Poinsettias on the Graves

When Wife Lila came to Cape recently, she tried to convince me to replace the refrigerator when I remodel my kitchen. She’s a big fan of bottom freezers, and I prefer mine to be at eye level. (Her eyes aren’t that far off the ground, so that’s why she likes the bottom freezer.)

When we went to Lowes to look at ice boxes (using that phrase is a good sign that I’m old), we passed an aisle loaded down with Christmas flowers and cacti. The poinsettias were two for three bucks, so we picked up a couple of them and some cacti for friends and relatives.

Mother had always asked, “Who will decorate the graves after I’m gone?” That sent me back to Lowes to pick up some more flowers.

Sunset more colorful than flowers

After dropping off a pot at my Mother and Dad’s stone, I stopped by Lila’s mother, Lucille Perry. The flowers were colorful, but they couldn’t compare with the sunset in the distance. I wish the camera had captured all the colors my eyes saw.

Roy and Elsie in Advance

Mother’s dad and mother had health problems and lived with us from my early grade school days until after I had left for Ohio University. My life was much enriched by getting to know them.

Here’s a little more about Elsie Welch, as described by her friends.

My great-grandparents

Mother’s grandparents, W.M. Adkins and Mary Adkins died long before I was born, but I still have no trouble spotting their grave in the beautiful Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Tillman, near Advance.

A lot of my grandmother’s friends and relatives are scattered in that cemetery.

I wondered if they got stolen

After I had placed the flowers, I wondered if anyone would spot them and carry them off since they were so portable.

As soon as the thought crossed my mind, I said to myself, “I don’t care if someone does. I fulfilled my obligation to Mother, and if her flowers brighten another grave, that’s a good thing.”



Mother’s Day Season

Family tombstones 05-08-2021

Mother long graduated from having a Birth Day to having a Birthday Season that grew from weeks to months. I guess it was only appropriate that I started celebrating extended family Mother’s Days more than a week ago.

When Mother died in 2015, I pulled together a collection of the posts I had done on Mary Welch Steinhoff over the years. She was a hoot and a half.

Plenty of flowers at home

Kingsway roses 05-06-2021

I never liked plastic flowers, but all of Mother’s plants were popping off in a fireworks of color, so there was no need to buy any dead dinosaurs.

A stop in Advance

Family tombstones 05-08-2021

Last week I went down to Advance to put flowers on my Mother’s parents’ gravestone. Looks like the ants at the base of the memorial are churning up the dirt.

Here’s a post I did about my Grandmother, Elsie Adkins Welch, and her life.

I just looked at the dates. My grandmother died in 1973 when she was 80 years old. Dad died only four years later, at age 60. I was always afraid that I had inherited the genes of Dad and his brothers, but maybe Gran has kept me rolling some extra years.

A stop at Tillman Cemetery

W.M and Mary O Adkins tombstone 05-10-2019

Just down the road from Advance is a curvy road that climbs out of the flats into some rolling hills and leads to what we always called Tillman Cemetery.

Pleasant Hill Cemetery, which it is more properly called, is the final home for Mother’s great grandparents and a host of other relatives and friends whose names I grew up hearing.

I’ve written about Tillman Cemetery and some of the Adkins relatives before.

Lucille Hoffman Perry

Family tombstones 05-08-2021

I couldn’t neglect Wife Lila’s side of the family. This is her mother, at rest in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Cape.

Mother was always asking, “Who will put flowers on the graves after I’m gone?” I was around to do it one more time.


Wyatt Perry 1993 – 2020

Wyatt Perry at going-away party before heading off to the Marines 07-14-2012

The van was packed, and we were ready to head back south to Florida after spending the Christmas holidays with our families in Cape Girardeau. Wife Lila got the word that Sis-in-Law Dee Perry was getting ready to add to the John Perry family.

She said “Florida can wait.”

Only after William “Wyatt” Perry arrived on December 29, 1993, could the wheels start turning.

The visit every parent fears

John said that when he looked out the door and saw the coroner standing there that it was going to be bad news. Wyatt had been killed in the pre-dawn hours in a car crash. He was 26.

Wyatt’s obituary

Perry family members who have served in the armed forces

William Wyatt Perry of Cape Girardeau died Monday, March 16. He was 26. Wyatt was born in Cape Girardeau on December 29, 1993. He was raised in Jackson and graduated from Jackson High School. He proudly served in the United States Marine Corps where he received an honorable discharge.

