About the author...

MWhere I’ll be:M

Birch Bay Public Market

Friday, May 10 through the end of summer, Cathy and I will be selling her hand-made soaps, lotions, and toiletries, along with my photography, note cards, calenders, books, etc.

Come see us!

Across the street from the C Shop

4825 Alderson Road, Birch Bay, Washington 98230


I had an automated blogroll here, powered by Google Reader, but Google, in its near-infinite lack of wisdom, killed Google Reader. Prior to this murder, all I had to do to put a blog on my blogroll (or to take it off) was to place it in a Reader folder called, appropriately enough, "blogroll" (or, of course, to remove it). I use The Old Reader now for following blogs, but it seems to have no way to something similar regarding the blogroll. If you know of a way to do this, please let me know.

Corienne Maire Montgomery, 1936 – 2012

My mother died at the end of last month.

(Her name when she died was actually Hay, but she was a Montgomery for many years, and I wanted the connection to be a little clearer in my title.)

The following was written by my sister, Cherie:

Corienne Maire Hay neé Hackett, beloved sister, mother, aunt, and grammie was born in Vancouver, Washington and died peacefully in her Bellingham, Washington home at the age of 75. She was preceded in death by her mother, Opal Adele Jones; her father, Russell Hackett; two sons, Steven and Wayne Montgomery; granddaughter, Alina Montgomery; granddaughter-in-law Anne Montgomery; and nephew Brian Waldo. She leaves behind sisters Dorothy O’Brien, Carolee Lindquist and her husband Bruce, Kay Waldo and her husband Ron; daughter Debbonnaire Kovacs and her children Nathaniel, Robin and Sally Christopher; son Levi Montgomery, his wife Cathy, and their children Brandon, Aaron, Amanda, Lacey, Steven and Andrew; daughter Cherie Valeithian, her partner Kristine Thomas, and Cherie’s daughter Heather Pauley; daughter Summer Katheryne Holmes and her children Lindsey and her husband Chris Leimbach, Liandra, Elliott, Spencer, Abigail, Preston and Valerie; and Wayne’s daughter Desiree. Also surviving her are eight nieces, two nephews, and numerous friends.

Corienne became a Seventh-Day Adventist at the age of ten and was an active part of many congregations throughout her life. In recent years she was a member and beloved elder of the Lummi Seventh-Day Adventist Church. She was a full-time homemaker and mother while her children were young, and then worked as an Activities Director and Social Service Representative at area nursing homes for more than 20 years. Upon leaving her position in Social Services at Pioneer Ridge Health Care in the late 1990s, she became a private home health aide. She retired from that profession in 2010.

Corienne was passionate about her relationship with God, a dedicated elder in her church community, a regular donor to Adventist Development and Relief Agency and other charitable organizations, an environmental conservationist, and a strong believer in “reduce, reuse, recycle” decades before that phrase was popularized. She was a compassionate woman who accepted just about everybody, foibles and all. As a result she “adopted” or was adopted by the friends of her children, the children of her friends, and others who needed a mommy, a grammie, a sister, or a friend to give a helping hand, a listening ear, or a hug. She also had a fiercely independent spirit and lived for thirty years on her own land without many of the conveniences of modern life. She could (and did) build, re-build, or re-purpose items for her daily life, cut her own firewood, can fruits and vegetables over an open fire-pit and carry drinking water from town. She was a talented seamstress who made beautiful clothing out of pieces of used clothing from a thrift shop or scraps and remnants of new fabric, often without benefit of a pre-printed pattern. She made wedding dresses and other formal gowns for various sisters, daughters and others, sometimes using curtains or bed sheets as fabric if that was all that was available. She was a writer of prose and poetry, a singer and songwriter with hundreds of songs and a CD to her credit, and was skilled in many crafts, including crochet, embroidery, quilting, making and arranging silk flowers, building bird houses out of natural materials, and making jewelry. She was famous for her ability to make roses out of anything handed to her, including ribbons, leaves, bread or pie crust dough, pieces of fabric, children’s modeling clay, and yes, even facial tissue or toilet paper. She was also an avid reader and lifelong learner who excelled at word puzzles and jigsaw puzzles. All of her skills and talents combined with her stubbornly-held independence made it difficult for those of us who loved her to take care of her, though she softened on that in the last few years.

Her time on this earth was too short. We expected to have her with us for many more years, and we will miss her terribly. However, as long as we carry a piece of her in our hearts she is with us still.

Donations can be made in her name to her favorite charity, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency www.adra.org

~ Biography by Cherie M. Valeithian, Corienne’s middle daughter

I hope this explains some of my AWOL-ness in the last couple of weeks.

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