Living brilliantly for 99 1/2 years

Evelyn Vernon was a neighbor and inspiring friend full of a zest for life and saturated with wisdom. She passed away last month at age 99 1/2. You may have heard about her on the news. She absolutely insisted on living on her own with family members checking on her regularly. Her daughter and grandson became very concerned when she didn’t answer her phone and were horrified to find that she had slipped in her especially crafted bathtub and had somehow gotten wedged in, unable to escape.

The good news is that there were no broken bones and she was finally extracted with only cuts and abrasions. The bad news is that she had been there for 22 hours. A graduate of Columbia University, she had a brilliant mind and endured her hours of distress by remembering beloved poetry, quotes and scriptures and reliving her travels around the world.

Her efforts for recovery were nothing less that heroic! She was determined to be at her 100th birthday celebration June 1st on a family cruise. But alas that frail little frame succumbed after a valiant fight for life for several weeks. Her last message to the women of our neighborhood women’s organization who loved her and cared for her was “I’m trying hard to do better.”

Evelyn’s pizzazz was never ending! She really knew how to have fun! Just one little story in point: When she was about 85 and on a cruise, she showed up at the midnight festivities in a rather lumpy-looking outfit. After enjoying the luscious food and desserts she ripped off her “outer clothing” and revealed a leopard suit complete with a tail and danced the night away. The details of her life of love and service along with her sparkling personality would make a great book!

I took some pictures of the pictures displayed at the funeral. Though the quality is not good they will give you a feel for the life of this exceptional woman. The first is Evelyn to the left of her mother. Her flair comes through in the next two pictures and the last shows that she was lucky enough to see four generations of terrific people who are grateful for her good genes.

Everyone who knew Evelyn was inspired by her creativity and love for life. Ah that we could all be wild about going on a cruise at age 99 1/2!

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