(August 30, 1930 - March 6, 2008)



I would like to share some very special thoughts with all of you.

God gives us many gifts throughout our lives.  He is present to give us our first breath and also with us as we take our final breath.  Along our journey many other gifts are received.

I hope we all have at one time or another received a gift!  Perhaps it was Christmas, a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion.  We are eager to open the gift by taking the paper off and revealing what is inside.  Life is like this: We all have the ability to unwrap the gifts God gives us but how many times do we choose to leave the wrapping paper on, hiding the content?

Mom chose to unwrap these gifts.  From the moment she received her first breath she shared what was received with all of us!

She shared her faith in God with family & friends.
She shared the gifts and her knowledge with countless people in the nursing profession.
She touched and brought joy & comfort into so many lives.
Mom shared her humor.  Laughter is so special even in adversity.
She was a giving and caring wife, mother and friend.
She loved children, animals especially dogs, nature and music.
She shared this musical gift and her ability to play piano and sing in church choirs.
Mom shared her wisdom and support.
Her upbeat and positive attitude gave us all energy.
Mom's courage was phenomenal, faced with the task of the past 13 months.
     (Time yet another great gift)
She shared the gifts of her life with anyone who met her.

Most importantly the greatest gift Mom shared with all of us gathered here was LOVE!

I would like to close and ask you to find peace, comfort, and joy with these final thoughts and words:

As I walked this past week trying to find stamina and strength within the hospice walls I came upon a wall plaque that said, “There are angels amongst us”.  I smiled and thought how fitting as I saw T.O. [Mom's second husband] and his sister Judy as just that.  Angels!  They were so very important to Mom as her journey on earth drew to a close.

Recently Mom received a small reward for all the gifts she shared with us as her family and hospice staff took care of her.

It is very fitting that two special people in her life, her husband and oldest son, who both loved her so much, would receive a wonderful and great gift to place her hands in Jesus hand to walk from life through death and into Heaven to receive her eternal reward.

Mom lived each day like Christmas, sharing the many gifts she received and preparing for Easter with its message: The Resurrection!

(Eulogy given March 9, 2008 by oldest son, Michael.
Easter this year was on March 23, two and a half weeks after Mom passed on.)


During the 28,314 days the soul known to us as Virginia Ruth Vargo Baran-Stuart was amongst us, she took on many roles.  Not necessarily in order and not always separately or only once, these included:

baby daughter and granddaughter, little sister, niece, baptized Catholic, cousin, grade school student, first Holy Communicant, big sister, friend, high school student, extracurricular club member, girlfriend, nursing student, fiancée, bride, lover, wife, nurse, homemaker, churchgoer, cook, baker, party-giver and hostess, shopper, homeowner, mother, community theater actor, pet owner, gardener, landscaper, piano student, chauffeur, maid, seamstress, laundress, sister-in-law, aunt, jitterbug dancer, recipe-clipper and meal planner, cigarette smoker, hospital nurse, industrial nurse, den mother, singer, reader, choir member, tourist and traveller, home decorator, decorative rock collector, problem solver, confidante, nurse manager, photographer and videographer, movie-goer, babysitter, disciplinarian, used book sale shopper, neighbor, garage sale seller and shopper, barber, beautician, entertainer and accompanist, cheerleader, pet groomer, camper and RVer, rainwater collector, grandmother, financier, comediane, penpal, mother-in-law, weather watcher, widow, in-service nurse educator, great grandmother, companion, pre-planner, hospice patient.

Partly flawed and richly gifted and giving human being.  Guide, role model, example.

We thank Virginia and God for the time and space she shared with us, the specific and general lessons she taught us and learned from us.  For being in our lives.

(Eulogy given March 9, 2008 by middle son, Robert.)

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