Most of you won't have heard of Becky, but she was important in my life. A teacher, former beauty queen and divorced mom of two, Becky lived down the street from our family home in the small town where I grew up. I babysat Becky's young daughters Kim and Tina and helped paint their house. When a neighbourhood troublemaker suddenly appeared in a window near where I was standing on a ladder, he startled me, causing me to fall and hurt my arm. Becky drove me to the hospital. She provided many weekend pizzas and listened sympathetically to teenage confidences.
The secretary of the local YMCA, Becky helped me get a summer job working in the office. She was a lifeguard and expert swimmer, who taught me to overcome my fear of back dives off the high board. Years later during a summer visit, she taught my daughter to swim. Her kind-hearted father was the local printer and for my high school graduation gift, Becky presented me with a box of beautifully-engraved personalised stationery.
Becky had enormous patience and tremendous genorosity of spirit. She raised two wonderful daughters, with very little help. Through numerous personal difficulties, she maintained a sense of humour, earning the admiration, friendship and respect of many. Becky's death was unexpected, too soon. She will be remembered - and sorely missed.