OBITUARY

Alice Marguerite Laib-O'Kane

February 26, 1930December 3, 2018

Alice Marguerite Laib-O'Kane, age 88, of San Diego, California passed away on Monday December 3, 2018. Alice was born February 26, 1930 in Lowell Massachusetts to Stephen and Mary Barrett.

A graveside service for Alice will be held Wednesday, January 16, 2019 from 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, 1700 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, San Diego, CA 92106.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.beardsleymitchell.com for the Laib-O'Kane family.

Services

  • Graveside Service Wednesday, January 16, 2019
REMEMBERING

Alice Marguerite Laib-O'Kane

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Debbie Taylor

January 27, 2019

Alice and Bob were two of the most kind and generous souls I have ever known. They were pillars of our community life at St Stephen the First Martyr parish until their health declined. Alice was full of life, love for family, her faith, her country and the Catholic Church. We mourn with you all at her passing . Love you Alice!

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

by Dee Caputo
(her daughter from Washington)

Saint Augustine, (354 AD- 430 AD) was a Roman African, early Christian theologian and philosopher, from Algeria who taught,

“Faith is to believe what we do not see; and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.”

On December 3, 2018, our family matriarch, Alice (Barrett, Laib) O’Kane, completed the final stretch of her life’s journey upon this Earth. Through a curious intersection of vital facts and family fates, Alice left this world on the very day that commemorates the 63rd anniversary of her youngest child’s birth. For those with Earthly vision it may appear the confluence of these two events happened merely by random chance. That daughter, a young wife with a one-year old child, preceded Alice in departing this world. With her firm belief in God and the expectation of a rewarding eternal life, Alice might choose to tell us, this was the best day of her life. While we may be tempted to dwell deeply in sorrow for our loss, we can derive comfort in knowing she’s achieved what she set out to do. Now, she’s gone on to claim her hard-earned, Heavenly reward.

Alice honed her sensitive and compassionate nature over time, partially as a result of tremendous adversity throughout her life. Early years were challenging with a fair amount of personal illness followed by the death of her father when she was a still a child. The youngest of five children, she was raised during the depression and thus, suffered many hardships, and deprivations during those years. She was loved by her family, especially her mother, to whom she wrote letters weekly across the country as a young adult when communications were prohibitively expensive and limited. As a young wife married to a military man, Arthur Laib, Jr., US Navy, she moved around a lot. Alice had to cope with raising four, energetic, bright children, often singlehandedly, while her husband was sent out to sea. The early trade offs with this arrangement were loneliness and isolation in exchange for a great husband and the opportunity to see the world. Alice was extremely organized and knew how to keep a spotless house. While cooking was not her forte she applied herself to meal making almost every single day. Baking was her preference; in this, she often excelled.

After her extremely successful marriage to Art that ended in his passing at 52 years old, Alice later remarried another exceptionally wonderful man;
this time, Retired Colonel Robert O’Kane, US Air Force. Alice managed to outlive Bob, as well.

Alice insisted on instilling core values within her children about God, Family, and Country. Her faith represented the bedrock foundation of her belief system, and family equaled society’s basic unit. As an Easterner from the Atlantic region, born in Lowell, Massachusetts and raised in Boston, she exhibited a Yankee streak to her pattern of thinking and in the way she chose to vote. That accent in her voice made her stand out in every crowd as soon as she vocalized her thoughts. No stranger to hard work, Alice invested copious time and unwavering determination into everything she did. This approach helped fashion her into the incredibly strong woman she eventually became. That wicked sense of humor and quick wit of hers made Alice fun, as well as a formidable foe in games requiring chance or intellectual skills.

Alice’s life in the last 3 or 4 years was riddled with personal challenges including a string of serious health events. Ever resilient, she bounced back so often that we sometimes thought of her as our very own Unsinkable Molly Brown. This woman who learned how to apologize, and then really did mean it, changed the course of our family’s historical arc. We are different people today with better lives because of Alice’s courage to let go of remorse and regret. The net result has been positively transformative- we all have been graced by Alice’s unwavering confidence in us to help her grow in her capacity to love, by allowing us to nurture Alice during her remaining years. We love you so much, Mom/Nana/Aunt Alice!

If she were here with us, Alice would insist we not omit her personal heritage. Born of a French-Norwegian maternal grandparent marriage, Alice’s mother was orphaned at an exceptionally young age in eastern Canada. Her mother then migrated to the US, after having spent her entire youth raised by nuns in a convent. Her mother met her husband, Alice’s father who was 100% Irish, in Lowell, where his parents migrated from County Mayo and the city of Dublin in their early youth. Alice was gratified to own this heritage, but she was especially proud to be an American.

Death is Nothing at all - Henry Scott Holland

Henry Scott Holland (27 January 1847 – 17 March 1918) was Regis Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford.


Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.

All is well.

Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before only better, infinitely happier and forever we will all be one together with Christ.

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Our families who grew into existence from the love of Alice and Art, and then later gained additional encouragement and love from the union of Alice and Bob, want to extend our collective gratitude to everyone who’s helped Alice, and by extension, us. There are too many people to remember properly to be able to thank everyone by name; we know we’d miss folks who pitched in to help in so many ways that also deserve to be mentioned. Please pardon our frail brains and sad hearts at this time if we overlook any help. Our love and appreciation for everyone’s consideration and thoughtfulness goes out to you all.

We especially want to thank everyone here at Nazareth House including all levels of management, the staff and floor help. There are so many of you who have been so kind to our Alice; she was appreciated and revered by your acts of generous love. We treasure you from the bottom of our hearts. We want to thank the on-staff and visiting nurses, other special providers, and Dr. Jacob for keeping our Alice safe and comfortable, helping to extend her life till earlier this month. Priests, nuns and the visiting Chaplin have provided spiritual and emotional assistance; thank you for being available to Alice.

Hospice People, and you know who you are, we are forever in your debt. Thank you for meeting and helping Alice last year when she fell and broke her hip, requiring that it be surgically replaced. You did such a fine job then, she came back to enjoy another good year with great quality of life. This time, your job helping her was considerably shorter but no less valuable, even so. And helping us, her family - You are a God Send, for sure! We can never thank you enough.

We also recognize and acknowledge the hand of God and Divine Providence in Alice’s blessing to be able to live out her final years at Nazareth House - at least some of us; those that don’t join us in thanking her lucky stars.

Finally, thank you, Emmet! You were the biggest on- site asset at Nazareth House to my mother’s happiness. And mine.