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Thursday, August 27, 2009

In Memoriam: Liz Conrad

I lost my dear friend, Liz Conrad, to cancer Wednesday morning. It was a shock to everyone. She’d been dealing with the cancer for a while, but everything was going so well - she never even lost her hair. Tests proved the cancer had been destroyed where it was first detected. Unfortunately, two weeks ago the doctors found out that it had moved. They planned an aggressive attack, but the cancer was faster. So very fast.
     We spent the most marvelous day together just a few weeks back. We went to Little Five Points, had lunch and meandered through all the shops. She helped me pick out the blue flapper dress that I wore in Los Angeles. I’m so glad we had that day. It was the epitome of everything I loved about spending time with Liz.
     We met years ago at an SCBWI Southern Breeze conference and ogled over each other’s work and our (at the time) mostly pre-published status. From then on, we attended and roomed at conferences together, had dozens of wonderful lunches and when I became Illustrator Coordinator for our region, Liz was my right arm (and creative cohort). She and Vicky Alvear Shecter are/were my posse. After so many lunches we started sharing our work with each other and became an impromptu critique group, based on friendship and extreme mutual respect.

     Liz was always the most positive person I have ever known. Her artwork was filled with such joy. You can see some of it here and here and here. I went to her for smiles and clear thinking. Next to my husband, she was one of those rare people whose moral compass points true north. Absolutely and perfectly.
     I had hoped we would grow old together. I had visions of us at the family cabin, grey beyond reason, and going over our latest manuscripts together. I’ve missed her so terribly in these two weeks as she declined, I know I will miss her forever. It’s hard to get my head around the fact that she won’t be here. The world needs more people like Liz in it, not less. I am heart broken.
     I’ll post funeral arrangements here as soon as I know them. Meanwhile, do something nice for somebody today and smile even if you don’t feel like it. That’s what Liz would do.

Update (Monday, August 31st): Liz's family is following your lovely condolences posted here - so please feel free to reach out to them as well - her husband Rick, and daughters Lauren and Caitlin. (And her dogs Gus and Dillon and Max the cat.) I've spoken with the family and Caitlin's wedding is still planned for September. Liz was cremated and they will have a Celebration of Life ceremony for her towards the end of October - I will post details as I hear.

Update (Wednesday, September 16th, 2009): I've spoken with Liz's husband, Rick, and the Celebration of Life Ceremony for Liz will take place:
     Saturday, October 24th from 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm-ish (est)
     at the clubhouse in Rivermoore Park (their neighborhood)
     in Suwanee, Georgia
     4720 Meadow Park Lane, Suwanee, Georgia 30024.

Directions: Peachtree Industrial Blvd. north from 285 (runs parallel to 85), left at Moore Road (north of 120), left at 3rd left - Meadow Park Drive, striaght to round-about (large Dovecote in the middle) and follow around to Meadow Park Lane.

At Southern Breeze, (our regional chapter of the SCBWI) we've also established a Liz Conrad Portfolio Critique Scholarship Fund in her honor. Click her image for details. Or, if you would like to make a donation (thanks so much to those who have donated already), send a check made out to Southern Breeze to:
     Southern Breeze
     PO Box 26282
     Birmingham, AL 35260

     The money collected will be used to award two free Portfolio Critiques at each Southern Breeze conference annually for budding illustrators in our Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi region. As Liz's daughter, Caitlin, said,
"Mom used the critiques to enhance her art and strengthen her confidence. Later, down the line, she was asked to actually do critiques for others...she was ecstatic! I just know how much it did for her and hope that it could help another aspiring writer/illustrator in the same way..."
     We feel this is a way our wonderfully supportive community of children's book writers and illustrators can honor our friend best.

     You can also send donations in Liz's honor to the American Cancer Society or the Humane Society.

     Along with this blog post, Liz's good friend (and Rick's cousin) from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Julie Metsker, has set up a Memorial Page for Liz at http://www.memorial2u.com/LizConrad/id/104.
     I'm collecting photos for a moving picture frame to be part of a memorial at our next Southern Breeze conference and to include on this memorial page. So please send your photos to me at elizabeth at dulemba dot com or upload them to the gallery below. (For those of you in the midwest you can also send photos to Julie at jmetsker at iserv dot net.) If your photos are large, please send them through yousendit.com.
     Again, thanks so much. It's no wonder Liz was surrounded by such kind and generous friends as proven by all your wonderful comments - light attracts light.

