Arnold BermanThinking about my end-of-the-year post, I was pondering the question about people I’ve known who died this year. It occurred to me that: 1) I don’t think I mentioned any of them in this blog, and 2) if I were to write about them on 1/1/2019, it would be quite lengthy.

Arnold Berman: my mother’s aunt by marriage, Charlotte Yates (1914-2003), we were all very close to. Charlotte had seven siblings, and I knew them all to some degree.

Arnold (b 1924) was the youngest, and I got to know him particularly well as he was putting together the extensive website of the Barosin/Berman family. He periodically commented on my blog, usually via email, usually with additional insights.

I last saw him at the funeral of Charlotte’s son Donald in 2016, but we remained in touch electronically until early in 2018.

Pat (Curry) Wilson: She was friends with my parents, especially my father. when I was in high school; she was Pat Wilson then, and I had a separate relationship with her.

I remember riding my bike down her dead-end street off Riverside Drive in Binghamton. We would have great philosophical conversations about the world.

I recall specifically how devastated she was when Senator Robert Kennedy (D-NY), who was running for President in 1968 was assassinated. While I was not a big fan of Bobby’s, I felt a great deal of pain on her behalf.

We debated the theological implications of Jesus Christ Superstar. Her Catholic faith, in contrast with my Protestant upbringing – and truth to tell, my fading faith at the time – gave the dialogue a certain yeastiness.

I lost track of her for a lot of years, then rediscovered her, as Pat Curry, on Facebook. My sister Leslie and I thought to visit her when we were in Binghamton in the fall of 2017, but it didn’t work out. She died around Mother’s Day.

Violet Keleshian, nee Khachadourian: She died in May 2018, just a few days shy of her 95th birthday. She was born in Aleppo, Syria, and moved to Beirut, to attend the Lebanese American University. She married and had three children, but was widowed in 1956. In 1961, Violet moved to the United States and became a U.S Citizen in 1966.

I knew her well because she was a member of the First Presbyterian Church choir for several years. Naturally, the choir sang at her service in June.

Gloria Wood, nee Caskey: She was another member of my church. She had been married to David since July 19, 1958; they were a great couple. She’d made a blanket for our daughter when she was born, and she’d created many more to give to young mothers.

I had presented a kente cloth to her a couple years ago because of her gifts, and a couple days after Gloria died on August 24, one of her daughters came to church with David, to tell me how much Gloria appreciated that. I was sorry that I was out of town for her service on September 15.

And there are others, not necessarily close to me, but dear to people I’m close to. And more I know with various serious illnesses.

One Response to “RIP Arnold, Pat, Violet, Gloria”

  • fillyjonk says:

    Close to All Saint’s/All Souls, so it seems appropriate.

    I think All Saints’ is going to be hard this year in my congregation – the loss of Steve, but also of Gordon, and Brian, and now Gail….all under different circumstances. All sad in some way but Steve’s loss was very sudden, and Gail passed under some sad circumstances…

    It’s right to remember those who have passed but I admit I always find that service difficult.

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