Personalized obituaries have come to replace the basic, just-the-facts ones of yore. Before, we read about the highlights of a person's life and saw a list of survivors. Now, we get the family's insights into what kind of person the deceased was.

This was dramatically illustrated with obituaries for Janet Mary (Thiroway) Greco, 57; Joseph G. Blase, 57; and Barbara Lucia Knarr, 60. The three were born within three years of each other. They died within days days of each other. Mrs. Greco on Dec. 27, Mrs. Knarr on Dec. 30 and Mr. Blase on Dec. 31.

Each person's obituary did show key differences with the others. A nurse, Mrs. Greco spent most of her life as a stay-at-home mom. Mrs. Knarr held a variety jobs, such as Avon lady, newspaper employee and cashier at Wal-Mart. Mr. Blase was a master mechanic who owned and operated his own garage for many years before going to work at Danville State Hospital.

However, there were three common denominators in their life stories. All were generous with their time and talents. "Janet will be remembered for having a big heart. She was also ready to help anyone in need," stated Mrs. Greco's obituary.

Mrs. Knarr's obituary stated: "Barb had an infectious outgoing personality; anyone who met her immediately loved her as the funny, outgoing, caring human being that she was. She met and befriended many people over the years, and with the advent of technology, quickly expanded her vast empire of friends online as well."

"Joe will be remembered as a man who was always willing to help others and make everyone feel as though they were part of his family," read Blase's obituary.

Their love for others was exceeded by their love for family. "Nothing brought a bigger smile to his face than hugs and kisses from his two granddaughters," stated the story about Mr. Blase, who was happily married for 37 years. Mrs. Greco, who was married to her childhood sweetheart for over 30 years, considered her two sons "the pride and joy of her life."

The obituary for Mrs. Knarr noted: "She took great pride and joy in spending time with her grandchildren."

Tying everything together for all three of them was faith in God. Their love for God was at the center of their lives.

As they recall the lives of the person that they love, their families live in faith and hope that they will someday be reunited. Then, the past will not matter. They will be living forever in God's love with the people they love the most.


We live in love because Jesus died for love.