Update - October 25, 2009: Many people expressed interest in having their own copy of the collected comments from this memorial blog post and the Memorial Page. (Two copies were floating around during the Celebration of Life Ceremony.) I've made the collection available through Lulu.com - click the cover.
Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

PHOTO GALLERY: I've started a photo gallery and you should be able to upload your own photos to it at: http://gallery.me.com/elizabethdulemba#100050


VIDEO TRIBUTE: We had a lovely tribute for Liz at the 2010 SCBWI Springmingle Conference in Atlanta. We officially awarded two scholarships to kick off the incredible fund now in place to honor Liz, and Rick was there as well. If you would like to see the video or purchase your own copy, it is online at ONE TRUE MEDIA.

COMMENTS:
Comments didn't come over when I moved my blog to a new URL, so I am listing them here - all of them...
86 COMMENTS:

 Sarah said...
I'm so sorry e-- She sounds like such a lovely person.
8:07 AM  

 Anni Matsick said...
So sorry to hear of Liz' passing. She will live on in your cherished memories.
8:23 AM
 
 Vicky Alvear Shecter said...
Beautiful. I'm glad you did this.
8:48 AM
 
 Michelle said...
Oh, e - I'm so sorry. Thank you for writing this lovely post about your friend.
9:07 AM  

 Kristi Valiant said...
So sorry to hear this. I only met her once, but she was so open and friendly. I know she'll be greatly missed.
9:18 AM
 
 K L Bradshaw said...
e, your post is beautiful and a wonderful tribute to Liz. When I got your email this morning, I was overwhelmed with sadness. I kept re-reading it, hoping to make it say something else. Liz was such a bright spirit, that I did not even know she was sick. Even though I only knew her through the Southern Breeze conferences, I was always drawn to her and appreciated her positive encouragement. Her illustrations are beautiful, entertaining, delightful and childlike without being childish. Her passing is a tremendous loss. A bright light has gone out.
9:19 AM
 
 Hardygirl said...
So incredibly sad. Such a loss.

Thanks for posting such a loving tribute.
9:31 AM
 
 Rita Lorraine said...
My thoughts and prayers are with Liz' family, and with you. Take care of yourself.

Rita Lorraine
9:36 AM
 
 Mary Cunningham said...
You've not only given your dear friend a warm and loving tribute, you've comforted us all with your words. 

So sorry...
9:39 AM
 
 kristydempsey said...
Oh, Elizabeth. What a beautiful celebration of your friend's life. I hope you'll continue to find ways to celebrate her in the days to come. I'm so sorry.
9:42 AM
 
 Phyllis Harris said...
What a beautiful lady and tribute. My heart is so sad for this loss and I didn't even know her. Her art in the childrens books that she did will live on and give those who get to enjoy them much happiness.

I'm so,so sorry e.
9:50 AM  

 Shelli said...
Liz was adorable. she will be missed tremendously.
10:04 AM
 
 Doraine Bennett said...
I was Liz's angel at the last Springmingle. She was a lovely and delightful person. I am sorry for your loss of such a precious friend. Her gentle, sweet heart will indeed be missed.
10:16 AM
 
 Anonymous said...
I'm am sorry for the loss of your friend. Thank you for sharing her story with those of us who did not know her.
10:22 AM  

 mimi schroeder said...
Liz was a beautiful person, inside and out. She leaves behind a great example of how to treat your fellow men and women.
10:23 AM
 
 princesstomato said...
I'll be thinking of you and of her family. She will undoubtedly be greatly missed. Her work is a true joy, and it sounds like the friendship you shared is as well.

xoxo
teri
10:27 AM
 
 Robyn Hood Black said...
I'm still in shock and devastated. Thank you, e, for this tribute. The same image came to me as came to Kathleen - a beautiful light has gone out. I have a candle burning in my home for her right now. Her amazing positive energy will continue to cast its light...
11:10 AM
 
 Ramey Channell said...
Such a lovely and loving tribute to Liz. She will be greatly missed.
11:13 AM
 
 Laura Zarrin said...
I'm so sorry to hear that. Her work was amazing! It's such a gift to have a friend like that.
11:28 AM
 
