Today I went to a funeral where it was said more than once, "We must remember Ella Walker not for how she died, but how she lived.
Ella was 84 and was known to all of us at our LDS ward in Enumclaw where she served as the librarian. Every Sunday the teachers went to her for classroom supplies. I really liked Ella. She always had a big smile for me and she loved me. With Ella it was easy to share a fun story or warm hello.
I wish she would have thought to call me. But she didn't. Instead she used her 84 year-old shaky hand and wrote letters to her son's doctor and to DSHS. The letters were ignored.
Her mentally ill son was living with her. He was growing more dangerous and she needed to have him removed. She went weeks without a response from either the doctor or the state.
Two weeks ago Ella's son was still living in her Black Diamond home. It was there he murdered her with a knife. If she had called, if I had only known, maybe she could have been spared.
In another case, tonight our State Supreme Court Justices are all "on call." If something changes they may be needed to act in the case of Cal Brown who will soon be executed for the torture, rape, and murder of 21 year-old Holly Washa over 17 years ago. Governor Gregoire sent a letter to legislators and others on her decision not to commute the sentence to life in prison. She did the right thing in upholding our law. (Ella's son will not be executed because of his documented illness.) Brown told the authorities that he would kill again if he could. No, Brown is not ill, but evil.
The church was filled today and we said good-bye for now. Ella had 9 children, 23 grandchildren, and over 30 great-grandchildren.