Memorial service for Revelee Lee Hibdon (1920–2013)

Saturday, 12 April 2014 ▪ Banks, Oregon

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Susan Hibdon: Okay, I’m just going to put this right here. Hopefully that works. I have no idea.

Deborah Deegan: Okay, everybody, gather around. However you do it.

Diana Seibert: What?! No assigned seating?! We’re slipping in our OCDs!

DD: I’m wondering if we should do introductions while we actually have everybody somewhat orderly here.

David Hibdon: Yeah.

DS: Yeah, that’s a good idea!

DD: Okay, c’mon people, gather, find a spot to stand or gather, whatever. So what I’m thinking I’d like to do is maybe do introductions. If we could have everybody introduce themselves and say how they are related to Revelee. Diana.

DS: I’m Revelee’s daughter Lois’s daughter, Diana Seibert.

DH: Oh, I’m David Hibdon. I’m the only first-generation descendent of my mom—

Others, clarifying: Here. [Laughter.]

DH: Yes, that’s here. And this is her. This is a picture I never saw until this morning.

Mary Hibdon: When do you think that was taken? What year?

DH: I would guess around 1940, give or take two years.

DD: She’s in her early twenties?

MH: Right before you were born.

DD: Charlotte.

DH: Something like that, yeah.

Charlotte Gump: I’m Charlotte, and I’m her great-great-granddaughter.

DH: Stand up, Charlotte.

DS: How many greats is that?

[speaker?]: I think just one great.

Others: Yeah, just one great.

CG: Yeah, I’m her great-granddaugther.

DD: Seems like a long way away, though.

Bob Gump: I’m Bob Gump. I’m David and Mary’s son-in-law and Karen’s husband.

Ellen Hibdon: I’m Ellen. I’m her granddaughter.

Karen Hibdon: I’m Karen and I’m also her granddaughter.

MH: I’m Mary Hibdon, the wife of David Hibdon.

SH: I’m Susan Hibdon and I’m their daughter and Revelee’s granddaughter.

Martin Hibdon: I’m Martin. I’m David’s son.

Heather McNabb: I’m Heather. I am married to Martin.

Mitch Seibert: I’m Mitch Siebert. I am Revelee’s grandson, Lois’s son.

Leslie Seibert: And I’m Leslie. I’m married to him. And I’m going to tell all of you that she hated her hair in that picture, which always cracked me up because I think it looks wonderful.

Nick Seibert: So, I’m Nick. I’m Mitch and Leslie’s son. Revelee’s my great-grandma.

Rachel Seibert: I’m Rachel. I’m Nick’s sister and Revelee’s my great-grandma.

Theresa Drake: I’m Theresa. I’m Deb’’s daughter, Revelee’s great-granddaughter. These two are mine.

Lafayette Drake: They’re also mine!


LD: I’m her husband.

DD: And your name is…?

LD: Lafayette. Sorry.

[speaking?]: Okay.

Tera Deegan: I’m Tera, and I am Deb’s daughter [great-great-granddaughter?].

Nicholas Tett: Nicholas. Tera’s boyfriend.

J.R. Kisor: I’m J.R., John and Deb’s son-in-law and I’m married to Jenna, their daughter.

Jenna Kisor: I… don’t know. [laughter]

DD: What did you say [inaudible] takes away your thunder.

[speaking?]: What’s your name?

JK: I’m Jenna, and I’m your daughter, and she’s my great-grandma.

DD: No, just grandma. Great-grandma. No, you’re right. Sorry. [laughter]

DD: Once I figure out who I am,

[JK?]: I get confused with the greats and all that. … I just call her grandma.

Charlane Leslie: You know, why not? I’m Charlane Jimerson Bigelow Stead Leslie. I’m Lola’s youngest daughter, and she was Aunt Revelee’s sister, the one closest to her in age. She was older.

DD: Aunt Lola.

CL: And my sister…

Jimmie Lee:Jimmie Lee —Williams, Jimerson, Williams, Coakeley.

