Yvonne LifshutzYvonne Parks Lifshutz
(1925-2012)
Recently, my old friend, Henry Catto, gave me a good idea: he wrote his own obituary. Thanks, Henry.

I was born in April, 1925 to unbelievably loving parents, Russell W. Seyler and Effie Mae King Seyler, and maternal grandparents, Millie Frances King and Theophilus James King, in Wichita Falls, Texas. Ten Years later I had a little brother, Russell W. Seyler, Jr., who was fortunate to marry the love of his life, and mine, Sandra Scott, and they had a family of three: Steve, Lynn, and Joanna.

Growing up, I always had good teachers and friends. I always had love and support from my family, a good home to live in, and good food to eat. My relationship with books started when I was young and lasted the rest of my life. When I went to college as an art major & sociology minor, the world opened up to me and I became aware of how vast and varied it is.

After college, I came, with a dear friend, to work in San Antonio as a fashion artist. Very soon I met the man I would marry: Bernard Lee Lifshutz. Once again good fortune was with me as my in-laws, Sam and Leah Lifshutz, were also loving and supportive. During our thirty-four good years together we had four children, Carter Lane, Julia Ames, James Galbraith, and Scott Franklin. We amalgamated our family with two dear other families – the Bernard Kosts and the Sheldon Goldbergs – and jointly raised nine wonderful children. Now I know that having intelligent, funny adult children is as rewarding as having adorable little ones.

At the end of thirty-four years, Bernard and I knew we were travelling in different directions, so we divorced (in the court house holding hands while awaiting the decree). Four years later, we decided to have a golden anniversary celebratory party – married or not. We remained good friends the rest of his life.

My grand mom rode in a covered wagon and was captured by Indians as a child, and she flew in airplanes when she was old. I too have seen incredible technological advances during my life and have had the good luck to share the planet with heroes such as Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt, Jonas Salk, Gandhi, Marian Anderson, Vaclav Havel, Nelson Mandela, and Dr. King. I got to participate in the civilian war effort during WWII, when people truly gave unselfishly. Individual responsibility melded with shared sacrifice is something that we have temporarily forgotten how to do as Americans. We need to relearn it! I was also lucky to participate in the civil rights movement and in the long struggle to end the Vietnam War – there are few things so gratifying as helping to fix fundamental injustices. There are still plenty out there, so get to work!

I have had the joy of travel and of meeting some of the world’s people; and throughout my life I’ve been nourished by the love of my family and friends, by music, dance, politics, books, the Quakers, and others who have given me sustenance. I have been generally happy and have always had love to help me over or around hazards in the road. I wish there were an adequate way in which I could express my love and thanks to my family and friends (you know who you are) who have given grace and depth to my life. Thank you. And again, thank you. And by the way, I was fluent in Pig-Latin. Allelujah-Hay!

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Inner City Development, 1300 Chihuahua St, San Antonio, 78207. A memorial service will be held at Willow Way on Sunday, December 16th, 2012 at noon.

[Thanks to Eileen for sharing this wonderful obituary with me!]

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