Lorraine “Lorrie” Shetterly passed gracefully from this life on June 21, 2011.  Her legacy is one of family, friendship, service, caring, compassion, and love.

Lorrie was exceedingly proud of her family.  She was passionate about music throughout her life.  Lorrie was the organist at Community United Presbyterian Church in Hartford for over 30 years.  She also played the piano, taught piano lessons, sang, and played the autoharp.  Lorrie loved being outdoors, keeping up with friends’ news, visiting with family and friends, and family gatherings.  Everyone knew there was always room for one more at the table!  Lorrie had a warm and loving heart.  She was a dedicated friend to many.  She always had a smile, a kind word, a gentle touch, and could always make you laugh.

Lorrie developed a rare, neurological disease called Multiple Systems Atrophy (MSA) in 2002.  As she travelled the path set before her, she maintained a positive attitude and outlook and vowed to take each day as it came.  She embraced her family and friends even closer and cherished the time she had with them.  She continued to spread happiness and joy in her interactions with those she knew and loved.  Lorrie had a grace about her and even though her physical abilities changed, her spirit and her poise were unwavering.

The morning Lorrie experienced some acute and significant changes in her health, she chose to move to Taylor House, an in-patient Hospice facility, where she remained until her death five days later.  There, she was able to have family and friends visit in a quiet, comfortable setting, and receive the care she needed.  Lorrie had always regarded Hospice as a valuable service for individuals and families.

Not long after Lorrie passed away, one of her daughters found the following verse.  It is the inspiration for the creation of this memorial event:

Now that I am gone, remember me with smiles and laughter. 

And if you need to cry, cry with your brother or sister who walks in grief beside you. 

And when you need me, put your arms around anyone and give to them what you need to give to me.  There are so many who need so much.

I want to leave you something – something much better than words or sounds.  Look for me in the people I’ve known or helped in some special way. 

Let me live in your heart as well as in your mind. 

You can love me most by letting your love reach out to our loved ones, by embracing them and living in their love.

Love does not die, people do.  So, when all that’s left of me is love, give me away as best you can.

     ~Author unknown 

In our effort to honor Lorrie’s memory and legacy, all proceeds from this event will be donated to the Comfort Therapies program at UnityPoint Hospice.  UnityPoint Hospice serves individuals and families in their homes and at Taylor House.  The Comfort Therapies include Music Therapy, Art and Pet Therapy, as well as Massage Therapy.  These services are invaluable to individuals in the end stages of their lives, but are not covered by any insurance or Medicare program.