DD: Now, didn’t she call you the sister nieces?

DH: No.

DD: No?

DH: No, the sister niece was Aunt Anna May’s oldest daughter who was only less than four years younger.

DD: Oh, okay. I got it confused then.

CL: And this is my husband, Murray Leslie.

John Deegan: I even knew that.

DH: And everyone here knows John Deegan?

JD: Not everybody. I just met some people for the first time. So, I’ve been privileged to know Revelee through Deb, which is her granddaughter, and her and I had pretty good times together, so—

DH: Oh, yeah. One of the things somebody needs to talk about is John’s serenades and my mom’s surprising remembrance of some of the words to some of those songs.

DD: So, I’m Deborah, Revelee’s granddaughter. Dolores is my mother. And I want to thank everyone for coming here to honor her today. On the back of the program is a poem that kind of reminded me of her. So I put that on because she just loved everything about nature. But one of the things that—

Um, yes. Does anybody need one?

—There’s a line towards the bottom that says a part of us went with you. And it was my—it’s my opinion and my experience that Grandma Revelee left a lot more with me in her—a lot of memories, her attitudes, and her character traits that have served all of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren very, very well. And today we have an opportunity to celebrate and share and deepen our knowledge of her and each other and share stories. And I just want to thank everyone for coming. And, um—

DS: Can I interrupt and do introductions again? Because, you know, I’m lame. [laughter] The sun was in my eyes and apparently it wasn’t recording. [laughter] I am not part of the clan that is computer-literate, okay? [laughter] All the common sense in the world; I just don’t do technology.

DH: I suggest—John is probably right. We walk up to each person and say, “Tell me your name.” Click.

JD: We can do that later. Let’s keep on.

DD: So on that, I think John’s going to lead us in a song. The words are actually in the bulletin. And this was one of her favorite songs.

JD: There’s a correction on that. We are going to lead the song.

DD: He just learned it.

JD: I play music, but she knows the song really well.

DD: Not really well, but—so please sing along because—

JD: This is “In the Garden”, right?

DD: Yes, “In the Garden”.

JD: Ready?

DS: I would bet Charlane and Jimmie are pretty good at this.

DD: Oh, yay! Sing loud!

JD: Sing loud. Ready?

[everyone sings—or tries to sing—“In the Garden”]

[speaking?]: Thank you!

JD: Now what’s cool about that song is that the younger generation wants to speed it up. And when I play it—when I start singing that song, by the time I go to work and back and I’ve practiced it a couple of times, I come back, “Dah duh dah duh duh duh duh.” [laughter] And that’s not the way it goes. It just really takes some patience. And that’s kind of cool about life. The older we get, the more patience we have. Anyway, that’s what I’ve noted about—

DH: That’s what some people say about it.

DS: Not what we’re thinking about.

Revelee, on the bannister, with her mother and siblings, 1921.
Revelee, on the bannister, with her mother and siblings, 1921.

DH: So, I was told it would be nice if I talked a little bit about Mother’s life. And among the things I want to make sure we emphasize is that life was a lot tougher in 1920 than it is now. And it was tougher in some places than it was in others. Mother was born in 1920, the youngest of nine children. And before she turned two years old, her father at planting time on the rented farm died of pneumonia. Now, she had older brothers that were old enough to help with the work, and they tried to make a go of it on that rented farm for two or three more years. But, it was a tough go, and the older boys needed to go and get jobs and make families of their own. Anna May got married at about 14 and was gone. So within three or four years, Grandmother Lee was taking care of four kids by herself, the youngest being about 13 years old—the oldest being about 13 years old, and the youngest being my mom, at 5. And over the course of the next few years, as they wandered from rented farm to a job in Lark—as my mom described it, a big white house by the water—yellow house by the water tower. She showed it to me. By then it was 65, 75 years later, and the house was white. But it was still there, next to the water tower in Lark. And they lived there while her mom did housekeeping for somebody for a while.

