Orvetta Owsley

August 17, 2001

Time of family gathering

The time of family gathering after the death of a family member strikes you as a very sad thing, but after a long life such as Orvetta's, there was a spirit of celebration of her life. Around the room was a collection of photographs and mementos which brought pleasant reminders of an active and positive life. Beside the young Orvetta above is a portion of the score of the Orvetta Waltz, which was the origin of her name. Beulah had made a CD of the waltz and a number of other songs which Orvetta loved, and it was playing softly in the room.

Orvetta's love of music was celebrated. When she could no longer play the organ and piano, she took up rhythmn instruments. She sometimes played the spoons shown at right. Shortly before her death she was teaching the spoons to one of the Feagan granddaughters.

When her fingers stiffened so that she could no longer play the piano, Orvetta took up the director's baton for a time, directing the band which played at banquets and outings for the senior citizens. Then she continued to play the spoons and other rhythmn instruments in the "Melodears", as the band was called. She is shown at upper left in the right photo above.

This setting of celebration of a life and music gave rise to many meaningful conversations and interactions. Brenda got to talk with Jane Owsley, a lovely and gracious lady who went out of her way to make us feel welcome, even though still dealing with the sudden death of her husband Mike earlier this year. Edgar Nave and Charles Owsley had the opportunity to swap tales about their childhoods in Owensboro. Having known each other as children, their paths had not crossed very often since Edgar traveled around as an electrician and Charles had a dental practice in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

We had a nice visit with Shery, Edgar's youngest daughter, who is busy with her job and the care of a young daughter. We enjoyed talking with Charles and Jo Owsley, whom we had met only once before at Orvetta's 90th birthday celebration. Here they are in the atrium of the First Christian Church, which provided an excellent meal for us after the graveside service. In each of our recent visits to Kentucky, we had the opportunity to visit with Boots Owsley, who had been such a friend and companion to Orvetta. With her is her daughter Barbara. It was Boots who aptly summed up the interactions of the day:

"See - Orvetta is still doing good things for us. She got us all together like this."

Tribute and service
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2001
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