Oct 31, 2008

In loving memory of Theramae----

DJ and I had just returned home when the phone rang yesterday afternoon. Theramae's DIL was calling to tell me, as the quilt group leader, that she had passed away late Tuesday. The memorial service was scheduled for this morning at 11 but the obituary had not made the local newspaper in time for notification.

She had just turned 86 in June. Sarah was just a few month's older and we lost her earlier this year. What dynamic women they both were! I have shown this picture of her before--at the Christmas party 07 when we presented her with a friendship quilt we had made for her. Her health deteriorated over the months that followed and she was only able to come to one meeting this year for a few hours. She had three devoted caregivers that allowed her stay in her own home till the end. Not many people get to do that. Feisty!

Theramae was my "right hand" girl. Most of the time she sewed her tops at home so she manned the pinning table with an energy that I would wager we younger members wished we had. We are forever quoting her line "it will quilt out" --she was right about that. That and the caution not to be smoothing the quilt--pat it but don't smooth it. She was always taking quilts home to bind and sometimes quilt for one of the others. Since my dislike of binding is legendary, you know what a help that was.

She and Sarah both would really crank out the quilts like women on a mission! I always take a picture of each quilt and get two copies made--one for our photo albums and one for the maker. Her DIL said she would make a point to show the pictures to anyone she could even she didn't have the quilt on hand to show them. I know she spoke about them to her circle at church as well. The pastor spoke of it at the service today--not about WTIL necessarily but the quilts that she had made and given away over the years.

When Jane and I saw her recently she said she had not been able to read or sew anymore. You could tell that was very frustrating to her as that was two things she dearly loved. We were going to look into some books on tape for her as an alternative to TV viewing.

She was one of the original members of our little group. Joy and I met first in Aug. 1999. In Jan. 2000 Joy hosted a sew in for Wrap Them in Love at her house. I didn't know anyone other than Joy who quilted but Joy had owned a quilt shop at one time and knew some quilters. She invited Betsy who invited Theramae who attended her church and she knew quilted. The following month we had an organizational meeting---Theramae was one of the original Belles. With her passing there are just three of us left. We were naming the originals off at lunch today, those of us who were able to attend the service.

She had been all over the globe as her husband had been in the Air Force and raised two daughters and a son. When her husband passed away, she moved here to be closer to a daughter who lives locally. Theramae would tell you that she was "not from here" meaning Calhoun County. She didn't necessarily hold with the prevailing notions and was not afraid to share her opinion about anything. She had fairly progressive views--something you might not expect from a woman her age, actually. I don't know why that surprised me a bit but I found it very refreshing. She and I shared the same political and world views---without getting into just what those are/were. The stash ring is supposed to remain apolitical but suffice it to say, it is not necessarily what most of Alabama is or how they think. (If I hear "Alabama values" being touted one more time in a TV ad in this election cycle I might scream, LOL)

One of the last quilt pictures I posted here was one of her tops shown HERE. Jane picked up some quilts the other day before she left with some local quilters to go to the quilt show in Houston--Theramae's was one of them so I didn't get the chance to show her how it turned out with those Baptist Fans.

She will be missed but not forgotten.


  1. Linda I know I've loved the stories over the years about your Belles and especially Theramae. 'm sad to see was so ill and she's moved on. I know you all will miss her.

  2. So sorry to hear of Theramae's passing. I loved the tribute you wrote. I am sure that you will think of her often as you hand stitch those bindings--remembering at the same time how many of those dreaded things she helped with!

  3. A loving tribute for a special 'Belle'. I'm sure you guys will miss her fun ways!

  4. My deepest sympathies on the passing of Theramae. I know how it feels to lose a very close friend.

  5. goodness, she was a bright flame that warmed all that knew her-I am so glad I was able to meet her and I know how special she was. I agree, you wrote a moving tribute to the person she was-I know you will miss her so much.

  6. I'm sorry for the loss of your good friend. She was obviously a wonderful, inspirational lady.

  7. I'm so sad to hear of the loss of your good friend. A very inspiring legacy she has left us all with.
    Hugs - Libby

  8. Linda, your words for Theramae are beautiful. I know you and the Belles will miss her deeply. Hugs to you all.

  9. Rest in peace, Theramae. My sympathies to your group. It sounds like she cast a long shadow in your lives, and left a void that will be hard to fill.

  10. I know there is a hole is your group of Belles now, but with your warm spirit and memories, it will fill and heal. I am so glad you got to know this wonderful lady!


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