Friday, July 21, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 14

This koozie was sitting on our kitchen counter on Monday night.  Kerri had used it.   I see them often around the house as we have several.  Although I see it often, that night I looked at it a bit more closely for some reason.   I then realized that it has been exactly 10 years since we celebrated Teresa's 85th birthday.   

Judy and I planned for it to be here in Gilbert.   The first night would be at my house and the second would be at Judy's.   Many of our family came from all over to celebrate her 85th.   We got these as a memento for the family.   Ours are used quite often and as I said, I see them all of the time.   What struck me now was that it was July 20 and 21, 2007 which is exactly 10 years ago.

Gilbert isn't the best place to have a family gathering in July because of the heat.     We were able to rent some outdoor coolers, which helped to a certain extent.  Also, both of us have pools and that made it easier for the little kids (and some big ones, too).

The first night at my house I made red and green chili meat and beans.   I had everything set up to serve in the garage.   The afternoon before, I tried it out and it overloaded our circuits.   I was so thankful that  our cousin, Neil Feldman (Judy's husband) had flown in a few days earlier on his private plane and I had picked him up at the airport.   Neil was one of those guys who could do anything.  So he rigged up additional outlets and fixed it so we could use as many roasters as needed.  I don't know what I would have done if it had happened.   We still have Neil's handiwork if ever needed again.

Everything went fairly smoothly considering all of the people at the house.   Of course, Teresa was thrilled that so many family and friends came to celebrate with her.

The next night was at Judy's.   Her backyard is much bigger and we had more people that night.   Everything was set up and we had it catered by a barbecue place.   All turned out well.  At that time, Judy lived about two blocks away from us.

Several of our San Francisco cousins couldn't come that weekend because of a previous commitment.  So we did a "trial" run the week before here at my house.    We had red and green chili and beans.   Some of our family friends, the Donahues, came that night.  Their dad and our Uncle Bill were great friends and it was nice to have a smaller group. And of course, Teresa loved that.    She was always in the middle of everyone talking, laughing, having a vodka tonic, and finding a baby to hold.

Every time our family has a fun and positive event, so many try to be there. I sincerely hope that with Teresa now being gone, that all of us will continue to do our best to get together for the happy times.   I think we will.   We certainly had good role models in our "greatest generation!"

Thursday, July 20, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 13

I remember hearing so many stories as I was growing up about different events during the years.    Some of my information is completely accurate.   Others are just what I can remember.   I know they happened, but I don't know the exact circumstances.

Teresa always liked to tell stories about her dad and her grandma, Ellen Roughan.   I think Teresa was a bit of a daddy's girl from things she has told me through the years.

When I moved to Douglas, I decided to join the Elks Club.   This was for a variety of reasons.   Our grandfather was very involved the Elks and became one in 1905 in Leadville, Colorado.    The other reasons is it gave me a "safe" place to go that wasn't really in public when I was a small town superintendent.  And third, I got a great deal on renting it for our family reunion by being a member.  So I went through the initiation and I am officially an Elk.

Sometimes Teresa and I went to Taco Tuesday or the Friday fish fry.    She always loved to go there and she knew several people there.   They were always glad to see her.

The Elks Club is about six blocks from 858.   Teresa said there were times when she was a little girl that she would have to go to the Elks to let her dad know it was time for dinner.   She said he always liked to go there and enjoy a few drinks, play a bit of poker and just talk to his friends.  Teresa said sometimes she had to stay for awhile.  But she always loved going to the Elks Club.

Our grandfather's name is in the "big" room and he was one of the early members of the Douglas Elks.

The other story I remember Teresa telling me was about at one time when the Pancho Villa era was happening, our grandfather's train was hijacked by Pancho Villa's forces.  He was a conductor on the Southern Pacific Railroad and his route was between Douglas and El Paso.      So that would make sense that it could have happened.    Fortunately, no one was hurt that I was ever told.   

