It wasn't all Palm Trees and Sunshine...

Okay, so the weather was absolutely gorgeous! Highs in the low 80's, lows in the high 60's. Low humidity, too! Why did I move from South Florida again?

But we weren't there for vacation. Instead, we celebrated the life of my Grandma Elsie Jane Staska.

It was a small, but meaningful, service.

My brother Jeremy accompanied my cousin Tara on the guitar while she sang, "What a friend we have in Jesus". My grandmother specifically requested this song to be played at her funeral. My cousins Brett and Matt performed an original song entitled "Jammin' with G'ma in the Living Room" which was based on a poem my Grandmother wrote while living in their house one summer. It was so amazing :)

I also accompanied my cousin Tara on the piano with the musical arrangement "I Stand All Amazed", except there wasn't a piano. I used a tiny little keyboard at the last minute that my Uncle Dave grabbed from his house. Let's just say that its a good thing my cousin Tara has an amazing voice and let's hope that my piano playing could not be heard. I could, however, hear my brothers laugh at me every time I hit a wrong note. Just goes to show you that "big" brothers never do grow up! My Aunt Liz reminded me that my grandma would have just been happy with my participation :)

From left to right:
My Uncle David, My Dad (holding my Uncle Mark's Ashes), My Uncle Joe, My Aunt Liz.

10 out of the 19 Grandkids:
Me, Tara, my sister Jami, my brother Jeff, my brother Jason, Dustin, Jon, Brett, my brother Jeremy, and Matt.

After the funeral, we all trekked over to "The Pyramid", as my grandmother always referred to it. See, my grandpa died in 1984 so my grandma went ahead and bought a double vault space for both him and her (when she needed it). She paid $2,500 for it back then. It now costs $15,000 to be buried here. Way to think ahead G'ma! :) There was also room for my Uncle's ashes.

I love this picture of my aunt talking to my uncle. She's holding a flower from her mother's casket spray.

I'll end here tonight. Next time I'll post some pictures from the receiving of friends at my aunt Diane's house.


  1. Okay...so Jayce looks like your brother Jason.

  2. So sorry for the loss of your Grandma....it looked like a wonderful service! And, I didn't realize how many siblings you have...and you also all have J names, cute! :)

  3. Jessie, I'm sorry that your Grandma passed away but if she requested "What A Friend We Have In Jesus", I bet she's with Him right now and way better off than us! Also, my Grandma's name is Elsie Jane Diemer! So glad for you to see so much of your extended family. Weddings and funerals are good for that.

  4. Thanks for posting the pictures! It was great being able to see you and the rest of the family! Thank you for everything you did for her service... I thought everything was perfect. I love the pictures :)

  5. You have a beautiful family! I know your G'ma would be very proud.

  6. Beautiful tribute. My dad Bill Keitges is cousin to your dad. My grandmother Rosalie (Leroy's sister) passed away last year at 106. We were talking about the family a few months ago and were wondering if Elsie was still alive. I will have to share this with them. When I was young, I went with my grandmother several times to Des Moines where LeRoy and Elsie were living to visit.

  7. Beautiful tribute. I have been doing some genealogy research and came across this. My dad Bill Keitges is your dad's cousin. My grandma, Rosalie Keitges was Leroy's sister. Rosalie died last year at 106. We were wondering a few months ago if Elsie was still living. I will have to pass this information on to them.


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