Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Some more of Mimi’s friends express their thoughts

From Vern Kinner:

Holli and I returned July 26th from a month-long rail trip and were shocked and saddened to read an e-mail advising that our dear friend Mimi had passed away. 

I have been fortunate to have known Mimi for almost 58 years.  We first met at the Officers Club, James Connally AFB in Waco, Tx. in 1950.  A soiree was planned, attended by local young ladies and the young 2nd Lts.  going through pilot training.  This social event was being covered by a very attractive reporter from the Waco news- paper; her name was Mimi Hicks.  Ty was smitten the first day he met her, beginning a love affair which continues to this day.  Completing basic pilot training, Ty was assigned to Reese AFB in Lubbock and I to Vance in Enid Ok. for advanced training.  We often met in Fort Worth at Mimi's mother's home for weekends.  Later, I was honored to be best man at Mimi and Ty's wedding in the Spring of 1951.  In Au- gust 1951, Ty served as my best man when I married Ann McDer- mott in Larchmont N.Y.  Mimi and Ty joined Ann and me in NYC and at West Point to continue our honeymoons.  Over the years, I was for- tunate to be a guest in their home many times, especially after Ann's un- timely death in 1966.  Then in May of 2003, Mimi and Ty honored me again by attending my wedding to Holli in White Post, Va.

Mimi was a gracious, caring person who was loved by so many and especi- ally by her children and husband.  Holli and I are among those who will dearly miss our wonderful friend........Mimi will live on in our hearts.

From Myrtle Kahn:

I am Myrtle Khan, a friend of Mimi's from Capital Speakers. We met in 1990 and have shared many speeches and lunches since that time. I will always remember Mimi for the sparkle in her eye and her kind and wonderful manner. I remember her enthusiasm when she began the Angel Dolls project and her mystery novel and the care with which she presented her topics or moderated a meeting. I have looked at the many photos of her but there is an image which I carry that is not recorded on the site. I remember her getting into her convertible after one of our meetings, hood down, cap on jauntily, and she drove off a picture of beauty and grace. She was one of the best and she brought out the best in us. We will all miss her. God's Grace Mimi.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

John’s tribute to Mimi

"In the past few days, I have reminisced with many of you about Mimi, and I have been reminded of what a different sort of lady my mother was. And so I would like to share with you what a different sort of mother this lady was.

Mimi never really told me what to do; rather, she taught me how to live. She never really gave me advice; rather, she showed me where to find wisdom.

When I was 10 and returning to the neighborhood covered in mud from a long day of playing in the woods, my friends would talk of the scolding they expected from their mothers about their clothes. I marched on, smiling in silence, happy that my mother had taught me how to do my own laundry when I was eight.

When I was 12 and playing little league, she didn't follow my batting average, but at home she did all she could to make sure I knew the value of fair play. Not many mothers would stay up with their children until one or two in the morning, discussing the worth of the individual, the value of respect, and the hard choices a boy can face on the field or in life. But Mom did. I always played as though she were in the stands, and I always will.

When I was 22 and graduating from college, she never told me what she thought I should do with my life. But after spending my boyhood watching how she approached a challenge, how she viewed adventure, how she saw the world, I didn't need to ask.

She was never one for the long mushy birthday card. They were funny, and usually on time. I think she was always trying to find a better way to love the people in her life, never more so than in how she loved Dad more and more as years went on.

Mom had a love for sayings and quotations, a love which she instilled in me and later in my daughter Elizabeth. When I turned 30, she gave me a notebook filled with many of her favorite sayings, written in her own hand. Good, practical sayings, like:

"Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much." And:

If you tell the truth, you won't have to remember anything, and

"Every job is the self portrait of the one who did it", which I would paraphrase today to say: "Every life is the self portrait of the one who lived it." And, Mom, yours was a masterpiece, with just one corner of the canvas yet to be beautified by your brush.

Thanks, Mom, for the painting lessons.

Bob’s tribute to Mimi

I'm going to talk about Mom's relationship with her sister Fran. They had a very close relationship and would talk nearly everyday on the phone, sometimes for 5 minutes, sometimes for an hour.

But they didn't always have such a close relationship. Like many of us, there was a period when they didn't talk. I don't know when it started or when it ended but at some point Mom decided to fix their relationship. She took it on as a project and, over time, eventually, they grew very close.

I called Aunt Fran last Friday to tell her Mom died. We talked again the next day and this time it was a little less emotional conversation. Aunt Fran asked me if we could have two flowers placed in the coffin with Mom as a sign of their special relationship. I said of course. I thought about it and said that when we would look in the coffin and see the two yellow flowers next to Mom we – the family - would know the significance of them, but outside the family many people would not. I asked Aunt Fran if she wanted to write a few sentences about the flowers and this is what she wrote:

Sisters Are Forever

Born to the same parents—that made us siblings.

Growing up in the same family—that made us sisters.

Living or lifetime of shared experiences—that made us friends.

And what a radiantly beautiful friendship it became!