Then they moved to western Oklahoma, to a town—to the Martin ranch. About that time, her oldest brother was working for Mr. Martin. Mr. Martin had—the Martin ranch was comprised of three farms, and Mr. Martin ran one and his son ran one and my uncle Sterling ran the chicken farm. My mom was 8 years old and she talked to me many times about how proud she was that when she was 8 years old and none of the Martin kids were allowed around any of the animals or equipment, she got to drive the water wagon—the water wagon being a wagon that carried water, and I’m not sure exactly how it worked, but I do know that she was supposed to keep this wagon going at a steady pace while her big brother watered the chickens. And she was also very pleased with being able to run the go devil. Now this go devil is like a small harrow that [gives?] about two rows. Do you know what a harrow is? It’s like a bunch of, like, railroad spikes driven in some logs, and it was made so that it would crumple up the dirt and kill the weeds between the rows and then had boards behind it, it would push up the dirt up around the rows of whatever crop you’re trying to protect. And she got to drive that when she was 8 years old. She was very impressed with herself.

Revelee, Grandmother Lee, and Lola on Easter Sunday 1926 in Shamrock, Texas.
Revelee, Grandmother Lee, and Lola on Easter Sunday 1926 in Shamrock, Texas.

But ultimately they—you know, the economy got the better of Mr. Martin. And my uncle Sterling went away with Mr. Martin’s youngest daughter, Debbie, who came to parent several of my cousins. And my mom—by that time, Herbert had left when he was about 14—and my mom and Lola and Herman went with their mom to, I think, Shamrock, Texas, and they finally—Herman left there and moved to New Mexico and started working in a dairy and boarding in a boarding house when he was 14. And by that time they were left with just Lola and Revelee.

And Grandmother Lee still kept trying to make it on her own. And there was a lot of pressure of course for the kids to be gone from the household, because it was tough for one person to support three people in those days, especially if she was a woman. So Lola got married when she was 13 and that didn’t work out very well. Lola, I guess, and certainly my grandmother Lee both agreed that this guy was not the right guy. So when he proposed to move Lola and him out of Denver and on their way to Kansas City, grandmother Lee said, “Well, you know, my sister in Ninnekah (in Oklahoma) has told me that they have a job for me there. Could it be possible—I think it’s a great idea for you and Lola to go to Kansas City—would it be possible for you to drop us off in Ninnekah?” And I assume Wilson Orr was happy to drop his mother-in-law off anyway.

So they got to Ninnekah, and Mother had two older cousins that were probably in their early 20s. And when they got to Ninnekah—we’ve got pictures of the family gathering. Everybody. Wilson Orr was in the pictures. But he didn’t stay overnight the first night. My mother told me that [inaudible] and her little brother—I can’t remember his little brother’s name—got taken aside and persuaded him that this is a tough country for people that had had a reputation for potential white slavery. “We did hear you were investigated by the FBI in Denver, and, you know, I’m not sure if I were you that I’d want to go to sleep in this country because you might not wake up.” So, needless to say, Wilson kept on going—no doubt went to Kansas City with somebody, but not with Lola.

And that was kind of the story of their lives. Ultimately—shortly thereafter the three of them went to New Mexico and that’s where Lola met Charles Jimerson and she got married when she was 14. I don’t think she was more than 15 when Doyle was born, was she? Something in that order.

Anyway, so, by the time 1931 rolled around, Mother Lee was getting tired. She’d been taking these nitroglycerin pills for a long time. She had a definite heart problem. And so she went back to Lark, where her oldest daughter was living. That’s Anna May. And they hadn’t been there more than a year and a half—my mom was not quite 13—when her mom died. And, as she put it, “Well, people say she had a stroke. All I know”—all my mama knew at the time she was talking to me—“is that she had this stroke, and then she lived for another day or day and a half, and she didn’t know anybody during that time except me.” So my mama was 12 years old and her mama was dying and the only person that her mama could talk to was her, because everybody else was not relevant any more.

