Monday, March 30, 2015

Fearless Females - {Birthday Edition}: Lydia Herr Roehm Murphy - Born March 20th - Part 3

Lydia's life was already so full of good times with friends and family, you would think that nearing 80 years old, she might have said to herself "I think I will take a rest." But, Lydia didn't quite understand what rest meant. I believe her to be a restless soul. Constantly full of many interests and hobbies.

During the 1960's she took up many new hobbies - one was as cake maker and designer. She made many event wedding, birthday, christening/baptism, and various other cakes. She made a lot of her grandchildren's wedding cakes, often very large and opulent ones.

She also became interested in "rock hound" activities, befriending a townswoman in Brentwood who collected rare rocks.

After Bill Murphy's passing in May of 1973, Lydia had even more free time on her hands. Only living on her own on a very large ranch, Lydia lived in her own home until the early '80s, until she moved in with her daughter Annette.

But, between the early 1970s and early 1980s, Lydia and Annette would travel all over the US and even to Hawaii (even though Lydia's motto was always that she thought your feet belonged on the ground, she still took a chance and flew).

Here are some photos during this time:

One of Lydia's big and beautiful cakes at my Aunt Penny's Wedding, circa 1969, at Wiebel Winery.

Lydia, (Aunt) Diane, (Gr. Aunt) Izetta and her daughter Cindee, (my mom) Carole and (step-great grandfather) Bill Murphy, circa 1967

Carole, Bill Murphy and Lydia, at Annette's home in Fremont, CA, circa 1969-70.

Joyce, Izetta, Annette and Lydia cutting a cake at Lydia's house, circa 1968-69

Annette, Lydia and Izetta at Lydia's home, circa 1970-71

Lydia at her daughter Annette's home, circa 1974-75

Lydia and Mrs. Edith Ordway (at Edith's home in San Francisco), circa 1978

Lydia with all of her grandchildren (and great grandchildren) from daughter Annette, circa 1979

Annette, Lydia and Viola Schubert, circa 1981, in Washington state

The 1980's saw Lydia slowing down a little more. In 1981, she was diagnosed with coronary artery disease. Even still, she still made attempts to attend birthdays, weddings, and any other parties. 

On a personal note, I only remember Lydia just a few times. I remember her coming to our house when I was maybe 4 or almost 5. My Grandma was bringing her over to visit, but it was a short visit. Lydia seemed so regal to me. My Grandma would do up her hair into a beautiful bouffant cloud of white hair and would always dress her up nicely. She looked like a queen. She just needed a crown. 

I don't really remember Lydia's passing as I was just about to turn 5 years old when she passed away on May 4th 1987. The details surrounding her death left my Grandma heartbroken. My grandma (Annette) took her to our local hospital because Lydia was having breathing issues. They hospitalized her for a few days and said she had a UTI. The night Lydia passed away, the doctor's assured my grandma that Lydia would make it through the night, so she (and other family members) went home, with a bad feeling in their stomachs. One part I need to confirm is that Lydia either yelled out my Grandma's name as she left or murmured it as she passed away. Lydia's time of death would be 4am on May 4th 1987.

With Lydia's death, there was the strength of a matriarch in our family that was now missing. Her daughter, Annette, has carried on the torch to take care of the ranch and live out the rest of her days there. But, until this day, my Grandma mourns her mother's death, even at the age of 86, she still feels lost without her. 

Thank you, Great Grandma Lydia for being a rock in our family, making wise decisions and for your loving heart. You are not forgotten. 

Lydia and Annette, circa 1985

Lydia at the ranch, circa 1981

Source: Visit Lisa Alzo's great blog, which is the source for the Fearless Female blog prompt,