I am very disappointed with the announcement of Carol Gordon’s death in your May edition of the Calaveras Enterprise. I am writing this as a retired psychiatric/public health nurse and a longtime member of the Calaveras County Garden Club. In your third paragraph, the Enterprise eagerly started documenting her legal and behavioral problems. Yes, she did have many and those of us who cared for her were acutely aware that she suffered a mental illness.
I would have liked to see a little more credit due for her 40 years of teaching locally and her contributions to our community in her involvement with many civic organizations, such as the Calaveras County Garden Club. Since the Enterprise took on the responsibility of writing her obituary rather than waiting for her family’s announcement, it seems appropriate you do a little research on her life.
Personally I have known Carol since I joined the Garden Club in 2006. She actively contributed to our meetings and discussions. She participated in our flower arranging classes and our annual fundraiser, the Tablescape Show & Luncheon. Initially she appeared withdrawn and sad when I first met her. Later on she became agitated and less functional in her behavior, yet members of our Garden Club continued to welcome and support her when we could. It was obvious to me that she was suffering from a mental illness. Her behavior scared some people and angered others. It is hard to live with a person with a mental illness either in your home or in your organization.
In the future, I would like to suggest the Enterprise refrain from reporting a death without confirmation and to do a little more research on that person’s life if you insist on mentioning it in the paper.