So then Mother lived with Aunt Anna May for about 3 years and that’s where she got this sister relationship with her niece Jackie, who was less than 4 years younger than her. And she’d been there—she went to Whitfield High School, I remember her telling me, and she played basketball on the Whitfield High School basketball team with the freshmen. And then, for one reason or another—I can’t remember the rationale—she had to transfer to Kingston High School, and she wasn’t really that happy about it. But she was ready to start playing basketball.

Revelee and Cecil Hibdon's first date, 1936.
Revelee and Cecil Hibdon’s first date, 1936.

But then in the fall this guy came around. He lived just down the road about half a mile. She had just turned 16 and he had just turned 26. And he brought his brother along for moral support, along with his brother’s girlfriend, Estelle. And we’ve got pictures of them. I’m not sure if it was their first date, but on your discs the pictures are labeled “first date” because they reflected the story my mother told me. She was sitting there thinking she was a little high-school sophomore and, you know, a basketball player, and this grown man came around courting. And it didn’t take much longer after that before she and this grown man were married. And they lived—they probably didn’t live together more than maybe 20 years at the most. But they never did get settled. The discussion they started out with about where they were going to live. My dad wanted to live near his family in Oklahoma. And my mom wanted to live nearer her family, which was spread out more or less across California. California was the land of opportunity. Daddy’s family—nobody but him ever lived more than—his oldest sister had settled down earliest and stayed pretty much where they grew up. But everybody else had to move because Lake Texoma took all the land they were farming, so they all moved together to Oklahoma City, and after that none of the siblings ever lived more than 10 miles from the others, except him in California and his big sister in

DS: Watch my cane. Don’t trip. Don’t trip on my cane.

DH: Yeah. So, anyway, they really never got that issue settled and ultimately it drove them apart, and my dad ended up going back to Oklahoma and getting run over by a truck in 1958. And after that—you know, it wasn’t very long before I graduated from high school and left. And Mother had settled an insurance claim for problem people like her. And she could afford to buy a little house and she got a job. And that started, I think, what was the happiest part of her life. Her first generation of grandchildren were born. And she was hanging around Bakersfield most of the time to watch them grow up, until she started following Dolores and Deborah around—and I think Dolores or Deborah could tell us about that part of the story.

Revelee, 1963 or 1965.
Revelee, 1963 or 1965.

But one big thing I do want to add is that as my mama, my mother, matured, she became a lot different person. She still had the same basic attitudes, but she became better at expressing them, and by the time she started losing her memory and all she had left was attitude, the attitude she had was that she was the kind of person that deserved respect, that she was the kind of person that anybody ought to like, and she made sure that everybody liked her and she made sure that everybody respected her. And the people—she didn’t have anything left but attitude—all the people that took care of her at that nursing home loved her. You can’t say that about very many other people. The good news about her is she didn’t whine, she told people what she wanted and what she didn’t want. But if you treated her right, you could persuade her to reconsider.

CL: Oh, not always!

DH: Not always. But I remember—you know, she got so sick that she couldn’t eat, didn’t want to eat, couldn’t do anything. She could not remember how to stand up: she was strong enough, but she couldn’t remember how. And all this happened within a week or so. And I remember she was really, really sick, and she woke up one morning and I got there to see her, and this woman, Rachel, had awakened her and got her all cleaned up and ready to go to breakfast. She said, “I think I should stay here.” So Rachel fed her in bed, and she ate a big breakfast, and she finished everything she was supposed to eat, she drank everything she was supposed to drink, and she looked at Rachel and she said, “I need a hug.” And she gave her a hug and she said, “I love you.” And then she gave me a hug and said, “I love you.” And then Rachel said, “Well, I’ll be back to see you in the afternoon.” First Mother said, “Well, I need to go to sleep.” And so Rachel said, “I’ll be back to see you in the afternoon.” And I said, “Well, Mother, have a good nap.” And she squeezed my hand and smiled a little bit and went to sleep. And about 38 hours later her heart quit beating but she never woke up.

My belief is that that whole thing about eating the big breakfast and drinking everything she was supposed to drink was going out in style.

DD: She knew.

You have something from your mom you wanted …?

