Good Thursday afternoon,
I have just returned to the FIAE office after having attended Barbara's services on Tuesday/Wednesday. I was joined by NJFC's Linda Doherty and Pat Davis, who made the several hour trip from Maryland. I wanted to share my final thoughts on the last few days.
Barbara's casket was surrounded with flowers, and wonderful photos from the many stages of her life - from great "cheesecake" photos when she was in the Miss Tennessee pageant, to campaign posters, to her swearing in as Commissioner of Commerce....wonderful memories. Her viewing was attended by numerous dignitaries, United States and state legislators, former colleagues, many grocers, family and friends.
On Wednesday morning, the funeral was held at a small country church in a pastoral setting, just a mile from her home. She was beautifully eulogized by two great friends - Judge Robert Reed, and lobbying partner Paul Bontempo. It was a very personal service - that she would have loved - filled with great stories, memories, laughter and tears. Following the service, we enjoyed more "Barbara" stories with colleagues at the luncheon.
It was a wonderful day that aptly honored her wonderful life, well lived.
Over the weekend, I plan to share with her daughter the many emails and tributes received from the FIAE community. I am sure they will bring her comfort.