Compiled and written by Kimberli Faulkner Hull
Daughter of Evelyn Lee Phillis Faulkner
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© Kimberli Faulkner Hull
A profile for my mother, Evelyn Lee Phillis Faulkner will be written at a later date. The eulogy I delivered is below.
Evelyn Lee Phillis Faulkner eulogy
delivered by Kim Faulkner Hull
Thank you all for coming to honor and remember my mother, Evelyn Faulkner. Proverbs 10:7 reads, “The memory of a good person is a blessing” and we have all been so blessed by knowing and loving Mother. Her generosity and kindness were only matched by the joy and fun-loving spirit she brought to life.
She inspired us, she amused us, and most of all, she loved us. Through her life we have been blessed in countless ways and will continue to be blessed with the memories of this unique, funny, and very loving woman.
Mother liked to have fun. Okay, perhaps an understatement. She was the life of the party. She loved to dance; she loved to laugh; she loved to play. Bob & Karen tell of times when Mother chaperoned their parties and trips in high school. On one occasion, Mother drove their principal on a school trip and surpassed 90 or so miles per hour while racing someone on the trip. Let’s just say, Mother may have continued to be a chaperone, but her chauffeur career ended after that trip.
As Pat recently said of Mother, “She just wanted to be sure everyone was having a good time.” While Mother seemed to wake up each day in search of fun, there was no place where she loved to play more than Las Vegas. And play she did. Mother loved her lion slot machines at the MGM. She would pet them; she would talk to them; she would command them to line up. Then, when her “magic touch” kicked in and the bells would go off and the clanking began of the coins falling, she would grin ear to ear and say, “I just love that sound.”
While it was a bit of a challenge to get her away from the machines, on occasion she would relent and join us at one of her favorite restaurants, The Brown Derby, for a bite to eat and a drink, or two.The Brown Derby – site of many memorable moments. On one trip, when Mother was not eating well, Pres played the airplane game with her, right in the middle of The Brown Derby dining room. So, here’s Pres, with filet mignon on a fork, saying, “Open the hangar, here comes the airplane.” And, of course, she did for Pres.
On a different trip, Greg, Ryan, Dad, Mom & I were there celebrating Mom & Dad’s 55th anniversary. Mother had had one of her “magic touch days” and her purse was overflowing with $100 bills. While was sat listening to music, Mother decided that $100 bills would make good coasters, so she proceeded to go around the table and upgrade our coasters. She just smiled, shrugged her shoulders, and said, “Easy come, easy go.”
But, not that money was always just played away. Mother was one of the most generous people I’ve known. She took such delight in giving people things, knowing she’d made them happy or helped them out in some way. Her generosity was not just with gifts – Mother never met a stranger. If she saw someone sitting alone, it wouldn’t be long before they were sitting at Mom & Dad’s table, chatting away.
She was generous, kind, giving, and so very loving.You knew you were loved by Mother. She hugged you. She kissed you. She told you she loved you. What a blessing to be loved by someone so much. In the last month, Mother had great difficulty in speaking, but each time I would tell her, “Mom, I love you,” she’d smile and say, “I love you too” and sometimes reach up for a kiss.
Which leads to the great love between Mom & Dad – over 62 years of devotion, care and love, through thick and thin. They traveled, they played; they truly enjoyed each other. They shared a lifetime of fun, experiences and love that can only be described as a blessing. And in the last years, how many days, how many hours, how many scoops of ice cream, did Dad spend with Mother, selflessly caring for her day in, day out?
Dad recently gave me an article from Reader’s Digest I’d like to share: Can love really last a lifetime? Absolutely, but only if you chuck the fairy tale of living happily ever after. A team of scientists recently found that romantic love involves chemical changes in the brain that last 12 to 18 months. After that, you are on your own. Relationships require maintenance. Pay a visit to a nursing home if you want to see proof of lasting love. Recently I spoke to a man whose wife of 60 years was suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s disease. He came to sit with her every day and hold her hand. “She’s been my best friend since high school,” he told me. “We made a promise to stick together.”
Now, that’s a love story. Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease. Dad & I spent a great deal of time with people with Alzheimer’s this past year. What you learn is that it affects people in many different ways. But, for us, Mother’s strength, determination, and quite frankly, stubbornness, were a blessing, as it left her with some things that many others lose. She just wouldn’t let go.
Mother knew us to the end. Her personality, albeit caught in glimpses, was ever present. In January, Mother was in the hospital, and after dinner, Greg, Dad & I were sitting and talking to her. Mother was sitting in a chair and for 15 -20 minutes, she simply entertained us. She laughed. She talked. She clowned around. At one point she told us we were idiots and just laughed. She was still Mother.
As some of you know, Greg & I like to climb mountains. In high altitude climbing, you use a technique referred to as “climbing high and sleeping low” to acclimatize. Basically, if you climbed straight to the top of a very high mountain, you would not be able to survive. So, for days, you climb up the mountain part way and then go back down to the valley; each day climbing up and going back down, conditioning yourself, preparing for the ascent.
One of my favorite verses from a song is “that you must go through the valleys to stand upon the mountain of God.” In the last few years, Mother endured very much and there were many times of valleys. But, I like to think she was just getting conditioned; climbing high and sleeping low, if you will, preparing for her ascent. And now, my prayer is that she is standing upon the mountain of God, with a healed body, radiating in happiness, holding the hand of Jesus and filled with peace.
Citing this page: Kimberli Faulkner Hull, author, “Evelyn Lee Phillis Faulkner,” Cool Adventures (https://cooladventures.com/genealogy/evelyn-lee-phillis-faulkner-1923-2006/: posted 2021).