Sunday, March 15, 2015

Memorial Tributes – Mabel McAboy Fitzgerald

I’ve had this box of things tucked away in a drawer and I decided to finally get it out and look through it.  I guess it’s official that my paternal grandparents weren’t the only packrats in the family – they shared that gene with my maternal grandmother, as well.  Although I will say that I can completely understand hanging on to the things you received when your mother died – how could you throw something like that away?  Inside the box was this book.

Memorial Tributes

And when I opened it up, I saw it was memorializing the death of my great grandmother, Mabel Viola McAboy Fitzgerald.  For the most part, the book was blank except for telling me that the services were held at the John N. Lisle Chapel in Fresno on November 15, 1966 at 2:30 p.m. with the Rev. Chester Snyder officiating.  But this page had some interesting information on it.

Clarence & Lorraine Follett (Mabel’s granddaughter and her husband)
Clara Hunter (Mabel’s daughter and my grandmother)
Warren Crawford (husband of Mabel’s daughter, Viola)
Stanley Fitzgerald (Mabel’s son)
E.F. Fitzgerald (Mabel’s husband and my great grandfather)
Viola Crawford (Mabel’s daughter)
Mr. & Mrs. Ferd. Fries (unknown but a pallbearer)
Mrs. Weisbrodt (unknown)
Winifred Hoey (daughter of Clara McAboy Hoey and Mabel’s niece)

And the funeral card.

Funeral Card Front

Funeral Card Inside

I don’t remember anything about this funeral and have no idea if I was even there but my dad was a pallbearer.

And more stuff!

I went through each card – some were cards which were attached to floral arrangements and some were ‘announcing’ the presence of someone at the service.  Here’s a few interesting ones.

Card Sig Levy

Looks like my paternal grandparents were there.  And that’s Sig’s handwriting.

And so many people sent flowers and someone wrote the type of arrangement on the back of the cards.

Flower Card Henry Langworthy

Henry was the son of Mabel’s sister, Lilly Gay McAboy, and William Ralph Langworthy.  Henry sent pink and white carnations.

Flower card John Fitzgerald

John Fitzgerald was the brother of Edward Fitzgerald (my great grandfather) – Jack and Elfie were his son and daughter-in-law.  They sent lavender chrysanthemum and pink carnations with a pink bow.

Flower card Sig Levy

And my paternal grandparents sent flowers and this is Loraine’s handwriting – I’d know it ANYWHERE!  They sent a bronze mum plant and someone added on the back Please Give Water.  Hope someone did that!

Flower card Gordon Levy

Even my parents sent flowers!  They sent a wreath of lavender mums, pom poms and pink roses.

This one just breaks my heart.

Flower card Ed Fitzgerald

Oh geez, he sent flowers?  The spray sounds beautiful and had a satin ribbon saying “Loving Wife”.  I do remember after she died Great Grandpa was overcome with grief and cried for months.  As I remember, the two of them were having some sort of disagreement so Mabel decided to spend the night at my grandmother’s house where she died in her sleep, just 6 days before their 65th wedding anniversary.  And being a sensitive 12 year old, I also remember just a month later picking out cloth handkerchiefs as my gift to him for Christmas.

Mabel is buried in I.O.O.F. Cemetery in Fresno.

Mabel grave

I don’t know why this is spelled Mable – everything I’ve seen is spelled Mabel including the record of her birth.  A mistake?  Did no one care or did no one take the time to make it right?

Mabel McAboy c 1965
Mabel Viola McAboy Fitzgerald
6 Jun 1883 – 12 Nov 1966


  1. Chase Flower Shop is still in business, as is,of course, Lisle Funeral Home, almost 60 years later.

  2. I love those old memorial books. But what a sad story about the ending of Mable's life with an unreconciled situation with her husband. How heartbreaking for him.

  3. I have boxes of flower cards too. I love that in years past the florist described the arrangement on the back of the card or envelope. Do they still do that?

    I reckon your great-grandfather did a lot of crying, considering they were arguing and she was not at home. That would make a loved one's death even more difficult to deal with.

  4. Debi, isn't it amazing the treasures we have, right in our own houses? I have the same collection of items for my parents & my maternal grandmother. I have put them aside, thinking they are too painful to open but maybe it is time.