Dear Proud to Be ’83,
It is my solemn duty to let you all know Lara lost her battle with brain cancer this morning. During the past four months she fought the tough fight determined to get all her affairs in order for her daughters and future legacy. She ensured nothing was overlooked. As the cancer returned, she acknowledged her fate with the dignity and grace with which she faced the world every day. Her postings on Facebook kept us updated on her battle and progress, as well as tenacity she displayed during her setbacks.
I want you to know that the Garden Patio to which many of you contributed to became the center piece of her days. She enjoyed it immensely during her final weeks of life. She sincerely appreciated your emails, cards, letters, and phone calls. She even received a call from outer space which touched her deeply. “Grip Hands” became her rally cry.
Here is Lara’s USMA Eulogy page
We have lost one of our class leaders and her passing has left a large void in the class.
Our heartfelt sympathy to Jim, MayJean, and Emily, as well as the extended Howard and York families.
A excerpt from Jim York’s message to Bonnie and Jill follows:
“Lara passed away peacefully at 4:13 this morning. I was blessed to be by her side and just before her last breath she opened her eyes and looked at me without fear or confusion. A truly sacred moment that I will treasure for the rest of my life…If you could handle the notifications to the many, many classmates who walked with Lara in this final journey I would be grateful. I am tentatively scheduling her memorial service for December 11 but I have to talk to the church (tomorrow) to make sure of the availability. I will post the details on FB when I have them.”
I will pass along additional information as it becomes available.
Jill Maurer has asked me send the following information out to the class regarding accommodations for Lara’s memorial service:
John O’Brien has coordinated room arrangements with his friend, Brenda Weskamp, the General Manager of the Scottsdale Resort (www.thescottsdaleresort.com). She had been keeping up with Lara’s condition and was very sorry to hear the latest news. Brenda indicated that they have vacancy at her property around the time of Lara’s service and would like to help anyone desiring accommodations. She can provide a $75 room rate plus tax (no other fees). Anyone wanting to make reservations will need to e-mail or call Brenda’s office to get that rate. E-mail is email@example.com and her number is 480-596-7511. Her assistant’s name is Janice at 480-596-7474 who can be contacted if you can’t reach Brenda.
Jim, MJ & Emily are inviting anyone from the Class of ’83 to their house on Friday night, December 10th, for an “Irish Wake.” This will be a relaxed to time to visit and remember Lara without the hubbub of the reception on Saturday. Some level of BYOB would be appreciated (especially if you don’t like Jim’s taste in beer, wine and snacks!). This is going to be really informal so you can come when you want (no earlier than about 4pm) and leave when you want (but no later than about 8pm). Mostly planning to just laugh a little, maybe cry a little, and hug some of the wonderful people who have traveled this road with Lara and her family.
York Address: 5415 E. Piping Rock Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254
You can contact Jill if you have any questions at (cell) 610-420-1445.
COL (Ret) Chipper Lewis’ Funeral
Chip was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on January 30th with a group of classmates as his “honor guard.” See attached photo.