One of my last remaining relatives of my parents' generation passed away last night. Betty Joan Macy Lankford died peacefully in her home in Seneca, Missouri, following a brief illness.
Aunt Betty was born February 22, 1933, to my grandparents, Charles and Hazel (Nutt) Macy in rural Newton County, Missouri. She married Cecil Lankford in 1950, and they became the parents of three children: Steven, Dennis, and Angela. Betty was preceded in death by Cecil, their son Steven, her parents, and all three of her siblings: Wayne, Garland, and Tommy.
Wayne Macy, Tommy's son, was an important part of Aunt Betty's extended family. Wayne and I are first cousins, though he is much younger - just a few months older than my oldest son. Wayne also lives near Seneca and has spent a great deal of time and effort in caring for her. I learned recently that he has been keeping Betty's yard mowed for the past couple of years, and he was a constant visitor during her final illness. Wayne is the model nephew in every respect.
The last time I saw Aunt Betty was two years ago when I was back in the States for a visit from Okinawa. I did telephone her a little over a week ago and had a nice visit. She knew her situation and held nothing back. When I asked how she was doing, Betty replied, "I'm checking out."
My father and mother each "checked out" during the month of December. Winter, especially winter in the Midwest, is hard on the elderly.
I will miss Aunt Betty, but I take comfort in knowing that she lived a long and happy life. Rest in peace and contentment Aunt Betty - you've earned the rest.