MAUGANSVILLE —John’s wife, Debbie, said Edna’s family home in Millstone was near the railroad tracks and her parents fed the hobos, modeling a life of giving even though they didn’t have much.
“She was very open-minded, especially for someone of her generation and humble background,” Julie said. “She’s one of those people you’re glad are in your life.”
To the family’s surprise, Edna and Brady were open to the idea of a move. Within months, they settled into a home in Maugansville next door to Edna’s niece and a block from Julie’s family.
The couple adjusted easily and Edna admitted she wished they had made the move years earlier.
Edna enjoyed good health with few ailments for 80 years, although her first surgery was for macular degeneration at age 65. She was not one to complain about aches and pains.
When Edna broke her nose in a fall in September 2010, she ended up in Waynesboro (Pa.) Hospital, where she was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Further testing revealed lung cancer. It wasn’t long after the diagnosis that she went on oxygen, which slowed her down.
Edna became frustrated when she could no longer walk on her own, after a late December 2011 hospitalization.
“That was the last straw. She used to run circles around us,” Sandra said.
Edna loved hosting the family for holidays and birthdays. She cooked from memory and insisted on getting her recipes written down before she died. The job of transcribing fell to family members, who struggled with her rough measurements and descriptions.
It was her deviled eggs and potato salad, made without mayonnaise since John didn’t eat it, that were trademark recipes and expected at every gathering.
“The last thing she made for us was deviled eggs. She could barely mash the yolks, but she was determined,” Sandra said.
Editor’s note: Each Sunday, The Herald-Mail runs “A Life Remembered.” Each story in this continuing series takes a look back — through the eyes of family, friends, co-workers and others — at a member of the community who died recently. Today’s “A Life Remembered” is about Edna M. Haines, who died March 5 at the age of 86. Her obituary was published in the March 7 edition of The Herald-Mail.