Eulogy: (this is the beginning portion on video – ran our of storage on my iPhone)
God’s Plan Is Perfect
Born in Chicago on August 28, 1923, Lucille Eleanor Paulsen joined her brother, William as the two children of Hortense and Harry Paulsen. They lived a simple life. Grandpa was a switch man on the railroad; Grandma was a Housewife.
In her teen years, she met her best friend, June Fluegge, at her church youth group. Their one special luxury was a pool table in the basement which became a huge attraction to the young people after church on Sunday evenings. It was there that she soon met June’s brother, Bruce.
Near the end of World War II, Lu and Bruce were married and spent a brief honeymoon in Miami where she recalled the sweet fragrance of orange blossoms wafting into the airplane on a warm February afternoon as they disembarked the plane onto the tarmac.
After traveling all alone to San Francisco via train in May of 1945 to be with her husband before he was deployed, Lu and Bruce were sightseeing in Coyt Tower when they looked down and saw confetti streamers everywhere and the streetcars spinning on their axles. After climbing down from the tower, they learned that WWII had ended and joined the celebration.
Settling in Chicago, they had two children, Alan and Jan. After a few years, Dad’s Aunt Sigrid’s husband died an early death which brought the young family to the Detroit area to help Aunt Sigrid with the family pallet business.
Growing up in St. Clair Shores, we attended Ebenezer Baptist Church (as Grosse Pte Baptist Church, AKA Crosspointe Christian Church had not yet been built in 1953!). Bruce was involved in the choir, deacon board and Boys Brigade. Lu worked faithfully in the nursery and with the Pioneer Girls. Mom’s goal each Sunday was to get EVERY baby to sleep by rocking or patting and she ALWAYS accomplished it.
Mom was a great mentor to me as a hardworking housewife (all chores were done by 10AM!), (didn’t learn that very well), a great cook in the kitchen (yummy Sunday dinners of either fried chicken or pot roast), a giver of hospitality to missionaries and family (you don’t have to have a lot to give a lot), and a beautiful seamstress and knitter. I learned the latter the best!
Dad insisted that we take month long traveling adventures every summer which planted the wanderlust seed in each of us, including the grand-kids! Mom’s sense of practicality balked at these trips. She felt that we could never afford them. But – she always found ways of reducing costs by camping and frugal food choices. ALL of us enjoyed these trips and benefited from them immensely.
When I was a teenager, Mom’s delicious skills at baking attracted a young man to our house, who, eventually, could not live without her brownies, so he married me! He now enjoys Donna’s brownies! (and so do all of you!)
Little did Lu and Bruce know that their small family would produce 13 grandchildren and 16 (soon to be 17) great-grands! Alan met Sandy while attending Michigan Tech, later on went into the Air Force and then the ministry. I, for one, am only responsible for two of the grands and two great-grands, so far!
Lucille Fluegge’s ministry for her Lord was always subtle but consistently strong and faithful. I remember waking early to find her reading her Bible and praying. Her love for children calmed the anxious hearts of so many moms as they would release their babies and toddlers into her loving care. She loved and cared for her grandchildren at the drop of a hat, often feeding their little hungry bellies warm oatmeal before bed to help them sleep tight when mom and dad were away.
I was so happy for Mom and Dad when they were blessed to live 15 years of retirement in their beloved state of Florida. From Dad’s book, At Last We Got to Florida, to their honeymoon in Florida and to numerous visits with Dad’s parents and sisters in Florida, it was Mom’s dream to retire there.
God’s Perfect Plan
When you follow His leading…Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord…… He will give you the desires of your heart. God allowed them to purchase a home in a retirement community near Orlando which they enjoyed thoroughly. They biked three miles a day, swam in the pool and served at South Baptist Church, Mom once again in the nursery!
God’s Timing Is Perfect
When they both needed more medical attention, God provided VA aid and assistance and the beautiful Windemere Park in Warren for them. They loved the pool, the koi pond and the gardens where Mom would get Dad to crawl to get ALL the cherry tomatoes she could see! “You really need to save a few, Mom, for the other residents!”
