Saying Goodbye to my Mom

On December 20th, my mom unexpectedly passed away from a heart attack. I had been working from home that day, so we had talked at least three time that day as my mom and dad had embarked on one of their all day, marathon Christmas shopping trips. My parents always put off Christmas shopping until she was on winter break from teaching high school. We’d talked at least three times that day talking through various logistics for the holidays coming up. I was not expecting the phone call I received from my dad around 6PM that evening. After getting home from shopping they were getting ready to go to one of the local basketball games when my mom, who had been feeling good all day told my dad that she didn’t feel well all of a sudden and was going to go lay down. My dad heard something maybe 30 seconds later and went to check on her and she was gone. I still struggle to comprehend how sudden her death was. What I wouldn’t give for one more conversation. We were going to surprise my parents on Christmas with the announcement that we were six weeks pregnant with our second baby. She didn’t know. I really never kept secrets from my mom and she hated surprises so I wish I hadn’t kept this a surprise. On the 17th it was my Grandpa’s 87th birthday and the whole family got together for the whole day. It was just a wonderful, happy day, and the last time I saw her.

In this post you will find my mom’s obituary and a eulogy I wrote and spoke at her funeral. Almost two months have gone by and its is hard to believe she is actually gone. She is so loved and missed.


Waldron: Kathy Lynn Lockwood, age 61 of Waldron, passed away unexpectedly at home on December 20, 2022. She was born on January 18, 1961, in Hillsdale to Richard and Karen (Edinger) Fether. Kathy was a graduate of Waldron High School, class of 1979 and graduated from Huntington College. She married her high school sweetheart, Barry Lockwood, on December 28, 1985, and he survives. Kathy was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. Family was most important to her. She especially loved going on woods walks and babysitting her grandchildren. She was a beloved science teacher at Waldron, Camden-Frontier, and Jonesville Area Schools who passionately pushed her students to succeed, often staying after school or over lunch with her students. Kathy selflessly volunteered her time, giving all of herself to every project. Kathy, along with her husband, were varsity softball coaches with Waldron Area Schools where they coached their team to multiple district championships. She volunteered at the Waldron District Library and helped to start the robotics program at Camden-Frontier. Kathy was a lifelong learner, with an insatiable curiosity, who always gave the best advice. She loved playing cards with her family, where her competitive streak led to many stories and much laughter.

Left to cherish her memory is her loving husband of 37 years, Barry Lockwood; their children, Sarah (Luke) O’Brien of Perry, Matthew (Bethany) Lockwood of Grass Lake and Samuel (Kara) Lockwood of Seward, AK, Aiden, Collin and Braxton Williams of Waldron; mother, Karen Fether; sister, Denise (Veryl) Doriot of Waldron; brother, Eric (Dee) Fether of Napoleon, OH; grandchildren, Quinn O’Brien, Parker Ann, Bryant, Isaac and Tyson Lockwood; In-laws, Sam and Carolyn Lockwood; along with extended family and friends who will miss her dearly. She was preceded in death by her father, Richard Fether and infant sister, Julie Fether.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, December 27, 2022, from 2-8:00 p.m. at the Eagle-Marry Funeral Home in Hudson. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, December 28, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. with visitation held an hour prior to the service at the Eagle-Marry Funeral Home, Hudson. Burial to follow at the Waldron Cemetery.

You may send condolences to the family at Memorial contributions may be given to the Waldron Library in her memory. Envelopes are available at the Eagle-Marry Funeral Home, Hudson.

To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Kathy, please visit our Tree Store.

Words I Spoke at my Mom’s Funeral

Words don’t even being to convey the depth of emotions that my family has experienced over the past couple of days.  My mom has had so many roles in my life from coach, teacher, mentor, employer, and most importantly, my mom that her impact in shaping who I have grown into can’t be stated enough. Her sudden loss leaves a palpable hole that we are only starting to explore and how full she kept all of our lives.

I know many of you who had her as a teacher probably remember getting the elements at least once. I know I did. I’d actually forgotten this until a current student reminded me of it. I wish there were a metric on how well her students over her career knew their elements compared with the national average.

