Goodbye 2018 — and Mom (Lillian)

Lillian Applegate Westfelt

For those readers who don’t know, my mother, Lillian Applegate Westfelt, the Lillian in “Lillian’s Cupboard,” passed away on November 11, 2018. I wanted to make an announcement post before this but just couldn’t face it. Now, with the old year running out, I thought it was a good time to pay tribute to a great woman.

My mother was 86 years old and didn’t start her blog until right before her 70th birthday. She jumped in with both feet and made a terrific success of it. (I only wish I’d had the number of hits she racked up on her worst day.) If you take a look around the blog going back over the years, you’ll see what an accomplished woman she was. A great cook and baker, talented quilter, and enthusiastic knitter; and a fine writer, a compliment she never really accepted. (I AM a writer, and an editor as well, and I know good writing when I see it.)

We’re hoping to leave Mom’s blog up indefinitely. It’s a wonderful archive of information, recipes, and memories; a true legacy as well as a fitting tribute to who “Lillian” was and what she cared about.

If you’re here only for the recipes or the quilting, someday take some time to read her memoir posts about life in the 30s and 40s and as a young mother in the 50s and 60s. She also was a tireless chronicler of life as it happened. If I ever need a refresher about a birthday celebration, holiday, or other event, I know I can go to this blog and relive the whole thing.

The day after she died, I posted a tribute to her on my own blog here and more about that night here. Frankly, we’re still reeling. We had a good Christmas, though, which would have made Mom happy. She insisted we go on celebrating no matter what and not become morose or bitter when she was gone. She adored Christmas.

To all her readers and followers, thank you for supporting her over time. She valued each and every one of you. Even though she slowed down in her blogging over the past year, she remained dedicated to it. There’s a wealth of reading on “Lillian’s Cupboard.” I hope you’ll stop back now and then to relive special moments in a long and happy life.


Nancy Susanna Breen (Lillian’s eldest daughter)

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Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

34 thoughts on “Goodbye 2018 — and Mom (Lillian)”

  1. Nancy, my heart goes out to you and your entire family. I met Lillian years ago as a blogger, then we became friends and connected on FB. I think of her often and was always moved by her charitable giving attitude to others. I’m so glad that you will be able to leave the blog up for a while — there are a couple of recipes yet that I still want to get. She was such a great woman and inspiring mentor to those who have come after her. Kelli Davidson

  2. Thank you for letting us followers know of the loss of your mother. I too, lost my mother suddenly, so I know the depth of your pain. May God Bless you and your family.

  3. Nancy, Again a beautiful tribute. I ‘found’ Lillian when my BF’s hubby told her he remembered watermelon pickles from his childhood. She googled ‘watermelon pickles’ and then was on the phone, “Suuz, you gotta got go to this lady’s blog. You’ll love her.” and she was correct, I did. As you know, we became friends away from the blog and FB. I’m so glad her daughters were willing to share her. Lillian filled a spot in my life (of my beloved MIL and my Granny) and has left a hole in my heart. I’m glad you’re leaving her blog up. I refer often for a recipe, or just to reread a wonderful post. Her neck warmer is in my desk drawer at work and although it’s not flattering, the hat she sent is just what I need when I take this new pup, Gigi, out in my Iowa winters. I’d already ordered her Christmas gift and cried when I called to cancel the subscription to “Our Iowa.” I pray I can emulate her — her curiosity never left, she was a gracious and giving friend, how she adored her children and Grands. Thanks for your words and your and Shannon’s thoughtfulness. Ms Sloth still sits in her special place. Love to you both……

  4. Nancy, I just loved your mom and her stories. I came across her when I was seeking help on a quilt block. I was so thrilled that she explained how to do it in a detail that I could understand, plus she had pictures to guide me through each stage. I could tell she had the heart of a teacher. I quickly subscribed to her blog and was delighted with her posts. Both me and my husband started making her bread. Well, I started, and then he copied me when he found how good her recipe was. Receiving her blog always made me happy. I haven’t read the stories on your blog relating to her death just yet. But I wanted to share how much I cared about Lillian and how much happiness she brought. She was a true role model. My husband also said to let you know how much pleasure he got when I read some of the blogs to him. Very sorry for your loss. Also condolences to the rest of your family. I hope you keep the site up. It is unparalleled. My best to you. MAR

