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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Charles Mantkus on Leona Shafer

Charles wrote this for me about a year ago when I asked him to write something about Betty's Mother Leona. I wanted to re-post this since it talks about the time that Betty & Charles first met.

Just a short note on "Mom" Shafer When I first met Leona Shafer I was but 16 years old and working in a fruit and vegetable market. Seems she would always come in on a Saturday around noon or a little later. I always tried to wait on her myself as she was so pleasing and knew exactly what she wanted. It made working so much easier. This one day she came in and had a beautiful looking girl with her. In a little while I found out that the girl was her daughter, Betty. At the same time I turned to a fellow worker (Bob Lepano) and told him - "See that young lady over there at the meat counter?" He said "Yes I see her" Anyway I told him - "That’s the girl I’m going to marry." and I hadn’t even met her yet. After getting what she wanted from the butcher shop, Leona Shafer and her daughter came to the vegetable section. And of course I waited on her. I was introduced to her daughter and at that moment I was completely fouled up. Leona wanted two bunches of radishes and one bunch of onions. I got her two bunches of onions and one bunch of radishes and the foul up continued. Leona could see what was happening and she just grinned and bore with me. It took quite a while after that before I even had a chance to ask her daughter out for a date. That first date with Betty brought me to the Shafer home on Shannon Street in Spokane. There is where I really started to get to know Leona (Mom) Shafer. Mom Shafer was the kind of person you could put your trust in or ask her a question and always get a sane and simple complete answer to your inquiry. That is when she became my second Mom. Mom always seemed to stand up for me, much to the amazment of her kids (Betty and Gene). When something came up Mom and I would talk about it and come up with an answer. We would tell stories that we had heard and could hardly wait until our next meeting to share them. I never had to worry about Betty when I was in the service as I knew Mom and Dewey were taking excellant care of her. And when my daughter appeared on the scene Mom was right there to help out. I was always pulling tricks on Mom. As an example - One day I was standing in their hallway and leaned against the wall opening to the living room. I reached up and ran my fingers on the woodwork above the opening and brought down a smidgen of dust. I accused Mom of not being a very good housekeeper. Mom was just about five foot tall and it would have been impossible for her to even come close to reaching that heighth. She never forgot it and neither did I. It was done many more times after that. Mom Shafer is someone I could never ever forget. She was there when I needed an answer and her answers were always correct and the way they should be. Mom treatrd me as one of the family from the first day I entered her home. She was a grand and upstanding lady who I loved as a mother and a person I could depend on. May she rest in the peace and comfort of heaven as she made things so on earth. Her Son-in-law Charles Mantkus

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