 Terri Hoover Dunham said...
I'm so sorry, Elizabeth. So sad. Looks like she was a beautiful person and a wonderful artist.
11:29 AM
 
 Sarah Campbell said...
I had no idea she had cancer. I loved the time I spent with her, too. We will miss her in Southern Breeze. Thank you for writing a tribute. I am so sorry you will be without your friend and colleague.
11:40 AM
 
 Traci @ ITD said...
Such sad news. My heart goes out to you.
11:43 AM
 
 Paula Pertile said...
Oh, how terribly sad. I'm so sorry.
12:11 PM
 
 Peggy Shaw said...
Liz was one of the kindest, most vibrant and giving people I've ever known. She helped me after I was I was laid off from Dalmatian in several ways, one of which was a precious logo that I will always treasure. Liz said somewhere that she always loved a new box of crayons. Last night, through all of the sadness, I thought of her in heaven, delighted to have a box of crayons with colors she's never seen before. She blessed so many people with her life.
12:15 PM
 
 Laurie said...
K L Bradshaw expressed my feeling exactly. This is such a shock, since I had no idea she was sick. I last spoke with her in the spring, and now I am so sad I had not talked to her since. She was a huge talent and such a joy to work with. Thank you, Elizabeth, for such a warm and moving tribute. My deepest condolences to you and her family.
12:25 PM
 
 Janet said...
What joy she left behind with her art. We should all aspire to do as much. Condolences, e.
12:47 PM
 
 Jen Robinson said...
I'm so sorry about your friend, e. I'm glad that you had quality time together recently, to cherish.
12:53 PM
 
 Loreen Leedy said...
Thank you for writing this tribute to let us know about Liz. My best wishes go to her family and friends.
1:11 PM
 
 Leslie Muir said...
Oh gosh, I had no idea. I'm stunned. Just a couple of months ago Liz was sending me ecstatic, thrilled-beyond-belief emails after she'd signed with an agent. I can't believe it.

Such an amazingly talented and exuberant person. My heart goes out to her family and friends. Heartbreaking news.
1:39 PM
 
 winglessflite said...
I am so sorry to hear about Liz. You are as lucky to have had such a wonderful and dear friend as she was to have you. That is a loving and beautiful tribute. Jackie
2:24 PM  

 Joe Kulka said...
How incredibly sad. A sweet tribute by you, Elizabeth.
Liz is proud of you.
2:37 PM  

 Joe Kulka said...
How incredibly sad. A sweet tribute by you, Elizabeth.
Liz is proud of you.
2:38 PM
 
 Kristin Tubb said...
I didn't know Liz, but after reading your words, I sure wish I had. What a lovely tribute to your dear friend. My thoughts and prayers are with Liz's family and friends.
3:07 PM  

 Mary said...
Liz was one of my dearest friends....our relationship dates back to when our duaghters were toddlers together. She was a wonderful Mother, friend, wife, artist, and a not-so-good golfer! Your sentiments reflect what everyone that knew her feels....a great heartache.She will live on in our hearts and in great memories and in her two beautiful daughters. Thank you for such a lovely tribute to such a very special person. Mary
3:41 PM
 
 Rebecca McDowell said...
Thanks, Elizabeth, for letting us know. I remember a conversation I had with her at one of the B'ham conferences when she was excited about donating some of her work to decorate the children's ward at a hospital near her. That was Liz - generous and joyous. Her lively personality and her charming illustrations always made me smile.
3:42 PM  

 Deb Scott said...
What a tribute to Liz . . . she was loved and admired by everyone that knew her. There were no strangers to Liz! She touched everyone's life with her upbeat, fun outlook on life. I have been blessed with her friendship since high school and am so very sad to have lost such a vibrant and wonderful friend. She may be gone, but she will never be forgotten. Love to all the Conrads and Brookers!
6:45 PM
 
 Miller Illustration said...
She will be missed.
7:15 PM
 
 Ted Rogers said...
I am so sorry for your loss. Prayers are with you , Stan, and her family. By your description, I feel cheated that I did not know her. Peace to you and her loved ones.
7:19 PM
 
 azang said...
All my best to you and Liz's family.
7:21 PM  

 Christina E. Rodriguez said...
You are so lucky to have known her on a personal level. I've been a fan of her work for years. It is such a shame that the world is without such a talented, generous person.
7:28 PM  

 mary ann rodman said...
When I saw the message line about Liz in my email, I knew it wouldn't be good news, but I was not prepared for this. Like everyone else, I never had a clue she was ill. Although I only saw her once or twice a year, she always made a point of coming over to talk, and was one of the first people to make me welcome in Southern Breeze. Such a lovely and loving person is such a loss to us, but how lucky we are to have known and loved her. Somehow, after talking to Liz for a few minutes, I felt as if I had a little sunshine thrown my way. 
Elizabeth, thank you for doing this for her, and for us.
7:47 PM
 
