My mother passed away suddenly last week. She is survived by
her husband, Robert Hassan, and her 5 kids(Todd, Wendy, Scott, Debbie, Greg), and
many, many grandkids.
She lived a reasonably long life while raising a rather large family.
This is very difficult to write...
My mom started out life at Beckley, West Virginia with her twin sister in 1941,
during World War II. She left there for nursing school in 1959
at the Universiy of Pittsburgh, where she met my dad, Robert Hassan, who was
studying to be a doctor. They got married in 1963. Dad joined the navy
and was moved around a bit in the next few years, from California, Italy,
then to Pensacola, Florida. They had their first kid, Todd, in 1967.
They must have liked the experience since they proceeded to have 4 more
in the next few years.
They bought their first large house in
Damriscotta, Maine.where we were raised during the 70's. Dad was working as
a private doctor but decided to join the Air Force.
We then were stationed in Rome, NY at Griffiss Air Force Base for 5 years.
Dad got us our first computer here, the Atari 800, which kept us busy for many
hours. We had a large front and backyard to play in. Mom and dad enjoyed flowers
so our yard always had a nice selection and was always kept nicely trimmed. The
winters here were full of snow, so we got to build lots of snow forts and have
snowball fights. We also had a rather large empty basement which we could roller
skate in. Dad liked to heat with wood so he would order in a load of
logs to cut up and feed into a very efficient Tempwood stove. Dad bought
the large white van with blue stripes at that point to haul all these kids
around with, thus starting mom's love affair with big vans. She enjoyed the
hauling capacity and a feeling safety from being one of the larger vehicles
on the roadway. Mom was working hard raising all of us at the time. She had to
spent a lot of time trying to keep me from having problems due to my
rather deadly food allergies and asthma.
We were then stationed out in Albuquerque, New Mexico near Kirkland Air Force Base
where dad bought a rather fancy large house with an inground pool.
Dad bought my sister, Wendy, a bright orange VW bug as her first car.
Dad bought himself a rather sporty Toyata Celica. Wendy went off to France
for a while in a foreign exchange program. Then we had a beautiful young
french lady come stay with us for a while. My brother, Todd, graduated
high school and moved out of the house.
Dad was then relocated out to Howard AFB near the equator in the country of Panama.
It was very hot there but the air force provided a large free concrete house
with great a/c. Mom and dad liked keeping it a little too cold though, you
could see your breathe sometimes when walking out the door into the 90 degree
There was no good local non-military food stores so most everything was
purchased at the base commisary. Mom loved to stock up on things getting 2
or 3 cart loads worth of food at a time. She taught us all to cook while she
was making large batches of food to freeze. We made pizzas by the dozen.
Also, we did pizelles and donuts. My sister Wendy's friend, Rochelle, from
New Mexico gave us the recipe for mom's favorite spaghetti sauce which included
a bit of wine. Everyone loved the sauce so mom would go to great lengths to
get the wine and other ingredients every once in a while over the years.
Dad made the rank of Full Bird Colonel here which is a great accomplishment.
My brother, Scott, wrote his first computer programs here.
Wendy was in a few
plays at school, including The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,
Jospeh and the Amazing Tehcnicolor Dreamcoat, and The Hobbit. Mom helped Wendy
a lot to get her costumes ready for the plays. The one for the elven queen was
rather beautiful with lots of green, mom's favorite color. Wendy graduated with
honors from high school and ended up going off to a college at Colgate University
back in NY. Dad got my sister, Debbie, a horse at the local stables. She learned
to ride and did some competitions which she got ribbons from. Scott graduated
from High School and went off to UB(State Universiy of NY at Buffalo) for a
computer science degree.
Dad was then given the option to be restationed in Louisiana where he may have been
able to make the rank of General, but he decided to quit the air force and start
a farm in Belmont NY. This turned out to be
Mom's favorite place in the world. The house they bought came with 120 acres of
land. It was 100 years old and had actually been moved 100+ ft back away from the
road at one point. It had a noticeable bright red steel roof and was of victorian
styling. It had nice hardwood floors inside which mom loved. We got our first
puppy, Tiffany, who mom adored. Tiffany was a medium sized collie. We also ended
up with a large tiger striped cat which we named Josie. The house was hooked up
to a fresh water spring which mom thought was great. She really enjoyed the water
from it. The farm also had a pond which was a bit of a walk up the hill behind
the house. We setup a shed there and built a dock out onto the water. Mom loved
walking tiffany all around the property seeing the wildlife along the way. The
property was packed full of deer which were nice to see and they helped keep the
freezers full of fresh meat.
Since it was a farm, we needed animals. We ended up getting 3 horses for my
sister, Debbie, since she was into riding. We also got chickens for fresh eggs.
And, turkeys, goats, rabbits, pigs, and a goose. The goose turned out to be very
friendly and Mom loved feeding it. We also got a second dog, Max, which was a
male collie. Dad was hoping to breed them to make some extra cash but it never
worked out. We had a nice white picket fence for the backyard to keep the dogs
in. Mom really liked the look of that fence.
Debbie graduated from high school and joined Scott up at UB. She
was studying to be an accountant. I really enjoyed learning to hunt
on the property there and getting to know nature. I also learned
to build since we did a large addition to the house and built a large
green barn. We also built several smaller buildings for housing the
animals and we installed lots of fencing. My dad and I also
helped a lot with adding a large addition to my Grandma's cabins in
Canisteo NY. I ended up staying at home for my first two years of
college at SUNY at Alfred studying computer science Then I left home
to head up to UB where my sister and brother had been.
