Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Laurel Vanderbilt Shoemaker
Anyone and everyone is invited to join us in celebrating
the time God gave Laurel Vanderbilt Shoemaker on this earth at
1:00pm on Saturday, February 4th
Southeast Bible Baptist Church
1850 Fairport Nine-mile Pt Rd, Penfield, NY 14526
For family tree details, typical of an obituary, feel free to contact Bethanyfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Laurel was someone who taught her nine children and daughter-in-law to love objective truth and justice and mercy, starting with the examples in God's Word, and expanding to countless biographies that she read aloud. She taught her children that doing the right thing (being spiritually-minded), though costly, was better than doing the easy thing (being self-centered and carnally-minded).
"Life is not fair" she would say to the whiny child.
"We are all terminal" she would say to the topic of death or sickness.
“The Lord bless you” she would instruct the offended child to say to their offender.
“Does it matter in light of eternity?” she would ask the disgruntled person.
“Pressing on ‘til Jesus comes” was the signature on her email.
"Only words of life" she would say to the criticizing person.
Laurel's greatest passion was introducing people to the Jesus of the Bible. She loved talking to her Mormon friends in the town of Palmyra when tens of thousands gathered each Summer for the Hill Cumorah Pageant. She could also be found with her microphone and gospel signs at various street corners from the adult video store in Waterloo to the Ithaca Commons to the main intersection in Canandaigua. She was a voice for the voiceless, praying outside of Planned Parenthoods. She met the needs of the homeless in inner cities.
Her second passion was childbirth coaching. My, how many children came into the world under her calm and watchful care! The only thing that would get her flustered during a birth, was the needless frazzle instigated by other women "helping" the birthing mother.
She used the gift of fluent sign language to bless the deaf in church congregations and at RIT's school for the deaf.
Was there anything she didn't do? Her crochet hooks in the house had Joshua making mittens freehand without a pattern at 11 years old!
She was a deer slayer who helped put venison in the freezer.
She had a goat/chicken farm in the face of Y2K.
She flew like the wind to attend to emergencies in Phelps as a volunteer with the local ambulance.
She worked with the Ontario County Board of Elections as an Election Inspector.
She campaigned for freedom-loving candidates running for local offices.
She served Criminal Trespass Warnings to employees of Ontario County and law enforcement who prevented our entrance to the county board meetings with their unconstitutional and anti-human policies.
Her generosity was so over-the-top, it sometimes made her family uncomfortable. One such instance was when she tried to hand off a box of opened nursing pads to another young mother passing by on the streets of Manhattan, after dealing with mastitis on a trip to be on a taping of the Rachael Ray show.
She loved, loved, loved to sing. Laurel participated in church music, Christmas caroling, and a production of Handel's Messiah, just to scratch the surface. She is the reason why all of her children break into spontaneous singing on a daily basis.
Nobody- By Casting Crowns:
" 'Cause I'm just a nobody
Trying to tell everybody
All about Somebody
Who saved my soul
Ever since You rescued me
You gave my heart a song to sing
I'm living for the world to see
Nobody but Jesus
I'm living for the world to see
Nobody but Jesus
So let me go down, down, down in history
As another blood-bought faithful member of a family
And if they all forget my name, well that's fine with me
I'm living for the world to see
Nobody but Jesus"
Micah 6:8 "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Original email tribute written January 2nd,2023-
Dear friend of the Shoemaker family,
Ten months after receiving news of disease on her ovaries, Mommy received her heavenly body at 6:40pm on New Year's Eve. Three months ago, she had made up the top tier of our family pyramid picture during our vacation on the shores of the Outer Banks, NC. Just last Sunday for Christmas, she had been able to go to her son's house and eat her last meal. After singing her to heaven and watching her final breath, all of my brothers and sisters and her mother and sister agreed, her passing could not have happened any more perfectly. A family friend who is a hospice nurse was with us and commented that it was the most peaceful passing she has ever witnessed. Wow, how Mommy loved to sing! I picture her totally beautiful voice blending with choirs so glorious, the imagination can't fathom.
In the last days of Mommy's earthly life, the care our family received from the multitudes of her friends leaves us totally dumbfounded with gratitude. Her friends were some of the most selfless people in the whole world; people who were just like her. Even in the numbness and reeling grief of loss, we realize the list of miracles and acts of love that God poured out on us, is miles and miles long.
Throughout her whole life and especially this past year, whenever someone would pose the cliche greeting, "How are you?", her answer would be, "It is well with my soul".
It Is Well With My Soul- By Horatio Spafford - please look up the story behind this hymn!
It was written by Horatio while he sailed over the ocean in the place where his four daughters drowned in a shipwreck:
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul
It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul
Mommy lived a life that all of us have been created for - she represented the character of the Savior of her soul, and she pleaded with those who didn't know Jesus to receive His perfect life and sacrifice as their only way of reaching heaven. Mommy is in heaven not because she lived a life good enough to get there, but because the blood of her perfect Savior washed away her sins when she declared her need of a Savior and asked the Holy Spirit to live in her and take control of her life many years ago. I agree with a dear friend who said, "People are still going to be choosing a soul-saving relationship with Jesus because of her life, even after she has moved to heaven".
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in memory of Laurel to the Family Hope Center, 551 Exchange Street, Geneva, NY 14456.
If there are any grammatical errors in this email, it is because my Editor-In-Chief has been promoted to Gloryland,
Family Hope Center
551 Exchange Street, Geneva NY 14456