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I Honor My Mother

Lurley Katherine Wentworth
April 15, 1931 – February 1, 2012

Lurley Katherine Wentworth passed away peacefully at age 80, after a ten year journey with Alzheimer’s disease. Her loving partner of thirty years George Allison, daughters Cynthia Winton-Henry and Valerie Miller accompanied her to the end. She is also survived by son Daniel Winton, granddaughters Katie Winton-Henry, Leah Miller, Marina Miller, cousin Sherry Hansen and numerous cousins in Colorado and Washington State.

Lurley was born in Klamath Falls, Oregon, grew up in Colorado and Washington State. She moved to Southern California in 1953 where she married Harold Winton. Lurley was a manager for Pacific Telephone Company in the Los Angeles area and enjoyed early retirement. She relocated to Lake Elsinore in 2002.

Lurley and George traveled to Europe, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and throughout the US. Together they researched and wrote a book of her Wentworth family ancestry which is rooted in 11th Century England, early Colonial America and the18th Century Swabian German immigration to Hungary.

Warm, fun-loving, spunky, smart and loving, she will be remembered as a dancer on roller skates, gifted seamstress and exceptional cook. Her keen wit, ready smile and the ever present laughter in her voice will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

View a tribute to Lurley and her journey with Alzheimer’s at:


  1. Florence Aleman says:

    My deepest sympathy to you and your family. As you know, we are sharing a similar journey during the same time. My mother lay in a coma at this very minute waiting to leave. We too, have been going down this long goodbye path with dementia and loss of mobility. God does everything in his own time. God be with you.

    • cynthia winton-henry says:

      Dear Florence, I have several friends who are at a similar stage. It is all strangely timed, and perfect at the same time. I send love to you and yours during this mysterious, and challenging time.

  2. Carol Hamilton says:


    I want to send you love and courage for the next phase as you journey past the loss of your mother. Having just read your reflection about these years of her going into Alzheimer’s brought many tears to my eyes. Thank you for the words, and visual art, and the ways that movement and InterPlay was woven into these last years for you–for her. I haven’t had my mother for over 18 years and yet some of that connection reappears as I read your story. Now, I turn to my daughter in SF–as a mother as she is travelling a very difficult road and find this “other” side of mother/daughter is also tender and full of love and pain. In peace and the hopefulness and joy of Play, Carol Hamilton

  3. Jocelyn says:

    Blessings and peace on you and your family. A lovely tribute – vibrant and alive. Hard to say goodbye to one’s mother.

  4. Dolores Nice-Siegenthaler says:

    Dear Cynthia, Thank you for sharing your mother with us. Blessings to you and your family in your grief and in this time of huge transition. I pray that absence of Lurley can be transformed into the presence of Saint Lurley. Peace, Paz, Salaam, Shalom, Shanti…..Dolores

  5. Nancy Banman says:

    Dear Cynthia,

    Even at this time of your great loss and transition with your mother, I find myself leaning on you who go before me. I sat with my parenets this evening not knowing what mom said but holding her hand, patting her heart, stroking her face, thankful for each of these moments. Yesterday I was crying with my Dad as he lets her go and mourns the loss of laughing and talking together, the strain of the years of letting go overflowing. We share strong emotions that we weather and that pass, as you said they would, only to return another day or moment. Thank you for sharing your journey and helping to light my way. Love and blessings of grace to you dear sister as you create your way through the next phase of this journey. Thank you for the wonderful celebration of your mother and Geoge in the videos and words. Thank you.

    Phoebe (nancy b.)

    • cynthia winton-henry says:

      Thank you for your beautiful share. I am thinking of you as we share this journey. Daughters of mothers. Changing.

  6. Sharon Pavelda says:

    I send so much love to you, Cynthia, as you honor your dear mother’s transition with so much beauty, so much truth. Thanks to Lurley, to George, to the whole extended family, and most especially to you, Dear Documenting Daughter, for your powerful contribution to our understanding and compassion for the journey with Alzheimer’s Disease.


    • cynthia winton-henry says:

      …dear documenting daughter, yes. Writing is a kind of sorting through, a way to mull and mend and weave some sense out of things. Although yesterday I went to a local restaurant and ordered a red cabbage dish. It was so delicious that when I ate it I wondered, “Is this the meaning of life?” Cabbage! Death and dying strips things down. What remains is what there is to enjoy.

  7. ok, the little catholic girl in me is totally present to that sweet picture of your mom! she looks like one of the loves from my youth, Sister Augusta! The nuns were finally allowed to take off their habits and they frequently wore cute sweatshirts with flowers and birds on them, had the coolest round glasses, and the most angelic faces. Lurley Katherine reminds me of how much i miss the innocence and grace of that little girl in me who wanted to grow up and be just like them…..in love with GOD……radiating that love out to others……….Sister Augusta had it, Lurley Katherine had it, you, Cynthia have it, and I am glad to know you all!

    • cynthia winton-henry says:

      Sister Augusta! Hello! Somewhere in each of us lies a soul radiant to life, a sister, a brother, a lover, no matter what.

      Mom was pretty agnostic. She’d had her fill of church and never spoke about faith. I am pretty sure my overt spirituality was odd to her. What truly saved her was the love of a man and her own charisma for life. Amazing, no? When she was dying there was a moment when he, George the mighty, and my sister and I were at her bedside. I felt something in my body change. I felt it in my spine, like there was more space, more opening. I said, “Something is changing!” In my mind’s eye I saw her spirit rise white against the black night swirling and dancing. It took many hours until her breath changed and her body let go, but I believe that her spirit flew up at that moment.

  8. Donna Fromm says:

    My thoughts/prayers/blessings go from my heart to yours….It seems you have done a beautiful thing in honoring your mother’s life and death.
    I know you will be gentle with yourself and have many wonderful tools to honor your own transitional process. Sending love to you…..Donna

    • cynthia winton-henry says:

      dearest donna. It is my way to touch and hold each part of life with art. It is a form of loving for me. grateful.

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