Editor's Note: On June 24th, 2003, Stell Bucher died at age 81.  At her funeral three days later, Tom, the third of Stell's nine children, and who (along with his wife Carol) had been her care-giver for the final year and a half of her life, gave the following eulogy.  As part of the eulogy, Tom read the letter Stell had written about her wedding day - April 27th, 1946.


The Eulogy

I’d like to thank Fr. Hand for making this Mass so personal and for coming up here from his parish in Ridley Park.

 

I want to start this by thanking my wife, Carol, for ‘just doing it’... she just does it.

 

As I thought about what I might say to honor Mom’s memory as she leaves our company for a while, I couldn’t come up with the words.
To all of us who knew her and loved her she fit different roles, she was ‘Mom’, ‘Gram’, ‘Great Grandmom’, ‘Aunt Stell’, ‘Stell’ and of course,‘Mrs. Joseph G. Bucher Jr.’.
So your memories of her are your own and I certainly can’t sum them up… Father touched on some of the good ones.

 

But regarding our memories, I’m always a little troubled that my last memories are the clearest and when you are with someone who has been sick, there are a lot of details you would rather forget quickly.

 

I also think about that question that kids of all ages ponder when remembering those that went before us.   If she was old when she died, is she old in heaven?   If someone dies young are they eternally young?   God willing we’ll all find out how that works.

 

So, I wanted a memory of Mom that would be a little more timeless and get me past the recent memory and believe it or not, one was dropped in my lap.

 

Carol and I needed to find one of Mom’s insurance cards recently and were looking everywhere.   Mom kept a couple pocketbooks at the foot of her chair and they were the most likely place to find the lost card.   I went through them thoroughly and as I was looking through one, some old, hand-written, letters fell out.

 

They were written over fifty years ago and were her own recollections of her wedding day and honeymoon.   She had them with her!   I’d like to share the first one with you.  It is a memory of a younger Stell.

 

Oh,and as I read it, think about the possibility that she could have written it a minute ago...


The Letter

Saturday April 27th,

“Our Wedding Day!”

It was raining when we got up at 5:00.

We prayed hard that it would stop, it didn’t, but it wasn’t too bad.

We were all rushing around getting ready.

The kids all got dressed, then Mother, Dad and Bud.

The bridesmaids started getting dressed and finally me. 

The flowers came, then the cars.

Joe’s mother and father and Madeline came down about 9:45.

Mother left with them for church.

Dad, the girls and I left about 5 to 10.

I wasn’t a bit nervous or excited just so very happy walking up the aisle to meet my Joe.

He was standing there looking so cute and sort of scared.

Fr. Walsh married us and the Mass was beautiful.

I loved being so close to the Tabernacle.

 

We came out about 10:45 and went to the photographers.

Joe was the first one to call me Mrs. Bucher and the photographer the first one to call me “his” wife.

I forgot! we went to the convent, too, and the nuns seemed so thrilled to see us.

 

After the pictures we went for breakfast at the Melrose.  Very good. 

Fr. Walsh was there.  He is really funny.

Then home and just loafing around.  More wedding presents to open.

 

About 6:00 we went up to Kenny’s.  The crowd soon began arriving and by 7:30 it was mobbed.

I think everyone was there.

All the noise and excitement was finally getting to me and I began to get sick a little and very nervous.

Finally I cut the wedding cake and threw the bouquet,

Then with the help of my new father and Dotty and Anna we finally got away.

I was very excited till the train pulled out at 10:44.

We arrived in New York at 12:20 and went right to the hotel.

We had a nice room on the 15th floor.

We finally got to bed about 1:15.

The end of our wedding day, all our waiting is over.

I’m Joe’s wife, I love him so very, very much and I’m so very, very happy.