  5. Nancy, I am so sorry for the loss of your dear Mom. I so enjoyed reading her lovely posts. So lovely of her to share her skills in knitting, quilting and cooking with us, I learned so much. Thank you and peace. Barbara

  6. Nancy and Family, I’m sadden to hear of your Mom’s passing. I’ve been following Lillian’s cupboard for a few years now. All Lillian’s family stories, projects and recipes are inspirational to me and her many fans. May your family now find comfort in knowing Lillian left an indelible mark on our world. With sincere sympathy, Michelle Palmer

  7. Nancy, I am so terribly sorry! I will miss her. Your mother’s blog is one of the first I clicked onto, mainly because she had my late mother’s name. I told her as much and followed her ever since. That was 6 1/2 years ago, give or take. I loved her posts and grew to love her too. Thank you for leaving her site up, I will need to print out some of her posts – we always think we have plenty time…..

  8. I am so sorry to know of your Dear Mother’s passing. I have followed her for many years. May the peace of the Lord be with Lillian’s entire family at this most difficult time.

  9. I am so sorry for your loss. I have enjoyed here posts, recipes and stories. What a blessing to have her. Hugs.
    Linda L. in Texas

  10. I am so sad that she is gone. She has been on my feed for a number of years. I loved learning about her life and how it related some what to that of my mother who passed away in 1999 way to soon. My thoughts and prayers will be with you. How fortunate for you to have had such an amazing mother.

  11. While I never met Lillian, she was counted as a friend. She was so good to visit my little blog and was my very first follower. She left such kind comments and suggestions. Thank you for sharing her and her wisdom with us.

  12. I have already come back several times, and I know I often will stop by. I realized when I was writing something a couple of weeks ago on a private history blog that Lillian could read (and my sons), that she wasn’t going to be reading it or leaving a sweet comment, and I almost didn’t write it. I miss her a lot. She was all you’ve said and more. As a friend it is hard, so I know as a daughter it’s been even more difficult.

    I’m glad you had a good Christmas. I thought about you, and hoped you were. You knew your mom so well, I imagine you could hear her comments about things as you went about Christmas Day. 2019 will be a different year, but I hope you find the happiness it offers, just as your mother always did.

  13. I only recently found your mom’s blog and I don’t remember how that happened. Thank you for leaving the blog up so we can read it and use her recipes. I had only begun to scroll through reading and will enjoy going back through it to see what all is here. This is hard for you and your family I’m sure – I have been there loosing my mom just 4 years ago and dad way before his time – it takes time – it will be nice for you to be able to go back and read her stories I’m sure.

  14. I will miss your mother’s blogging, especially her stories (some of which kindled memories of my own, me being 80). I’ve also tried a couple recipes and saved more for later. Thank you for letting us know. Take care of yourself and indulge your memories.

  15. I am so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. I always marvelled how she embraced technology and kept her blog. I always looked forward to getting that email that Lillian had posted a new blog. She touched my life and I am sure many other readers as well.

  16. Vale dear Lillian. A beautiful woman: inspiring, talented, compassionate, and so very intelligient.
    Lillian’s posts were magnificently crafted, such a gifted writer. The historical posts were a privilege to read – I envied your family…such love and happy times.
    Your mother shared herself freely and for that, I and her other readers are blessed.
    Please accept my most loving and sincere condolences.

  17. Nancy; I am so sorry for you girls loss, rest assured God is celebrating his gain. Your mother was the perfect example of a wonderful mom. She will be shurely missed.

