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Location: California

Friday, October 30, 2009

Remembering Tracy

October 28, 2009
We were saddened to hear Tracy had passed away. She was a delight to know - always smiling, with a twinkle in her eyes.

I recall sitting at poolside with her and a small group of neighbors one sunny afternoon. I told the story of Donn going skydiving on his 50th birthday. Tracy lit right up and said she wanted to do that for her 80th birthday.

I didn't take her seriously at first, but in subsequent days she repeatedly sought Donn out to get information on doing a jump.

It became evident she was totally serious about doing this, so we told her when she was ready, we'd drive her to the airfield in Taft where she could do a tandem jump with a certified instructor.

As it turned out, she was not allowed to do the jump by her doctor, and she was very disappointed. But there was no doubt she had the spirit for the adventure!

Danny Combs and Donn Coon

October 29, 2009
Tracy, you were one of the most interesting ladies I have ever met. From the first day we really got to know one another. When you would come and visit me in my office, I always enjoyed talking to you. Many days you put a sparkle in my day.

I am really going to miss our little chats and visits, even though I know you are in a better place with loved ones.

Just look down and give us that beautiful smile every once in awhile, to make our day, like you so often did. I will remember you fondly with love.

Mary Harjadene

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Evelyn Tracy Stout

On Oct. 25, the world lost a most incredible woman. Evelyn Tracy Russell Stout was a dancer, welder, machinist, pioneer, and adventurer but more importantly she was our mother, our grandmother and our great-grandmother.

Tracy was born in Kansas City, Kansas Feb. 18, 1924 to Bertha Margaret Bell Russell and Undril Ulysses Russell. Tracy was born with a defective patenductus valve in her heart in an age that had not yet discovered the medical breakthroughs of today. As an adult she became the second cardiac surgery done in the United States and the experimental surgery performed then opened the doors to modern cardiac surgery. Every cardiac physician she would see through out her life would get to read her surgery report and left them gasping and amazed that anyone survived.

Today due to what they learned over the years the modern procedures are same day surgery! The original surgery report reflected that the experimental surgery and drugs they used caused her to become deaf and also left her with a paralyzed vocal chord. Her voice took on the whiskey soaked tone that every boyfriend I ever had thought was sexy. It made me crazy.

As a young child she attended a one room school house after being sent to the country by the city doctors where she lived on the "old home place" in Clarksburg Mo. with her spinster great aunt and her bachelor uncles. Tracy lived there until her first year of high school when she was able to return to the city and her parents. She would for the rest of her life love the country. Tracy managed even with her heart defect to learn to tap dance and actually was part of a troupe who danced for society events held in the famous Country Club Plaza.

She always said she was a lousy dancer but she could jitterbug like no ones business. She met her soul mate while in high school; James William Stout (Bill) after the beat up Model T he and his friend were driving crashed into the drainage ditch in front of her parent's home. Her grandfather who was cleaning the ditch was knocked out it into the yard, he was shaken but unhurt. Tracy who wrote the book on acting like a lady proceeded to give Bill and his buddy a cussing that would have made a sailor blush!

Bill later told his mother that he hoped that he never ran into that woman again! Years later they would elope to Las Vegas and marry and even after his death in 1982 she never remarried knowing that he was her one and only. She was a welder during WWII and built airplanes her size allowing her to get in places most couldn't fit. She used to say she was 5'2" we never believed her but she was larger than life in so many ways. Tracy is survived by her beloved son Charles James Stout of Oxnard and much loved daughter Robin Marsh O'Grady, her adopted son and completely devoted son-in-law Thomas H O'Grady.

Her very best birthday present her grandson Cassidy A Marsh with great-grandson Gage Cassidy Marsh and her special piece of sunshine granddaughter Sabrina Marsh Karlsen and loved husband Leif Karlsen who are expecting Tracy's second great-grandchild in May. She always said that she was blessed with her family but those of us who were her family have always felt that the opposite was true.

Tracy and her wonderful spirit touch so many lives she was the most honest, devoted, unselfish person who loved mornings and washing dishes and who loved us without boundaries. She always knew and made you believe that no matter what that everything would be ok. Amazingly it always was.

It was her wish that she be cremated and her ashes spread with Bill's in the Pacific Ocean, and has asked that we celebrate her life and not mourn. We will have instead a celebration of her wonderful life at her home at 345 Ibsen Place, Oxnard CA (Oxnard Imperial Mobile Home Park on Saviers Rd), 4-6:30 p.m. on Thursday Oct. 29.
"If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together, there is something you must always remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think, but the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. I'll always be with you."
Winnie the Pooh

Friday, October 09, 2009

Homeward Bound

We cannot say the ship is making a Bee-Line for San Diego; have you ever
watched a bee that's going somewhere?

Enjoying last day fun, though. Lots of lengthy conversations with new
friends whilst wishing there was more time to become acquainted.


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Poor Loreto

We did our best to visit Loreto, B.C. today. The area was hit during
recent hurricanes. We had wondered whether we could find a restaurant we
visited last March. Found - OK. Other places gone.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Day One Done

We learned today an interesting facet of memory. Some travelers share that one's first cruise ship experience is always their best. Subsequent cruises, when compared with the first, often do not measure up.

With nine years, several cruise lines and many ships now in memory, today's return to that ship first enjoyed in 2000 finds it looking, surprisingly, just like all the others.

One memory of our first visit on this ship came when Dan located his Lady Luck outside the casino. Later, we took the sunset as our hint that it was time for our first dinner of the cruise. Dan took Prime Rib and I had Penne Pasta with Snapper. For dessert we selected Chocolate-Caramel Toffee. Dan found it so rich that he couldn't finish. He had to leave a piece the size of a dog fart which, fortunately, was et by someone else.