Like everything else, I wish I had asked more questions.    That was one of the great things being in Douglas with her those five years.  She reminisced a lot.   I know how hard it was on her to be the only one left of her seven beloved siblings.   But what a blessing for us to have had her for so many years!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 12

One of the stories Teresa told quite often were the times that she got to go the airport with her dad to see Eleanor Roosevelt and then Amelia Earhardt.    She always said she was just a little kid and didn't realize who she was seeing.  But her dad felt it was very important to take his kids to historical events.

I found the following article in the Douglas Dispatch.    Just think, our grandfather and Teresa were at both of these events!!

A group of airport supporters, city staff and Mayor and Council were on hand Thursday afternoon to commemorate the stopover of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in Douglas Airport, located at the end of 10th Street.

The event was marked with a plaque which will be placed in a small garden near the Airport Museum.

In December 1928, Douglas’ airport became the first international airport in the Americas, and was dedicated as such by Eleanor Roosevelt on June 5, 1933 by striking a bottle of water (remember it was still Prohibition) against a flagpole at the site.

Roosevelt decided to make a last minute stop in Douglas to dedicate the airport on a trip to California. She spent 20 minutes in Douglas before continuing her trip.

Chris Overlock of the Cochise County Historical Society, spoke about Roosevelt’s brief stopover during the dedication ceremony.

Liz Ames dedicated the plaque in much the same manner as Roosevelt breaking a bottle of sparkling cider against the rock the plaque will be placed on.
The plaque reads: “At this location on June 5, 1933, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, dedicated Douglas International Airport as the first international airport in the United States.

Designed by J.P. Sexton as the first and only truly international airport in the Americas, Douglas International Airport began operations in 1929. The Douglas airfield was connected with the Agua Prieta, Mexico, airport by a common north-south runway.

“Early air travel between the United States and Mexico required plans to be cleared both for entry and exit of their respective counties. In other border cities, that meant a “hop and a skip” from one country’s airport to another country’s airfield. With DIA, planes could land in one country , pull back the wide gate on the barbed wire fence at the border, and taxi across to the other country. Then, after clearing customs, pilots and passengers could resume the flight to their destination.

In 1929, the first Women’s Air Derby, a transcontinental air race for woman pilots (Amelia Earhart, among them) included Douglas as one of its stops. In October, 1930, Douglas was a stop on the first transcontinental airmail route. Douglas International Airport became a successful commercial airport with regular airline service.

“By the late 1940s, most commercial traffic went through Bisbee-Douglas International Airport, about nine miles north of Douglas. Douglas International Airport lost its international designation, and became Douglas Municipal Airport.

On December 30, 1975, Douglas International Airport was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Cochise County Historical Society, June 5, 2008.

Host of firsts
The Douglas International Airport has been the home of a  host of firsts including being the first airport in the state, first involved in military maneuvers and bombings and Douglas was on the route of the first regularly scheduled coast-to-coast airmail service, said Les Stimac, Airport Museum volunteer.

On Oct. 15, 1930, two of the three inaugural airmail flights landed at Douglas airport.

In 1933, Douglas airport was ranked as one of the 10 best in the country.

The nod goes to Douglas Airport for being involved in the first aerial military missions as  a plane leaving the airport was conducting spy missions for General Pershing against Pancho Villa in Mexico. Pershing later used aerial bombing on railroad tracks in Mexico using buckets filled with lard, metal pieces and explosives.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 11

I know that it is just a house.   But it is so much more than that.   I hope I can explain this.

This house was built in 1915.   Our grandfather, E.A. Scott, had his eye on it from the time it was being built.  It went up for sale and he was able to buy it in 1918.   I don't know what month, but I always remember my mom saying that she was  born on 9th Street but raised at 858.   And Teresa and Bill were both born at 858.    Teresa was so proud of that.

Judy and I had the privilege of growing up at 858 14th St., Douglas, Arizona.    We had a great childhood and so many of our cousins spent time with us here with my mom and Teresa.

I lived at 858 for 18 years.  I went to ASU but returned every summer but my last to work at the smelter.    After I was divorced, I took my kids to Douglas every summer  I think we spent every summer there from 1979-87 (although the last few years it was just the kids as I was going to graduate school.).

After my mom died in 2002, the first time I went down after her funeral was over, it was so hard.   But I just needed a first.       It became much easier after that.

