Jim and Jan moved from Grosse Pointe Park, MI to Portland, Oregon – home of the Stewart Children and two Grandchildren:
- Jim retired in September, 2012 after a 40 year career.
- Jan had been traveling to Portland every 2 months for the past 3 years to watch grandson, Benjamin as he grows! Now we have Lilia too – (Jon and Lindsay’s children)
- We sold our house on January 30, 2013
- After an Estate Sale, packing and loading up, Jan, Jim and Nicky took to the road across country to Portland, Oregon! Westward HO!
- We moved into a high rise apartment in downtown Portland to begin a new lifestyle!
Only one week after moving in, Mom moved from the nursing home into her new Home in Glory! We returned to Detroit and had a lovely Celebration of her life with family and friends at Crosspointe Christian Church.
Mom was such a strong woman! She died of natural causes and did not suffer. She’d had dementia the past few years and extreme arthritis which left her wheel chair bound. As she was reduced to total dependency, she became a very sweet woman who everyone fell in love with – the staff at the nursing home and many of my friends who helped care for her as well. She is now “Finally Home” resting peacefully in Heaven with her Lord and her husband, and we can rest peacefully in retirement. Thank you for all your prayers and support! Do come visit us!!
Continue on to read Mom’s Eulogy, by Jan Stewart
Celebrating the Life of Lucille Eleanor Paulsen Fluegge
August 28, 1923 – May 14, 2013
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-grandchildren! 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 the Martha T. Berry Nursing Facility. The care they both received 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, a nurse as well as a friend, 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!