Monday, May 31, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: The Flowery Obituary of Mary Elizabeth Darling Runyan

John Newmark, who writes the TransylvanianDutch blog started a Monday Blog Theme called "Amanuensis Monday". John defines "amanuensis" as "a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

Mary Elizabeth Darling, my mother's paternal grandmother, married Robert Noah Runyan 14 Mar 1880 in Henry Co., Indiana. Their children were: Jesse Claude, Cory Alice (died in infancy), Bessie Beulah, Grace Anna and my grandfather, Lawrence Everette. When my grandfather was 3 years old, Mary Elizabeth divorced Robert and raised her children alone. Mary Elizabeth died 10, Sept 1922. The rather flowery obituary below was written by Isabelle Johnson Sullivan, mother of Louisa May who married Samuel Claude Darling, Mary Elizabeth's nephew.

Obituary by Belle Sullivan for Mary Runyan

" 'And desire shall fail, because man goeth to his long home,  and the mourners go about the streets; or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it'. We all look upon death with dread and try to shrink from it yet it is the divine plan of God; and as we follow the lifeless form of our beloved ones to the grave with bleeding hearts and weeping eyes, and it seems as though our very lives are crushed, no doubt if we could lift the veil and see into the great beyond that we would say thy will be done. Thy subject of this sketch, Mary Elizabeth Darling Runyan, was one of twelve children who came to brighten the home of her parents, Samuel and Beulah Darling on the 23 of May 1859 and departed this life at the home of her son Lawrence in Indianapolis on the tenth day of September, 1922, at the age of 63 years, 3 months and 17 days. The greater part of her life was spent in the state of Indiana and the last few years she had made her home with her daughter Mrs. Oral Crim and family of New Castle. She was united in marriage to Robert Runyan in the year 1879 and to this union were born five children one of whom the pale faced messenger claimed as his own at the tender age of five months and bore her spirit to the home where Christ's flowers never fade. She was a devoted mother, and a kindly neighbor, always willing and glad to sacrifice self if necessary of the comfort and pleasure of her loved ones. Death is only a brief separation from our loved ones just going away to another country and as you are mourning the loss of another just think,-------she is still your own. Her love flows the same and the separation is only a mystery through which we pass as through an open gate, with glad surprise at the things that shall be made plain to us over there. She is survived by four children, Jesse Runyan of near Knightstown, Mrs. Bessie Spears, of Danville, Ill., Mrs. Grace Crim of New Castle and Lawrence Runyan of Indianapolis One sister Mrs. Misha Lutholtz of Kennard, one Brother Quincy Darling of Spiceland, eleven grandchildren and a number of other relatives and friends. Weep not for the loving mother, whose bright wings have cleft the air; They have left a shining pathway, that may lead a loved one there."  

Image courtesy

1 comment:

  1. How wonderful to have found such a gem of an obituary for your ancestor. I have found very few obits from this time period and they usually are just a line or two. Thanks for sharing.