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Goner Message Board / Memphis / You gotta read the obit in todays Commercial Appeal
Posted: Apr 13, 2008 9:53 am
 
this lady must have been a hoot.
Long but it pays off several times...

IDA MAE RUSSELL SILLS began this world as Betty Jean Cherry, the daughter of Howard Cherry and Betty Thompson of Middle, Tennessee. In the 1930’s it was unthinkable for a child to be born to a single mother. The Thompsons contracted Georgia Tann at the Tennessee Children’s Home. Georgia, now famous for selling babies, found a couple who was willing to purchase the child. Everett and Elsie Russell were chosen who had already adopted one high profile Memphis baby. The Russell’s renamed there new baby Ida Mae. Ida Mae had a rich but strict childhood. Ida graduated from Messick High School in 1950 and attended Memphis State University. Ida married High School friend, Karl Hadaway. On January 31, 1953, a child was born named Mary Denise. The marriage decayed and the couple divorced in 1954. Ida’s marriage to Karl was a three ring circus, engagement ring, wedding ring and suffering. Ida met and married Albert Sills in 1960. Ida said “I never knew what real happiness was until I got remarried, then it was too late”. Ida Mae and Albert settled down in Fox Meadows area of Memphis. Albert wanted a son, Ida wanted a dog. Ida quoted ‘with my way we just ruin the carpet’. But on March 6, 1966 a son was happily born named Lee. Albert and Ida owned several dry cleaners and restaurants. Owning your own business with your spouse in the best of times is challenging. Ida worked all day as a Supervisor at the phone company, she would come home and prepare a home cooked meal for the entire family. She managed to pay all the bills, balance the books of the family business and at the end of a long day still be a supporting mother and loving wife. Ida said “Children grow up so fast there like sand held in your hand. Held loosely, with an open hand, the sand remains where it is. The minute you close your hand and squeeze tightly to hold on, the sand trickles through your fingers”. Ida grimaced daily with anticipation of what her gifted children would bring home and ask “Mom can I keep it”? for Lee it was stray animals but Ida’s daughter Denise, well she brought home a steady stream of poor hungry musician friends (are there any other kind). No one was ever turned away or left hungry. It is still a mystery how Ida fed, supported and influenced so many individuals on her budget. At Ida’s house gravy was a beverage. Albert retired in 1985, Ida said “great I now get twice the husband and only half the income”. Lee went off to college and Denise got married and had a son named Josh. Ida retired from Ma Bell in 1989. After a long illness, Albert passed away from Lung cancer. In Ida’s spare time she became an assistant coach to the University of Memphis Tigers, The Memphis Grizzlies, The LA Lakers and The Miami Heats if not in reality in her mind. As a professional armchair consultant to the NBA, Ida was nick named Hoop Mama Two. Ball handling and dribbling was Ida Mae biggest weakness. If Albert was the frog prince, Ida was certainly the frog queen. Ida loved and collected frogs from all over the world. Ida moved to Waverly Gardens with her dog raven where she made a lot of new friends. Ida developed a cold that progressed into pneumonia. Now Ida was a smoker. She said “to quit smoking well that’s easy. I ought to know. I have done it a thousand times” but the years of smoking left Ida’s lungs damaged and beyond repair. On this Good Friday March 21, 2008 Ida Mae Russell Sills slipped away and joined her beloved daughter in Heaven. Fortunately her husband Albert preceded her and joined his mother in a much warmer climate. Ida leaves behind a best friend Betty Brown of Memphis. Few people in this world are privileged to have such a beloved sister. They had many adventures, loves and tragedies over their 70 years of friendship and sisterhood. Ida also leaves one of her greatest joys her grandson Josh. Josh has been the light of her life since his birth. Ida regrets not being here to influence his future children, but she will be watching. Ida lost her daughter Denise Sills Barnes 2 years ago. Denise was a successful local Memphis singer and musician and was a manager with Nike for 15 years. Ida also leaves her son in law Roland Barnes an engineer with Federal Express. Roland has been devoted when many would have moved on after their wife’s death. And finally she leaves her son, her baby Lee. Lee lives in Orange County California and is President of Kredit Banque. Ida influenced so many people, to many to list. Ida is now a falling star who has finally found her place next to her daughter in a lovely constellation, where she will sparkle in the heavens forever. In Lieu of flowers please give the gift of life to Saint Jude Children’s Hospital in Ida’s name. There will be a celebration of life, Saturday April, 19 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Waverly Gardens on Knight Arnold Road.

