Maria Auxiliadora Shearer, 1927–2015

I am sad to report that my mother died about 4 p.m. (MDT) yesterday. I managed to pay her a short visit before the end; she was drifting in and out of consciousness, unable to speak, and I am not sure whether she recognized me. She seemed to have suffered a stroke or some other cerebral catastrophe, for all the muscle tone had gone out of her face, and her lower lip had curved back in on itself to cover her gums. Her face was unrecognizable; it was the characteristic pattern of the arthritis in her right hand (the left was under the bedclothes) that proved to me that I was in the right room.

She had been married to my father for 52 years, and had no desire to outlive him; and indeed she took such poor care of herself (being a fairly heavy smoker and drinker for as long as I can remember, and disdaining to eat regular meals) that we were surprised she lived as long as she did. Once my father was gone, she went into what soon proved to be a terminal decline. At any rate she is at peace now, for the first time in many years; God rest her soul.

Thanks very much for all the prayers and messages from my 3.6 Loyal Readers and other friends.


  1. I am so sorry to hear about your mother, Tom. She had such a beautiful name, I’m glad you shared it.

    I hope your memories include many good ones, and that they are of some comfort. She may or may not have known you were there, but she knows now. May she rest in peace.

    I think of my Dad joking and playing golf with his brothers who predeceased him, and waiting patiently for my Mother to join him, and of all the relative I miss waiting for me, and it does help.

    I will be praying for all of you.


    • Alas, my mother hated her middle name; her family shortened it to ‘Dora’, which she cordially disliked. After she married my father and immigrated to Canada, she let on that her middle name was Elena, and for some years she insisted upon being called that. One could always tell that somebody had first met her in the 1960s or 70s by the fact that they knew her as Elena.

      • I’ve never heard that title for Mary; it is lovely, although I can sort of see why one would not care to go by “Mary, Help of Christians.”

  2. I am sorry for your losses.

  3. My condolences to you, sir.

  4. Suburbanbanshee says

    I am very sorry to hear about your mother’s passing. I will pray for her.

    PS – You might want to take down your mother’s maiden name, given how much financial info verification can be tied to that particular piece of information. It’s a terrible thing to have to be paranoid about, but you have to be paranoid about it in this world.

    • No point in doing that now. There’s already one trackback to this post, mentioning her maiden name, and I don’t have the power to take that down.

      In any case, anybody trying to use my financial information will quickly find out that I have debts but no assets.

  5. I had not read this post. My heartfelt condolences and prayers for her and you.

    In paradisum deducant eam angeli. In suo adventu suscipiant eam martyres et perducant eam in civitatem sanctam Ierusalem.


  1. […] via Maria Auxiliadora Shearer (née Ramirez), 1927–2015. […]

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