Thursday, October 22, 2015


As expected, the last few days have been a whirlwind of activity. After three nights of going to bed around 1:00 AM, on Wednesday night I managed to be in bed just before 11:00 PM, which is only slightly later than normal for me.

The obituary has been published in two local newspapers and at the web site of the funeral home. On the day they were published in the papers I remembered an important detail about Mom that I wish I had included (breast cancer survivor), so the revised obituary will be part of this blog post.

The link to the obituary in the Dallas Morning News is:

That obituary was shortened due to the ridiculously high cost compared to the Denton Record Chronicle, so it just includes the basic facts.

The link to the obituary in the Denton Record Chronicle is:

That is the full obituary, minus the part about surviving breast cancer.

That is the full obituary. Last night I submitted a request to add the part about surviving breast cancer, and while I was typing this post it was updated.

Here is the text of the revised obituary:

Linda Sue (Mordecai) Jennings, 74, of Farmers Branch died at her home on Sunday, October 18, 2015. She was born in Denton, Texas, the middle child of Marshall O'Connor Mordecai and Vera Eloise Taliaferro, on July 19, 1941. Linda graduated from Denton High School in 1959 and from North Texas State University with a degree in Education in 1964. She spent over twenty years as an elementary school teacher in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD. She was preceded in death by her husband of 25 years David Lee Jennings, both of her parents, and her older brother Wayne Mordecai.

Linda was not only a 13-year breast cancer survivor, she lived a very active life well into her senior years, including the following memorable adventures after turning 50: Parasailing in Cozumel, snowmobiling at the Continental Divide, surviving an out of control hot air balloon ride, cruising through the Panama Canal, and driving on the German Autobahn (Go granny go!). In her later years she fulfilled her love of traveling even more with her beloved companion Ed Kubala, as they traveled around the world for four years to more locations than her children can remember.

Despite being on dialysis for three years due to kidney failure caused by fibrinogen amyloidosis, Linda continued to travel whenever possible, including trips to Hawaii and a Caribbean cruise. She had recently booked another cruise for 2016. Although her travels may have slowed down, she still got great enjoyment from her grandchildren and attended as many soccer, basketball, gymnastics and band events as she could. Her grandchildren thoroughly enjoyed the weekly no-parent lunches with Nama that she started this summer.

Linda is survived by her son David Wayne Jennings (Cathy) of Plano; daughters Laura Sue Franklin (Tom) and Amy Lynn Christian (Jimmy) of Carrollton; and younger brother Michael Mordecai (Laura) of Spicewood, TX. Grandchildren include Victoria White (Trevor), Cliff Jennings, Brittany, Brian and Bradley Franklin; Connor and Cole Christian; and one great-grandchild, Cooper White.

Visitation will be Thursday, October 22, 2015 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at DeBerry Funeral Directors in Denton. Funeral service will be Friday, October 23, 2015 at 10:00 AM in the chapel of DeBerry Funeral Directors. Burial will follow at New Hope Cemetery in Mountain Springs.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to Amyloidosis Support Groups ( or a charity of your choice.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

An unexpected ending

Since I knew I would be away from home for the familial meeting in Chicago at the end of this month, I was planning on doing an article review this week for my October post and then some posts in November to cover the familial meeting. Well, plans change.

It with great sadness that I report that Mom died unexpectedly this past weekend, most likely Saturday night, October 17, 2015.

The last contact anyone had with her was when my sister Laura called her at 8:45 PM Saturday night, shortly after taking her back home after they attended a marching band competition one of Laura's sons was performing in. On Sunday morning I sent Mom some pictures of a project I was working on at home that I know she was interested in, and I became concerned when I did not get a reply. When I contacted both my sisters after lunch and they also could not contact Mom, I became concerned and went to her house to check on her. To say I had an uneasy feeling during that drive would be an understatement. I found her deceased at 2:30 PM.

I will spare you the detailed account of the rest of that day, but based on what I have been able to piece together it looks like Mom's AV fistula in her right arm started bleeding profusely while she was in the bathroom just before going to bed Saturday night. She was unable to stop the bleeding and made it back into her bedroom, presumably to call for help on her phone or with the medical alert device on the nightstand. She appears to have passed out due to the blood loss when she reached her bed. I really do not think it would have made any difference if she had called for help, given the ongoing bleeding.

The dialysis clinic recently stopped using Mom's buttonholes for dialysis access, and one of them was not healing very well. Mom was concerned about that due to the possibility of infection and was keeping an adhesive bandage over it. My speculation is that this buttonhole access was the source of the bleeding. Unbeknownst to me, these fistula bleeds are not terribly uncommon. We contacted a company to do the cleanup after the representative from funeral home came and went, and they told us they get four or five similar calls every year where a fistula has opened up. And they are aware of only one survivor among their cases in the past five years.

Here are the funeral arrangements:

Visitation will be Thursday, October 22, 6 PM - 8 PM

DeBerry Funeral Directors
2025 West University Drive
Denton, TX 76201

Funeral Service will be Friday, October 23, at 10:00 AM in the chapel at DeBerry Funeral Directors.

Burial will follow at New Hope Cemetery in Mountain Springs, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Amyloidosis Support Groups ( or the charity of your choice.

That's all I will write for now, but I'm sure there will be more at some point. I will post the obituary or a link to it once it is published. I do still plan on going to the familial meeting in Chicago next week, which is going to be difficult.

=====Monthly Blog Status Update===== 

As of September 30, 2015:

Total posts: 156 (1 in September)

Total pageviews: 29,400 (~500 in August)

Email subscribers: 12 (unchanged)

Total number of countries that have viewed the blog: 105

No new countries visited the blog in September.