If you would like a copy of the DVD slideshow that played at the calling hours and funeral reception, please email me at bdann@twcny.rr.com.

Carol Virginia (Milligan) Dann
December 28, 1936 - October 29, 2010

Share on Facebook

Obituary Information

Video Slideshow Memorial Tribute
(If you want to order a copy, email me at bdann@twcny.rr.com)

File of photos for download (it's huge!)
(full quality photos from the DVD and more)
(If you want to order a copy, email me at bdann@twcny.rr.com)

I wrote this to my mother-in-law several months ago, while she was still well and I could show her my love and appreciation. Today we lost her. She was one of the most influential people in our lives and our hearts are broken. We can only be thankful that she is finally at peace. I love you Carol and thank you for loving me back.

A letter to my Mother-in-law from me...

Dear Carol (aka Mother-in-law),                                                               
March 13, 2010
As you may know, I am not too good at saying things in person, because I tend to get too emotional, and then all that I wanted to say is lost in the tears, but I have so many things that I want to say to you before the chance to do so is lost. Here are a few things from over the years that I want to say thank you for, and the reasons why I have come to love and appreciate you so. I guess it’s best to start at the beginning, so here goes…
First there is your son, my husband, my life. It’s not like you could have known what a wonderful person you were creating at the time, or how much his life could complete another’s, but he is the biggest thank you I have in life. Without him, I could not imagine what my life may have been like. I really would not even want to think about it. So for him and all that has come from him; for the kind, devoted and passionate person you helped him to become… Thank you.
Next, there was the graduation party you hosted for me. I am not sure that I ever properly thanked you for that. You included me completely in a day that should have been for your son Daniel alone. Without that, I would have had nothing, but because of it, I got $100.00 worth of gift money, with which I bought an Electrolux vacuum cleaner, that is to this day, more than 30 years later, still used. After all, isn’t that what every graduate wants to spend their money on! 
And then, there was my wedding. I know you did most of the planning, most of the cooking & made me the most beautiful cake in the world! You set up the fire hall for the reception and even provided most of the guests for the event, because I had little family to speak of, and at the time, very few friends. It may not have been an elaborate expensive affair, but it was just perfect for Tommy and I. To just say, “Thank you!” seems so understated for an event that has provided us with more than 30 years of family, happiness and love, so I will say, “Thank you for the bottom of my heart! Your efforts were so completely and totally appreciated!”
Then there was my after wedding, bridal shower. Another fun event! You planned and pulled that off, as a secret surprise to me. It’s funny how when we are younger and just the participants in such things, and not the planners, that we don’t realize the planning and preparation that goes into such things. I sincerely appreciate that you did those things for me, just as if I were one of your own kids.
Also, there was my baby shower. I had no idea that one little person could have needed so many things and how we were going to get them all, but again, you came through in pulling together your family and friends and our little man never went without a thing.
And then there was the fact that we lived with you for a few months and all the help you provided me with, as I had my new little son. You taught me how to bath him, change him and love and cuddle him. You also took the night shift most of the time and let me sleep in and I soooo appreciated that!! And you watched him everyday so that I could finish high school, with honors at that, and then even watched him & Amy a few months a year or two later when I took a spring time job with Patty Maidens at Gravina’s Nursery in Brewerton. Had I had to pay someone to do that job, I would not have been able to work and we would not have been able to get our bills in order as quickly as we did. For that too, I thank you!
But I guess most of all, through the years, you were always there when I needed pretty much any little thing or just someone to talk to. For all the little things, like a late night chat, a stick of butter, a gallon of milk picked up when you were running to Hastings store, a ride to the IGA or the North Country Department store to grab something for dinner or a birthday present for one of the kids parties, or someone to watch the kids for a little while, so I could run off to see my mom in the hospital. For inviting us to dinner on a random night, or sending us up leftovers from time to time, to helping out with all the parties and functions we had over the years, we could always count on you. Those things, while they seemed the most trivial, added up the most.
Your house has always been a place of family and a place of gathering. You have made it that way. Everyone knows that no matter the time of day or night, they can call on you and you will lend them an ear or a hand or a meal. My mom referred to it as Grand Central Station, but as the years have passed, I have come to know it as a place that personifies the true meaning of unconditional love and love of family.
I also need to thank you for all the things that you have taught me over the years, like playing beat the bank and writing a check to cover a check! That worked so well until they created computerized banking! Also, how to fry an egg over easy. 
Another thing you have shown me, and I think everyone, is the devotion of a mother to her child. The love and commitment that you have shown David, is truly your legacy and the reason that he has been with us so long. When I think of the life that you have lived, sometimes I feel bad thinking that you have missed so much of the world around you as you cared for him, when in fact, the most important thing in your world lay in front of your eyes and you nurtured it day and night, with all that you had and all that you were. It’s truly amazing to think of the countless nights of broken or missing sleep and the round the clock care you have given, just to tend to his every need. If one were looking to make a dictionary entry of the word devotion, all they would need to do is put in a photo of you and David.
The following poem really helps to make the point of saying things to people while they are still here to hear them and appreciate them and to know how much they are and have been appreciated and I want to share it with you now, because you are and have been appreciated everyday and I want you to know it, read it and feel it while you are still here to enjoy the sentiment…
If you’re ever going to love me, love me now, while I can know
All the sweet and tender feelings which from real affection flow.
Love me now, while I am living; do not wait till I am gone
And then chisel it in marble — warm loving words on ice-cold stone.
If you’ve dear, sweet thoughts about me, why not whisper them to me?
Don’t you know ’twould make me happy and as glad as glad can be?
If you wait till I am sleeping, ne’er to waken here again,
There’ll be walls of earth between us and I couldn’t hear you then.
If you knew someone was thirsting for a drop of water sweet,
Would you be so slow to bring it? Would you step with laggard feet?
There are tender hearts all ’round us who are thirsting for our love;
Why withhold from them what nature makes them crave all else above?
I won’t need your kind words when the grass grows o’er my face.
I won’t crave your love or kisses in my last low resting place.
So then, if you love me any, if it’s but a little bit,
Let me know it now while we are living, so I can own and treasure it.
So let me say this and one day perhaps I will chisel it on stone too… I love you Carol and I always will keep you in my heart.
I am so sorry for what you have and are about to go through. Some parts of life are just so unfair and this is truly one of them.
With much love and admiration.
Your favorite daughter-in-law,

PS. I put that “favorite daughter-in-law” part in just in case one of the others reads this letter.  

I want to say thank you to all those that provided care to Carol during her most difficult times.
Patty, Diane & Jimmy... your love, compassion, commitment and devotion to your mother was unparalleled! I am truly in awe of your love for her. This could be your greatest legacy. Thank you.

Timmy & MaryAnn.... you are the best nephew and niece an Aunt could ever hope for and the best cousins anyone could ever have. You didn't have to do all that you did, but we sure are glad you were there to help. Thank you.

Beverly... They just don't make friends as committed and as caring as you. There must be made a special place in the universe for you one day. Carol is the luckiest person in the world to have shared her love with you. Thank you.

To all of the rest of the “helpers”… Thank you so much for everything that you did to make life easier on all of us. If it takes a village to raise a child, and many hands to lighten the load, then your hands have raised up an angel and our burdens have been reduced to feathers.

Thank you all. We are forever grateful.

For more information, please email: 

Patty at predhead@twcny.rr.com or 

Brenda at bdann@twcny.rr.com