My beloved grandmother, B.Loretto Dower was born on February 20, 1885. And this Thursday, which is February 20th, I will be thinking about her as I travel, with Vigil, to Norwich, VT to do a presentation for Bayada’s Hospice staff and volunteers. Yes, indeedy! On what would have been my grandmother’s 135th birthday, I will be sharing my passion with a fabulous group of individuals who provide skilled, compassionate care for those who are dying.
Did I mention that my grandmother, living in Burlington, VT, became one of the first licensed funeral directors in the US back in the 1920’s? My grandfather, James P. Dower, had his own funeral home and ambulance service in Burlington. When he died in 1928 of a short illness at the age of 48, leaving my grandmother and four children, she stepped up and, initially with one of my grandfather’s brothers as her “front man,” ran the James P. Dower Funeral Home. Over the course of her 40 years providing this service to the Burlington community, her son Maurice joined her. This was not a business that was fashionable for a woman to run; however, she had the skills and determination to succeed. Here’s to you, Nanny!