I remember when mom told me she found the church where she wanted to be. She loved it here and I can see why. Thank you to Pastor Bob. Bill and Linda Batson, Michelle Tate and all those others that have helped to make this a special day for Mom.
I also have to thank Uncle Chuck for reading this for me.
Good morning. Thank you all for coming to celebrate the beautiful life of our Mom, Grandma, Great Grandma, GG, Muscles, Best friend…. Mom had a lot of names and lots of extended kids.
Lorraine Finley Kabis was born in Carbon Glow Holler in South Eastern Kentucky September 23, 1936 to coalminer parents Linville and Theo Finley. She was one of 13 children.
Mom passed peacefully, at the age of 82 the morning of March 3, 2019. She is survived by her children and their spouses, Iris Alexander and (Vince), Connie Mouland and (David), Michelle Green, Buddy Green and (Judy), Jeanie Taglieri and (John) and Joel Green and (Patricia), 22 grandchildren, and 21 great grandchildren. Also survived by sisters Lois Thomas and Zrediah Kepics and brother Jimmy Finley and two brothers in laws Chuck and Tom Kabis and sister in law, Margielou Kabis Cordell. She is preceded in death by Her parents, nine other siblings, our Dad, William L Kabis lll, and sons Frank Green and Johnny Kabis.
“I can do all things thru Christ who strengthen me” Philippians 4:13
I know mom lived by this verse, in all the hard times and the good times.
At the age of 17 she had me and 10 years later at the age of 27 she was left the single mother of 6 children stranded in California. At a time when the county thought how could mom handle these many kids on her own and wanted to split us up, she really showed them. It was rough, but she did it. She went door to door selling pictures, she took in ironing, she babysat and many other odd jobs to supplement the income we received from the county. She never had a personal adult life. Us six kids were her life. We were very poor but we were happy. We attended church every Sunday. Our clothes were clean and our bellies were full. Our house was very clean. On those house cleaning days, one of two things would happen. She’d give us all a spray bottle of 409 and a rag and we would all clean walls. Can you visualize that?…. I wish I had a photo. Or Connie would take the other 4 kids to play at the park while Mom and I would do all the cleaning ourselves. I really did not mind. I cherish those times just her and I talking and listening to each other.
All our lives changed when the preacher of our church gave mom her very first car. A 1959 Ford station wagon. It was Kelly-Green with wood sided paneling. A really cool car and I can speak for all of my brothers and sisters wishing we still had it. Lots of memories with that car. After mom learned to drive and got her drivers license, it was beach time. We would get up early, get our chores done, get all the pop bottles together that we had collected during the week to cash for gas money and we were off. When asked if we could invite a friend, sure what’s one more kid in a sea of 6. (that was 6 more kids and a friend of Moms too) piled in that station wagon. We had so much fun. The ride on the way home was sandy and sunburned skin of 12 kids touching each other. Mom kept us distracted by getting us to sing at the top of our lungs. There’s that Bobby Sherman song, Julie Julie Julie Do You Love Me and then our favorite They’re Coming to take us away Ha Ha. Always before getting home mom would go thru the drive thru dairy to get fudgesicles for us. I can still taste them.
A great thing that happened when mom got the car was now, she was able to go back to school and get her GED. In 1970 she got a job at Santa Ana High School as a lunch lady. By the time Mom retired in 1992 she had worked herself all the way up to the Manager of feeding the inter city schools of her district. I know all of us remember going to see her at the Santa Ana Kitchen being so proud that she was Boss Lady! She would give us one of those Big Cookies. They were the best!
And then the very best thing that came from that Kelly-Green Station Wagon and the fact we were a little older was now I could babysit my siblings and mom could start having a few hours of private life. It was hard for me to let go for a while, because it had always been me, her and the kids. I understand a whole lot better now how much a private life would mean to her. In winter 1971 she met Bill and by December 10, 1971 she became Mrs. Kabis. Wow! Did he have rocks in his head or what taking on this woman and her brood… He never not once referred to any of us as his step kids. We were always his kids. Their kids. Lots of memories along that road as well.
Mom had a special reference for her son in laws and daughter in laws. Vince, David, Michelle, Judy, Johnny T, and Patricia. She loved all you outlaws as much or maybe more, especially when she was mad at us. Oh, and if we ticked Mom off, she had a special name she called all of us, mainly us girls. “You Heifer”…. Really it was just a term of endearment.
Mom got so much joy from her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She tried to make moments count by doing something special with them whether teaching them to make cookies or biscuits or even going to Sam’s Club for bites. Or even just spending time together and telling them stories.
We would always accuse Mom of having a favorite kid. We were just messing with her. One year I found this Birthday card and it said from your favorite kid. I purchased one for each of us to send her. She got the biggest kick out of that. The fact was, we were all her favorite. When she would talk to us one on one and collectively… (Although, it is true that I have known her the longest)
By 1992 Mom and Bill retired here to the Black Forest. They purchased 5 acres of trees and built their beautiful dream home. Mom was right in there alongside Bill, pounding nails and laying insulation. She was particularly proud of the job she did of stapling all the electrical wires in their proper places. This is where they thought they would live out the rest of their lives. Bill passed away December 31, 2010. It became apparent that it was too hard for mom to care for this property on her own.
Since moving from the Forest, she has lived in Falcon and most recently Castle Rock. Nothing has compared to living here in the Forest where her heart has always belonged.
Whenever I would come from California for a visit one of my favorite things to do with mom was watch old reruns like the Golden Girls, or Bonanza. You get the idea. I came here in January when she was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. This time we got hooked on Gunsmoke. She would make a big ole bowl of popcorn (she loved her popcorn) We would watch Gunsmoke episodes back to back. I found out she had a crush on Doc Adams and I had a crush on Festus. Who would of thought!
We are all thankful that mom never had any pain associated with her cancer and she still had a pretty good appetite and a good sense of humor and could hold her own if she was upset with you. She was just very tired and weak. She looked really good. It was her breath that finally took her that morning of March 3, 2019. Right after we got the call, I looked out the window and it started snowing the biggest and prettiest snow flakes that I had ever seen. Mom loved that kind of snow. When I told Buddy about it, he said that was Mom letting us know she is okay.
Mom, Check it out! Look what you did! There is Iris, Connie, Buddy, Jeanie, Joe and Michelle! You made us!.. You nurtured us!.. You loved us!.. You taught us “That we can do anything thru Christ who strengthens us” …We will be okay Mom…. We will be okay.
Thank you, Mom for being a part of all of our lives! You have made a mark on all our hearts that will never ever be erased.
We will always love you and forever miss you.
Memorials in Lorraine’s name may be made to:
First Baptist Church
10915 Black Forest Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80908
The Denver Hospice
Inpatient Care Center
8299 E Lowry Blvd
Denver, CO 80230