 Sarah said...
When I left my comment this morning I didn't even realize that this was the Liz I knew through PBAA. Her work is so vibrant and fun. And her last blog post was so full of hope and wonderful things for the future. So sad.
7:49 PM
 
 Debbie Meyer said...
I'm so sad to hear of Liz passing. I didn't have the pleasure to know her well, but I did have the pleasure of hiring her to illustrate a couple projects for Harcourt School Publishers a few years ago. When her artwork arrived, it was like Christmas in our office. The work was AMAZING! It was packaged in hand-made boxes, that protected the treasured illustrations she sent us. We oohed & ahhed over them all day, trying not to drool oon them and ruin the paper! I think I hired around 250 illustrators that year, and I can tell you that Liz's work was one of my favorites. The detail, the humor, the love she put into it . . . simply amazing. I was thrilled to be able to hold the original artwork and see her process from sketch to finals. She was one talented lady who will be missed a great deal. Big hugs to her family, and also to you, Elizabeth.
7:49 PM
 
 Amy Baskin said...
I'm so sorry for your loss. She sounds like the kind of person who left the world a better place than when she first arrived. 

Sending you my thoughts and love,
Amy
7:56 PM  

 Amy C. Moreno said...
Just reading your words and seeing her work and face says it all. You must miss her deeply. I am so sorry for your loss, and her family's loss of her. I know that she has made an eternal impact in many lives. My thoughts and prayers are with you and her family.
8:00 PM
 
 Debra said...
Liz was an uber talent and such a professional. As the former Publisher of Piggy Toes Press, the Creative Director and I always seemed to gravitate towards Liz's illustrations. The work she created for us was spectacular and among some of my favorite.
I send strength to all her friends and family,
Sincerely,
Debra Mostow Zakarin
8:11 PM
 
 Tink said...
I am so sorry for your loss.
She must have been a Wonderful person, She has left footprints on your heart and they will always be with you..
8:27 PM
 
 gail said...
My heart sank when I read this. I'm so sad for your loss, and her family's. I love looking at her bright and beautiful art.
8:39 PM  

 Vicky Alvear Shecter said...
Knowing that Liz's family is following these comments, I just have to add that I am deeply, deeply grateful to have known Liz. When I first saw her at a SCBWI conference several years ago, I remember thinking, "Wow, she is so beautiful and put together! I bet she's from New York!" Then I met her through Elizabeth and I was stunned and delighted to learn how sweet and down-to-earth she was. It usually takes me a while to get over being intimidated by someone but Liz's enormous smile felt like sunshine reaching into my bones and warming me from the inside out. She talked about her daughters all the time and was a great source of hope and inspiration to me when I turned to her with "being-a-Mommy" troubles. Knowing that I was/am on an insulin pump like Rick, she would sometimes take me aside and check to make sure I wasn't going too low or that I felt okay. A true nurturer. I have been drinking in her art since I received the news. Joy and exuberance radiates from her work just as it did from her very center. I am, like everyone else who knew her, heartbroken.
9:10 PM  

 Shauna said...
Your words make me wish I had known her myself, but knowing she was dear to you and Stan, I know she was an amazing person. I am sorry for your pain and want you and her family to know that you will be in my prayers.
9:32 PM
 
 Jody Langley said...
My deepest sympathy and prayers go out to Liz' family and friends. I first met Liz about 15 yrs ago when she was still living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She worked on several projects for us over the years at Zondervan and they were all AMAZING. She's a real gem. She'll be greatly missed. I am so very sorry.
10:12 PM
 
 kom said...
Maddie loves the book that Liz signed for her...the snow ball! xoxo
10:22 PM
 
 Barbara Lanza said...
What a great friendship you shared, e, and what a fitting tribute you have written for Liz. I am so sorry for your loss and for Liz's loved ones.
Her art sparkles with joy which could only have come from her loving heart.
10:31 PM
 
