Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Dorothy Stewart Broadfoot, mom

Dorothy Frances Stewart Broadfoot
Mom with boyfriend Bob McClosky before marriage
to my father, Thomas Broadfoot
#52ancestors #16
Two Obits sent in by funeral home, 2002
Before my mother passed away in 2002, I had moved her to a local nursing home from the Rhode Island Hospital where she was admitted for pneumonia and dementia. While she was only there a month or so, she never really recovered from the pneumonia and like many women of her age, she fell and was taken to the Brockton Hospital for treatment.

Fortunately, we had paperwork in hand that stated she did not want heroic measures taken to save her life and she had a clear, lucid moment and talked to the hospital doctor about it. They moved her from intensive care to a regular floor and she passed away soon after. I gathered a few photos from my collection to show the nursing staff and one nurse told me that was a great thing to do because they can't imagine what an elderly patient must have been like when they weren't ill and dying.

I was in the process of working with a local funeral home to be ready. I filled out a form and typed up the information they needed and cut out the resulting obituaries from The Providence Journal and the local (to me) newspaper. The one on the left is from the Brockton Enterprise and the two on the right were from the Providence Journal. Notice the typeface difference. The Providence Journal one I can match to other obituaries in my collection whether they are labeled or not.

In Rhode Island, it was still customary to print the "death notice" (in this case "deaths reported") for free and for a fee, the obituary.  I made this one page sheet for her lawyer to add to the death certificate for the probate court to declare me the executrix of her estate. When all of the paperwork passed, all her property and her bank accounts (already in my name) cleared. This enabled me to sell her home. I often tell people to gather as much evidence as possible because grief is so crippling that you can't think clearly.

Writing an obituary is harder than you think.

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