Friday, May 28, 2010

Good bye Maggie. You will be missed.

Baby Maggie
My Nana as a toddler. She was born in 1919 and grew up in Cleveland, Ohio.
See ya
As a teenager, she went to a boarding school in the suburbs called the Andrew's school, which encouraged girls to be independent. A trait she passed down to her children and grandchildren.
WAC office
During WW2 she joined the WAC, eventually becoming a First Lieutenant in the Air Force. After the war, she volunteered to go to Europe and help with the reconstruction.
On a trip to Switzerland during that time, she met Sam, her future husband. They learned to ski on that trip, another skill they passed down.
Sam & Maggie
Sam was just getting into cameras, and took a lot of pictures of their adventures together.
Maggie & Sam's wedding
They married in 1948.
Baby Ellis
And their first child, my father, was born in Frankfurt, Germany before they moved back to the states, where Sam went to school and got a business degree.
Bonneville Dam
They had three more children, and moved to Seattle. (Not in that order).
As the kids got older, Nana looked around for something to do and became involved with the Ryther Foundation and helped to start the R Shoppe, a Ballard thrift store to benefit the organization.
The Hillinger clan in the early 70's
In 1969, the first grandchild was born.
And the family quickly grew with weddings and more grandchildren.
There was lots more skiing.
The grandkids
Nana was a wonderful grandmother. She was always encouraging, accepting and actively interested in our lives. She was the emergency contact for my parents when I was in school, and many a time she would pick me up when I was sick and take care of me until my parents finished work.
Innusbruk, Austria
After Sam retired, they started taking trips to see more of the world.
Giant's Causeway
I never really looked at the photos until last year, but I kind of wish I'd been old enough to go along.
In Thailand
It looks like they had fun.
Be prepared
We still did plenty of things as a family though.
Ellis, Ruth & Nana
Sam died in 2000. She didn't let that slow her down much though, and she continued traveling with her kids.
Mount St Helens
She was even on her way home shortly after September 11 happened, and caused quite a stir in the long line at the airport when an airport official offered her a chair.
I will miss her so much. I'm glad she got to meet Moira (and Moira's brand new second cousin) before she died. I know the last few years had been hard for her with a steady loss of independence, but I will admit here to a small amount of having really enjoyed being able to take care of her for a while.


  1. What a beautiful montage :-)

  2. This is such a moving post. It looks like your Nana had a beautiful life.

  3. What a sweet tribute by her family. Extremely touching. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I'm sending all best thoughts for you and your family. Lovely photos! I hope you can still hold her close in memory.