Anyone who has talked to me for five minutes knows I’m a voracious reader, but what you might not know is that my mom made a series of calculated deals with a very young Sarah. She would agree to buy me a book I was begging for in exchange for a book she wanted to introduce me to. Think Goosebumps for Lord of the Rings. Various other deals were had that introduced me to a whole new level of worldbuilding and classics in literature that set me on a course that has me still reading copious amounts today.

Everything my mom did turned into a lesson, making learning an integral part of our childhood that seemed so effortless that we didn’t even know that she was teaching us nonstop. One of her absolute favorite activities was going on woods walks where every leaf, flower or fungi turned into a new lesson as we stomped through the swamp. I remember my mom more than once picking up a garter snake so that we could touch the scales. I remember when my grandpa would be successful deer hunting, it would turn into an anatomy lesson as my mom animatedly showed us what lungs or kidneys looked like and that we had them in our own bodies.  Many times my mom let us try to accomplish something impossible that we’d set our mind to instead of just saying no. We were encouraged to explore and foster curiosity at the unknown in even the most minute of tasks.

As I’m sure many of you in the crowd can attest, mom had an ability to spot our weaknesses and teach us how to overcome them or give us the extra push we needed to move forward. One of mine has always been moving on to the next step. For example, at the end of college I’d made the decision to go on to graduate school, but always found some excuse or another to not start the application process. With the deadline fast approaching, I came home for a weekend only to find my mom on a mission to get us past this hurdle. In one busy day, my mom held my hand as we applied to eleven grad schools and my life would never be the same. My mom made grand gestures like this for all of us kids that acted as a bridge to get us to the next level, ultimately making the difficult parts of life less overwhelming to navigate.

Family was the most important to my mom. She was our organizer, always starting the conversation about when we would celebrate birthdays, even though it was usually last minute. She would take all the photos at the parties and then text out all of the photos to everyone who was at the party and more. When I say every photo, it was literally every photo she took that day, even when everyone’s eyes were closed. The abundance of photos compounded because we have utterly terrible service at home, resulting in the photos being sent in duplicate and triplicate. If I’m being totally honest, this drove me crazy. That said, I feel like over the next couple of weeks, months, or years, its going to be the absence of acts like this that will be a reminder of my mom’s loss. What I wouldn’t give for one more mass of texts in triplicate from her.

My mom gave the best advice. So often I would find myself at a crossroads and my mom would listen patiently to my predicament before coming up with a totally new solution that was obviously the right path, though it wasn’t even an answer I’d ever considered. My favorite piece of advice from my mom is one I use on a daily basis. When deciding to confront an issue with someone, whether a coworker, friend, or family member, my mom would encourage me to decide if my response would make the situation as a whole better or just make me feel better. Another piece of advice I’ll share with you from my mom is one I look back on fondly, but was important in shaping who I turned out to be. When I was probably in my early twenty’s, I was getting ready to go out with friends, and asked my mom how I looked and she said something I’ve never forgotten. She asked me without missing a beat, “Would you rather people think you’re smart or beautiful?” While it was only one exchange, it grew depth, until over time until it’s a mantra I feel to my core. And all from a small seed she planted in my very angsty youth that I’m sure rolled my eyes and huffed at the original response. I struggle to fathom raising Quinn without my mom being just a phone call away to help me navigate the unknown. I should have told her every day how much I appreciated having her in my corner and that she was my mom.

Some of my family’s favorite stories to tell from my mom getting chased by a skunk to her accidently hitting herself with a rock have been told several times over the past couple of days but I feel like it will be the more minute and intimate memories that will emerge over the upcoming weeks and years that will cut deep and make her absence that much more painful. I loved my mom so very much and it hurts that Quinn is too young to probably have concrete memories of her, despite my mom loving her fiercely as she did all of her grand children. I loved to see how my mom would light up and glow around her grandchildren, with grandma being role that she relished. This note only scratches the surface of how well my mom was loved and now much she loved us. We miss her already so very much.


  1. You have my sympathy. My husband passed away suddenly from a heart attack a few years ago. And even though he had been ill for some time, it still came as a shock and surprise. It is hard. I’m sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Really sorry to hear about your mum. It’s a challenging thing to come to terms with. Just know she’ll always live on in your heart and your memories. Share your memories with your family often and relive the fun times you shared with her.

    Liked by 2 people

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