The Eulogy of Eileen Wineberg - Eulogy for a Mother - Eulogy by a son
Good morning. I am Kevin Wineberg [If you have not been introduced] and on behalf of my brothers and sister Ken, Mike, John and Patty I thank you all for coming today celebrate mom’s life. The outpouring of love we have received since her passing has been amazing and is a testament to how much she was loved not only by her family but by all of you. I am happy to honor our mom by sharing these thoughts today. Kevin – would you want to thank anyone especially . . . Perhaps the person leading the service? Just a thought . . . Mom was born 83 years ago in Evanston, Illinois, growing up on the north shore of Chicago with her siblings, Robert and Ekeise. Mom was a unique and active individual from her earliest days. In high school she loved to swim, and we recently found a medal from her days at camp where she swam ten miles in open water. And she always loved riding. As a young woman she vacationed at a “dude ranch” in Estes Park, Colorado, with her family. I wonder if she knew then that she would one day take her children to the same “dude ranch” to make sure we all knew how to ride? Mom graduated from Barat College of the Sacred Heart in Lake Forest, Illinois, with a B.A. in Home Economics. And she soon put that degree to work at the Jewel Tea Company out of Barrington, Illinois, where she worked in their test kitchen. There she created recipes that could be used on the boxes of Jewel products, but not only that, mom became “Mary Dunbar!” You know that many companies have a fictional woman on their products – a chef or a homemaker, say – as their “front man.” Betty Crocker is, of course, the most famous of the “cookbook ladies.” Well Mary Dunbar was the front woman for the Jewel Tea Company. And mom was Mary Dunbar! In 1972, when she was thirty-six, mom moved with us five young children to Hillsborough where she began a new life. Working with children was always a great love, and gift, of hers, and so she became a teacher in the San Mateo Union High School District. In addition she served as a Cub Scouts Den Mother, CCD Teacher, President of the PTA, President of the Peninsula branch of the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital fundraising group with the Burlingame Garden Café and gift cart. She loved Symphony and the Ballet, and visiting the De Young and Legion of Honor museums in the city. Throughout her life mom loved the physical world: swimming, skiing, tennis, going to the beach, being out in nature, travel - and a nice glass of chilled white wine. And of course there was always her unbridled love for horses, for riding! I can see her in the morning, getting Patty and John off to school, and changing into her Levis and a denim shirt. Then, popping the top of her beloved Alfa Romeo Spider so she could put her saddle in, she’d be off to Woodside to ride her beloved horse Whirlabout. She adored animals and we always had one or two dogs, several cats and a menagerie of animals including lop-eared rabbits, ducks, and at one time a rooster that was not appreciated by the neighbors! Mom did not miss out in life; she lived it to the fullest. Mom loved her family, and she was always interested in each our lives. She guided us, but respected us and raised us to be individuals. Just look at her five children – all different, and without a doubt individuals! Mom nurtured us individually, based on our temperaments and our talents. And that unconditional love extended of course to her eight grandchildren, Nick, Chris, Troy, Dillon Shelby, Tommy, Patrick and William. She was very close to them, happy to help whenever she could, ready to provide her wonderful home baked cookies! Mom had a big heart, and family was her first priority, providing a beautiful home filled with love and caring. But her home was open to all, and there was room in her heart for everyone. Growing up in our home meant we knew all were welcomed, and our friends and partners were part of the family. Mom didn’t judge anyone. There was always room for one more at the dinner table and lively discussions were sure to ensue. Our home was a constant buzz of activity. Mom’s love for life, her enthusiasm permeated our entire lives. Mom spoke her mind, though. She was supportive, but not afraid to tell us the unvarnished truth. When needed, she could be very direct. She recognized our gifts but also our weaknesses, and nurtured the good in all of us. In later life mom renewed her teaching certificate and taught for the San Mateo High School district at Peninsula High School, a school for students who had been removed from their local high schools but who wanted to graduate. It’s no surprise that mom loved working in the nursery, caring for the infants of students who needed day care to get their diploma. Mom understood that no matter their situation these students wanted to create a better life for themselves and their children. [Kevin: the following paragraph is from the obituary at the Funeral Home website. It is very nicely done, and perhaps you would want to read it, giving credit to whomever wrote it. I incorporated other phrases from it elsewhere in this Eulogy.] “Mary was a devoted Mother and family was the most important thing in her life. Her home was always filled with the amazing aroma of whatever was to be served at the moment. Her special recipes have been handed down through the generations. She loved conversation with anyone that happened to be nearby, and her home was always the social center of the neighborhood. Mary was a safe place for all that wished to be present in her company. She showed all of us how people should be respected and treated no matter who they were or where they came from. Please and thank you were more than an expectation, but a way of life. Our mom was a determined, steadfast woman. She cherished her independence and ability to adapt through the challenges of her life. Nothing got her down for long; she always positive and faced adversity gracefully. Life’s struggles were only hurdles to be overcome. She fought her way through all adversity, especially the many health issues she had to fact, but she never gave up hope. She persevered in the hardest of times, hopeful that things would be better.” Mom lived a purposeful life, and participated in that life passionately. She loved deeply. She was an amazing Mother and I was proud to be her son. She will be missed by all whose lives she touched. Kevin – is this a place to invite people to a reception following, or other related event?
Eulogy for a mother... Eulogy by a son
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