This past Saturday many said their final goodbye to one of the sweetest and funniest persons that I’ve ever known – Alma Joyce Jones. A lovely Rosary and memorial service was held with a delicious meal following at St. I Andrew’s. Memories were shared, games were played and the tables were bedecked with Christmas decor and guests were urged to take them for remembrances, since Christmas was Alma’s favorite holiday.
One memory, shared by Kathy Coronado, was how Alma would call you to donate a salad for the Friends of the Library annual salad luncheons. I was nodding in agreement as were many others in the room when Kathy shared Alma’s technique. “We are having the library salad luncheon … what salad will you bring – and could you double the recipe?” We were all “voluntold” to bring our salads and, to be honest, I could never NOT oblige. Even if I was going to be gone Alma would say “bring it to the library the day before, we will keep it in the fridge!”
Alma was one of those friends who could make you smile (and most times belly laugh) by just being in the same room with her. She was the perennial “cute” girl who reminded me of Darla of “Our Gang” fame – bright eyes, button nose and a smile that never waned.
And though she left our physical world on August 19, weeks earlier in July she came to my house with her bestie Diana Guthrie when she found out I had a garage sale. She was so looking forward to her new home and filling it with “new to her” items. About a month before that I saw Alma at the veterinarian’s office. Her Aunt Mary was having knee surgery and Alma was boarding Mary’s Chihuahua “Chuy” for the duration. Yes – here was a person who was fighting cancer, not feeling well at all and she was still a giving person – even when she very well needed assistance for herself.
During her service and at the fellowship, the St. Andrew Praise Band sang “What a Wonderful World” and Mark Olle added some other lyrics specific to Alma and tears welled up in
I see it, “I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do, They’re really saying I love you …. And I think to myself what a wonderful world”.
A wonderful world, indeed. I’m saddened to have lost such a vivacious friend. Alma, you set the bar on attitude for dealing with cancer and being a great friend. Rest well.
SUE BROWN is a columnist of the Pleasanton Express. Contact her at email@example.com.