A Mother Leaves Many Beautiful Memories


Your mother – the very one who rocked you in the beginning, needed you most in the end. You were there with your tender heart and steadfast loyalty, doing the right thing exactly the way she would have hoped and exactly the way she taught you.

Remember all she gave you. She will be at the heart of your life’s story forever.

These words and others from cards and letters expressing residents, staff, Board and greater community condolences on my mom’s passing have truly made a difference for me. Ruth Merkel Stryker passed away Sunday, July 26, 2015.

Mothers are special people. For 82 years, mine has shared her loving support and encouragement. One of mom’s greatest abilities was creating and sustaining a sense of family togetherness. No matter what the conflicts, difficulties or issues were, we needed to stick together!

This was evident as we walked in faith as a family to her last breath, celebrated her life in a service of remembrance and over the next few weeks as we grieved.

My dad Lew, wife Carol, brother Doug, sisters and their spouses Luanne (Kevin) and Sandy (Ron), godparents Tom and Carol, and others recently have spent precious moments together.

Remembering the smiles, cherishing the special moments, finding comfort in fond memories that have made us laugh and cry. I am especially proud of my nieces who have witnessed in unique ways a special tribute to grandma by their vigil and presence that will keep her memories with them always.

I have found listening to those of you who have experienced the death of a parent especially helpful and have appreciated your insights. One of the greatest benefits of our community is not having to experience life’s transitions alone.

I am blessed to be a part of the John Knox Village family. “One Community Sharing Life” has a deeper meaning now. I have felt the empathy, compassion, love and appreciation of my extended John Knox Village family.

With gratitude for your comforting words and support!

Gerry Stryker, Chief Executive Officer