October 25th marks the one year anniversary of my paternal grandmother’s passing. Mary Louise Reyburn lived to the age of 93. Her obituary, written by her eldest son Jim:
She spent her early years in Merchantville, N.J., and Toledo, Ohio, then moved with her family to New London in 1928. She graduated from Williams Memorial Institute in 1934, and attended Rhode Island School of Design. In her younger years she was an accomplished artist. On Oct. 30, 1935, she married Maury Reyburn in Harrison, N.Y. Together, they raised five children. Her husband predeceased her in 2005, the 70th year of their marriage.
Mrs. Reyburn served on the board of directors of the New London Day Nursery for many years and was a former chairman of Pequot Point Beach.
She is survived by three sons, James S. Reyburn and Charles W. Reyburn, both of Waterford, and William T. Reyburn, of Meadows of Dan, VA.; two daughters, Eleanor Peterson of Waterford and Georgie Childs of Osterville, Mass.; nine grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren. She is also survived by a sister, Maude Brown of Hamden.She was predeceased by her sister, Ann Shevlin of Wakefield, Mass.; a grandson, Andrew Bagge, and a granddaughter, Heather Bond-Cavanagh.
To me she was Gamma and I really miss her. I’m thankful that my daughter got to know her and was with us on the day she died. Truly an amazing day. At her home in Waterford, Ct. Gamma’s 5 children were at her bedside while 4 grandchildren, two ex-wives, her oldest great-grandchild (Jasmine) and her youngest (Layla) held her hand and sang songs. At one point, my Uncle Charlie and Dad grabbed their guitars and began singing. We all joined in. In harmony with tears as we sang, Gamma moved her hand and her body along with the music. For that moment, we were all together celebrating this amazing woman’s life, realizing that the end of an era was near and the Reyburn Matriarch was taking her final bow and joining our dearly departed in the great beyond.
It was about sunset that Sunday afternoon when a group of us were walking back from the beach. What a beautiful day it was. Dad came out to tell us that Gamma’s pulse had stopped. We all went into the bedroom and said our goodbyes.
The following week was her memorial service at the house. More cousins, friends and family I hadn’t seen in years were in attendance. We all sang a song, Sabbath Prayer from Fiddler on the Roof. Gamma had this ability to bring people together. My Uncles Charlie and Jim created this amazing gallery of paintings and photos of Gamma and the family sprinkled around the house. Later that evening, my cousin Lisa and I watched as our children played together. Dad began to sing and play, “When Johnny Comes marching home again Hurrah! Hurrah! …and they began to march around the house…just like we did when we were 6. At Gamma’s house. bitcoins price graph Full circle.
November 28th I bring back my show, “Summer Night” to the Laurie Beechman Theatre. Yes, I know it’s not summer, but by November 28th, I’m sure we all need to be reminded just how awesome Summer and warm weather is! With me will be Mark Janas, Ritt Henn and Wally Usiatynski. In the show I sing a song from the Kander and Ebb musical, 70 Girls 70 called, Go Visit Your Grandmother. In it, I pay tribute to both my maternal and paternal grandmothers. It’s a special evening of song and I do hope you check it out! Remember to visit your grandmas during the holidays!
Later this month on October 30th, I’ll be performing in a Sondheim Unplugged at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. Phil Geoffrey Bond has created this wonderful series where he brings in original cast members from classic Sondheim shows and with piano accompaniment and witty dialogue, educates us all on the master that is Stephen Sondheim. Donna McKechnie is the special guest. She is musical theater royalty who appeared in the original COMPANY and then in FOLLIES and I can’t wait to share the stage with her.
Thanks to all who came out to see Marquee Five and 8 Track Throwback. I know the band wants to do it again so I’m sure we’ll be bringing it back soon.