DAUGHTER OF HELEN RICHNOW CARUSO AND ANTHONY JOSEPH CARUSO 1911-1988
DAVID BISHOP REMEMBERS HIS GRANDMOTHER HELEN LENA CARUSO BISHOP;
My Grandmother honored me by asking that I officiate at her funeral and burial. The following are excerpts from what I shared that day in August of 1998.
My sisters and my brother and I called Helen "Mom" and my grandfather "Bun." Rumor has it that I named my Grandfather "Bun" because Helen called him "Hon," and I, being so young, pronounced it "Bun," and the nickname stuck. A cousin on my mother's side was living with us when he was young during the early 70's. He gave Helen a unique and wonderful Grandparent nickname. Tommy reasoned that since my Grandfather was "Bun," Helen had to be "Bunny." Typical of her nature, Helen accepted this new name and was "Bunny" from then on.
Bunny was a multitalented woman who could cook, sew, and make crafts of all kinds. I remember a Batman suit she made for my brother Fred. She was a wonderful mother to my Dad, and a kind, loving Grandmother. She enjoyed fishing (including baiting her own hook), but her real passion was bowling.
Bunny was a very good bowler and traveled the country with her 4-lady team. My favorite memories are holidays at Bun and Bunny's house, outings with her and the family, and Bunny playing games and cutting up with her sisters.
Although Bunny had a small stature, she had a large heart. When Bun became ill in the twilight of his life, Bunny refused to have him put in a nursing home. She and her son Jimmy and his wife Carrolyn took care of Bun at home, although it was a tough load to bear. In the autumn of her life, Jimmy and Carrolyn cared for Bunny until the time of her passing, refusing to put her in a nursing home.
LINDA MOCK ALBRECHT COMMENTED;
She had such a unique laugh. It was loud and so very "catchy." I'm sure her immediate family was used to it (maybe!), but that was the unique trait that the nieces and nephews remember about her the most. I told her several times that I wanted to record her laugh to play whenever I was sad. There's no way anyone could listen to her laugh and not laugh right along with her whether you knew what she was laughing about or not!
DAVID ADDS; My Grandparents also gave my parents great lessons in spoiling grandchildren. My fondest memories of them are at holidays, when the family would gather at their house. Trips to the drugstore soda counter (back when in the Stone Age when drugstores still had soda counters), fishing trips, picnics, and watching them spend time with their great-grandchildren were special times. Since they both have passed on, I greatly miss being able to talk to both of them.
When Bun was alive, my Dad used to call him at least once a day. After Bun passed on, Dad used to call Bunny as often. As my Dad says, often he still finds himself reaching for the phone to make that call. At Christmas and Thanksgiving, our Uncle George Caruso, Aunt Gertrude and Aunt Sissy and their families would all get together spending time as a family. These are the things I miss: being able to hear them talk about days gone past. Their generation had knowledge of things not known to our generation. They are gone, but not forgotten because of the memories my Mom and Dad, my brother, 2 sisters and I pass on to our families.