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Celebrating Grandparents Day

by Linnea Crowther

On the first Sunday after Labor Day, we celebrate grandparents with National Grandparents Day. Whether you call them Grandma and Grandpa, Abuelita and Abuelito, Memaw and Pepaw, or anything else, the best grandparents love us and spoil us like no one else can. And when we’re remembering their lives in their obituaries, we often include special memories of our grandparents’ love for their grandchildren.

Here are some of the most heartfelt memories of grandparents from obituaries recently published by Legacy’s local news partners.

Anna Lue Walbeck

“Anna Lue’s pride and joy are her grandkids. Her grandchildren will always remember her for her infectious laugh, her loving kisses, and her sweet Rock-a-bye’s as she sang her lullaby to you no matter your age. Grandma’s house was always filled with sweet memories of playing card games like Spoons, Grandpa’s Rummy, and Hand and Foot. Grandma always made sure that holidays were special by cooking a feast and setting traditions like $2 Bills for Valentines, Easter Egg Hunts in the backyard, 4th of July backyard picnics with lots of sparklers, and making Gingerbread Houses for Christmas. ‘If theirs heart room theirs car room’ was her motto and often times her home was filled with love and grandchildren.” Read more


Ronald C. Marlenee

“Ron created many adventures and memories for his children and grandchildren in the magical Bridger Mountains at the family cabin. There was always a new adventure or mystery to solve in their beloved Sherwood Forest. Hidden among the castles and the forts were buried treasures to be found, frog hunting from the pirate ‘paddle’ boat, and rope swings from massive trees, down to the slide into the icy water at the pond. Grandpa always had a luge built when the kids arrived in the winter with plenty of sleds and, of course, skiing at Bridger Bowl and his famous hot cocoa.”  Read more

Leola Green-Haynes

“I remember being in elementary school at St. Jude and you and Papaw coming to my class for Grandparents’ Day. I remember a friend saying to me, ‘Your grandmother always looks good!’ commenting on your impeccable and unyielding style of dress, which was impressionable even at an early age. I remember being so excited to ‘show you off’ to my friends, and teachers, and faculty – not that you ever needed my help. But I also remember, your smile and you being so excited to see me, and to look over my school work, and step in with your own comments when appropriate. And I’ll never forget that day in second grade when you and Papaw not only brought me pizza for Grandparents’ Day, but the whole school, grades K-8. There was nothing you could do wrong to me. In fact, you only managed to top yourself with age.” Read more

Sheila Rae Roeder

“Sheila was the BEST grandmother. She created special bonds with each of her 8 grandchildren-whether it was “singing for your breakfast” on Sat. mornings, mail away goodie packages, or her famous back scratches. She told each of them how special they were to her & she meant it completely.” Read more

Stanford Lee Cooper

“He retired shortly after being diagnosed and dedicated all of his time and energy to being the best Grandpa he could. He had a renewed lease on life. He never missed a soccer, softball, volleyball, basketball, or baseball game. He attended every school event and theater production his grandkids were involved in. Against the better judgement of his kids, he frequently started silly string fights inside their houses followed by late night slurpee runs with all 7 in tow. He did anything and everything to see those grandkids smile. Dollar store trips with all of them was a highlight for him. Trips to Maverik for candy and Diet Cokes were a daily event.” Read more

Charlene B. Myers

“My Grandma was pretty much the greatest grandma – always on your side, stories for any occasion, all the Estée Lauder and Clinique samples you could need. You could never be hungry around her because she was always offering you food. She was a fierce Spurs fan and spoke to ‘Pop’ with the clear expectation he was listening to her. She was kind and positive and forever your biggest fan.” Read more

Raymond W. Baker Sr.


“After serving as a patrolman for a number of years, Raymond had the distinction of being appointed as the Department’s first African American detective in 1964. He served in various roles of increasing responsibility within the Department until his retirement in 1984. Raymond was a kind, caring, generous and thoughtful man that loved his family and loved his music. He adored his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and cherished hearing them call him ‘Papa Baker’. When it came to his music, he had a very soothing, mellow voice and kept his boom box with him at all times so that he was prepared to sing whenever he had a chance!” Read more

Jack Shelton Larsen

“Most of all he was extremely proud of his grandkids, he was always present in their lives, cheering from the bleachers and encouraging their talents and dreams. He relished in their bright futures and loved teaching them life lessons; recently instructing his 15 year old grandson how to drive his sports car; elated about the recent birth of his great grandson; and happy to help another grandson pick out an engagement ring for his fiancée. Grandpa was the one who was called first to share a moment, a feat, or if they needed to be bailed out of trouble in the middle of the night (on multiple occasions).” Read more

Jon Thomas Holder

“A doting PawPaw, Jon was always up for playing with his grandchildren. When asked if he wanted to attend a soccer game or a dance recital, he always answered an enthusiastic “you bet!”. He took great delight in their presence. He would spend his later years building playscapes, flying model planes and kites in the park, and walking the Zilker Trail of Lights with his grandchildren.” Read more

Manuela Soto Gomez

“Her joy was her family, especially her grandchildren: Isaac, Christopher, Hannah and Alexander and great-grands: Kinsley and Yazmin. How her grandchildren looked forward to picking apples with grandpa and grandma to bake pies with grandma as she would sing to them. Grandma always had a fun surprise waiting for her little ones.” Read more

John Durio Sr.

“I could never describe in words the place in my heart that my grandfather holds. I see my grandfather in everything I do. I always have. Every time I pick up a tool, every time I watch a bird, every time I read a book, and now when I see my babies laughing. He is always there. He always will be.” Read more

Rosemary Catton

“When the grandchildren started being born in 1990, it was a new chapter in life for our mom. She was a Grandmom! The most special times she had in mid-life were those spent with her four grandchildren: Naomi, Joey, Billy and Katie. She was the best grandma ever, and relished every moment with them. Once again she was involved and loving it. Babysitting them…and spoiling them and taking them off to Hawaii. Her children and beloved daughter-in-law Maureen will cherish the memories of family holidays and times together.” Read more

Robert Lee “Bob” Withers

“He then undertook what was obviously a true life calling; being the best grandpa he could be to his nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. All of them would congregate at his house for two weeks each summer. They will never forget the Withers Olympics, driving the golf cart, going to the swimming pool and, of course, eating the junk food that Grandpa always had in great supply because he loved it himself. Grandpa loved chocolate donuts, watermelon, popcorn from scratch, waffles with strawberries and whipped cream, milk duds, honey crisp apples, coconut anything and, most famous of all, ‘grandpa juice’ – his grandchildren would reveal the recipe but then they’d have to kill you. He so loved them all and they knew it. The all-girl Christmas shopping trips were epic! The Trail Blazers games with the boys were thrilling and heartbreaking. The golf cart rides were both ill-advised and dangerous. Through it all, his grandchildren Anna, Alex, Ande, Libby, Tatum, Joe, Tristan, Kali and Kobe and his great-grandchildren Olivia and Delaney will carry ‘pop-pop’s’ legacy and fond memories into the next generation.” Read more

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