  18. I am sorry for your family’s loss, and I will miss seeing her posts show up in my email feed. I enjoyed our comments back and forth. Thank you for leaving it up because I check back for recipes. Nice tribute to a good woman who showed us by example it is never too late to try something new. 🙂

  19. I am so deeply sorry and sad to hear this. My heart goes out to you and your family. Lillian was a genuine and sweet person. She was a great blogger friend. I enjoyed our comments back and forth in our blogs. I miss her, but am happy to hear that this blog will be up for us all. To echo the others, this is a great tribute to an amazing woman. I was always inspired by her and her love for learning.

  20. I am so sorry to hear this. I have followed her since I started blogging 10 years ago. She was always good about giving likes. Her writings was so interesting and originally I would binge read them. I just canned one of her recipes for corn relish and will post it in memory of her. We will miss her also.

  21. I’m so sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing. I enjoyed all of her posts. Her recipes are wonderful! She had such a giving spirit. I thought it was so lovely that she knitted so many scarves, hats and mittens to donate to children and adults.
    Sending hugs and prayers to all of her family and friends!

  22. I checked several times in recent weeks for a new blog post and was concerned that Lillian might be unwell. Her zest for life and her continued devotion to making and baking will remain an inspiration.

  23. So sorry to read about your mom’s passing. She was a very loving mother and a woman of many talents. I will miss her blog and her wonderful recipes.

  24. This is such sad news! I have adored this blog and loved Lillian’s writing style. I gave it any number of shout outs on my blog. She accomplished so much and was an inspiration to me. Thank you for keeping the blog up as I will want to keep visiting. Take care.

  25. I am so sorry to hear that Lillian has passed away. I’ve always enjoyed reading her blog, and have a link to it on my blog’s sidebar. I haven’t been active on my blog for quite sometime, and only saw today that Lillian is gone. I will miss seeing her new posts, but I’ll surely enjoy some of her older ones. Rest in peace Lillian.

  26. Dear Nancy,

    I loved her recipes and still make her potato and cauliflower soup. However, my favorite posts were her memory posts. The photographs and stories were wonderful.

    She will be very much missed but not forgotten. I am glad that you have decided to leave her blog up.

    Sending much love and my condolences to you and yours,


  27. Warm thoughts are with you and your family, Nancy. Lillian brought so much pleasure and enrichment to her readers’ lives with her wonderful stories of everyday, ordinary, very precious things that resonated on so many levels. It was a privilege to have shared in her vast knowlege and wisdom. Thank you for leaving her blog to be re-read. Penny

  28. Oh no. I am so sorry to hear this. I haven’t been reading or writing blogs for some time. Lillian was such a lovely woman and a good online friend. She meant so much to me over the years and I’ll cherish our correspondence through some difficult times. She will be so very missed. I’m truly sorry for your loss.

  29. i only came across this blog recently. From what I’ve read she was an amazing woman & you have been truly blessed to have her as your mom. God surely shined upon your life! i am so sorry for your loss! I pray that you can celebrate the wonderful life you shared with her and she shared with so many others. She is still sharing smiles and goodness around the world because her blog is still here. Thank you for continuing the sharing of her legacy. i feel truly blessed it came across my path! God Bless!

  30. Nancy, I just want you to know how much I appreciate the blog still being up. I was missing your mother’s sharp humor and math brain today, and I had to come visit her blog just to read a recipe or two and think about what a great friend she still is. Hugs, susan

  31. I just learned of your mother’s death and am so sorry for your loss. I started a quilting blog several years ago, and Lillian was very supportive of my efforts. She made the Barbara Brackman Civil War project much easier for me to keep up with, and I enjoyed her posts on other topics as well. Belated condolences to the family, and thank you for keeping the blog up.

  32. I have been away from my blog for a long time until just recently. Your Mom & I became blogging friends years ago, I think right after I started my blog. I am saddened to hear that she passed away, but am so glad to see that you have kept her blog up. I will miss her insights, humor, recipes, and stories. But again, I’m so glad you have kept her blog so those of us who counted her as a friend can read again entries that blessed us.

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