Saturday, January 10, 2015


Den and I went back to my childhood church building yesterday 
to attend the funeral of a friend from long ago.

 There were 3 talks and then an open mike…..and every one of them basically said that Jonelle was
best at loving people. She knew how to love. She loved through rejection, through disappointment,
through hurt. One speaker even said she loved others more than she loved herself. 

 Not sure when this picture was taken. Jonelle surrounded by her 5 children.
Brianna, Melanie, John, Melanie, and Nicholas

 The bishop conducing the service talked about a study conducted through hospice. 
People were asked during the very last days of their lives, "Do you have any regrets?" 
Here are the answers they heard over and over again:

1. I wish I had spent more time with the people I love.
2. I wish I had lived up to my potential.
3. I wish I had let myself be happier. 

Jonelle and I knew each other as teenagers. We were both in a Roadshow together 
(back in the day when we had those with our church youth group) 
She had a lead and her voice was to stunningly beautiful, that for over 45 years I remembered the song 
she sang and would often hear it in my head.
I could remember many of the words to the song too, 
even though I'm not sure I'd ever heard it anywhere else. 

It wasn't until I heard on Tuesday that she passed away, that I actually googled the song's words that I 
remembered ("Doll on a Music Box"),  and found out it was from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. 
I'd never seen that movie. I never knew where that song came from. 
I just discovered it was popular in 1968, and I think that was the year 
(or close to it) that she sang it in that Roadshow. 

Fast forward several years, and Jonelle and I were visiting teaching partners when our kids were babies. 
Then I lost touch with Jonelle and found out later she moved to England for many years. 

The last time I "talked" to Jonelle was last Thanksgiving Day through messaging on Facebook. 
We talked about our lives and grandchildren. Her hopes for the coming year. 
Then very unexpectedly she passed away last Monday.

Besides raising 5 children, here's what else Jonelle did through the years:
(I know there was more but this is what I got.)

Trained to assist in search and rescue
Tupperware lady
Attended Heald college and got certified to be an executive secretary
Worked at Turner Property Management
Did transcribing for Dr Van Wagenen
Sold Meadow Fresh Powdered Milk
Joined La Leche League and offered support services there
Had a floral arrangement business
Took a sign language class
Was involved in the school's Parent Club and was president for 3 years
Worked a lot in Family History
Made things as gifts to give, such as Mop Dolls and crocheted blankets
Sang in the California girls choir with her daughter Melanie
She cared for her aging mother until she passed away
She sang in a choir in England and served as their choir president
She also designed the choir's logo
Worked at a hospital in England in the public relation dept
She was a certified massage therapist
Sang in the World International College Choir with her daughter
She had recently secured a job as a model and planned to work as that in 2015.


Anonymous said...

Sorry for your loss, Jill. Isn't it strange and unsettling when people your own age, your friends and peers, begin dying? I lost 5 friends in 2014. Makes me feel old! But, then again, my dad is still alive and well at 95. So, you never know.

grandmapeg said...

Sorry for the loss of your friend. It sounds like she had many interests and accomplished many things. I'm glad you had that visit on Facebook before she passed away.

Karen Mortensen said...

Sorry for your loss. She sounds like a wonderful person.