We tried to take Cameron down as much as possible.   One of my favorite stories about him and my mom and Teresa was his third birthday.   He absolutely wanted to go to Douglas for his birthday to spend it with Great and Tia.    So we went to Douglas over Labor Day weekend.    

Cameron had a bunch of presents on the table in the house, but he waited for it to be okay.  It still amazes me how much he connected with both of them from the first.

In 2010 when I moved back there, it was still home.   I had the "front" bedroom and Teresa was down stairs.   I loved living in that house with her for the five years I was there.   It is such a beautiful HOME with so many memories.

We had so many things go on through the years at 858.   I remember having two floats in the backyard for homecoming    And then the wonderful pool Johnny built for Judy and I.   And the four family reunions.   They were in 1977, 1992, 1998 and 2012 (Teresa's 90th birthday).  And then Kerri's kids from Gilbert came for their southeastern Arizona field trip and Teresa loved being there and telling about the house.

I know we have to sell it.  And that is probably going to be one of the hardest days of my life!  It is closure for the physical part of the wonderful life, but nothing can take away the memories.   I dread that day!!!

Monday, July 17, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 10

As unbelievable as it may seem, I never in my entire school years in Douglas ever at lunch at school.  I don't know about Judy after I left to go to ASU, but we always went home for lunch.

My mom and Teresa both had their lunch hours from 12 until 1.   I guess we did at school, too.

I remember that at noon a whistle would blow and the entire town could hear it.  

I would walk home from Loretto and when I went to high school, my mom picked me up until I got my driver's license.  

Mary always had our lunch ready for us and it was ALWAYS something very good.   If it was a special day (like red chili burros), I got to bring friends with me and they always looked forward to that.

In this very busy day and age, it is hard to imagine that a family would have lunch together every day.

At dinner time, we always sat at the kitchen table.  Johnny was with us, depending on his work schedule at the smelter.   He did shift work and changed every two weeks.

My mom and Teresa always did the dishes because we had to do homework and that was most important.   

After we got a television, I sometimes was allowed to go watch cartoons in the living room.   As soon as I would ask and get permission, Judy also wanted to go with me.

As I have mentioned previously, ours was a very different family for the 50's, but it was a very happy and loving family.  I will always be grateful for the life I was given and the loving examples of Johnny, my mom, and Teresa.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 9

In 1946 when our Aunt Dot had her twin girls, Jean and Jan, they were coming to spend some time in Douglas.   As a result, my grandfather hired a young girl from Agua Prieta to work for the family.   Her name was Maria Berumen, but we called her Mary.

Mary was born in the U.S. but lived with her parents in Mexico.  She came across the border every day which was very easy in those days.  

I was born in 1949 and Mary was a "third" mother to me.   And I absolutely know that Judy felt the same way about her.

She was a part of our family from 1946 until her death in 2008.    We loved her dearly and she was a big part of who we are today.

When I spent summers down in Douglas when my kids were little, Mary took care of them as well.   They both loved her like a grandmother.   When she died, Patrick was a pallbearer at her funeral.

Mary was so important to our family.  And her family continues to be a part of ours.  They have taken care of the house since we have been back in the valley and have been to see Teresa several times.   When we first moved back up here, Mary's sister, Consuelo and her husband celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.   Teresa and I went to Douglas for that celebration.

I learned from a very early age the importance of taking care of the people who matter in your life.   I learned this from how my mom and Teresa treated Mary.   She was a part of our family.

They always paid social security for her so that when she retired, she had a monthly social security check.   After Judy got older and I was gone, she didn't work every day at our house.   She also worked at St. Luke's so she was able to have medical insurance and some type of retirement from the Diocese.

I remember when my children went to a babysitter, my mom and Teresa told me to pay our sitter when they were sick and when we had a break.  I always paid for spring break and I believe Christmas.   And my kids were very well taken care of by Christine, the wonderful lady who was their babysitter.

The lessons I learned about how to treat people have done me well through my career.   I have always believed that everyone's job is of significant importance, no matter what.     It was from the example that was set by Teresa and my mom.

