Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Eddie Pelkey
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Death has no power over love

Escape with Eddie


December 21, 2017

Editor's note: Longtime Moose Lake Star-Gazette reporter and columnist Eddie Jane Pelkey passed away Monday, December 18. Eddie Jane's memory lives on in her writings, including the books, "The Carlton County Murders" and "A Murder in Anoka County," written under the pen name Eddie Jane Gavin. Printed here is one of her many Star-Gazette columns, originally printed in the January 12 issue of this year, just after her beloved husband, Don, passed away.

Eddie Jane, you will be missed.

During the last nine weeks, I have had a great deal of time to think about marriage. Most of us think about June and brides dressed in beautiful gowns, surrounded by smiling guests. Marriage is a rite of passage for most of us. When we take those vows, we don't think about the true implications of what we are really promising one another. Yes, we usually have planned what our years together will mean, but we don't always look into the far future and imagine parting from one another.

In this day of high percentages of divorce, many times young folks think in terms of the next few years, not the long haul. However, marriage is a commitment not to be taken lightly. It sometimes means sitting up nights with sick children; it can mean discovery that this person we married may not be a perfect mate; it can mean making major changes in plans and dreams for the future; it can mean job loss; it can mean a life of sharing and growing together; and it can mean commitment to this mate for a lifetime.

As most of you are aware, I have been writing about Mercy Hospital and the care my husband, Donald, was receiving there. Two-plus weeks ago, he came home to be where he wanted to be for the rest of his life. Many friends came to help with chores and food and give their support. St. Croix Hospice offered at home care, which allowed Donald to be home to die.

This passage from life to death is never an easy one. Yet, I truly believe each of us should be able to leave this world with all the dignity that can be offered. He was able to look outside at the beautiful garden he created and could see his garden shed where he enjoyed spending many hours of contemplation and relaxation.

Donald was a quiet person. He loved solitude.

He spent his career as a Minneapolis police officer. This job, as many of you know, was never easy. He took his responsibility very seriously. I met him in the back of a squad car. I was a student at Metro State University at the time. For my social studies course, I planned a paper on "Police officers and job stress." Little did I realize my encounter with Lieutenant Pelkey would lead to a long and interesting future.

Don and his partner, Sergeant Wally Shermer, informed me I could ride along for four hours that night. There were 13 other ride-a-longs that night - all of them law enforcement students, all of them men.

At 3 a.m., my two escorts called in to report they were "OTL," which I learned meant "out to lunch." I asked them if they were going to take me back to the Model Cities Precinct as my four hours were done. I was told "No, you are a keeper." Curious, I asked what that meant. I was told I passed muster and I wasn't a raving feminist wanting to give them a hard time. We ate at Pizza Hut on East Lake Street.

Lord love a duck, though I am a feminist, I am not raving. From that evening on, Sergeant Shermer played Cupid. Obviously, it worked.

Now, my wonderful husband of these almost 36 years has gone to be with God. I was able to nurse him through the final hours of his life. He was where he wished to be - at home on his 40 acres where he enjoyed so many years. I am filled with a sense of completion. I have been honored to be his wife and to have been with him when he left us for a new adventure. I will miss him dreadfully, yet he will always be present in my heart. Death has no power over love.


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