Monday, September 25, 2006

Aleta Fenceroy 12/27/1948 - 9/23/2006

From Jean Mayberry

As most, if not all of you know, Aleta has been battling cancer since she
was diagnosed on June 15th of this year.
I was blessed to be with Aleta at the end of her life. She died at home, in
a hospital bed that I had set up in the dining room next to a big window so
that she could look out at the garden. She lived just over 3 months after
she was diagnosed with cancer, but she had many good days. Aleta died
peacefully in the company of friends and family who loved her.

She had wonderful visits with her two children, Michelle and J.J., who flew
in from Phoenix and Africa respectively. She was able to read to her
granddaughters, Chloe and Ella, and hold the newest addition, little

And even though this was a terrible situation, we were able to take so many
good things from it. The incredible support and love we felt from friends
close by and far away really sustained us. We grew closer to each other and
to our families. We found humor and learned lessons of courage and
compassion from fellow cancer patients and their families. We learned to
enjoy the little moments that make our days and our lives so precious.

Aleta raised two children on her own, a single mom on welfare, working
part-time and going to college to earn a Master of Music Degree. She
graduated from Morningside College in Sioux City, IA and received her
Masters at the University Of Minnisota, in Minneapolis. She was a church
organist for 30 years, 4 of which were spent in Norway. She worked for the
State of Iowa Department of Corrections for over 15 years before going back
to school to earn an Associates Degree in computer programming in 1998. She
then took a job in Omaha, Nebraska with First Data Resources as an
analyst/programmer and software writer. She LOVED her job. She loved
solving puzzles, following trails and picking up clues and that was her
favorite part of being a programmer.

She was dogged in her pursuit of answers at work and that is how she was in
most aspects of her life. When she sunk her teeth into something, she
didn't let go. Hence, 8 years of "Fenceberry Articles." Hour upon hour
and day upon day were spent on the home computer. Aleta was determined to
hunt down the story; to get the news out; to defend her community; and to
right the wrongs to the best of her ability. And she did it with love, wit,
dignity and charm. That is the way she lived her life and that is the way
she died.

She will be terribly missed. She is terribly missed.

A memorial celebration of her life has been planned and arrangements will be
finalized when her son knows on which dates he will be in Omaha. There will
be no funeral. Aleta requested there be no flowers. Anyone wishing to make
a donation should write a check to the American Civil Liberties Union.


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