These past several days when I have been thinking about what I am going to write, a lot has occurred to me that I hadn't thought of before.   I have been jotting down notes about things to write and then reflecting on them.  

We have been very blessed with our wonderful family and I am so appreciative for what I have been given!!!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 8

When I look back on my childhood, it was really only 18 years of my life.   However, I truly believe that those 18 years are the most impactful years.   And as a child, what happened a few times, can seem like a lot more.

Our vacations always revolved around the family. For both my mom and Teresa, their brothers and sisters were most important.   We often went to Phoenix to stay with Matt and his family for the weekend.    I will always remember when we would first hit the valley and you could smell the orange blossoms and the flowers on Baseline Road.   There weren't any freeways in those days so the trip took a bit longer than it does today.   I could hardly wait to get up to Phoenix and be with the cousins.   We were talking the other day, and Matt was 15 years older than Teresa.   That means that she never really grew up with him.    However, that age difference had no bearing on the love of family.

For several years, all of the family would meet in Santa Barbara.  We all stayed at the same hotel.  We went there because our cousin, Eddie, was becoming a Franciscan priest and later, our cousin, Yaya, was in the convent near Santa Barbara.   I loved going to the beach and being with all of the cousins.

In the summers, we would go out to Sacramento and visit Dot's family.  We were also able to see Bill's family at times when we were out there.  Again, that was the highlight for me as a kid to get to go play with the cousins.

I think there were many times at Christmas that Dot and her family came to Douglas.   Like I said earlier, it may have only been a few times, but when you are a child, time has such a different perspective.

Johnny's son, John Edward, would often bring his family to Douglas to visit Johnny.   Johnny loved having his granddaughters there.

Our Uncle Tom came often when my grandma was alive to visit her.   Because they were so far away, we didn't get to see them until we were older and then had many trips back east to visit.   Teresa always went along.

Teresa dearly loved all of her brothers and sisters.   She valued and loved all of her nieces and nephews and then the great and great great ones.   She especially loved babies.   She was always the first to hold a new baby.  I doubt that their are many Scott descendants who weren't held multiple times by Teresa.

She had a very special relationship with her sister, Dorothy.    I will never forget when Dot died.   Teresa had been with her for some time just prior to her death.  She was on her way  to southern California with Joan when my mom called me.   She asked me to get in touch with Teresa to let her know.   I will always remember having to tell her that her dear sister had passed.

Through the years, Teresa has attended most family events from weddings, to anniversaries, reunions and also funerals.   Fortunately, we have had so many fun family events.    Our cousin, Jan, said one time that we all needed to go to the fun events, not just the funerals.   And I believe that happened.   

Over the last several years, we went with Teresa to many of these events.   She could hardly wait to go to them.

At the weddings, she was given a place of honor because she was the only one of the seven siblings still alive.   She absolutely loved that!!!  She was so proud of each and every one of her nieces and nephews and I know that the feeling is mutual.

She will be missed in so many ways and at so many levels!!!!!

Friday, July 14, 2017

94 Years remembered in 94 Days-Post 7

Teresa had such a strong belief in her Catholic religion.   She embodied what the term "Christian" should mean.    She was accepting of everyone and found the good in people.   She always greeted everyone with a hug and a kiss and left with an "I love you."    Her sincerity was authentic at every level.    

She said her novenas and prayed the rosary every day.  Prayer was  extremely important to her and she absolutely believed in the power of prayer.

From the time I can remember, every time we got in the car to go on a trip, we said the rosary as a family along with her novenas.   When we would go to the cabin for the day after we had gone to Mass, we said the rosary.     It was just a part of how I grew up.

After we said the rosary, we would sing--mostly Irish songs.   Teresa had a very nice voice and she taught us the words to many songs.   Her favorite song was "I Will Take You Home Again, Kathleen."   She always got teary when she sang it and said it reminded her of her mom.   The other songs that we always sang were "Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ra," "Danny Boy,"  and  "MacNamara's Band."   Of course, I always sang along at the top of my lungs never realizing I didn't have a good  voice.   My mom drove and didn't sing because she knew she didn't have a good voice, but no one told me any different.   It wasn't until I was in 7th grade choir at Loretto that Sister Daria asked me to please mouth the words that I found out that what was my beautiful Irish voice really wasn't!!!!

