Published on February 15, 2016

Grandma Dorothy

Grandma Dorthy Shamburg

Dorthy Shamburg

I have been very fortunate to have had many of my Grandparents in my life. As close as my Grandma and Grandpa’s generation, to as far back as my Great Great Grandma. Each impacting my life differently, in their own special way. 

My maternal Grandma, Dorothy Shamburg, is at the top of the list of special Grandma’s. I had the privilege of growing up with her in the same town. She was part of our family activities. Trips to the zoo, summer time canning marathons, school events, birthday’s and holidays. She was at every event. She was the person who watched us when our parents were gone. She was the person who picked us up from school and had to tell us our Grandma Schlickbernd passed away, and comforted us as we cried. The person who we could tell anything too, and knew our secrets. She loved us even when she didn’t agree with all of our choices. We spent the night with her religiously and attended church together as a family. She tolerated our attitudes during the junior high and high school years. She was an essential in our lives. 

Grandma was born and raised in a rural Rosalie, NE. The oldest of 11, she loved each of her siblings dearly. Dorothy, Jim, Iva, Verna, Ralph, Max, Rex, Jackie, Jean, Elva, and Jary made up the Morgan crew. A close group that was born across a span of twenty years. Grandma, her brother Jim, and Sister’s Iva and Verna were the closest in age.  Stories told were of life on the farm, activities they liked to do together, the hard work put into the large family and farm life, and the loyalty they had towards each other. 

As I grew up, my mom’s two siblings and their families lived in California. Family interactions were through phone calls. My Uncle and his wife would come for a visit every couple of years. Our family reunions and functions were with Grandma’s siblings, their kids and grandkids. The cousin’s I knew best were my second cousins who also lived in Northeast Nebraska.  

My husband and I are both quiet when first meeting new people.  We’re not as outgoing as when we know someone well. When it came time to meeting each other’s families, it was no different. Grandma, an avid sports watcher, took to Ryan and they connected very quickly. Because of Ryan, Grandma not only started watching the Hawkeye’s play, but also owned Hawkeye apparel (though she may not have worn it out of the house). It wasn’t long until Ryan started calling her Grandma, and thought of her as his own.  

Last November, Grandma came down with Pneumonia. She was hospitalized, and we didn’t know if she was going to make it. But she improved enough to move into the Golden Living Center in Tekamah, NE. We were able to gather with her for Christmas again this year in early January. She looked good, was up eating with us, and a bit sassy.  Mom said it was one of her good days. After that day, she seemed to decline a little more each time I called home. I think she was just wanting one more Christmas with us.  She would later be hospitalized again with Pneumonia. On February 4th, at the age of 92, God called her home.  

We gathered for her Memorial Service this week, which was a wonderful celebration of her full life. As I looked around at the family and friends who came to remember her, I couldn’t help but think how she was probably loving this family reunion. It was a special day to reconnect with her siblings, their children and grandchildren, along with a host of others. 

She will be missed very much. But she wouldn’t want us to be sad. She’s in a better place where she is young and healthy, reunited with her husband, Jack, her parents Jack & Eva, daughter Joyce, and brothers Jim and Rex. I imagine they threw her a great homecoming party. A family member, Anna Anderson, came to me after the service and said, “Mindy you had a very special relationship with your grandma.” I really did. I’m a better person because of her.

About the Author

Mindy WendtMindy Wendt is a mom of twin girls who were born in April 2016! She and her husband Ryan also have two daughters, Taylor (15) and Tessa (4).

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