|Honored by:||Mary Halsey|
|Brick location:||PAVER:28 map|
My name is Margaret (Meg) Jane Halsey, first daughter of Margaret Genevieve Halsey, daughter of Ida Lauretta Bechtold, daughter of Mary Kalmbach. My mother loved her mother, my grandmother, very much. And she loved and was very close to her only brother, Rudy Bechtold, too. She was a very gentle and loving person. Besides loving her family, she loved four-leggeds (we always had cats as pets) and she loved the winged ones, too. My father made bird feeders that were always outside the kitchen window and Mom liked to talk about the birds. Like the birds, she liked to sing, too, being a member of Mothersingers for many years. She loved being in nature and in her later years when she moved to our lake home in Michigan she was always among the first in the season to go into the lake for a dip. She could float on her back like a sea otter and her legs didn't sink!
She had many interests and friends who loved her. She liked to read, sew, garden ... she took German lessons (her nationality) and several art classes: drawing, wood carving, watercolor; she was a member of the Garden Club and the Literary Club. She deeply valued and loved family and friends.
My mother was a beautiful woman and she always looked so pretty. When she dressed up she was elegant and classy. She had beautiful teeth and a radiant smile. Even in her last days in the critical care unit of the hospital, the young doctors complimented her on her beautiful smile. Even in the most agonizing pain, she kept smiling and her eyes sparkled with love and tenderness for us. Her spirit, bright and strong, embraced us during a long healthy life and through her last days of pain and dying. Only days before she passed on to the other side, we shared a very special Mother's Day together as a family, with flowers and cards we read to her. We combed her hair, washed her face and played music for her in those last days. And I thanked her so much for giving me life and for giving me some of her beauty. The song "Ava Maria" makes me think of her and softened and comforted me in my grief when she passed on. Her spirit stays with me always.
I am Mary Lauretta Halsey, second daughter of Margaret G. Halsey. My mother was a gentle person who loved life. She took pride in raising her children and being a wife to John (Jack) E. Halsey, graduate of ISU. She gave me lots of experiences such as sewing projects, decorating elaborate Easter eggs (an art taught to her by her mother), playing the piano and singing. She appreciated nature and animals. In her later years, she and my father retired to Torch Lake Michigan. Feeding the birds every morning and watching them throughout the day was great enjoyment for her. Taking drives to see white-tailed deer, sometimes a fox and going to Grass River Natural Area to see wildflowers insects and swans was great fun. The many trips I took traveling across the U.S. exploring the different areas and beauty of the land was especially enjoyable with her. She liked harmony in life and was a great mom.
Some thoughts about Mom ... by Anna Louise (Halsey) Hannan, third daughter, and Leah Hannan, her granddaughter. There is a gentle breeze blowing in the spring air today. A goldfinch's song punctuates the quiet. Other birds chime in with their songs. I hold a reverence to nature and I thank my mother for passing that gift along to me. My mother was indeed a gentle spirit. She loved nature and fed the birds through many seasons. Mom also loved Torch Lake, where she spent many summers in her youth and continued to take her family there as well for many summers. In retirement, she and Dad lived on the lake in a comfortable home. She was slow to get angry, forgiving always there when I needed her and a person who meant the world to me. After mom's death, Leah wrote about her grandma for an English assignment. She wrote "My grandmother was a very lovely person to be around and she had lots and lots of friends. Nature was one of her favorite things to be with." And here's my favorite part: "If the world were filled with people like her it would be pretty darn close to perfect. I really looked up to my grandma and someday I hope my grandchildren will love me the way I loved her." What a beautiful thought written by Leah when she was just 12 years old! As I stated in the beginning, Mom gave me the gift of loving nature. She also instilled in me a love of family. I think she found a deep sense of fulfillment in her role as mother and wife. I too have that sense of fulfillment through my family. In her quiet and gentle way, she taught me many secrets of happiness by the example of her life. Another aspect of her character that I greatly admired was a certain serenity about her. She was a peace lover. Mom loved swimming in the lake, working in the yard, the invigorating cold air of winter, sewing and other projects that required the use of her hands, baking, having family come home, the seasons, her family heritage, travels, cats and all the animal kingdom, just to name a few.
She loved her family. While sitting here writing this, her smile comes to mind. She had such a beautiful smile and her warm brown eyes twinkled along with her every smile. I know many smiles were generated in the love we shared. Even though she has been gone for 3 years now, there is a part of her that lives on in my heart.
"Margaret G. Halsey
Nature-loving, caring, & loved by us"