I remember getting her an iPad so that she could read books that I would buy and could share with her, but the best part was when I found her favorite Rosary Novena and was able to download it on  her iPad.   She became a "techie" saying her rosary and using her iPad.

When Teresa was living with us last fall and was really starting to slip mentally, there were a few times that I would get my iPod out and put out a speaker and we would listen to Bing Crosby singing all of the Irish favorites.   She would sing along (as would I).   We made quite the pair.  She still had her beautiful voice and she remembered the words to every song.

She always cried when she heard some of the songs until these times.  She just sang her heart out.    I know that I will definitely get teary every time I hear any of these songs because they will always remind me of Teresa and my mom and the wonderful childhood we had!!!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 6

I have been trying to think of the earliest memories that I have of my mom, Teresa and Johnny.    I was so young that it is hard to remember things.   

My grandmother, Katie Scott, lived with us, too.  Or I should say, we lived with her.  She died when I was in third grade.    

I have many wonderful memories of her.  It was my grandma who sat with me and read to me every day.   I remember sitting next to her in her big chair and she would read books to me.  I remember getting books from the library for her to read to me.  She would read series like the Bobbsey Twins and books like that.   When I went to kindergarten, I knew how to read because of her and the time she took to sit with me and read to me.  Teresa was the one who always paid for me to have books/book clubs through the years.   She was an avid reader, too.

Our grandma's health wasn't good and she was a diabetic.   Whenever my mom and Teresa would be gone, she would send me to the Superette (the little grocery story less than a block away) to buy her Heath Bars.   Then she would "threaten" me not to tell them and she would share one with me.  I think she must have hidden the rest.  I NEVER told on her!

When my Phoenix cousins were younger, they would spend summers in Douglas.  I remember we would be outside playing and go in to use the bathroom or whatever.  Invariably, one of us would be sent for Heath Bars and run into one of the cousins coming back from the store getting them for her.   Although I am not a big candy person, I do love Heath Bars and always think of her when I have one.

Teresa and my mom tried to keep her away from sweets, but she could manipulate the grandchildren for sure!

Just before she died, she hadn't been feeling well.   So my mom and Teresa were taking her up to Phoenix to stay with our Uncle Matt and go to the doctor.   I have a very vivid memory of the trip up there and she said several times on the way to Phoenix that she didn't want to go because she wanted to die at home.   She wasn't that sick and Teresa told her there was nothing to worry about.

I am not sure how long she had been up in Phoenix, by I have a very clear memory of Friday, November 15, 1957.   My mom had gone to play Bingo at St. Bernard's in Pirtleville.  Teresa, Judy and I were up at the Hubers.   Dorothy was Teresa's best friend and we always loved to go play with the Huber kids.   

The phone rang and it was Father McGovern, our parish priest.  It was for Teresa.  I knew as soon as she answered the phone that our grandma had died.   I also remember so well getting in the car and going to pick up my mom and telling her the news.

The first funeral Mass was at St. Mary's.    Judy and I didn't go to Phoenix.   The funeral in Douglas was at the old St. Luke's Church.

At the rosary the night before, they brought her body to the house and moved all of the furniture and put her casket by the front windows. That was the Irish custom in those days.   To this day, whenever I walk into a florist or someplace with lots of flowers, it brings back memories of her rosary and her casket being at the house over night.

Being only eight or nine years old, I missed my grandmother so much because we had been close.   But I also watched my mom, Teresa, and Johnny go through their grief at losing their mother.  

When I think about it, Teresa was 44 years old and my mom was 48.   I felt blessed to still have my mom until I was 51 years old.  But the greatest blessing was to have Teresa until I was 68!  Many people aren't so fortunate.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 5

Tuesday was a busy day for me, which is good right now.   When we wrote the obituary on Saturday and I sent it to the Arizona Republic, it was going to cost almost $600.  There is a story behind this and we decided that instead of spending the money on that, we would use it for the Irish Wake!   We are having it put in the Douglas Dispatch and it will be online one day soon.  

