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The Sunday Times
February 14, 1999
Valentine Edition

The Geriatric Journal
The sun was bright, the sky was blue, it seemed a glorious day, however, on this Friday there was an undermining feeling of sadness for all who knew Mrs. Sheryl Lynn Stripling whom had lost her youth. Her place of employment and co-workers all had realized the levity of the loss and had made an attempt to make light of the situation with merriment and joke, but, the actuality was that Sheri had become old folk!!!   Services were held the weekend of 2/12/99 for Sheryl Lynn Stripling in loving memory of her youth.  The grieving husband, Richard Stripling, tended the whole affair.  Services were held at Tyler State Park where Sheri was known to have held breath.  The site, number 30, was the final resting place.  Beginning Saturday, February 13 and continuing through Monday, Feb. 15, a wake was performed in her present memory (at this time we do not know how long that will last).  Rick, holding up as best a devastated spouse could, had made arrangements for Sheri to look forward to a weekend of peace and quiet (possibly her last), puttering around in their new camper trailer, counting tulips and watching what she could of the sun with her failing senses when surprise!!  What to her wondering eyes should appear came Tim and Clara Kettering with all of their gear. Then came the arrival of old friends and best man Darrel Gray with his wife Laura and daughter Meagan and the rest of the clan. Third to arrive was Jean, mom of the older bride.  Next to arrive were cb and T wondering why they were there and Rick stated that this grief we should share.  Let the procession begin:
The presentation was a sight to behold.  Those in attendance as pall bearers were her husband, Richard Stripling, Tim Kettering, Darrel Gray, and Carter Beam.  The pine box was lovingly handmade by Tim "the Tool man" Kettering, painted black, complete with side handles and two handles on the top. The personalized message on the top was R I P-Youth painted in white.  Upon opening the lid Sheri discovered that it had been lined with styrofoam and was a cooler ready for ice and beverages, and Sheri said "Oh cool!".  As another remembrance, the red and white casket cover, a dive flag with Adventures in Scuba, brought tears to us all.  Next came the presentation of the quad cane from Rick which was outfitted with a little bell complete with free floating eyeball, clown's horn, and a rear view mirror. Then came the bereaved daughter Kristi, and her husband Cody Schultz.  When Stacey Kettering and Jeremy arrived the party was complete-Stacy-speeding ticket in hand, and Jeremy, slow down Hogg,  At this point Mr. Stripling was too overwhelmed with grief to drive to the bar-b-que so the rest of the folks said "What can we do?"  Well, I've got some corn and steak, Darrel has tenderloin and veggies, Jean did the cheesy rice, smoked salmon on the table courtsey of the Ketterings, Smores for desert, this could be neat (besides at this point no one should drive), due to the hour of day and depth of the grief all seemed to sigh and say what a relief.  Then we ate.
During this night, we had such a fright.  Here came the coon, amidst our plight.  He created havoc, and took a big bite (breakfast), and thought it was his right. Came the sunrise and all still in mourning, we fumbled and bumbled while the coffee was forming.  Goose by the neck, everyone said NO!! oh, what the heck.  Did bacon and eggs and cheese all mixed into one, with biscuits and jelly to fill the belly, and then we were done.  The last surprise was still to come - the arrival of Robin Walker - then all was said and done.
Sheri's still the closest of us to fifty-one@!!!!!