Monday, August 10, 2009

A Tribute to Charley!

Marcella "Charley" Fried Lucier

October 9, 1922 - August 10, 1988

This is my mother. 21 years ago today she took her last flight - HOME! Marcella, aka Charley, aka Grandma Charley loved flying. It was her passion from a very early age. She actually flew an airplace before she was legal to drive a car. She gave her father his first airplane ride. He was 63 years old. Pretty amazing for a young woman in 1937. She would ride her bike out to the airfield, wash the planes on the flight line to earn the money to pay for her flying lessons. She was one of only 1023 women that earned her wings as a WASP, Women's Air Service Pilots and was so proud and rightly so. 44 years later, these women finally acquired official veteran status with all its privileges and benefits. I remember her saying that the only thing she wanted for her funeral was the right to have a flag draped on her casket. She achieved that dream/goal. Now, mind you, this sounds remarkable, and indeed, it is. After be decommissioned she went to Colorado University, Bolder, CO and was introduced to (blind date) her soul mate on VE day (May, 1945) and was married at a small side alter in St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, NY on January 7, 1946....just 7 months later. They were married for 24 1/2 years (and 11 children later) when he was suddenly taken from her on July 24, 1970. She was only 48 years old. Now, you may think she was quite remarkable, for indeed, she was. She was strong, intellegent, well read, well traveled, cultured in worldly ways, and adventurous....and carried it all with dignity and a grace most only dream to emulate. But, what I see as the most remarkable trait was her capacity to love.....and love deeply and passionately and yet so gently! She loved her husband, her children, her family, her friends, her country.......all the way down to the stranger! I pray daily to possess 1/10 of the level of capacity to love that she seemed to have and share with such ease.

Her legacy speaks volumes in the lives of her 11 children (one of whom shares her eternal happiness with her), 23 grandchildren and now 4, very soon to be 5, great grandchildren!

I love you Mom and miss you dearly! The skies are clear and ready for take off. Oh, btw, Mr. Brown said, "Roger, Charley, your flaps are down!"

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