So today I took the picture and the obituary into a printing company and we are going to have 150 bookmarks made for the family.  They will be green and will have a shamrock on them.  

I then called the Sheraton where many of the family are staying to inquire about having a reception there after the funeral Mass at St. Mary's.  It is very close to the basilica.   The lady I spoke to could not have been any nicer, will comp us the room and we will be able to toast our wonderful Aunt Teresa who always enjoyed a drink.

Now to the Arizona Republic story.....   During the presidential election for John F. Kennedy in 1960, there was quite a backlash because JFK was the first presidential candidate who was a Catholic.   One Sunday, the Republic had an editorial about how if Kennedy was elected, the Pope would take over the country.    I was in sixth grade that year and I remember coming home from church and my mom was super angry over the editorial.   She called the Republic collect and they actually accepted the charges.   She stopped our subscription to the newspaper and it was not allowed in our house after that.   My mom often called collect and often had people accept the charges.   She had quite the spirit.   

When my kids and I spent summers in Douglas when they were young, I finally convinced her to let me "bring" the Republic in so that I could keep up with news in the valley.

When she died in 2002, I remember taking her obituary in to the office on Baseline and it was a little over $200 to have it published.  I remember telling the very nice lady the story about my mom and her relationship the Republic.  She would have not been happy for me to write that check to them!!!   So that is one of the reasons we decided to forego the almost $600 and spend it on the get together with family and friends!

The most important thing to Teresa was that our family stay close.  I promised her when I was living with her in Douglas that I would always do my best to make that happen and I will do my best.    She loved that we would get together for the fun times and she loved all of her nieces and nephews so much.

Even though we lost her mentally several months ago, it is still so hard for me to grasp that she is really gone.   I know it is a blessing for her and we were so blessed to have her for so many years, but it is still difficult as she was the last one left!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days Post-4

Off and on since about 2012, I have not been able to write like I was able to before.   There are many reasons for it, one of which I was being stalked by a very unkind person.   I no longer have to worry about that so I feel a bit liberated.

Since my very dear Aunt Teresa passed a week ago Sunday, I have tried to figure out why it has been so hard.   When my mom died, she was on Hospice for exactly one month.   During that time, I prepared myself for her death and was able to bring closure and tell her how much she meant to me.  Not that it was easy as it wasn't at all.

In sorting out my thoughts over the past several days, I think I finally figured out the difference. When my mom died in 2002, she had lived up here for about six months after her stroke.   I was a principal at the time with a demanding career.    Prior to her stroke, I saw her often and talked to her on the phone a lot.    

My life for the last seven years has revolved around Teresa in a much different way from my mom.   When I moved down to Douglas in 2010 to live with her and be the superintendent of DUSD, I had a very demanding job.   However, I went home to her (our) house every night.  I would fix dinner and we would talk and laugh.   She was a great roommate!!!  I will share memories of the different things that happened over the next many posts.

When I moved back to Gilbert in 2015, Teresa had to come with me to live.   That was so hard on her.  I remember her crying for almost a month before we left.  It broke my heart.  I had really wanted one more year in Douglas, but circumstances didn't work out.  Looking back, it would not have been good because of her deterioration with Alzheimer's.   But at the time, it was awful.

That first year she was mostly with Judy, but she was also here a lot.   She loved it when I had a party or when we had a happy hour.   She loved going out with our friends for a happy hour and talking to all of the "kids" in her words.   Last June when her condition became such that she couldn't be left alone anymore, she came to live with us.   Since I was retired, it was easier for me.  I was fortunate to have three wonderful young people come and sit with her a few hours a day so I could get out.    

She was with us from June through November when it became too much and we put her in a group home.   Fortunately, it was close to me so I was able to go almost every day to see her.
 Last February, Judy decided to retire and take care of her mom in her last few months.   Although I know that what Judy did was exhausting, I know that she will always be at peace for taking such loving care of her.

So basically my life has been with her for the last seven years.    We lived together for five in Douglas and then probably about a year or so after.    We lost her mentally several months ago, and I remember feeling so bad that I couldn't tell her something important.     With Alzheimer's you lose someone twice and that is so true.

