Elsie's Funeral
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Funeral Program
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  Mom was always meticulously attending Papa's grave after he passed. Now the torch has been passed on to us, and we're doing our best to make her proud.







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Funeral Program for Elsie DeWitt


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Dianne Breslar -Pianist


Opening - Psalm 23


Pastor Bill Clark


Tears in Heaven


Aja Blue


Final days of Journal


Chris Cunico


A Closer Walk With Thee


Vicki and Sara Baker


When God Created Mothers


Todd Combs


May I Go


Aimee Surges


The Last Mile of the Way


Vicki and Sara Baker




Barth Cunico




Chris Cunico


I Believe/Never Walk Alone


Dianne Breslar - Pianist


Letter From Heaven


Amber Surges


We love you Mom


Debbie Williamson


It is Well


Vicki and Sara Baker




Pastor Bill Clark


Closing Prayer


Pastor Bill Clark



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Chris Cunico


Good morning, I am Chris, Elsie's eldest child. On behalf of Mom, her other children Barth, Vicki, Julie and Debbie, Mom's brothers and sisters and all of Mom's family, welcome and thank you for being with us today.

Paraphrasing, last April, Barth asked the question, "Who knows how long Mom's been ill"? She's had so many surgeries medications for her arthritic condition, no one's quite certain when her discomfort actually began. Throughout most of her adult life she's dealt with pain at some level, but she kept so many of her aches and pains to herself or between her and Ruth.

After learning of her disease, we discovered that she'd been incurring pain throughout her body. It wasn't until she was unable to do the simplest tasks such as washing a load of clothes without experiencing extremely labored breathing that everyone realized there was something terribly wrong.

On her 70th birthday, April 20, 2000, Mom was noticeably not feeling well. The girls had taken her out to dinner and she complained of tiredness and shortness of breath barely touching her food.

On April 23rd, Mom was unable to participate in a family Easter egg hunt.

On April 25th, she was taken to the doctor for an exam and x-rays. She was admitted to Ottawa Community Hospital with suspected pneumonia. On April 28th we were told inoperable lung cancer was suspected. The days prior to Mom's transfer to Loyola University Hospital were filled with confusion, misunderstandings, conflicting opinions, and of course, anguish, fear and discomfort for Mom. We decided to maintain a journal, a decision supported by Aunt Ruth, Dianne, Ruthie and others who were able to be with and anticipate in Mom's case.

Just hours before her transfer to Loyola Hospital, Mom was the most disheartened we'd ever seen her. She had been informed that she was probably in the last month of her life with no hope for treatment of her condition. Within one hour of her arrival at Loyola, her hopes were rekindled.

The efforts, skills and involvement of the entire staff at the hospital began a vigilant, competent and

directed effort by a medical team to whom we will be eternally grateful. In particular, we want to thank and commend Mom's Oncologist, Dr. Kathy Albain, a professor, conference speaker and practicing physician who in January 2001 was recognized as one of Chicago's top physicians. "Thank you" especially Dr. Albain for the love and friendship you and Mom grew to share.

"Thank you", to Mom's Brother's and Sister's, from all of us who live out of state and beyond, for being with Mom through her entire life.

"Thank you", cousin Dianne Breslar, for encouraging and facilitating Mom's transfer to Loyola, a transition that gave us nine extra months with Mom.

And a special "thanks" to one of Mom's grandchildren, Amber Surges, for sacrificing five months of her youth to care for our Mother. How many teenagers would give so freely and lovingly? During one of Mom's chemo treatments at Loyola, a woman in the chemo ward suggested, "There's a special place in Heaven for Amber". We overwhelmingly agree and wish to express our eternal gratitude to Amber. "Thank you", Elsie DeWitt, for being the best sister, aunt, great aunt, grandmother, and mother, bar none.

We love you, Mom.

Now I'd like to share with you the journal entries of February 13th and 14th.




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Chris Cunico

  We have talked this morning about our love, respect, and admiration for our mother, grandmother, sister and friend, Elsie DeWitt. We have talked about Mom's sufferings and her qualities. We have talked about Mom's love and sacrifice for her children and family. Everyone in this room is here because we all knew Mom as a friend. And, we are here because of her passing.

Please do not be alarmed by my next comment, which I will explain in a minute. Mom did not pass away on February 14,2001. We have and will grieve our separation from her since then. Second Corinthians 5: 17 says: "Therefore if anyone is in Christ Jesus, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold all things have become new." Mom's death, then, occurred when she asked Jesus Christ into her life and accepted Him as her personal savior.

Her death was painless and without cost. Even after her accepting of Christ, Mom continued to experience much suffering. Because Mom accepted Christ, she is a new creation living in heaven where there is no hair loss, weight gain or loss, fever or chills, bruising, bumps, blood tests, I. V .s, chest tubes, diseased lungs, organs, bones and tissue or pain of any kind.

She's there not because of her goodness, which is unquestionable, or what she has done for or given us, which is substantial, but because of a decision she made earlier than February 14th, 2001 to give up herself and die in her sin, trusting Jesus to pay for it's price. Mom's cancer has passed away.

All of us in this room can join her one day by trusting Jesus as Mom has. I'm certain she will welcome the day when she is reunited with her friends and family who have joined the family of God. As God's Word says in Revelation 22:20: "Amen. Come, Lord Jesus."




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Elsie Main