May Jarrett Beaver Zink
April 22, 1912 - September 7, 2009
Aunt May was my great-aunt. My father’s aunt. My Grandma Sara’s sister-in-law… and her next-door neighbor for many years (if adjacent farms can be considered “next door” ). They married brothers, my Aunt May and my Grandma Sara. And they each buried their husband in the early 1970s as both fell victim to melanoma, the same cancer that would eventually claim my father. (PSA: Wear your sunscreen! Seriously!) They each remarried, and both eventually outlived their second husbands, too.
The photo above was taken at our wedding reception in October, 1993. Aunt May is pictured here with her second husband, Bob, and the Rev. James Grubb, who was one of the ministers who married us. (Rev. Grubb was a high school friend of both my parents, and was Curt’s minister when he was growing up in Williamsport, PA.)
Aunt May almost seemed more like a third grandma to me than a great-aunt. She graduated from Dickinson College in the early 1930s; her youngest son, Dave, followed her there in the mid-1970s. Dave and his wife Lyndy, also a Dickinsonian, opened their home to me in 1990, right after I’d graduated from their alma mater and took my first job in Washington, D.C. Aunt May thought it was super-cool that I went to Dickinson, too. She was always very supportive of me.
My cousin “Mame” and her friend were high school French students of May’s in the early 1970s. Recently, they visited her at her nursing home. “Bonjour, Madame Beaver, comment t’allez vous?” they said in greeting. May replied, very deliberately, “Comme Ci, Comme Ça.”
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace. Amen.
Réquiem ætérnam dona eis, Dómine,
et lux perpétua lúceat eis.
Requiéscant in pace. Amen.