Now I can never again call 520 364-2876 which used to be Empire 4 2876.   I remember the old phone on our staircase in Douglas that didn't have a dial.  The operator answered and you gave the number.  I don't have an "elder" to ask for advice or to say a prayer for me.   

We have become the elders now.  I just hope that I can be half of the wonderful people in our family who were incredible role models.    Teresa's brothers and sisters were loved by her and it was so hard for her to be the only one left.   We had so many conversations about this over the five years in Douglas.

I have always believed that things happen for a reason and we may not know for a long time what that reason was.   But I can honestly say that I know that my time in Douglas was a blessing for me.   It gave Teresa five more years in the home she was born in and it gave me the experience to be able to be a board member in the best district ever--Gilbert Public Schools.

Monday, July 10, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 3

This was posted on my Facebook page earlier this afternoon.  It is from Joanne Salem.   Joanne's mom was Helen Peddicord and they go way back with our grandmother and even Grandma Roughan.   Joanne's sisters, Merl and Marcella, were significantly older than Joanne and Judy (her sister) and both were very dear friends of my mom's.   I don't remember ever not knowing the Peddicords.   

"My childhood memories are filled with the joy of the Scott household. The minute I entered the front door I felt an amazing comfort. I could tell your Mom and THERESA all my troubles and they would listen with kindness and love. I loved sleeping upstairs and hearing Theresa's footsteps as she approached to check on me and Judy. I am sure all the precious Irish ladies are in heaven now celebrating THERESA's arrival. Mom, Margaret, Judy, Merl, Marcella, and all of your Irish angels. Your Mom was at the front of the pack!! I thank them all for the love and memories."

From me as I can't quite figure out why the font has changed and I can't fix it.)

I don't remember ever not knowing the Peddicords.   I know that Joanne and Judy stayed overnight at our house during the week when they were going to Loretto.   They lived out in the valley which was about 30  miles away.  However, in those days 30 miles was a lot.

Our wonderful aunt Teresa and my mom always opened up our home friends who became like family.   And that what we always learned about the importance of family and friendships.    So many wonderful memories.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Thank you, GPS!

This email was sent to the entire Gilbert Public Schools District by our Interim Superintendent, Dr. Suzanne Zentner.    She understands the importance of relationships in education and this email touched my heart!  I love the subject:  Passing of a Longtime Friend of GPS.   And she was always so supportive of all of us and she loved being with our Gilbert friends.

From: No Reply <>
Date: Sun, Jul 9, 2017 at 9:50 AM
Subject: Passing of Longtime Friend of GPS

GPS Family,

It is with great sadness that I share the passing of Ms.Teresa Scott, mother of longtime GPS special education teacher, Judy Engel, great aunt of 4th grade teacher at Islands Elementary, Kerri Rogers, and aunt of current Governing Board President, Sheila Rogers.

For the past many years, Teresa opened up her home in Douglas to serve dinner to many students and their families from both Gilbert Elementary School and Islands Elementary School on their southeastern Arizona overnight field trip. She loved the fellowship and sharing the background of the home where she was born in 1922, along with history of the area.

A local service will be held in her honor on Saturday, July 29, at St. Mary's Basilica Church, 231 N 3rd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004at 10:00am.  

Additionally, a Mass will be held at St. Luke’s Catholic Church, 1211 E 15th St, Douglas, AZ 85607, on August 5 at 10:30am.followed by a burial service at Calvary Cemetery, 425 E 10th St, Douglas, AZ 85607.



Dr. Suzanne Zentner
Assistant Superintendent 
Gilbert Public Schools

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 2

This is a wonderful story about my Aunt Teresa that made a difference not only in her life, but in mine.    

Teresa and I were talking  a few years ago about when Judy was born and when she came home to 858 in Douglas. I remember being so excited. I was in kindergarten and I can remember wanting to rush home from the morning session to see her. I remember sitting in the little red rocker so that I could hold her.

