Audrey Lyke
Audrey Lyke

     How appropriate that God plucked Audrey Lyke, a co-owner of this newspaper for 55 years, from Prairie Place 40 hours to the minute after last week’s great solar eclipse.

     A death certificate reports Audrey passed Wednesday at 5:15 a.m. Maximum eclipse in Ripon was 40 hours earlier at 1:15 p.m.
Mom’s life was sort of like that solar arc in the sky.

     She was more than a ray of sunshine. She was a whole lot of them; throughout her life she kept many of our lives bright and warm.

     But after Dad died 15 years ago, the arc started to flatten and, in fact, Mom’s sun slowly began slipping behind the moon.

     She became increasingly forgetful and a bit scattered. Unusual for such an organized, confidant, competent woman. ...

     I edit every obituary that comes to our newspaper and am always in awe when I read these three words: “surrounded by family.” But Mom died Wednesday morning last week before any of us could get to Prairie Place. That was typical. Mom was consummately considerate of others but she kept her own schedule.

     And with that, at 5:15 a.m., we had a full eclipse in Ripon.

     Or so I thought.

     But on that same day, as family gathered and we talked about Mom,  laughed about Mom, and discussed what she meant to us and to our community, the sun began inching out of the moon’s profile. ...

                                    — Tim Lyke

     To read the entire editorial, see the Aug. 21, 2017 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.