Published in The Commercial Appeal on 4/13/2008.
Posted: Apr 13, 2008 10:06 am
 
In Ida’s spare time she became an assistant coach to the University of Memphis Tigers, The Memphis Grizzlies, The LA Lakers and The Miami Heats if not in reality in her mind. As a professional armchair consultant to the NBA, Ida was nick named Hoop Mama Two. Ball handling and dribbling was Ida Mae biggest weakness.

This is perfect!!!
Posted: Apr 13, 2008 10:14 am
 
Ida’s marriage to Karl was a three ring circus, engagement ring, wedding ring and suffering.
omg, there's too much to quote.
This is what I want my obit to be like. I'm going to show it to the boys.

Golightly - thank you, thank you, thank you!
Posted: Apr 13, 2008 10:16 am
 
At Ida’s house gravy was a beverage.

!!!!!
I want to hang out with whoever wrote her obit.
Posted: Apr 13, 2008 10:31 am
 
I know, I keep finding gems. Who was this person? And better yet, who wrote this???
Posted: Apr 13, 2008 11:31 am
 
i knew someone who used to do the obits at the CA, then they tightened up strongly. i wonder if this was a paid space? if so, good idea!
Posted: Apr 13, 2008 11:34 am
 
They give you five lines for free now. Everything else you have to pay for on a per line basis.
Posted: Apr 13, 2008 1:18 pm
 
Albert wanted a son, Ida wanted a dog. Ida quoted ‘with my way we just ruin the carpet’.

yep.

but what's with the typos? obits aren't proofread? if you're paying for all those lines, i'd expect some basic proofreading, if not editing. "they're" for "there," "too" for "to" etc.

this is completely genius, a great great great obituary & tribute to a life. i'm inclined to credit to best friend betty brown, but wouldn't put it past ida mae her own darn self.
Posted: Apr 13, 2008 1:21 pm
 
i'm inclined to credit to best friend betty brown, but wouldn't put it past ida mae her own darn self.
Ha. I was just having this exact same conversation with Jim, and that's what we came up with too.
(He did also remark on the "numerous grammatical nightmares".)
Posted: Apr 13, 2008 1:34 pm
 
ditto - it would have amused me more if I hadn't been hung up on the typos
Posted: Apr 13, 2008 2:09 pm
 
i'm inclined to credit to best friend betty brown,

Yep--this was the decision over here.
Posted: Apr 13, 2008 3:04 pm
 
but what's with the typos? obits aren't proofread?

I think they are nervous about editing obits because they might offend people. My seventh grade literature teacher was forever traumatized when her 8 year old daughter died and the stupid CA changed all the pronouns in her obit to male ones.

I think that Ida Mae herself wrote her own obit ahead of time.
Posted: Apr 13, 2008 7:03 pm
 
This is a paid obit service, probably outsourced by the CA.
Posted: Apr 13, 2008 9:00 pm
 
This is a paid obit service

for sure? If somebody got paid to misspell all those words, they should be fired.
Posted: Apr 13, 2008 9:00 pm
 
Right after I read this post this morning I went to Circle K. The guy in front of me was digging through the CA and asked me where the obits were. I thought about asking him what his Goner board name was.
Posted: Apr 13, 2008 9:16 pm | Edited by: robin
 
The guy in front of me was digging through the CA and asked me where the obits were. I thought about asking him what his Goner board name was.

It made the Flyer online too. Of course, they probably copied it from here...
Posted: Apr 14, 2008 7:30 am
 
The Goner board...cutting edge news you can use!
Posted: Apr 16, 2008 3:39 pm
 
The obit was written by her son. He is one of the funniest people I know.
Posted: Apr 16, 2008 9:50 pm
 
so my professor actually brought this up in class today and passed it around for everyone to read. he said the guy that used to be the editor for the commercial appeal called him up and told him to put down whatever he was doing and read the obituaries RIGHT AWAY.
Posted: Apr 16, 2008 10:05 pm
 
The obit was written by her son. He is one of the funniest people I know.

Thanks for letting us know. He sure gave a lot of people an unforgetable look at his mom!
Posted: Apr 16, 2008 10:29 pm
 
Yeah, definitely. Learning that her son wrote it is crazy. I think it's great that someone can retain their sense of humor- heck, their sanity- in the aftermath of losing their mama. It's kinda inspiring.
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