Teresa adopted Judy as a single parent in 1955, which was almost unheard of at that time. Judy's birth family went to St. Luke's Church, the parish we belonged to. Her birth father was in the Army stationed at Fort Huachuca, but they lived in Douglas. Father McGovern, who was the pastor at St. Luke's, was instrumental in Teresa getting Judy. Her birth mother was very sick and died a few weeks after Judy was born 6 weeks premature. Her birth father decided that he wanted Teresa to have Judy.

My mother and I were home the day that Teresa found out she was going to get Judy. Teresa and my grandmother were in Phoenix at a retreat. My mother went to Bisbee and spoke with the judge. He said that there would be no problem with the adoption since it was a "direct relinquishment" from the birth father.

Since Judy was born prematurely, she didn't come home until March 8. Teresa told me that night that when she got her in the car she thought "what I have done--can I do this?" She then said she went to St. Luke's and took Judy into the church. She prayed for a few minutes and everything was fine. Teresa has such a great faith.

My mom and Father McGovern were Judy's godparents. Father had to get special permission from the bishop to be able to be the godfather. When Father was dying several years ago, Judy and I went to visit him. I know that he had a special place in his heart for Judy. She was so wonderful with him that afternoon. It truly touched me.

Judy has always been my "sister." I am blessed to have her in my life. She has always been such a support. I am not sure what I would do without her!!!

So, Judy, I am glad you were born. I am glad that Teresa was your mother. We had a wonderful childhood with my mom, Teresa, and our incredible Uncle Johnny! They taught us the importance of family. A family can have so many different configurations. Ours was a bit different for the 50's, but it couldn't have been any more loving. Thanks for all you  and Teresa have done for all of us over the years. I know that Kerri, Patrick, and Cameron love both of you dearly. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

94 Years Remembered in 94 Days-Post 1

My goal for the next 94 or so days, is to do a post of a memory of our Aunt Teresa. The significance of the number 94 is that this world was blessed by her for 94 years. It is not only just for me, but to be able to keep her memory alive and her stories told.   In the words of my favorite author, Carmen Agra Deedy, "those we love are never really gone as long as their stories are told."

I am going to start with my last conversation with her which was Wednesday, June 28, 2017.   She had been non-responsive for quite some time but for some reason she opened up her eyes and looked at me when I started to talk to her.   It didn't appear to me that she was hearing or comprehending anything I was saying.    

I started by telling her that there had been two Governing Board meetings in the last two days.   I had just come from one. I told her that both meetings had gone extremely well and how wonderful it was to have that happen.  I reminded her about the times in Douglas when I would have a very difficult meeting and sometimes would come home quite upset.  She always worried about me, I know that.   But she always told me that she didn't know how to do anything to help me other than to pray.   So while I was at the meeting, she was sitting in her chair at 858 saying the rosary and her novenas.    I was babbling and she was just looking at me with a blank stare.   I told her about how she always had her bottle of vodka out and my bottle of gin ready along with the tonic water and the limes.   The minute she heard the car pull up, she would go in and get the drinks ready for me. Then she would have to listen to me rant etc. as we had our drinks.  She continued to look at me with her very beautiful green eyes as I continued to babble.    

Then I asked her if she remembered helping me with my campaign for the Gilbert Governing Board.   She was living with us during the campaign and she always wanted to help me.     She helped me stuff envelopes and went with me to turn in my signatures.  She went to several campaign functions.    I believe she was my oldest voter and Cameron was my youngest.   I asked her if she remembered voting for me and I must have said it two or three times.    She looked at me and in barely a whisper she said, "Yes, I voted for you."   Those were the last words I ever heard from her.

Of course, I lost it and I had to walk away.   But I know how proud she was of me when I went to Douglas to live with her in 2010 and was the DUSD Superintendent.   And although her mind was slipping because of Alzheimer's, she was still proud when I was elected and proud to work on my campaign.

Having had her in my life for over 68 years is something that most people don't ever get and I will forever be grateful for all of those years, but especially the five years we were together in Douglas. 

The picture above is Teresa in front of the Maricopa County Elections Department the day I turned in my signatures/petitions.

The picture above is from my campaign kick-off held at the Gilbert Historical Museum.

The picture below is her stuffing envelopes for me because she wanted to help me so much.