VALPARAISO, IN - Our Mom, Claudia Wright, had a heart of gold, though she sometimes made you work a little to figure it out. It didn't take the same effort to realize her deepest joy - her four boys, who she raised by herself, and the grandchildren who followed in their first steps.
Each time she visited her older grandchildren in Peru, IN, her excitement surged at the same point of the trip - just past the "big hill" to their home. When her grandson, Eric, battled a brain tumor, she drove to Indianapolis every weekend with her dog, Schotzie, to see him, and to be alongside her son. On her 79th birthday, February 1st of this year, she lovingly cradled her great grandson for hours.
Becoming a grandmother of 12 and a great-grandmother of six only intensified her original maternal love. For more than 30 years, her love and joy never faded.
Stubborn is the best word to describe her personality. She did things her way, even if it meant gentle appeasement with a little white lie. At the hospital, nurses wrongly thought she was 80. Her family told staff that she lied to get her driver's license early so she could get into bars as a young woman. Because she didn't want her sons to drink too early in life, she lied about her age to get a job earlier than expected.
Our Mom never wanted anyone to worry, especially her children. When she finally agreed to visit an emergency room - after no longer being able to fight COVID-19 on her own, or hide it from her family - she warned one of her sons about the deadly virus. "Wash your hands and don't touch your face," she told him while gasping to catch her breath.
She was a strong woman, working hard just to get by during a challenging era for a divorced woman with four kids in the 1980's. She once lost a job although she performed it dutifully, simply because her bosses wanted a man, not a woman. Yet she persisted. It made her stronger. Those who knew her well would hold their breath when someone crossed her, fearing what wrath she would unleash.
She eventually found her professional calling at BRIDGES, followed by a career at TradeWinds Services for the last 30 years, where she proudly worked as a case manager. She loved her TradeWinds family, both her colleagues and consumers. Our family thanks nurse Joanie for watching over her for us.
Her oldest son is Donn (Susan) Taylor, followed by Robert (Lynn) Taylor, Sean (David Gilbert) Taylor, and Kevin Taylor. Her beloved daughter-in-law, Mary Cahillane, never stopped being her guardian angel. Our Mom often said when she arrives in heaven the only angels she wants to reunite with are her parents, Lloyd and Lorraine Hipp, and her grandson, Eric, who we lost when he was only 11. "I have to make up for lost time," she would say.
Our mom had so many crazy sayings (which she adamantly denied ever saying), such as "Money doesn't grow on trees" and "Do you want me to stand on my head and spit golden nickels?" and "Your ass sucks buttermilk through a straw." Just as we'll never figure out that last one, we will never figure out why we lost her too soon."Life isn't fair" she often told us. Regrettably, she was right. Our Mom passed away April 17, 2020.
Instead of adorning her death with flowers, we ask you to adorn her memory with a donation to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (stjude.org) in honor of Eric Taylor, her cherished grandson. She also requested, for the sake of mankind, to make sure that the "idiot" is not re-elected as U.S. president. For those who knew her, you could probably hear her voice saying this.
We will have a celebration of her life, despite her probable disapproval. We will announce a date when it is safe, which she will approve of.
BARTHOLOMEW FUNERAL HOME in charge of arrangements. www.bartholomewnewhard.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Claudia Wright, please visit our floral store.