Alive with a rainbow of feelings: Sunshine and shadow, happy days and sad.

I knew Mimi everyday of her life. No one else could say that.

Almost four years younger that I, she was my little sister.

I caller her Sister; no on else could say that.

As the years passed on day at a time, we came to realize what a wonderful blessing God had given us.

So now, as Mimi is laid to rest, two flowers are tucked in her casket, a token of our abiding love.

Yes, truly,

Sisters are forever.


Rich’s tribute to Mimi

Whenever Mimi Tandler got to doing something, or got to be interested in something, or decided to be something, she did it all the way.

A lot of us have interests that are a mile wide and an inch deep, dabbling in a lot of things. Others of us, like me, go deep into a limited number of subjects, an inch wide and a mile deep.

Mom was different. She was in a mile wide and a mile deep. Whatever she took on, she took on full bore. When she became the wife of a military man, she could take on everything from black tie affairs to bashes that went on until the wee hours of the morning. She was a full-time Mom to the max, guiding the four of us through our lives with a hand that was both firm and gentle.

When she wanted to create an angel doll, she dove in, going from New York to China and many spots in between to create the Awesome Angels. When decided to write a true crime story she compiled volumes and volumes of notes and transcripts, met with dozens if not hundreds of fellow writers, read shelves and shelves of books and went into the belly of the beast to interview the convicted killer.

Nutrition, tennis, her grandchildren, the McLean Welcoming group, you name it, Mom was into it up to her elbows and beyond.

When it came to music, like everything else, she had a passion. Whenever she got into a certain song, she would play it over and over and over, lifting the needle and placing it back to the beginning of the song just as it ended. Among the songs she would obsess over were Scotch and Soda by the Kingston Trio and All My Loving by the Beatles.

The one song that Mom loved that stuck in my head was Raindrops keep falling on my head by BJ Thomas. Over the past week, I've had that song going through my head, and I've been thinking about why it was special to her. A look at some of the lyrics reveals why.

So I just did me some talkin' to the sun
And I said I didn't like the way he got things done
Sleepin' on the job

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head
But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turnin' red
Cryin's not for me
'Cause I'm never gonna stop the rain by complainin'
Because I'm free
Nothin's worryin' me

It's like a musical version of this well-known prayer that is hung on the wall in the study that she and Dad shared.

Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the thing that I cannot change.
The courage to change the things that I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Mimi Tandler had the serenity, she had the strength and courage and she had the wisdom.

We're all sad, but thanks to you, Mom, we know that we're never going to stop the rain by complaining.

Tad’s tribute to Mimi

Tribute to Mom

How do you honor your life with your mother in three minutes, especially a mother like Mimi? Well, first of all, there wasn't any other mother quite like Mimi, and as we all know, she was a woman with enormously varied interests and inspirations – and wherever she was or whatever she did, it was with her total being, heart, and soul.

With passion.

On blustery November day, 15 years ago, Mom and I went to an exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. We came out of the building, it was evening rush hour, and saw a homeless woman huddling over a grate as we walked to the car. Mom was so upset at seeing this woman, we talked about it all the way home – was she a mother, where were her children, what course of events could have happened to have her end up on that metro grate, where was her family, what kind of a society do we live in that allows this type of thing to happen – ALL the way home. I dropped Mom off and went about my way, only to find out the next day that she had gone into her closet, gotten a winter coat, got into her car and drove back down to there, to give that homeless woman the coat and all the cash she had in her wallet.

That's passion.

Dancing in the living room to "Splish Splash I was Takin a Bath", "Won'tcha Come Home Bill Bailey" -- Mom and Dad took Twisting Lessons at the Air Force Academy, came straight home with the album The Bobby Darin Story, Mom taught us how to do that dance, and we wore that album OUT! Hours and Hours of dancing, we knew every single note of that album – and after that, in Fort Walton, – if we weren't water skiing, Mom and I were dancing to the Beach Boys and Beatles

That's passion!

Mom always viewed herself, and the reason she was on earth, as a work in progress, always thinking about how she could better herself and her relationships with everyone she knew. Every morning, she would write in her gratitude journal; here are a few entries:

The way the different birds have unique calls . . .

I'm thankful for Ty – he's very patient with all my quirks and foibles . . .

I'm glad someone thought of CarMax . . .

Thankful for my terrific family . . .

I'm glad I learned how to meditate and stuck with it for 31 years . . .

I'm thankful I don't feel superior to other people . . .

Grateful to god that carnations have their beautiful scent . . .

Glad there are so many beautiful places in the world to visit . . .

. . . and lastly . . .

Alstromeria – God's hieroglyph to say he loves us.

Well, Mom was God's hieroglyph to the world, showing us how to live life to its fullest, leaving no stone unturned, no question unanswered, and no feeling unfelt.

I am honored to have shared my life with hers.