Wyatt chilling in Florida June 11, 2009

Wyatt was the baby of the family and with that came the privilege of having many nicknames. He was lovingly known as Wyatt Earp, Gah-wy, Prince Harry and Bjorn Ironsides. Though a man of many names, be was also a man of few words. He was kind, compassionate and had an amazing smile and laugh.

Wyatt with his Dad, John, 6/24/2009

He was serious and silly, and kids adored him. He was always the “cool” uncle. His joy in life was spending time with his family and riding his Harley. His leading lady was his Australian Shepherd Hot Mess Bess.

Perry family 9/5/2001

Wyatt is lovingly survived by his parents John and Dee Perry, Grandmother Fern (Maw) Douglas, brothers Drew and John David Perry and his sister Laurie (Rocky) Everett, all of Cape Girardeau. He also leaves behind his nieces and nephews Madison and Gavin Perry, Fletcher Everett, Ashlynn Perry as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins. He wi1l be greatly missed by all.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents D.L.(Paw) Douglas Jr., William G. Perry and Lucille Perry.

Memorial visitation will be held Saturday, March 21 at 11 :00 AM until service time at McCombs Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Jackson.

Memorial service will follow at the funeral home at 1:00 pm.

In memory of Wyatt and in lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to VFW Post 3838. 1049 N. Kingshighway Street, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701.

Remembering Wyatt

We were usually 1,100 miles away from Cape, but we still managed to snap a lot of photos of young Wyatt. Click on any photo in the gallery to make it larger, then use the arrows on the left and right side to move to other photos.

Rose Mary Seyer 1925 – 2015

Ray and Rose Mary SeyerWife Lila posted a sad note to Facebook on October 31: Early this afternoon, a lovely, sweet woman, my Aunt Rose Mary, slipped the bonds of earth into eternal rest.

She and I were close, and I never missed an opportunity to see her and my uncle whenever I was in town. She was kind, gentle and soft spoken. She always had a cup of green tea for me when I visited. We talked about family, of course, but we also talked about quilting and canning… two things she and I both did, until she couldn’t in the last few years.

Funny thing… when I was a child, my mother, Rose Mary’s older sister, would call me ‘Rose Mary’ about half the time, when she was sorting out children’s names as mothers tend to do. I didn’t mind. I will miss her terribly. Going back home won’t ever be the same. .

This photo of Rose Mary and Ray Seyer was taken in 2010 when I recorded Ray talking about growing up in Swampeast Missouri, his World War II navy experiences, ghosts and his feeling that Rush Limbaugh, even as a teenager, was a “horse’s patootie.”

Rose Mary’s obituary

Ray SeyerRose Mary Seyer, 89, of Cape Girardeau died Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, at Ratliff Care Center.She was born Dec. 9, 1925, in Cape Girardeau to John Jacob and Christine Rosolia Diebold Hoffman.

She and Raymond C. Seyer were married Feb. 26, 1946, at St. Mary Church in Cape Girardeau. Rose Mary was a graduate of St. Mary High School. She was a member of St. Mary Cathedral and St. Mary Ladies Sodality.

Survivors include her husband, Raymond C. Seyer of Cape Girardeau; children, Michael (Brenda) Seyer and Dan (Mary) Seyer of Cape Girardeau, Diane (Ray) Staebel of Liberty Hill, Texas, Janette (Stephen) Bennett of Alexandria, Kentucky, Joyce (Dave) Bruenderman of Cape Girardeau, Linda (Bob) Garner of Jackson, Ralph (Debbie) Seyer of Kirkland, Washington, and Steve Seyer of St. Clair, Missouri; 27 grandchildren; and 42 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; infant son, Timothy G. Seyer; brothers, Adrian, Jerome, Norman and Charles Hoffman; sisters, Thelma Hoffman and Lucille Perry; and grandchild, Wendy Seyer.

Saying goodbye

Rosemary Seyer funeralSt. Mary Cathedral was full of friends and family for Rose Mary’s funeral mass  on November 3. The funeral procession on the way to St. Mary Cemetery stretched for blocks.

“Family treasure”

Rosemary Seyer funeralLila posted to Facebook, “Spent the evening with people who mean the world to me…. my Seyer cousins. My life with them began when I moved to Missouri in 1957. We all are in town together because of the passing of their mother, my aunt Rose Mary. They give a whole new meaning to the term ‘family treasure’. I love these people.

Photo gallery of Rose Mary’s family

You can tell from the photos on the family refrigerator in the first photo that family was important to Ray and Rose Mary. Here’s a photo gallery of the family gathering Thursday night at Linda and Bob Garner’s home. Good times were remembered and thank-you notes were written. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery.