One of the best memories I have of my Mom being both a Mom and a friend was in high school. I had written a paper on Robespierre and the French Revolution. Of course, I waited until the last minute to ask my Mom for help.
I went into the office, WordsPlus, the day before it was due. If I remember right, it was also the day of President Reagan's Inauguration. She did type it up for me with the stipulation she would not fix grammar or spelling. She would not make the paper get a better grade except for maybe appearance.
In the background, on TV, was the inauguration. I remember during Reagan's speech Mom teared up a couple times. I was surprised to see her do that because of a speech.
I did get an A on the paper. And, I do think she must have fixed a few things here and there. She could not help herself.
~ Dana Foulks, Englewood, Colorado April 27, 2014
May 08, 2014
There is a story that I doubt if Vi put in her memory book. You may or may not know that her nickname was "Biddy," given to her when she was born because she was so little. This stuck through most of high school, especially by her family. (David gave her this name)
Anyway, when we lived in the country, David, I, Doris, Vi and sometimes other cousins would go up in the hayloft of the barn and put on shows. Vi was only six or seven but she always sang. She was always introduced as "The one and only Biddy" because she never changed notes or keys.
Living on the farm was probably the best years of our lives even though we had neither electricity nor inside plumbing.
I really miss her already and know that you do, too.
I think of all of you. Just remember all the good things and happy times that she and your Dad gave you. Love to all of you and God Bless You.
~ Lois Martin, Chillicothe, Illinois
In about 2000, I began work at Penrose in transcription, and Vi was the one assigned to help me. Being just 5 years younger, we shared many things in addition to our job. We became good friends as well. Working with Vi was a treat, and we shared some laughs along the way.
When she moved to Wyoming, we kept in touch. We were able to stop and visit her a couple times on our way to Montana to visit family, and she was a lovely hostess. When she was moving, she gave me a beautiful shamrock plant, which is still thriving. I think of her each day as I enjoy our plant!
April 26, 2014
Vi Foulks found me in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We connected through transcription work. Vi was a genuinely friendly person and she always carried a smile on her face. That is what I remember most about Vi. Vi had stored over the years many excellent transcription gems that she willingly shared to help the job go easier. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Vi and found her to be a true inspiration. Vi and I had numerous conversations and shared stories about Colorado Springs where I had lived many years past. Through Vi, I came to know the wonderful family that she was so proud of. God sent Vi to Indiana for a reason and along with Vi, I got to know the family she cherished. I count in my blessings these amazing long distance friends who many years later I still keep in my thoughts and prayers.
Please know that I am thinking of your family with compassion and care, and wishing you peace to soften your sadness. I am blessed to have known Vi and the wonderful family behind this amazing woman.
~Tera R. Fredrickson
April 25, 2014
Reading others' memories of working and being friends with my mom makes me want to also share my memories, not so much about being her daughter but as her employee and colleague. I started working for her in the afternoons when I was in high school. She would have me copy type the “normal” reports, like the multiple T&As. She hated copy typing. I then progressed to the “easier” doctors. I worked at home, in our basement. After one particularly frustrating evening of feeling like I was getting nowhere, I had resolved to tell my mom in the morning that I no longer wanted to be trained to transcribe. I went upstairs and found my dad still awake, probably watching Johnny Carson. He proceeded to tell me how mom had told him how proud she was of me for trying and working so hard. My heart sank and I didn't tell him what I had decided and I didn't tell mom until after maybe 30 years of transcribing.
My mom was wonderful as a mother and maybe more wonderful as a wife, but in our home she took backstage to my father, and probably to us, too. She seemed to want it that way...In her professional life, though, she shined so brightly. She worked harder than anyone I have ever met. She was a wonderful teacher and if you were willing to try, she was always willing to help and explain. She was the one with all the answers, but she usually just told me where to find them myself – invaluable lessons for our line of work. When I married and moved to Wyoming, she sold me an IBM Selectric and a Dictaphone so that I could possibly start my own business. Within a year I had a few clients of my own. She was always there to answer any questions and help me along in the process. Over the years we helped each other out, filling in for each other or sharing clients. She began a legacy of transcription in our family in that besides myself, three of my children have worked as transcriptionists, one using it to help with expenses while in medical school, another while being a stay-at-home mom (like me) and the third still working for me while in college. The thing is, she would have done this for anyone who wanted to try.
I feel very lucky in that I did not know my mom just as her daughter, but that I had time to also know her as a colleague and friend, and to see her in action in HER element, and I am so glad that she had that. I am also coming to believe that I was also lucky to have gotten to know a different part of her, with the Alzheimer's. That is a hard one because so many times when she was here I just missed the person that she was. I am coming (slowly) to the realization that she was always the same person, though, and that I was just getting to know a different part.
I simply cannot express enough gratitude to those of you who have shared memories of our mom. I think especially with what my mom, and we as her family, went through with Alzheimer's, to us those memories are priceless and we are eager to read every one over and over. Again, we encourage anyone to share, or to share again. Thank you.
~ Kathy (Foulks) Downey, Rozet, Wyoming April 24, 2014
Your mother: The short analysis is, she brought me in out of the cold. The weekend we met – me, hitchhiking as so often, her in a handful of coeds off for a fun weekend – I apparently recognized in her the kind of stability I was desperately seeking. She was a small-town, deeply-rooted girl that represented everything I felt I’d missed as a child.
We only bantered during seventy miles or so of road travel, and I left. I was planning to go to Greentown, guiltily feeling a visit to my dad was overdue. I continued hitchhiking, another guy with me (one of the hundreds of casual friends I’ve had who left no lasting impression with me).
By the time I got to Kokomo, still on US 24, I knew Greentown was not where I wanted to go. I wanted to go back to Monticello Beach and get to know better the gal I had been chatting with on the road. I was not carrying any cash, knew I needed some, so I went to a Kokomo bank to cash a ($100) check against money I had in a Greentown bank. That turned into a third-degree thing, because the Kokomo bank simply didn’t trust a guy in uniform. (I still hate writing checks for cash at an out-of-town bank.)
Then, I hitch-hiked back to Monticello, and had no problem (fate?) whatsoever finding Vi and her coed group. Mom and I have tried to figure out just WHAT day that was, and neither of us have come up with a date we agree on. Mid-May to mid-June 1955, best we can do. Whatever. By next afternoon, we were lying on the sand at Monticello Beach, discussing how many kids we were going to have. Yeah, we were both kidding. Uh-huh. Someone shot a picture, long gone now, that showed my sunburned back with her handprint across it. I carried that picture in my billfold for years.
I first got to know Vi when she or one of her employees provided transcription fill-in for me at St. Francis Hospital and over the years we became friends. What a truly amazing person she was. Vi was never too busy to help when I would call her with a question or just needed someone to talk to. She was an amazing lady in all aspects of her life. Even when she was growing her business, she would refer potential clients to me when I went out on my own. Vi was an "encourager" to most of the old-timer transcriptionists in Colorado Springs as well as the state of Colorado.
My thoughts and prayers to not only Vi's family, but all who knew and will miss her.
~ Lee Worley, Colorado Springs, Colorado April 23, 2014
Viola was always a good cousin to me. I remember so well the family gatherings we used to have. She was so smart and capable. Our family gets smaller.
John Hughes MD
April 22, 2014
It is with a lump in my throat but a smile on my face that I remember Vi, first my co-worker, then my neighbor, my boss, my teacher, my encourager, and through it all a true friend. I am reminded of all the conversations over a cup or three of coffee, all the desserts we enjoyed (anything with cream cheese!), all the lunches out, all the laughs, all of the sharings about family, all the business talks, all the transcription critiques, and all the times she gave me a boost when I needed it. Without her leadership and encouragement I never would have succeeded as a medical transcriptionist for 40 years or had a successful home business. I used to tell Vi she should hang her shingle, Viola Foulks, M.D. She could store so much knowledge and had an incredible memory. I am thankful for all the tough challenges she presented to me, for making me work hard and for believing in me.
The last time I saw Vi was when my husband and I spent the night with her at her 'house on the hill' in Wyoming when we were en route to Alaska. After years apart and many miles separating us, we could always pick up just where we left off. I still have the plaque she gave me for my birthday 30 years ago which reads, "Finding a friend like you is like discovering a rare shell on the beach...a precious gift." RIP my friend Vi and thank you for being that rare shell for me.
~ Paulette Meredith, Port Saint Lucie, Florida April 22, 2014
Kathy, I am so sorry for the loss of your Mom. I know the last few years were very hard for all of you. I lost my Dad January 19, 2013, and it has been rough year. My memory of your Mom is of a strong, very smart woman who not only was my best friend's Mom, but also my first boss. I remember her teaching me transcription and giving me such a chance when I really knew nothing. I remember a wicked sense of humor and a wonderful laugh. She made work a good place to be. Not to say she did not make us earn our pay.
She also holds a special place in my heart for sharing her wedding dress with me. I think of both of you every time I see my wedding pictures. I know her illness stole a lot of her from all of you, but you can be proud to have been her children and grandchildren and even to be her great grandchildren.
Thom and Vi Foulks left a strong legacy to their children of love and respect
~ Kelly (Gonzales) Quillin, Colorado City, Colorado April 21, 2014
I loved Vi. For now 25 years, I have been an MT, and who taught me all I ever needed to know.. Yep, Vi, keeping me grounded and giving me confidence. To her I own the last 25 years of my career, and she was just so fun to be around.. I will miss you my dear sweet friend, and your intelligence and support in the transcription industry is like no other. RIP my dear friend.
~ Cindee Crombie, Colorado Springs, Colorado April 21, 2014
This amazing woman, profoundly changed my life. She was my mentor, cheerleader, grammar coach, and most of all, my friend. I can hear her voice, her laugh, and most of all her wise counsel and it always brings a smile to my face. Vi was one in a million and my life is much richer for having had the extreme honor and privilege of knowing her. My love and condolences to her family. Rest assured, your mom left her mark in this world and it is indelible...and might I add...grammatically correct!
~PattyWiley, Colorado Springs, Colorado April 20, 2014
Thom, Kathy, Joe, Dana and Wendy Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you with the passing of your beloved Mom. She was a wonderful Mom to all of you, a super wife to your Dad, and a grandmother to all her grandkids!
The last few years of her life were not happy ones as she, and all of you, went through the pains and trials that Alzheimer’s disease brings. She is now free of that disease, and is now enjoying a well-earned and deserved peace. Whether you realize it or not, your grieving for the Mom you all knew and loved began when the Alzheimer’s changed her into a person you really didn’t know...nor did she, for that matter. May the many wonderful, happy memories that you have of the better times bring smiles to your faces, and joy and peace to your hearts. She fought the good fight and she is at peace! Cris’ Dad passed with Alzheimer’s, so we do know the pain of that disease. When his Dad passed, we missed what he used to be before Alzheimer’s but were thankful that he was free at that horrible disease.
I’m glad that you are all able to be together, to share laughs and tears. Please keep us apprised of your Celebration of Life plans for your Mom.
P.S. A few days ago as I was preparing a shopping list, I was remembering the time many, many years ago when Grandma went to Colorado Springs to be with your Mom and Dad over the Easter holiday. Your Mom and my Mom went to an Easter sunrise service somewhere in the Garden of Gods area. My Mom came home, totally awe-inspired by the beauty of the area, the service, and all that went with it. I was thinking it would be nice if I bought an Easter card for your Mom, sent it to her, with a few notes concerning that time that they spent together. I won’t be able to share that now with your Mom, but believe me, in my heart and mind, I am sharing with both our Moms!
Hugs and love to all of you! LeAnna and Cris
Dear Thom And All Vi’s Children: My mother, Maxine, just told me that all of Thom and Vi’s children were wonderful people. I say, because I have met Vi, I know from whom and where all their goodness was derived. God has blessed her and you all. We know she is resting in peace. Peace and love, Ron Roussey
Thom and Wendy, I am so happy that we had the experience to spend with both your Dad and Mom here in Fort Wayne. As You know I remember Thom Sr. from when he and I were very young. Your mother was a very special. She was a treat and so nice. She brought out the good in others. Celebrate the good life she had. But parting is always very sorrowful. At least it is to me. Cousin Jim R.
Thom, Kathy, Joe, Dana, spouses, and all their kids and grandkids, I have been thinking of your Mom and Dad, my sister-in-law and brother, a lot lately and have a few memories I would like to share with you.
I remember when your Dad and Mom first met, on a beach at the Lake Michigan lake-shore. Your Dad, with his red hair and complexion to go with it, wasn’t much of a laying in the sun candidate, but that’s what they did. And your Dad came away from that day with a white “arm-shaped” spot across his sunburnt back as he and your Mom spent time, getting to know each other.
And my Mom, your Grandmother, thought it was great that he had found an “older woman” to fall in love with as she thought your Dad was a bit immature and needed an “older woman” in his life. And, as it turned out, that older woman, your Mom, was a full 17 months older than your Dad. WOW!!! But it turned out that they were exactly the right match for each other, and shared many wonderful years together.
Your Mom was the glue that held your family together, with your Dad’s many years in the Air Force that took him all over the USA, and out of this country, too. When she was pregnant with Thom, Jr., your Dad was stationed somewhere out of the country (maybe Okinawa), she went home to be with her parents as her pregnancy progressed. I remember my parents, me, as well as my younger two brothers, traveling to Illinois after Thom, Jr. was born, to meet him.
Vi was a wonderful Mom to all of you, and always managed to fill in when Thom was stationed somewhere that you couldn’t all be together.
With 11 years difference between your Dad and me, the five of us often traveled to where your Dad and all of you were stationed, so that we could spend time together, and also get to know you kids as you came along. I recall a trip my 2-1/2-year daughter, Mindy, and I made with my Mom and Dad to your dark-red-sided house in Denver. Mindy was still in diapers, and arrived there following a two-day trip with a horrible case of diaper rash. Pampers hadn’t quite made it yet, so cloth diapers were the usual choice! Mindy had never seen your Mother before, but your Mom scooped Mindy up with such care and concern that Mindy didn’t have any qualms about going to her. Into a warm water bath Mindy went, with your Mom right there bathing her, and helping her to feel better. Out came the Vaseline, and the next day, Mindy’s bum was a good as new. I know Mindy will enjoy me sharing that memory with you, but that’s okay. It just shows what a warm, caring, loving individual your Mom was.
That trip your dog, Ginger, had had a litter of one, and we ended up taking that dog home to be ours, naming him “Yucca” after the plants that people in NW Ohio used as landscape plants, and those of you in Colorado called weeds, and didn’t want them in the yard at all! And when Yucca drowned in my neighbor’s pool, Mindy and I felt like we had lost our best friend and were devastated. My Mom talked with your parents, and it was agreed that Ginger’s pup from a previous litter, Spooky, wasn’t getting much attention as you kids were getting much attention as you kids were getting into your teenage years (Thom Jr. was driving when we were there) so they generously agreed to give Spooky to Mindy and me. Spooky took his first and only plane ride and arrived shaking and quivering into my Dad’s arms for the ride home. We had Spooky a long time, until his elder years took him, and he always, always loved my Dad!
While your Mom and Dad liked Ginger, they both always had soft spots for cats. I always enjoyed their stories about his or her cat... as they always seemed to have their own, individual cat, and that cat knew exactly who he belonged to.
Do you remember the Thanksgiving we all shared together, in Colorado Springs, in 2001. I had such fun cooking with your Mom and, even though we hadn’t spent a lot of time in the kitchen prior to that time, I felt like I was cooking with my big sister and loved it! And DIVINITY! Not only had I never tasted Divinity, I sure didn’t know how to make it... but make it we did! Seems it was tradition to give each of you 4 a big container of your own Divinity candy. So after about the 5th batch, one for each of you, and one for the rest of us, I knew the recipe by heart, and had the sore arm from beating it all those batches. I think of your Mom whenever I see or hear of Divinity! That was such fun!
And then your parents decided to move back to Indiana, where your Dad had spent a fair amount of his boyhood and we had lots of relatives living there. Our Aunt Maxine, whom your Dad had lived with one whole school year in his early life, opened her door to your parents and they lived at Aunt Maxine’s home in the Fort Wayne area until they found and purchased a home of their own there. Your Mom was a real trooper about the move, one I’m sure she totally made for your Dad, as I know it was hard for her to leave the Springs area. But she loved Thom more than life itself! With Fort Wayne being just two hours from Toledo, we made trips back and forth, and were able to spend more time together than we ever had before. It was all good! I am thankful for those years, short though they were, but we had them!
I almost forgot to mention what a good help your Mom was to me when Mindy was married ten years ago. My Mom had broken her arm, was still living on her own at age 89, and your Mom offered to come stay with my mom, help her get ready for the wedding, drive her there, etc. I was so thankful as that was one thing I didn’t have to be concerned about as I knew Mom was in good hands. I think your Mom and my Mom really enjoyed those few days together, sharing stories and memories of time gone by. Just as your Mom did with caring for Mindy many years prior, she looked out for my Mom and I have always appreciated that!
When your Mom moved back West, we kind of lost track of each other as her health started to fail. I know that she had a rough time in the last chapters of her life, but I do know that she has left all of you, her children, grandchildren, spouses of her children... with many wonderful, loving, fun memories. She will always be with you. I am thankful for such good memories that I know we all have. Some aren’t that fortunate. May your wonderful memories fill your hearts and bring smiles to your faces... ones you will always have and no one can ever take them away!
Hugs and much love to all of you.
Aunt LeAnna June 9, 2014