And speaking of Bobby Darin, Mom and I mourned his early passing, but his music lived on in our house. What he said at the end of that album is what I think Mom might have said to us, if she'd had the opportunity to say goodbye:

"Before we wrap up this side I want to take this opportunity say thank you for making this story possible; and also I'd like to borrow a phrase from a magazine . . .

Just about here in the story they would say, 'To be continued.'

I hope so."

More of Mimi’s friends paying their respect

From Dori Humphries:

Mimi will be greatly missed by me & her many friends. She was my tennis buddy & is an important friend in my life. She & Ty were most generous with their beautiful court. It has been wonderful to share travel stories & adventures with them. Also Mimi & I enjoyed discussing & sharing books.

She was a beautiful person, a talented writer & a good friend. My thoughts & prayers are with her as she begins her spiritual journey.

Dori Humphries

From Sam Ratcliffe:

I'm the son of Becky DeShong Ratcliffe, one of your mom's cousins (Mimi was in my parents' wedding). So, consider these remarks as coming from my mom as well as from me, since she does not have a computer.

I only had the pleasure of meeting your mom a few times, most recently when she attended a surprise birthday party for one of my mom's sisters, Jenna Herrman, about ten years ago. However, the time before that when I was with her, she and your dad were a huge help to me and my wife. I was in D.C. for a professional meeting twenty years ago at Christmastime and your parents had us over to their house on our last day there then kindly took us to the airport to fly back to Dallas. I recall Mimi as gorgeous (good gracious—what a knockout photograph on the website!), funny, and charming. My wife and I had a great time with your parents and I wish that distance hadn't prevented us from getting to know them better. She was one of my mom's many relatives who I'd heard about my whole life so it was good to finally be able to visit with her, albeit for those few hours. Among other bits of Washington lore, she and your dad introduced us to the term "Beltway bandit."

My dad passed away three years ago this past May so I have at least some inkling of your and your family's sense of loss. You all are in the thoughts and prayers of me, my wife, and my mother right now.

From Rev. Msgr. Leo A. Kelty:

I had the good fortune to meet, and speak with Mimi many times, especially around the year 1999 when I discovered through Ty that Mimi was design ing and marketing those great dolls! Since I have been retired for six years, I do not recall all the details, but as pastor, I decided that it would be beneficial, at Ty and Mimi's suggestion (and also that of my dear cousin, Vince Kelty!) to acquire the dolls for a fundraiser to offset the costs of our new church, St. William, in Howell, NJ (where I now reside in retirement). My Parish Council also agreed, and as a result of the transactions, we were able to raise a generous sum for the new church. We sold all of 300 dolls! The kids, as well as the parents, loved the idea.

My deepest sympathy and prayerful reflections go out to Ty and the family. I've always enjoyed immensely the times we have been together socially - dinners and parties- and the great lunches with "the gang" at Serbian Crown. Many thanks, Ty, for your friendship, and the opportunty to have encountered the wonderful Mimi!

(Rev. Msgr.) Leo A. Kelty ("Leo")

From Laura and Dave Doty:

Dear Tandlers,

We are all so saddened by the loss of Mimi - so glad we got together in Middleburg! What a delight she was. I always looked forward to our many trips to DC when a visit to the Tandlers was included. I remember shopping with my mom and Mimi in Georgetown for my first prom dress in the late 60's - we always did good shopping with Meem. She will be greatly missed by many, especially my mom.


Laura and Dave Doty

From Mickey Downey:

It gave me such a feeling of sadness to receive word that sweet Mimi had left us so suddenly. I had the privilege of getting to know her through McLean Newcomers, especially through the monthly coffees she'd arrange at Star Nut Cafe. She was a beautiful presence, a gracious lady with a smile that embraced everyone, and an ear for whatever the topic of conversation. For me, her voice had a distinctive melody to it, one that I remember so well from just a few short weeks ago. Life gives us gifts. Mimi will remain one.

With sadness over her passing, joy for having met her along life's journey, and deepest condolences to you, her treasured family,

Mickey Downey

McLean Newcomers

From Mary Ann Grove:

I first met Mimi at a Newcomers meeting, and I felt that I'd known her forever! I'll always remember her wonderful spontaneous smile and the twinkle in her eyes. I particularly enjoyed the 4 p.m. coffee get-togethers at the Palladium, which she co-hosted. I will surely miss her, as will so many others whose lives she touched. My sincere condolences to the family.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Please join us for a celebration of Mimi's life

Thank you for coming here. We appreciate the kind thoughts and prayers of Mimi's many friends. They mean more to us than you will ever know.

There will be a visitation on Thursday, July 17 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM.

Money and King Funeral Home
171 West Maple Ave.
Vienna, VA 22180

A funeral service will be held the following day, Friday, July 18 at 11:00

St. John's Episcopal Church
6715 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101

Please join us for a gathering immediately following at the Tandler residence:

1012 Dead Run Drive
McLean, VA 22101

Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetary on August 26th at 1:00.

Feel free to post a comment on this site sharing your favorite memory of Mimi.

Again, thank you and we look forward to seeing you at the services.