 Donny Bailey Seagraves said...
I remember Liz from Southern Breeze conferences and now I feel that I know her from your heart-felt, well-written tribute, Elizabeth. What a blessing she was to everyone around her, family, friends, Southern-Breezers -- everyone. And what a loss. My condolences go out to her husband, Ric, and her daughters Lauren & Caitlin (and yes, her dogs Gus and Dillon and Max the Cat) and to her friends. I guess the thing to hold onto at a time like this is the memory of what a wonderful gift Liz was while we had her.--Donny
8:09 AM
 
 powers-studio.daniel said...
Oh, Elizabeth — It broke my heart to hear that Liz died. I couldn't believe it and was convinced you must be talking about someone else. I had no idea she was ill. I'm really sorry for you as well as her family. And I'm sad, too, because I was just getting to know Liz and recognized that she was a special person I'd enjoy spending time with, talking art and books. What sad news. I'm really sorry.
9:14 AM
 
 Anonymous said...
What a lovely tribute to Liz! She was one of my best friends in high school, room mates after college, etc. I was so shocked to hear of her death, also. Words can't describe how I feel now. She was that special type of person that was always "up", even during her treatments. A very sad day for the family & friends she left behind. Moe Cotter-Cook,Medina, OH
9:30 AM  

 Jo said...
Liz's personality was reflected in her art-style -- full of brightness, fun, exuberance, light. I'm glad that we have her art as a visual remembrance of her beautiful life.
She and I were both looking forward to meeting future in-laws of one of our kids on Labor Day. My heart breaks for Liz's family and for all of us. She will be dearly missed and oh, so fondly, remembered.
9:30 AM
 
 jenniferjabaley said...
What a beautiful and moving tribute for a beautiful lady. I'm sad that I never had the fortune of meeting Liz, but just one look at her illustrations and her exuberance and positivity shine. What a terrible loss. Her spirit will live long as each new person discovers what a talented artist and kind person she was.
10:02 AM
 
 Ginger*:) said...
Truly a loss. I am so sorry for her family and hope that all her work will still bring comfort and joy to those who cherish it and her.

You are such a good friend to remember her and create such a loving post.
10:21 AM
 
 Karen Strong said...
I'm so sorry to hear this. I just found out today. This is really sad news. 

I met Liz at this year's Springmingle and looked at her artwork. She was truly a talented artist and a really nice person.

Thanks for posting this memoriam. It is so unfortunate that such a beautiful person was taken so soon.

Much love from my heart goes out to her family.
10:28 AM
 
 Susan Spain said...
What a lovely tribute to Liz, Elizabeth, made even more meaningful with all the sentiments here from her friends. Liz's art reflected her life in so many ways--with humor, openness and joy. You can't help but smile when you see it. I admired her tremendously, and looked forward to our luncheon meetings so much because business didn't seem so much like business when you gather with friends. I love Vicky's idea of the candle burning for her, and I'm doing the same today. While the rain cries down my windowpanes, her light her light glows throughout my house. Thank you, Liz, for being a bright light in all our lives for the time you were here. We will not forget you.
10:30 AM
 
 Diana Black said...
Elizabeth, I can't imagine how you're feeling right now. Or the shock and pain of Liz's family.

Just looking at her work, and how much joy it inspires, and reading these comments, I wish I'd at least have met Liz.

She leaves an amazing legacy of art and love.

Hugs,
Diana
10:42 AM
 
 Anonymous said...
To all the Brooker's and Conrad's. I am so sorry to hear about Liz. I always thought that Linda & Liz could have been sisters in their Medina cheerleading days. They both had that long, straight, blonde hair, petite little bodies, and brilliant smiles. She will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to know her.

Linda is waiting with open arms.

Amy Miller Bartlett
10:46 AM
 
 nancy said...
I only met Liz once at a Southern Breeze conference. She signed a book for my grandson and we chatted for a few minutes. She left such an impression because of her friendly manner that I felt like I lost a friend when I heard that she had passed away. I am thankful to have her autograph and some of her work. Her family and friends are in my prayers.
11:27 AM
 
 Deanna said...
This is truly heartbreaking news.

Liz was a wonderful artist, of course; she was also a terrific writer, and was poised for a breakthrough as an author/illustrator. Most of all, though, she was one of the sunniest, most delightful, fun, generous, all-around wonderful people I've ever known.

