Claudia Abbey

Ethel---Oh, such memories! I don't think that the importance of an Aunt is really
realized in one's life.  Eth was special to me!
As a little girl I reveled in ANY chance to be around Eth
         with her swashbuckling capes
                Springalater (sp?) shoes
                        yellow Cadillac or VW bus.
She was the FUN in my world!

The summer of 1958, at her invitation, I got to go to work for her at Stockton's, a
place of fame to me.  She took me to the Design Center and the Furniture Mart in
Seattle.  I was on Cloud 9 ( from the experience and the six packs of cigarettes she
smoked on the way down and back.)  Then, the following summer I got to go back.  I
was now 16 and could drive!  So, she in her wiley wisdom designated me as her
'delivery girl' and had me drive her to her design jobs.  One time her work required
going to Vanc, BC and of course, her intrepid self projected (time for adventure!)
thus, I drove. She took me out to dinner at the finest and to The Theater Under the
Stars.  When we got to a hotel, (her words still resound in me as I type in tears)
she said to the desk,  "This is my Assistant, Miss Sievert.  She will need her own
room."  I nearly fainted, not only because of her authority and generosity, but
'honor' afforded such a young lass.

But I was not the only recipient of Ethel's kind heart.  When her sister Essie had
cancer 1966-1970, it was Eth who took her to Mexico for Laetrile treatments and paid
for every alternative option in search of anything to save Essie's life.  It was she
who primarily provided for Gramma Groves.  No wonder Eth lived so long.  She helped
the widow and the infirm and God blessed her for that.  (Curious that Gramma died 2
months before her 95th birthday as did the last Matriarch, Ethel.)

Ethel always spoke her mind, but her heart, not so much.  I think she did that
through her poems and books.  Once she told me, "I have to write.  I have to get it
out."

I could write pages about her and our experiences.  What I remember most is her
laugh---that laugh that was only hers; by a fireplace with Bud, snapping beans with
my mom (Ellen) on our patio, or playing Scrabble with any taker to challenge the
'Champion.'

Dick and Mike - I join you in heartfelt sorrow.  I love you both as dear cousins
with whom I have such fond memories, many the result of your Mother's planning in
order to maintain what was so important to her....family,
connection.  No two people are alike, and there will never be another ETH. She was a
jewel, colorful, flamboyant joy!

I regret that I am unable attend the celebration of her life on Monday, but I have
always been and always will be, with her and all of you in Spirit.

Via Con Dios 

Love, Claudia (Sievert) Abbey