God’s Placement Is Perfect
When they needed even more medical attention, God provided Medicaid and Martha T. Berry. The care they both received there was incredible. It is a clean, spacious facility with a loving and caring staff. They could never have afforded the care they had there. It is when you have nothing that God supplies you with everything you need. Philippians 4:19 – the Jan Stewart version.
After Dad died, mom’s dementia increased. I feel it was a blessing to her and to me, as we didn’t have to grieve continually by remembering Dad was gone. You would think at this point, mom couldn’t teach me anything else. WRONG! She taught me to stop my busy day for an hour, sit in the garden and look around as she would point and say a few words…..sky….blue….flower…..pink…..bird. “Be still and know that I am God” psalm 46:10
God’s Ministry is Perfect
Mom always served her Lord, and in this past year, I asked Him, what is her Ministry now? On the very day I asked that question, as I walked her back to her room, she waved her hand and smiled her cute and sassy smile at those she passed, bringing one smile after another to the long, sad faces in the nursing home. God showed me right then exactly why she was here! When I arrived at Martha T Berry, after her death, one aide after another told me they would really miss her sweet spirit. My niece, Tammy, is not used to hearing the word “sweet” in the same sentence with Grandma!
When there is nothing left to give, you can even give your testimony in your last breath. Romans 8:26 – “The spirit helps us in our weakness, for when we don’t know what to pray, He speaks for us with groaning too deep for words.”
My friend, Glenna, was with her on Tuesday. She told me mom’s complexion was mottled and her breathing irregular up till 3 pm. When she read Psalm 23 to her she visibly saw her body calming and her complexion clear as she drew her last breath. Glenna said it was the most peaceful transition she has seen.
Each child, grandchild and great grand will identify with some of mom’s qualities and personality that I have enumerated. And now, she is with the Lord she served and her husband she loved and we are here to carry on the spirit and legacy of the special lady that she was. Spiritual…..Strong…..Sassy and Sweet!
Piano music – Anne Simpson, granddaughter
Welcome – Pastor Matt Swiatek, Pastor Crosspointe Christian Church
Hymn – Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Eulogy – Jan Stewart, daughter
Special Music – Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren
A Message of Hope – Pastor Matt
Irish Blessing – Members of The Detroit Concert Choir
Songs Soon and Very Soon
I’ll Fly Away
Monica: Jan, I was thinking about you and your mom. God put your mom at rest and you too can now rest and enjoy your time of retirement with Jim and your children. God Bless You.
Glenna (Mom’s mom of caregiver 🙂 – I’m so glad that God chose me to be with Lu on her final day. I sang to her, read to her and talked to her. How blessedI am to have held her hand – the most peaceful passing I have ever witnessed. I know she walked right into the Lord’s arms. Rest in peace Lu. I will miss you
Michelle Metes: I loved that you had such wonderful parents. I loved that they were there at Windemere Park and my mom could share (in her own way) that caring experience with you and them. I appreciate that you includedme in the opportunity to care for you mom. You are like a sister. I love you.
Anamaria: although I didn’t know Miss Lu well, I really enjoyed hanging out with her at MTB. I know she heard and understood every word “we” talked about. On Mother’s Day, after I put on some Nat King Cole, and did her nails, I held her hand and stroked her forehead and just told her to let go. I encouraged her to go on the rest of her journey and be with God and Bruce. She squeezed my hand a couple times, so I believe she heard me. She was a gentle soul, and I’m so glad I was a little part of her life.
Ella (mom’s 4 yr old caregiver): I loved playing with Grandma. I loved playing legos with her and sharing snacks with her
Lily (Mom’s 3 yr old caregiver) : Love “arguing” with Grandma! Yes! No! Yes! No!!
Erin (mom’s caregiver – and 3-4 yr olds mom): Lovd the way her face would light up when she saw the girls. she was also always asking if Lily was potty trained! Iwas so excited to tell her when she was!
Dave Faust: What a blessing your family is! and the connection to Lucille is evident through all of you. It was a a blessing to be here!
Mary Beth Moore-Semczak So sorry Jan. I didn’t find out about this till late last night. Hugs and prayers are with you and your family. Moms are hard to lose.