Some of the most fun I've had as a writer was working on Riddle, Diddle, Dumplings with Liz (and Diane, of course!)

What a sad loss for all who know her . . . and for those who never got that chance.
11:46 AM
 
 Wendy Edelson said...
oh I am so sorry to hear this sad and terrible news. I never met her personally, only knew her through her beautiful and vibrant work and her post on the PBAA list...but it is obvious that she was a wonderful and well loved artist, friend, mother, wife and daughter, a bright and shining light that is gone too soon, and will be greatly missed.
12:41 PM
 
 Jodi Wheeler-Toppen said...
What a loss. She had such wonderful enthusiasm and her art just shouted, "fun!"
12:48 PM
 
 edna said...
Hi e, So sorry to read of Liz's passing. What dear friends you were. My sincere condolences to her family. May Liz's wonderful art bring comfort and loving memories. With Aloha, Edna
12:54 PM  

 BJ Schneider said...
A few years ago, several of us crammed into Vicky's van for the trip to and from Birmingham. That was the first time I met Liz. She was just the right size for the back seat, but her laughter filled the space. I'm as stunned as the rest of you. Light seems the word to describe her gift. Thanks for lighting the candle for her, Vicky.
1:14 PM
 
 Anonymous said...
My heart goes out to all of Liz' family & friends. What a terrible loss.
Margo Miller Potts
2:05 PM
 
 Anonymous said...
I am so deeply saddened and heartbroken by this news. I knew Liz from our cheerleading days together in high school. Liz was such a lovely person inside and out! She will be greatly missed by everyone who knew her! My sincere sympathy to the Conrad and Brooker families and to all of Liz's friends who were so blessed to know her. Liz certainly touched many lives with her great smile and laughter, her sense of humor and positive attitude, her generous spirit, and her talent and beauty. Her loving memory will always live on. 
Carole Koenig-Nowak
4:40 PM  

 Jennifer B. Bailey said...
I am so sorry to hear this. I didn't know Liz personally, but saw her at many conferences and always admired her poise and presence. Thank you for writing this post.
4:45 PM
 
 Lori Calabrese said...
I'm so sorry for your loss. At least you had that quality day together--that means so much! My thoughts and prayers are with her family!
7:23 PM
 
 Anonymous said...
We simply cannot believe this--to Marge, Jim, Halle and all the Conrads, you are in our thoughts and prayers. It is wonderful to read how many lives her sunny spirit touched. Our love from Barbara and Don Gilbert
9:58 AM
 
 Katie said...
Oh my gosh! I am so devastated! This is horrible news. 

Please pass on my sincerest condolences to her family. She was a lovely and talented person and I feel honored to have met her.

I am so sorry for your loss.
1:03 PM  

 Anonymous said...
To Jim and Marge-Stan informed us of the sad news and I have notified Ron and Charlie. We all are thinking of you this evening. Don Gilbert
8:05 PM
 
 Barb Cole said...
Thank you for the beautiful tribute to Liz, my former neighbor in Grand Rapids. With Liz across the street, the sun was always shinning and laughter ringing.Many fond and funny memories will keep her close to my heart. She will be missed more than one can imagine.
9:27 PM
 
 Julie Metsker said...
Liz and I were best friends for that time in our life when our kids were little and we had no money and we could have coffee (only with real half and half!) every morning and talk on the phone…..that time seems far away and yet right now. She was always available and ready to help re-arrange the room – moving couches and tables..picking colors ..helping to paint. 

One of my favorite memories is when we were both pregnant (with Hilary and Caitlin) – about 6 months along and we needed to wallpaper the ceiling in my kitchen. At least I had decided that it was the best and cheapest way to cover all the cracks. The ceilings in that kitchen were 10 feet high – so picture 2 very pregnant ladies on ladders trying to get plain white wallpaper straight on the ceiling. We worked for an hour on one strip. Laughing, frustrated …then sat down at the dining room table – so discouraged, but I’d spent $70 on wallpaper – what were we to do. I remember we drank coffee – is that possible? – at any rate – we re-grouped and actually got the project done that day. What a victory and what laughter!

