Eulogy for Anna Josephine Nicholson McCormally
From John's handwritten eulogy for his mother
Mrs. McCormally was christened Anna Josephine, and she had a lifelong devotion to St. Joseph. It is fitting that God called her last Friday on the feast of St. Joseph.
He is the patron of workers, and hers was a life of work. Her mother died when she was nine and she helped raise her younger sisters. She served the public as a young woman working at the high school, in the state senate, and in the post office. As a farm wife, she was the strong helpmate of her husband Pat, through the hard years of dust storms and Depression. She spared no personal sacrifice to raise her sons to manhood.
But her first work was always the church. Her sons remember that when, as boys, they would complain of the rigors and denials of Lent, she would always say: "It is a hard church to live by; but a good one to die by." She kept that faith for 82 years and died by it on St. Joseph's Day.
They also remember that in every adversity poverty and flood, the deaths of two infant children and her husband, the anxiety of two sons at war, the loneliness of long widowhood, the discomforts of old age and illness to all this she would always say, with calm and certain faith, "It is God's will."
She found her strength and refuge in prayer, turning in times of trial as well as of thanksgiving and celebration, to those old and now too much neglected rites that she especially loved the Rosary, the Stations, the Nine Fridays, the Litany of the Blessed Virgin.
She believed with St. Paul that of the Cardinal Virtues "the greatest of these is Love."
Her family's greatest comfort today comes from their knowledge of how fully this community has returned that love to her especially in the last months of her life. They have asked that this mass be offered, not only for the repose of her soul, but also in thanksgiving to all of you through whom God worked to give her peace.
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