Bob LeCureux Jan I’m sorry for your loss. You did such a great job of visiting and taking her to see and do what she was able you can be proud you were a good daughter to both your parents. Love you L
Beth Shankle Johnson So sorry to hear Jan. I just ran into Sandi Rogers earlier today and she told me about the memorial and said that it was the nicest that she has ever been to. She loved the Sweets and coffee beforehand. It was a great change she said. Both of your parents leave fond memories in many minds!
Debbie Brown: I have so many fond memories of your mom and dad, from living in St. Clair Shores to visits in Florida. Your mom was always so happy and I can even picture and hear her laughing. We grieve with you in your earthly loss, but as you’ve so sweetly written, she is healed and reuniting with other loved ones. You have honored her well! Praying for you and sending our love and hugs –
Pam Kuhn: I Love you Jan.
Seeing you and your mom again after so many years I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to reconnect with you and get to know you better. You are such a wonderful person and daughter. I believe your mom is now able to surround you and share in and watch over your new life with your grandchildren. Just from my own experience, I know our moms never leave us
Julie Charlton Craigo That was beautiful Jan. Made me cry
Stephanie Wendland Schoenherr Beautiful.
Rebecca Epps Meyers That is beautiful Jan, brought me to tears. May you feel God’s strength this week as you get through this loss.
Diana Williams Croce What a beautiful tribute. So sorry for your loss
Jean Earl Landenberger So sorry for your loss yet rejoicing for her gain. May our Lord comfort your heart while you grieve with hope, knowing you will see her again
Grace ‘Gustafson’ Harding OH JAN!!!! what a sweet story!! Thanks for posting. I SO wish I could be up there just to HONOR her and I KNOW my Mom would want very much to be there if she could!! They were good friends back in the day when they were together! May THE LORD bless and KEEP you…May HIS face SHINE upon YOU and GIVE YOU PEACE! Love to Alan too. SO grateful that tho we sorrow…we do not sorrow as THOSE WHO have NO Hope. Our Hope IS in the LORD! Love and prayers!
Heather Ball Thinking of you and your family at this difficult time. When I think of your mom I picture her sparkling smile.
Margaret Desarmeaux Schomer I’m sorry for your loss,Jan…but happy for your mom, soaring with the angels xoxo prayers and love to you and your family.
Kristan Russell I can just imagine her harmonies at the feet of the Savior! I know I loved when she sang in the row behind me in church! How much sweeter still when she sees her Jesus face to face.
Susan Behrens Though you will miss her so very much, I know that you are rejoicing that she is free of pain and in paradise now with your Dad! Where is the funeral? Will there be visitation?
Rose Fox I’m so sorry Jan, Donna told the choir tonight, I’m so sad for you Jan. Moms are Angels on earth. God give you strength. I love you Jan
Cheryl Costantino Jan, we will keep you in our prayers!
Robin Leong Deeply sorry about your loss, Jan. You have been a wonderful daughter to your mom for many years. I am so comforted to know she is safely home with Jesus. Praying for you in the days ahead. God will carry you.
MB and Ray Semzcak: So very sorry Jan. There is no deeper sorrow like the sorrow of losing your mom no matter what the circumstances are. You were a good daughter Jan. May God wrap you in his loving arms , comfort you and shower you with his grace. Our love, MB & Ray.
Linda Scott: am so sorry for your loss. I know that although you are happy that your dear Mom is free from her pain and illnesses, you are sad that she is gone from you. Gil joins with me in sending you our deepest sympathy. May you enjoy all the wonderful memories you have of her. And most of all rest in the knowledge that this is only a temporary separation. Praise God! I will always remember your Mom as my Pioneer Girl leader and of course one of “the gang”. Only 3 of the 12 are left now. Take care of yourself in the days ahead. Bask in the love of your family and friends.
Send our sympathy to Alan too.
Sarah Fluegge Love imagining her and grandpa singing before God’s throne together!!! Can’t wait for Heaven!!! An awesome and ETERNAL reunion!!!
Amy Holland Jan, want you to know how much you are in my thoughts and prayers. Just watched the video you posted of “I’ll Fly Away”. Brought back memories of going to there church & her singing it…. Thanks for letting me be apart of your family… Loved your mom & dad & love you!
Amy Holland You are in my thoughts & prayers! So know what you are feeling! Lots of tears shed here tonight…