DS: She didn’t leave me with anything other than her diary for stories.

DD: Okay.

Well, I probably was blessed with spending more time with Grandma than most of the grandchildren—definitely a lot more than the Hibdon grandchildren, just by geographic proximity to her. But probably even more than that—I realized this probably even more as an adult, when you kind of look back you don’t think about some things as a child—but, I’m not necessarily sure that my mom—or that Grandma chased my mom around near so much as—I mean, I think there was some of that. But there was also an awful lot of Grandma getting all settled in a house, us going to visit, and it was Grandma’s house, Grandma’s house. And all of the sudden us moving in with Grandma. Six months later Grandma would move out and head for Texas or to Oklahoma or something. Anybody who’s lived with my mom probably doesn’t need much of an explanation as to why that might be.

But I—Grandma always stayed very connected. I think she was always concerned, maybe, about how my mom was doing. My mom was married and divorced a number of times. And, so, kind of what I remember is my mom being married, and when she wasn’t, it was Grandma, you know, taking care of us more or less. And my mom would get married again and Grandma would be gone for a while visiting everybody else and loving on everybody else. And my mom would get divorced and there was Grandma, you know.

So Grandma was around to teach me a lot of things. I remember her talking an awful lot about her job and about the various jobs that she had. And I know that she took a great deal of pride in, one, doing what was considered a man’s job at any given point in time. I mean, I think she at times felt like she had to fight for the opportunity to sell sporting goods and convince people that she knew every bit as much about guns or fishing equipment or things along those lines as any salesman would, as she used to put it. But she had a great work ethic, and I remember talking to her an awful lot about that. And when I was a young employee and first becoming the manager, sometimes I would have, you know, some issues that I would talk about, and she always had an opinion. And not all of her things when she worked worked out well. I mean, I agree with David that I think she kind of learned maybe some smoother ways of dealing with people, especially on the workforce, a little bit more as she got older. But she was very invaluable to me in helping me with showing up and doing a good job. Huh?

DS: I said, maybe that’s where we all got our work ethic.

Revelee with all her grandchildren, Christmas 1985. Standing: Leslie Seibert. Back row: Revelee, Ellen Hibdon (in lap), Mitch Seibert, Martin Hibdon. On floor, left to right: Karen Hibdon, Susan Hibdon, Nicholas Seibert, Theresa Krier (Drake), Deborah Deegan.
Revelee with all her grandchildren, Christmas 1985. Standing: Diana Seibert. Back row: Revelee, Ellen Hibdon (in lap), Mitch Seibert, Martin Hibdon. On floor, left to right: Karen Hibdon, Susan Hibdon, Nicholas Seibert, Theresa Krier (Drake), Deborah Deegan.

DD: I mean, I think she had a very good one. But I’m very appreciative for what Grandma—for her taking care of me and always being, you know, available, and the things that she taught me and reading to me and the love of books. And I remember being jealous as a kid because I was hearing about all of these great letters she was writing about these birds and stuff like that—the little mother bird who was taking care of [unclear?]. And I think I was much older before I really realized what I had in Grandma comparatively. I’m like, She loved them more?! You know. It’s funny how, when you’re a child, you don’t really see the full, big picture.

But she wasn’t always the easiest of grandmas. She definitely wasn’t a storybook kind of a—you know, milk-and-cookies kind of a person. But, boy, she’d curl up with a good book and—Wizard of Oz and old westerns and stuff like that. And we spent a lot of time doing things like that and playing cards and—she was pretty tremendous. I appreciate it.

Revelee working at the Naval Exchange on Treasure Island, San Francisco Bay, around 1965.
Revelee working at the Naval Exchange on Treasure Island, San Francisco Bay, around 1965.