Dad and Mom hosted a couple family reunion's at the
farm to try to keep the extended family in touch.
Due to limited funding for living on the farm, Dad & Mom & Tiff decided to
rent out the farm and move to North Dakota where he had a job lined up with
the MEPS, Military Entrance Processing Station.
The land is very flat up there and you could see quite aways. I went to visit
for christmas one time up there and it was very cold. Dad went out to shovel
the driveway and when he came back in, he couldn't get his rubber boots off
due to the rubber being too stiff from the cold. I think it was like -20 that
day with a -40 windchill. When I got back to the 30 degree weather in Buffalo,
it felt pleasantly warm. Unfortunately, Mom got to experience the Red River
Flood of 1997 which didnt help with her affection of the water... Their
house wasn't in danger but she didn't like it all the same.
Dad was able to get his job relocated down to Louisville, Kentucky after that.
He also purchased an empty property in Crossville, Tennessee. Mom enjoyed kentucky
for the most part. I finally got them setup with high speed internet which
Mom really liked. I used to stay there a few months of the year during the
winters since ny winters are pretty tough, and needed the high speed for work.
On the net, mom enjoyed going to web sites like Webmd.com,
where she could research about health issues. I think she really enjoyed
researching any sort of medical problem. She also liked emailing
and later on the Google Hangout/Skype real time video chat.
My brother, Scott, became rich from Google and Egroups at this point and
sent some money to them. This got them to planning to build a huge
concrete retirement house in Tennessee. Mom wanted it to be large enough to
house live in caretakers for when she got older. She never wanted to end up
in a nursing home since she had seen people being mistreated in them.
She also wanted an indoor pool, which she got.
I headed out there to help them move their stuff down there with my
new suburban. They set me up in a fancy tent with satellite TV!
My dad and I worked on the new concrete driveway. I got the plumbing
hooked up for the whirlpool bathtub so we could take baths right away.
I also helped put up some of the interior walls, install the subflooring,
and install the metal roofing. I suggested installing an elevator, as mom
might have trouble with the stairs, but they decided it was too far along in
the construction to change things. I think she would have loved that since going
up and down the stairs was a lot for her to do.
Debbie was having lots of kids now and mom loved going to visit
with them. She really liked helping Debbie with her pregnancies.
She liked talking on the phone with them. She was always trying
to figure out some learning demo's that she could do on her skype
video chats with the kids.
Dad finally decided to sell the farm even though Scott had paid off the
mortgage. They came up to NY to clean out the renter's stuff.
Mom and I were crying at our last day there. Probably the biggest
mistake they made since Mom had regretted it ever since. I was hoping
to own it one day but I did not have the money to buy it at the time.
I was able to buy part of it but dad didn't want to split up the
property for some reason...
Tiffany ended up dying from old age. Mom was rather heart broken.
She went on the search for another collie. She finally
ended up with a new puppy which she named Tiffany2.
Tiffany2 turned out to be quite a bit bigger and fluffier
then the original Tiffany but mom loved her just the same.
Mom and Dad decided to buy an RV which mom put a lot of thought
into. She did lots of research to find just the right one.
She was always excited to talk about it and loved it when they
went on trips with it. They took it all over the coutry visiting
their kids, from Todd in New Mexico to Scott in California to Wendy
in Seattle and to Debbie in Virginia.
Finally, a couple years ago mom and dad made it back to NY
one last time. We ended up going back to the farm and we both
sat there crying out at the road in front of it. Mom so would
have liked to go in and check everything out but unfortunately it
was no longer hers...
Mom always had trouble finding a comfortable pair of shoes to buy.
She would find a nice pair every few years after lots of searching.
The last time, she finally just bought 10 plus pairs so she wouldn't
have to be bothered with that project again for a long while.
Mom also had trouble finding dogs. She spent a lot of time searching
for another collie for a companion to the aging Tiffany2.
She never ended up finding just the right one though.
Mom pushed hard to get dad to rent a large beach house in virginia
for the family to get together at back in May 2013. It turned
out to be a great place but Mom unfortunately was sick for most
of the visit. The weather turned out great and so, at least, she
was able to see everyone having a good time with the pool and
My rich brother Scott let my dad take over usage of a large pair of
houses on lake washington in Seattle so they would have a nice place
to come out to visit with them. Mom didn't really care for it since
she was never much for boating or other lake activities and she had a large
wonderful custom built home in tennessee. She did compromise and
go up there for half the year a few times.
This year was her final trip up there and she was enjoying it more
this time. There is a nice park near by where she could walk
Tiffany2. The house had a large kitchen which mom needed since she
always had lots of cooking projects going on.
Dad got her the pool she had wanted for this house. They set it up
indoors so it was easy to get to. Mom liked being in a pool since
it made her feel better all over.
She also liked the house relatively cold. These houses have lots of
windows so they liked to heat up and there was no a/c. She ended
up getting a portable a/c for the bedroom which helped her survive
here. Dad did get a/c installed in the upper house later on.
Mom was a vegetarian. She ate mostly beans. She loved a good leaf
lettuce salad every day. She also liked eggs, wheat toast,
Mom enjoyed reading. She always had lots of books laying around.
She especially liked medical type books and magazines.
Mom liked being part of Weight Watchers although she was not
very good at losing weight. She put a lot of effort into trying
to lose weight but probably stayed about the same weight right along.
Mom enjoyed walks with her dog, through the woods preferably.
Mom liked helping her kids. She was always trying to come up with
new business ideas for me to help me be successful like my
In the end, she lived a relatively long life and had a large family.
She will go on forever within the hearts of all the family that she