hold dear all that she meant to us, all that she gave to us. Happy memories. But it was time for her to go. Cancer had destroyed her only lung. For us, it is the end of the older generation. The generation which survived the Great Depression. The generation which fought and survived World War II.
Ninny shortly before her death with my cousin Kellea
My sister, her husband and I drove to Boise, Idaho on December 18 to attend the memorial service for Virginia. It brought together my cousins and their children which, unfortunately, I had not seen for fourteen years, when we went to Boise for my uncle Dick (Virginia's husband) funeral.
Obituary published in Idaho Statesman on December 16, 2010Virginia Kloepfer, 81, born Virginia Watson to Percy and Fern Watson departed her loving family to accompany the heavenly choir. Her soprano voice will be missed by the choir at All Saints Episcopal Church nearly as much as her presence. Sandra Durland Kloepfer, Rick Kloepfer , his wife Charlotte and Dr. Randall Kloepfer. Loving brother, Harold (Hal) Watson and his son, Michael, and numerous grandchildren were present Saturday, December 11 as Virginia reluctantly received her goodbyes. Virginia aka "Nini" was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and grew up in Boise. She graduated from Boise High School where she met and later married Richard V. Kloepfer, her high school sweetheart. Virginia accomplished many challenges in life beyond children and grandchildren. She had multiple college degrees and worked in the insurance business, as a counselor, and an architect. She taught high school math and astrology. She competed successfully in high school and college tennis. She played golf at a high level with 2 hole-in-ones and many trophies while participating at state tournaments. Her children were deeply moved by her courage and fortitude as she continued to volunteer and contribute to her church, All Saints Episcopal, in various functions, cooking and baking. Though never timely, her death came all too soon. Those attempting to continue her legacy are daughter Sandra and her son Weston, her eldest son Rick, wife Charlotte, and their children, Ivy and Amber, and youngest son Randy, wife Beverly, and their children, Jefferson, Daniel, and Jessica. Virginia's brother Harold Watson his children Michael, Sally and Robert and the four Kloepfer nieces Carolyn, Kathleen, Kellea, and Kim. Virginia was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and sister Jean Harlow Jackson. Memorial service will be held at All Saints Episcopal Church on Saturday, December 18th, at 3:00 PM. Celebrants, family, and friends are all welcome to share memories and condolences. For those wishing to contribute in memory of Virginia, the family respectfully requests donations be made to the Friendship Meal in care of All Saints Episcopal Church located at 704 South Latah, Boise, Idaho 83705.