Monday, 26 October 2009


I received a phone call at work mid-afternoon today from my wife, with the sad news that her mother passed away this morning.

Phyllis had been unwell for some time, and was admitted to hospital at the end of last week. Although I only spent a few days in her company, it was enough for me to realise she was (and always will be) a very special lady.
You see, my wife and I first met on the Internet, with 4,000 miles between us.
We kept in touch every day - by keyboard, phone and webcam - for 18 months before we decided to get married.
So, I flew to America and, 2 days after meeting in person, we were married in the garden of a friend with a chainsaw whirring away in the background at a neighbouring house.
Our biggest decision would be where to settle. Susan had her mother, 2 brothers and a sister in America. My mother lived in England, but has no surviving relatives, other than myself. My father had been dead for some years, my brother and sister died when they were infants. So, Susan decided we must locate in England so my mother had help and support at hand. An enormous sacrifice for Susan and her family.
I would not have blamed her family if they had given me the cold shoulder. After all, I was whisking their daughter & sister away across the ocean to a new life. As it turned out, they all received me with warmth and affection; a truly humbling experience. Phyllis was an absolute delight, and I feel so very lucky to have been in her company; if only for a short time.

Susan and I are best friends as well as husband and wife, and are happier with every passing day. I guess we are soul mates and while we regret we couldn't have met years earlier, feel so lucky to have found each other.
Tonight, we remember Phyllis for her love, kindness and her support for our relationship.

PEKIN, Ill. -
Phyllis M. Larimore, 82, of Pekin, passed away at 8:45 a.m. Monday, Oct. 26, 2009, at Pekin Hospital.

Phyllis was born July 7, 1927, to Carl and Madge S. Hyatt Hoffman. She married Robert L. Larimore on Oct. 19, 1967, in Missouri. He died on May 17, 1991.

Also preceding her in death were two brothers, Neal Hoffman and Richard Hoffman.

Surviving are two sons, Mike (Kristina) Cook of Pekin and Tom Cook of Shelbyville; two daughters, Valarie (David) Ripper of Pekin and Susan (Stephen) Langton in England; one sister, Vera Damarin of Pekin; six grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; four stepchildren; and 10 stepgrandchildren.

Phyllis was a member of St. Paul United Church of Christ.

She enjoyed crocheting. Her children and grandchildren brought her great joy.

Memorial services will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, at Henderson Funeral Home. The Rev. Dwight Borden will officiate. Burial will be at a later date in Lakeside Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul United Church of Christ, 101 N. Eighth St., Pekin, IL 61554.

To offer online condolences, visit


  1. Your post serves as an eloquent tribute for your mother-in-law. My condolences to your wife and you for your loss. Our thoughts are with you.

  2. Thank you so very much for your kind words.
    They are so very much appreciated.

  3. So sorry to hear about your loss. It is never an easy thing to deal with. It's great to hear that you are so close with your wife's family and the wonderful relationship you have with your spouse. Take care, my friend.

  4. I am so sorry to hear this news. Your wife and you have my deepest sympathies. I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers. May your mother-in-law rest in peace.

  5. Thnak you, JD and Keith. Kind words which are so greatly appreciated by both of us.

  6. I am so sorry about your loss. I will keep you and your wife in my thoughts and prayers. Best wishes to you both.

  7. Thanks so much, Stephanie. Really kind of you.
    I'm about to add a picture of Phyllis to this post.Her funeral is later today. Sadly, we're unable to attend,as we can't afford the air fare.