DH: Can I add one more thing? The best job that she ever had—I think, at least from my understanding of how much she appreciated it—was selling cameras and guns at the Naval Exchange on Treasure Island. And I remember talking to one of the guys that used to flirt with her and—she had pictures of him, and they lived in the same apartment complex for a while—I think maybe with Deborah and Dolores—but I remember talking to him one time and I said, “I suppose it’s an advantage, you know, if you’re a good-looking fortyish woman to sell cameras to teenage boys.” And he said, “I suppose the reason she can sell more cameras and guns than anybody else is because she knows more about cameras and guns than anybody else.”

DD: But she had to prove it, you know. She always said she—

DH: Well, she had to prove it to the boss, but she didn’t have to prove it to the people who were buying them. Because if you know enough to be buying a gun, you ought to know enough to understand whether the person who’s selling them to you gets it.

DS: I remember her stories about Vincent’s. When I would go to Vincent’s, a sporting-goods store in Bakersfield where she sold all the guns and fishing poles and—and the actors would come from L.A. up to buy them and they would always ask for the man—you know, they wanted Mr. Vincent. And Mr. Vincent would say, “No,” you know, “you need to talk to Revelee.” And she could talk fishing poles—any kind of fishing poles. She could talk any kind of guns. I remember being in the store all the time; she would just reach in that case, pull out the gun, show them how to, you know, take it apart. I mean, she was just awesome. She could make keys, she could do—I mean, she really—

DD: Bows.

DS: I mean, they would actually—I would be in there and she would be helping a customer and although there were two other guys in there, that they would wait in line for her, you know. And they would wait behind the one she was helping when she was taking apart the guns and showing them the guns. So that was pretty neat when I was a kid.

MS: Well, you remember, you know, dad, when we had a lot of family gatherings over, right, and there would be a lot of talk about Hibdons talk and stuff like that. And I was always intrigued by it. I always thought it was great. But my dad didn’t always have a lot of patience for that stuff. But the one thing that would keep him sticking around and talking, I remember, was we would talk guns with Grandma. We’d talk for hours about that.

DD: Well, she did have a lot of respect from all of the guys that came through the Naval Exchange. She used to bring people home all the time, especially around, like, holidays, or she sensed somebody was lonely or there was something going on in their life. You just never knew who she was going to bring home for dinner—a lot of young servicemen.

DH: I just threw away a bunch of Christmas cards and, you know, I-remember-you cards and that kind of stuff from all kinds of officers at every level up to captain and, you know, the most junior sailor that ever walked through Treasure Island.

DS: So, do you know the story about the, I don’t know, some kind of sheik that came over on a ship and went to—and I don’t know if it was Treasure Island or if he drove all the way to Bakersfield. I think he knew her from Treasure Island? And then, I don’t know, some kind of massive ship and, anyway, came—I think it was Bakersfield he came to see her.

DH: I don’t know that story. But the thing that impressed me was all these people that—people that she worked with at Treasure Island and people that were customers at Treasure Island were still sending her cards 10 years later. I don’t know—I mean, I used to remember the names of some of them. I met several of them. But, anyway, she got better with age. She was a holy terror when I was a little guy.

[several people speaking]

DD: Oh, yeah, she was a good shot.

[speaking?]: She was always proud of that.

[several people speaking]

DH: When I found out about—

MS: Everyone said it couldn’t be done. But she did it.

DH: Yeah, I think this is a pretty good story. We showed up at my grandfather’s house. We thought he was going to die. We drove all the way out from California to watch Granddaddy Hibdon die. And we got there and my youngest uncle was probably—I was 6, I guess, so my youngest uncle was about 12, and he had been instructed that when it was time to let the chickens out he was supposed to grab that one gray, broody hen—you know, the one that been broody all the time, hiding her eggs—and kept her in the pen. And he forgot, so he let all the chickens loose. And the broody chicken was chosen because she was hiding her eggs—you know, you can’t keep a chicken like that. And you got to eat something. So when my grandmother found out today’s dinner is wandering around the yard, she asked Mother—she asked Martin, my youngest uncle, to go get the rifle. And he brought a single-shot, .22 rifle and my grandmother said, “Revelee, you’re the best shot here. You kill the chickens.” And the chicken was not more than—probably a little more than halfway to that gray car, and my mama shot it—stood up like this and—[gun sound]—shot its head off. And I was very impressed.

