Celebrating My Mother, Not an Ordinary Obituary

Posted by on Dec 6, 2016 in Written Blog | 7 comments

My mom passed away from a long illness this past week and my family asked me to write the obituary. I know the typical obituary is a boring summary of a life, but I did not want to write the typical version. Dianne Eichelberger, wife of Frank “Hardrock” Eichelberger, gardener, chef, pianist and accomplished traveler died on December 2, 2016 at age 85. She was a lover of home grown tomatoes, John Wayne, any old western movie, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and a good romance novel. She and dad never met a crossword puzzle they could not knock out eventually. Periodically they would call to ask a puzzle question on more “recent” culture questions.

mom-and-dad

She met Frank on a double date at Hayden Lake, Idaho in 1948, and according to my dad she told her mother that night she met the man she would marry. My mom has told the story to me that it was dad who said that the first night!

They were married July 16, 1949 and were together for almost 60 years before my dad passed away in 2011. It was amazing to see them together. My dad was 6’6” and she was 5’2”! My mom was tough! My dad had quit smoking over 30 years before he passed away from lung cancer. My mom smoked for almost 65 years and never quit and she died of various complications but not lung cancer.

mom-wedding

They loved to travel the world, often on incentive trips Dad would earn through being a Ford dealer. They circled the world a few times and took some amazing trips and cruises. They taught me the difference between a “trip and a vacation”. A trip is when you bring the kids…..on a vacation you leave them at home! Usually they took a trip! I do have great memories of going with them for two Christmas trips to Hong Kong and Copenhagen when I was in college.

They spent many winters at their condo in Manzanillo, Mexico they had for about 15 years. She would love to get her time in the sun on vacation and never had any skin cancer issues. She had amazing hair, even at 85 it was still blonde and she would go to the beauty salon every Thursday like clockwork at 10am.

She was always a fashionable dresser and had her own style. She loved her St. John knits and left many beautiful pieces. If anyone is a size 2 please contact me! I love that picture of my mom and dad together. She was seldom photographed it seems without her huge sunglasses. She wore them for my entire life and it is funny how them came in and out of style over the years.

mom-sunglasses

She was a wonderful cook and was famous for her fried chicken, home made tomato sauce, salad dressings, Weiner schnitzel, roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding to name a few. She was obsessed with growing the tomatoes each year and had a terrific green thumb. Boy could she grow and nurture houseplants, especially succulents like Jade Trees. I am bringing some starters home with me!

She and dad did watch their share of Fox News! They listened to Rush Limbaugh every day religiously for over 30 years! On my last trip to see her in late October with our kids we talked about the election. She was happy that she lived long enough to see Donald Trump elected President and defeat Hillary.

She passed away at Hospice of Spokane North. We would like to thank everyone there for helping to make her final days as comfortable as possible. My sister Kristy was a loving and patient caregiver for many years and made such a difference for my mom. She did have the patience of Job dealing with Mom who could be very difficult the last several years.

I will miss calling her and getting her words of encouragement. It never gets old hearing your mom is proud of you.  I wanted to give you a sense of who my mom was to celebrate her.

Mom is survived by her three children Peggy Ann McConnochie and her husband John McConnochie; Kristy Langbehn; myself and my wife Miryana and our children Madison, Davis, and Lucas. Kirsty’s son Bob Langbehn and his wife Jennifer, and their son, mom’s great grandson, Connor.

7 Comments

  1. 12-7-2016

    Chip,
    I am sorry for your loss, but glad that you have great memories that can never be taken away. Thank you for sharing.

  2. 12-7-2016

    Chip:

    Sorry to hear of your loss!

    I enjoyed you again last week in Orlando!

  3. 12-7-2016

    HI Chip,
    Very nice tribute to your Mom.
    I also wanted to tell you that breaking the board for the IF ADM meeting was awesome.
    You’re Mom should be very proud of you in heaven as you are making others lives great.
    Thank you again and my sympathies

  4. 12-7-2016

    I’m so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute. Your mother would be proud. And you’re right…that never gets old.

    She sounds like an amazing woman. Blessings to you and your family.

  5. 12-8-2016

    Dear Chip,
    What a blessing to read about your mom! We recently lost our mom too (my husband’s mom, still “Mom” to me) and life forever will be different. How wonderful of a life you and your sisters shared with your mom, great memories you all with share regularly I’m sure! Your mom raised a great son, I truly appreciate the work you do and the “light” you shine in this crazy mixed up world, continue to keep the faith and fight the good fight! Thank you for sharing with us about your Mom and so sorry for your loss.

  6. 12-9-2016

    I loved reading about your mom, Chip. You are a good man because you came from good stock. I love your parent’s values and interests, (i.e. western movies and Fox news). They would have gotten along GREAT with me and my parents for sure.

    I hope you and I live lives as full as theirs.

    May God bring you comfort and healing with each passing day.

    Love ya,

    Doug

  7. 12-9-2016

    Dear Chip, please accept my sincerest condolences. Your mom sounded like a very dear person. Please have comfort and assurance in knowing she is now in the loving arms of our Lord.

    Blessings

    Joe Marconi
    Canine Containment Distributing

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