In Loving Memory
of
JoAnn Mincey
1938 - 2016

Eulogy for JoAnn Mincey by her granddaughter, Caitlin Collins
April 21, 2016

“The price of great love is great sorrow at its end." This is a quote that speaks not only to the love my grandfather shared with my grandmother, but also to the love we all shared with her. Pure, unconditional, unadulterated love is what my grandmother taught us most of all. When I look back over my short life, my grandmother, my Mimi, is absolutely one of my greatest influences, and I know she is above watching us all here today.

When I was writing this speech, I spent a lot of time listening and I spent a lot of time thinking about the most important things to include on behalf of not just the grandchildren, but the whole family. And, unsurprisingly, the things my grandfather said stood out the most of all. I'm sure that almost all of us here know the story of their love, but I will tell it again because it could never get old. When my grandfather was in high school, he had the option to skip a grade. He chose not to, and it was the best decision he ever made because that's how he met JoAnn Bowen. It was the first day of school and he was a senior and she was a freshman. He was sitting on the steps of the school when her bus pulled up. He had never seen her before, but as soon as he did, he said to his friends that he was going to marry her one day. As we all know, he did, and he continued to call her “my bride" until the day of her passing. I vividly remember the first time I heard this story and it has made such an impression on me and all of those I have retold it to. Kenneth and JoAnn's love is beyond a fairytale, because it is so very real and we were all blessed to watch it play out in front of our very eyes.

Kenneth and JoAnn Mincey - 2011The day before my grandmother passed away, my grandfather said something remarkable to my mother. He told her, despite how much of his wife was gone, and despite the fact that she was only breathing with the aid of oxygen, that he would take her how she is now, forever. This kind of love is rare and it is real and it is beautiful and it is remarkable and it should remind us of what we should strive for. It should remind us of what is possible and it should inspire us to not settle for less.

When I got the message that Mimi was near passing, I was out with my friends in Cairo. I immediately knew that I would come home. I booked the ticket and sat with my friends as I felt helpless about what to do. My best friend remarked that people would be surprised and grateful that I would be able to come. It had never occurred to me that this was even something I should think about. My grandmother raised me almost as much as my mother did and the thought of the not being there never even crossed my mind.

One thing I specifically remember about being in my grandmother's house (and yes, it is her house) is that she always made time to keep in touch with family. I remember coming to visit and hearing her say things like, “Oh, I need to call my sister Colleen back." No matter how far away she was, no matter how long it was since she last saw someone, she always kept in touch. She always let each one of us know that she cared and that she was there, no matter the circumstances. As someone who lives in an entirely different country on an entirely different continent, this is a lesson that I will take care to apply to my life going forward. It is far too easy to fall out of touch, but that does not have to happen if we can all live a little bit closer to the way my grandmother lived.

This morning and this afternoon, we cry tears of heartache. We push through the moments that are more painful than words can express. Our suffering is too deep to name. It is a feeling we never imagined, no matter how hard we tried to imagine it. The pain is deep and we will learn to live with it. Today, my dress is black to express respect and heartache. My dress is also white. White symbolizes purity and goodness. My grandmother is at peace once again and she is not sick anymore. I hope that you do cry tears of pain today, but I hope that after today, your tears turn to tears of joy and tears of remembrance. I am sure that she would not want us to be sad, but rather to come together and love.

The day after her passing, I was sitting with my grandfather. He was between smiles and tears. He told me that she was the best of wives and best of women and that, no offense, but he got the best sister. I would like to add, in my humble opinion, that she was also the best of grandmothers and the best of confidants, the best of comforters, the best of mothers, the best of sisters, the best of friends. We are all absolutely blessed to have had JoAnn Mincey in our lives. And so, I have one final request for you. We are all heartbroken, but my grandfather is heartbroken most of all. I would ask all of you to keep him in your prayers in the coming days and months, as we need him just as much as he needs us. Please let us share stories of his wife, our mother and grandmother, our friend, our sister, as we go throughout this afternoon and throughout our lives. Let us show just a small piece of the love she shared for each of us. Thank you.


Eulogy for JoAnn Mincey by Doug Westmoreland
Vice President of Business Development, Mincey Marble
April 21, 2016

A Special Lady ....... Our Special Lady

Good morning. My name is Doug Westmoreland.

I am blessed to have the privilege to work for the Mincey Family. I spend my time traveling the country for Mincey Marble. I often meet and speak to large groups and have been involved in some very important meetings. With that said, I have never spoken at a more important place than here today.

Today I am honored to have the opportunity to stand before you to speak briefly about JoAnn Mincey and what she meant to me personally, as well as what she meant to the hundreds of current and past Mincey Marble employees.

When I think of JoAnn, and in talking to others around the office, several words come to mind.

The first would be Beautiful. The reason for this is obvious to anyone and everyone, even at the quickest glance. You see, her beautiful blue eyes were as bright as her smile.

The word used most often to describe JoAnn is Classy. She was truly a classy lady. Every time I saw her, every hair was in place and she was always elegantly dressed.

She was also very Kind. I never heard her speak loudly or utter a harsh word about anything or anybody. She lifted all of us up every day.

Yesterday, while talking to Kevin, I asked him if she ever got loud when they were young. Kevin said she could certainly get loud when they crossed the line. Knowing Donna, and particularly Kevin and Roger, I'm sure they often crossed the line. You see, I remember those boys when they were younger. From what I can remember and from things I've heard, they loved race cars and motorcycles. Now when I say race cars, I really mean any car, because what they liked was to see how fast it would go, and they went that speed at all times.

Although I have a hard time imagining JoAnn ever getting loud, wouldn't you have liked to have been a fly on the wall the day Kenneth came home to say he bought a car dealership, ......or what about the day he told her he bought a herd of goats .... in Australia!

You see ..... I believe God created some people to be famous, while God created others to be special.

From a biblical sense, I think about the boy who shared his lunch with Jesus, who then multiplied the lunch to feed 5000. While we do not know the little boy's name, he was truly special.

In teaching us to serve others the Bible talks about the lady who washed the feet of Jesus using her hair, tears, and perfume. While her name is never mentioned, she was special.

JoAnn was the co-founder of our great company. She and Kenneth worked hard to make it what it is today. She also instilled her work ethic in Donna, Roger, and Kevin, who together have given our company the exceptional reputation we have today.

As Kenneth and I sat at the house talking yesterday, I told him what an honor it is to travel the entire country, representing a company that is held in the highest regard of everyone.

On behalf of the entire Mincey staff, I want to say that we were blessed to have known JoAnn and to see the many ways God allowed her to be special and influence and touch the lives of others. She has been an inspiration to us all.

JoAnn wasn't just a special lady, she was our Special Lady.