Shortly after that, we—everybody in the family—got involved in a contest about shooting off Prince Albert’s head. There used to be these red tobacco cans. And, you know, if you set them off half as far as here—you know, I can hardly see the can. My mother never missed the head. And she was clearly the best shot at that time that she had ever met. And she probably hadn’t had a gun in her hands for 5 or 6 years before that. Oh, no, more than that—longer than before I was born, and I was 6. Anyway.

DD: I have a fishing story. Since she knew so much about that kind of stuff. So—I don’t know if we want to do stories out here. Is everybody comfortable or freezing?

JD: Getting cold.

[speaking?]: Freezing.

[speaking?]: Okay. We can wrap up and continue this then.

JD: Yeah, we can do that back at the house.

DD: Okay. Alright.

JD: Do you want to do “Amazing Grace”?

DD: Um hmm.

JD: I do have one thing to say about this just before we end. I remember driving with Grandma, and she loved—

[MS?]: To Salt Lake?

JD: No, just driving with her wherever. I mean, whether it was Forest Grove or whether it was just down the road. And the beautiful thing was that she noticed trees. She just said, “That’s a beautiful tree. Those are great flowers.” But you could not go by a white house without her saying, “That’s a nice house.” And if you came across another—you go through a million houses, but when you came across a white house, “That’s a nice house.” I just remembered that—well, yeah, if it was a white—but if it was white, it was something about it. I just remembered that.

DH: She really liked the big white house [inaudible]

DD: Or a tree out in the middle—

JD: She did. Just something about the white—it just—that was it. So—I was really blessed with knowing her, in a lot of ways. And one of the commonalities that we had was music. And she would—her memory started to go just a little bit more—you could start asking her about some music, and she’d start singing “Strawberry Roan” or “Pecos Bill” or one of these songs. I think we recorded it somewhere down the road. And it was just such a beautiful thing to listen to her, a capella, sing these old country songs. And—

DS: And she wasn’t afraid to do it. You know? She wasn’t afraid to do it in front of a group like this. She’d just break out singing.

Revelee with Deborah Deegan, 2007.
Revelee with Deborah Deegan, 2007.

JD: She [inaudible]. So she and I had this—I think when we first met—me and Deb first met—we had kind of this loggerhead thing going on. She was going to—she was the grandma. But, as David said, I think you had to just give her that respect. She was just, ”That was her place, that was cool, but hey, I’m me. I have a little issue here.” And in due time we actually had a great bond and [I’m] very privileged to have known her.

DS: Could be you both had an ornery streak, but I don’t know.

JD: Yeah, it was kind of cool. At the—I think later in her years she grabbed my cheeks and she looked at me. She goes [inaudible]. Deb was jealous.

DD: Again, looks like she loved somebody else more than me!

DD: I don’t know if anybody else really wants to say anything now or get up where it’s more comfortable. Anybody who wants to say anything please—

CL: I’d just like to—I’d just like to talk about—you know, when I was growing up, my sister and I was growing up, and Lois and David—during those times that they were in California. I don’t know how many times they were in California and how many times in Oklahoma. But the times they were in California that Aunt Revelee would, and Lois and David and Dolores would come over to the house we had in Green Acres and she would read to us.

DH: Oh, yeah.

CL: Oh, she—she’d, you know, it was Mark Twain. I mean, we had all these things. And her drama and the voice and so on that—

DH: I’d forgotten about that.

CL: In reading—in reading these stories to us, I mean, it really developed for me a love for reading. And, actually, I think as I got older it gave me the way to dramatize things because, you know, I was one of the little scared kids, but Aunt Revelee gave me that power. But, yeah, you know, whatever, just to be able to go out and do it. And I think—and I’m sure, you know, I became a lawyer when I was 39 years old. And I know a lot of it was the encouragement and just the example that my Aunt Revelee set. [inaudible]

DH: She did great voices. And pretty good dialects.

