Genevieve Lucille Figel
(11/18/1925 - 9/3/2013)
Once upon a time (actually, it was February 23, 1952) Genevieve Lucille Lanigan married Robert Charles Figel, even though he was a Republican. Despite epic spoon-flinging election year 'discussions' and a profound aversion to hugging, the next six decades produced ten children, nine sons-and-daughters-in-law, twenty-nine grandchildren (plus assorted partners), and three great- grandchildren, and deeply affected the lives of many more.
Genevieve was born on November 18, 1925 in Symerton, Illinois. Growing up as one of James and Mary Lanigan's thirteen children meant Gen was always delighted to have company. All a stranger had to do was knock on the door and say, "Hi, I'm your cousin," and they'd be sitting at the table eating dinner while she evicted some child from the "guest" bedroom. As time went on, her children became the guests, followed by their children. Without fail, the end of every visit was marked by Bob and Gen walking their guests to the car, making one last joke (no hugs!), and waving until the car was out of sight.
What was her secret? A lot of patience and generosity, a lot of Baileys, and a bottomless capacity for love. On Monday, September 9, we will commemorate, honor, and give thanks for the lessons of Genevieve's 87 years. Rosary will be at 10:30AM followed by services at 11:00AM, at St. Anthony Parish, 2110 North San Antonio Avenue, Upland, CA 91784. (Funeral arrangements: Phill Hunt of Coastal Funeral Services, (714) 638-1112).
In lieu of flowers or contributions, please raise a glass of Baileys in her memory. No hugging.
Published in Inland Valley Daily Bulletin on Sept. 6, 2013