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Good bye Gretchen Widner, most loving one…

February 11, 2014


In my junior year of College I met Gail Widner. We glanced at each other in Anna Katona’s lit class and bonded over a poem written by Wilfred Owen. Tears streamed down our faces as we listened to the atrocities of WWI; she wearing black heels and a Mondrian inspired dress and me wearing black leather pants and a red sweatshirt. Within a short time Gail and I became besties and that’s how I met Gretchen, her sister who was studying Dentistry at MUSC. Gretchen was  loving, kind and generous. She gave always… to everyone.

We read aloud to each other as girls do; books like The Moon in the Water and The Chains of Fate and we grew up dreaming of living in English Country Houses and Scottish Castles. We had great imaginations and filled all those rooms with countless furnishings. And then we grew up.


Gretchen loved history and she loved genealogy. She embraced her Huguenot roots as well as others from other parts. She was the grande dame of the Dames of the Magna Carta in South Carolina and was involved in so many things. She even figured out the patchwork quilt of my father’s ancestry for me. She loved her family, cats, dogs and she loved children. Before having her amazing son George, she took her nieces and nephew on many adventures to the magic kingdom and beyond. She loved to laugh and she loved to be happy. She was so excited when Gail and I traveled to Italy in 2008. She was exuberant that we would just see it all. She was a great reader too and I was thrilled when she read my busy tome and liked it.


I’m looking at a vase right now that Gretchen gave me about ten years ago.It is made of glass and filled with a kaleidoscope of colors.I remember when it arrived; the day was cold and my heart was bleak. I used it once when it was almost knocked over and broken. I loved it so that I chose to put it in the bookcase so nothing could happen to it. So tomorrow in her honor I will buy flowers and dang that vase will be in a place of honor with wildflowers. Good night dear friend, good night. You are missed by so many…


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