CL: Yes, she did. It was amazing. Thank you.

DD: Anybody else want to say anything or speak?

DS: I’m not an in-front-of people—I can joke, but it’s hard for me to speak in front of people. I can be sarcastic, I can joke, but—

DD: Well, we could continue on for a while, but the sun seems to have deserted us.

DS: It is chilly.

DD: Okay. Grandma would appreciate being back in the house.

DS: Yes, she would.

DD: This is one of her favorite—another one of her favorite songs. She had many of them, as we all know.

[everyone sings “Amazing Grace”]

DD: I don’t think we made a provision as to when we were going to do that so—do this part—I didn’t really build that into my agenda. We can do the closing prayer. But we have this issue here.

JD: What’s the issue?

DD: Well, whether we were going to do this now or later. I mean, with everybody here or later. We didn’t really—

DH: How about we just put it in the ground—

JD: Okay, let’s both do it at the same time.

DH: —and kick some dirt in it.

DD: There we go.

DS: Where did the box come from, Deb?

DD: Grandma picked it out.

[speaking?]: Beautiful.

JD: So, you got to kick the dirt in it? Is that—

DH: I’m going to start. Whoa! Okay!

DS: Do you want to put it in with your hands and not your feet?

DD: Well, [inaudible] traditions. It depends. You know, some people do, some people don’t.

JD: He has the right to do whatever he wants.

[speaking?]: There’s a shovel, there’s a shovel.

DH: Oh, there we go!

[JK?]: I think it is tradition to—

DD: Yeah, people, if they want to can do that, so, and then we’ll figure it out.

JD: So, we’re talking about picking a spot on the property somewhere and—David and I walked around a little this morning and we looked around and—there you go!—and he really just, “This is it.” This old hawthorne tree that’s out in the middle of—she loved trees, and it seemed like a—

DS: You know, I should probably do it from this side.

[speaking?]: [inaudible]

DH: I’m not really very good at ceremony, am I?

DD: Apparently neither am I.


[MS?]: You’re still going to need a shovel.

DH: Yeah, I know!

[speaking?]: Giving her one of these roses.

[speaking?]: Hey, he did not care.

DH: Good job.

DD: I’m going to close us in a very short prayer.

DS: Oh, sorry, Deb.

DD: Sorry.

DS: I can hand you this.

DD: Oh, sorry.

CL: That’s okay.

Jimmie Lee: I’d get a big bunch.

DH: Oh, that’s it!

JD: You’re actually related to David!

Jimmie Lee: I want to do one more. That one right there!

DD: You know, I think competition is a family [inaudible]

Shall we bow our head in short prayer?

Heavenly Father, we thank you for blessing us all with earthly life and the gift of Revelee, for her 93 years. We treasure every memory of love, joy, knowledge, and sorrow shared with us. We thank you for her life and for her death and for the rest she now has in you through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Alright, back up to the house, where it’s warm!

DS: Boy, I really feel bad I didn’t get the introductions of everybody.

[speaking?]: Just do them one-by-one at the house.

DS: I’ll do that. I’m an idiot.

David, I told you you got the brains of the family.

DH: You know what? My mom would really love this dirt.

SH: I was thinking the same thing! That’s really—

[speaking?]: It’s nice dirt.

[speaking?]: Guess what?

[speaking?]: [inaudible] all night. She would [inaudible]. [laughter] She would prefer it, I think.

[speaking?]: I just wish she was around to help me pick out my next fishing pole.

DS: You know, it just dawned on me: she used to do archery with us in the field.




  • Audio recording of the memorial service in Windows Media Audio (.wma) format
  • Program for the memorial service in PDF
  • Transcript of the memorial service, downloadable in PDF, rich-text, Microsoft Word, and other formats (via Google Drive)
  • Photos of Revelee Lee Hibdon, collected and scanned by David Hibdon (via Flickr)

One thought on “Memorial service for Revelee Lee Hibdon (1920–2013)

  1. Thanks.  I copied the transcript and made a couple changes.  I will bring it to Promised Land.



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