Another time we decided that we had to pierce a second hole in our ears – again the kids were little – we probably decided while drinking coffee. Get the needle – get an apple – get the ice! Ok – which ear means that we are gay? We don’t care – just get it done – and we did! I’m not sure how Rick felt about it, but my husband was underwhelmed with what we did that day.

We went to Chicago for our first big outing since having kids – we really needed to see Crate & Barrel. We high fived after we checked into the hotel “all by ourselves” without our husbands, shopped so much that it took 2 bell carts to get all our purchases down to the car and then we even were able to drive ourselves home without a hitch. Amazing how that seemed so grown up!

I got out of the shower this morning and realized that Liz helped pick the colors and that she consulted on the choosing of the tile, the placing of the random black and white. Her art is placed above my mantle – 2 pieces of cut paper and stamping – one for me with a half and half woman – the working side and the mother. Her special piece created after our trip on the Boundary Waters – the Big Dipper sits on my desk and has since that adventure in 2003. 

She helped create every invitation for the annual big homebrew party, the logo for P & J Brewing Supplies. We had to drink wine to “brainstorm” those invitations and we did it during the day…when the kids were little and we tired of coffee.

As I write this, the hole in the world gets bigger and the globe tilts on its axis. She was an incredible friend, cousin-in-law and person. The world is dimmer without her light. 

We have a permanent memorial page set up at www.memorial2u.com
10:47 AM  

 Juliann said...
I am so shocked and saddened to hear of her passing. Liz was so full of life and happiness, it showed in her illustrations and design work. I didn’t know about graphic design until I met Liz, in the late seventies, she inspired me to become a graphic designer. Her work early on, was so clever and innovative, I just aspired to be half that good. Liz gave me a direction in life and I will always be grateful.
12:33 PM  

 C. M. Fleming said...
I have struggled to find words to express my feelings for Liz and the deep hole that has been left in all of us who knew and loved her. I met Liz when I was the Illustrator Coordinator for Southern Breeze. She popped up at the portfolio table and greeted me with that dazzling smile. In the years I knew her, I never heard her utter a negative word. 

Though Liz was (so hard to use past tense) petite, usually the tiniest person in a photo, she was the one that all eyes couldn't help but focus on. How could you not be drawn into her joy of life. 

“...do not say a little in many words, but a great deal in a few.” Author Unknown

Though our world is dimmer because of our loss, heaven is all the brighter. 
Connie (C. M.) Fleming
10:50 AM
 
 Anonymous said...
I was so sorry to hear this news. Liz was loved by so many and went far too young. My deepest sympathy to her parents and Rick and the girls. Molly Miller
5:37 PM  

 amy Timberlake said...
Oh man, I am sorry. Thanks for posting this tribute. I KNOW her work -- beautiful, great colors, and with such a sense of humor. Thanks for posting this.
9:15 AM
 
 Roberta Baird said...
My condolences to Liz's family for their loss and to you for the loss of a dear friend. While I didn't know Liz, I was very familiar with her work. Her art will continue to bring much joy.
12:01 PM
 
 Anonymous said...
This is such a shock. We know Liz and Rick and their beautiful girls Lauren and Caitlin from their Lexington days. What fun we had. We enjoyed getting the original designed Christmas cards each year and hearing how life was going. We are deeply saddened about this loss. Our thoughts are with you all. Nellie and Harvie Wilkinson
4:09 PM  

 Ruth McNally Barshaw said...
Oh, E. I'm so sorry. I knew Liz online... I'm sorry for your loss. Deepest condolences to her friends and family. She was a special lady.
Your post and the scholarship fund are a lovely tribute.
1:20 AM  

 Helen Dooley said...
I know this is late and I am sorry for that. I read your tribute to your firend- you loved her so much. By the look of her, her art and your words, you were very lucky to have such a lovely lady in your life. Best friends don't come along often. Especially someone who is a true friend. I see in her art the love you spoke of. I wish for you that time will make Liz a wonderful memory that in times when you need her, she will be there. I am truely sorry for your loss.
12:59 AM  
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1 comments:

Helen Dooley said...

I know this is late and I am sorry for that. I read your tribute to your firend- you loved her so much. By the look of her, her art and your words, you were very lucky to have such a lovely lady in your life. Best friends don't come along often. Especially someone who is a true friend. I see in her art the love you spoke of. I wish for you that time will make Liz a wonderful memory that in times when you need her, she will be there. I am truely sorry for your loss.

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