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90 years is a good, long time to live

By Robin Dearing

I’ve been trying to just carry on, but then my dear aunt wrote this on Facebook, “OK, it has sunk in and today I am sad … “ and the waterworks started.

I’m sure there is a whole bunch of us hearty-peasant stock who are sad today. My gramma, my mom’s mom, died on Saturday. Berniece "Bea" Dussart was 90.

This was my gramma's Facebook profile picture. Yep, my gramma had her own Facebook page and she'd chat you up whenever she was online.

My gramma was a neat lady. We lived close to her while I was growing up in California. I’d ride my bike to her house to watch TV with her and drink Pepsis out of tall, glass bottles. My mom, gramma and I would often go shopping and out to lunch. She would spend the night at our house on Christmas Eve so we could all wake up together on Christmas day. We often played board games and cards, especially Canasta. She drove a Pinto on her long commute to her job at an electronics manufacturing plant.

My gramma was smart which is a good thing for the whole heap of us who are here because of her. She grew up in rural, farming community in Kansas. She excelled at French and played a mean game of tennis. After high school, she was offered a scholarship to go to college, but her family couldn’t afford the textbooks. 

She married my grandfather Charles Ferguson and they had five kids before they divorced. She remarried Bill Dussart and had my aunt. That marriage too ended in divorce. My mom is the second of six kids in total. Five girls: Nancy, Shirley, Patricia, Cynthia and Sandra. One boy: David. (David’s only son Clint saw the birth of his first child a boy named Chace on Sunday. The cycle of life continues.)

As I said, we are big folk. My gramma was 6-foot tall before gravity started taking its toll. She had to wear shoes that were one or two sizes too small causing her terrible foot problems, which would later cause knee problems which lead to hip problems. Gramma would always tell us girls to never wear shoes that didn’t fit properly. Amen to that, Gramma.

She moved to Pueblo after her retirement. She had a lot of family in Pueblo and in the Denver area. When I moved to Grand Junction, the drive on Highway 50 to visit her became one of my favorites. Then I had my own family and visits became much less frequent. Her health declined. She moved to Littleton to live with my aunt. Recently, she moved into an assisted-living facility.

Her heart stopped Saturday night. The facility didn’t know she had a DNR and tried to resuscitate her. She never woke up.

Six children, 14 grandchildren and somewhere around 36 great-grandchildren. 46 people and that's not counting the spouses who loved Gramma Bea, too. Now there’s a whole bunch of us who are sad. But this is how life goes and 90 years is a good, long time to live.


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What a neat lady she was, Robin. And what a wonderful legacy she left in your family.

Hang on to all of those happy memories. She sounds like a wonderful lady.

Robin, your Gramma Bea was a great lady.  Her big brother Stan was my Grandpa.  I visited with her quite a few times when he lived in Pueblo.  We are both part of an awesome family that is from some very solid stock.  I am very sad for your loss.

Thank you! I remember Uncle Stanley and Aunt Mary from when I visited my gramma in Pueblo. Agreed, our family is quite wonderful. Good, stand-up people. Salt of the earth. I’m proud to be part of our family.

She sounds like an awesome lady Robin :)

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