Memories From Lake Doster
Hello, I am Colleen O’Leary Mayra, a granddaughter of Bob and Muriel O’Leary and along with the six other grandchildren we believe we are the luckiest bunch of Irishmen around!
I was fortunate enough to spend my summers with Grandma and Grandpa. Though I lived 9 hours away from Lake Doster, my summers with them were always memorable and priceless.
Our grandparents, among other things, taught us all how to “get our hands dirty.” In my summers on Lake Doster I spent a lot of time volunteering with Grandma and Grandpa and my other cousins. Many days we were woken by one or the other to “WELCOME THE DAY… NOW LETS GET TO WORK!” My grandparents were an inspiration for me to work hard in my community. They have taught me the values of helping others and shown me the reward of doing my part.
My grandparents hold a very special place in my heart. I wish you all could’ve had the experiences that we’ve had with them. We as a family work hard for Allegan County and surrounding communities as they did. Come see me at the event. Let me touch your lives as my grandparents have touched mine. It is what they would want. Thank you all for your support and continued interest in our family.
Memories from the Seven Grandchildren
Do we have some funny memories for you! Our names are Ryan O’Leary and Kaity O’Leary Knecht and we are two of the seven grandchildren. We were in charge of the “lighter side” of our grandparents.
You know how parents always say no to treats before dinner, well our grandparents had a Candy Shoppe dispenser filled with M & M’s that we could have any time we wanted! Although, with Grandma being a nurse, she was a firm believer in no food before you go swimming. So when we were running out the door to get on Grandpa’s boat for a day on the lake, our hands had to stay out of the M & M’s. Even though we only had to go across the street to the boat, we always took the Michigan State Spartan Golf Cart. Every grandchild would pile on that golf cart, go to the dock, get on the boat, and it was off to the beach with Grandma and Grandpa. All our parents met us there; they just had to take their cars to get there!
We also got plenty of exercise with Grandma and Grandpa. There were countless parades that we walked in with Commissioner O’Leary and her family. The parties were great too! Growing up, our bedtimes didn’t matter when we were on the campaign trail!
Holidays were always the best in the O’Leary house. Christmas time Grandma had two Christmas trees: The green one in the family room and the fancy white one in the formal living room… the grandchildren couldn’t be in there without adult supervision! Easter was always a blast. First, we all found our Easter baskets (even if they were in the sandpit on the other side of the golf course) and then go outside for the famous Easter egg hunt! The St. Pat’s parties where the wearin’ of the green is a must, but also a pleasure to see our family all together and enjoying an evening of friends and neighbors. Our grandparents took so much time for us, how do we send them a message that we got it?
Yes, it is very true. Our grandparents have inspired us to do many things in our lives. One thing is for sure, they always made sure we knew how important we all were to them. We all shared many laughs with Grandma and Grandpa, but some of the most important things we share with them is a great family, wonderful friends, and many memories to share with you all. Come find one of us at the event. We would love to share our stories with you.
Time Well Spent
I am Kara O’Leary, granddaughter of Muriel and Bob. My grandparents were two of the most amazing people! They taught me so much over the years and I was blessed with them in my life. My grandmother could take any situation, good or bad, and make it even better. My grandfather had a heart of gold! He was Irish and could show ANYONE a great time!
I have many memories with my grandparents; however the time I spent alone with them were some of my fondest. My grandpa and I used to eat sardines together! None of the other grandchildren would come close to those hideous canned creatures. I loved it. Gramps and I would watch football or golf or whatever was on that day and eat our sardines together. I was young and we didn’t have profound conversations but it was just time well spent. I wouldn’t take back that time for anything!
Now my grandma and I had more time together, shopping and talking and doing “girly” stuff. One of my best memories of Gram was when we just brought her home to start her Hospice care. I would go over to Grandma and Grandpa’s and watch Jeopardy with Gram some days when she was feeling up to it. I would lay with her and try to beat the contestants on the game! We would make jokes about the contestants and giggle the whole time! We spent many a nights there together laughing at the television. Again, there were no life-changing conversations, but the moments were life changing for me. Sometimes my dad would join in the fun, but most of the time he would leave those times to Gram and I.
My grandparents were people that will never be forgotten. Although my stories weren’t life changing events or profound conversations, they were my world. Grandma and Grandpa helped shape me and my values. I can’t thank them enough for the wonderful times, the amazing compassion, and the courageous character that both of them gave me. Thank you to everyone who supports our cause. You are loved and cherished by many families beyond us O’Leary’s!