Monday, March 29, 2010

Lee Mach

 In the hospital, during his final days, Lee Mach told a family friend:   
"I want to go home."  
"I understand."
"No you don't."
She then said,  "I was hoping when you go to heaven that you could talk to my Dad."
"You do understand," he said. 

She said Lee's motto in life was:
"How can I be of help to you?"
Then she added, "His neighbor was anyone who needed his help."

Our family knew him since 1958 when he first came to Fresno to be a professor at Fresno State.  One day when I was visiting my parents, several months after my mother's Alzheimer's diagnosis, I saw a little something he had brought by in hopes of cheering her up.  Some figurine or flower, I don't even remember what it was, but I thought it so sweet he brought it by just for her.  He was already in his late 80s by this time.

The service lasted nearly 2 hours but we were all captivated by the words and the spirit the entire time.
Den and I didn't even turn to each other to give comments, like we usually do...we didn't want to miss a word. 

There were a few stories about his sense of humor, especially during his final days at the hospital.  
After one long shift ended, the new nurse came in his room to introduce herself.  
She said her name was Melba.
After she left he turned to a friend and said,  "Melba toast sounds really good right now."

On one particular day it was obvious many babies were born since a lullaby was played over the hospital intercom system after each birth. 
Finally Lee said,  "My goodness gracious, there were sure lots of busy people 9 months ago!"

Someone asked him towards the end what he would like to say to Gladys if he could tell her anything.
He said,  "I love her.  I had to marry her because no one would treat her as well as I could."

He treated her like a queen for 64 years.  


Dad and Susan said...

Thank you so much for this timely review of Patriarch Mach's funeral service. Regretfully, we completely forgot about it. I'm usually on top of things, but I failed on this one. Thanks again. Love, Dad and Susan

Mary said...

I had no idea he was even still alive up to this time. Bishop Mach is the first bishop in my memory. Before we were in 8th ward (we moved there when I was 9 and started attending church when I was about 11), we were inactive and I didn't even know what a bishop was. I have warm memories of him and Sister Mach, and Connie too.

Jill said...

I do too Mary. Remember what a great Laurel teacher she was? Or wait, you were gone by then weren't you?

Mary said...

No, we didn't move until after graduation, and then I lived at the Wardells until July so I could participate in the roadshow (I was the bride of Frankenstein--I still have the script in a scrapbook). So I got to be a Laurel until then.

My favorite memory of Laurel class was when a girl (don't recall who, maybe Connie?) wondered if her husband would be happy because she had small(ahem) "bosoms." Sister Mach quipped, "All you need is a handful!" We all about fell out of our chairs, shocked and laughing hysterically!

Tom and Karen Mortensen said...

I remember hearing about him before but never had the pleasure of knowing him. I did know Connie though. She was really nice.

Sue said...

So touching, Jill. Thanks for sharing this lovely tribute to a dear friend.


Lisa said...

I can't understand how I missed all these posts! I check your blog at least twice a day! THis Leland Mach sounds like someone I wish I could've known. He certainly has left an incredible legacy behind not to mention a host of people whose lives that have been touched & better because he cared. Nice tribute Jill!