Late last night, we learned of the passing of Nola “Nolamom” Shingledecker, a longtime Stargate fan, recent Dark Matter fan, and a member of this blog’s community since the very beginning. Her friend and fellow San Antonian, baterista9, forwarded the following:
“This is a very hard post to write…On July 12, 2016 my wife passed away in her sleep. This has been a difficult time for the whole family…I want to thank those who have helped with their words of support…I have tried to contact everyone who’s numbers I have. I hope this post will reach those I have been unable to call…She was a teacher at Taft High School in NISD for 20 years and her passing will impact this district greatly…She got her degree and master degree from UTSA and became a full time teacher in 1999. She was so excited about the upcoming year’s classes. As per her request, her remains were sent to Texas State University to further educate students in the field of Forensics…She was a very good person and there is not enough space to cover the positive impact she made during her life…She will be missed…”
This morning, I went through Nola’s posts dating back to December of 2006 and noted how much of her personality came through in those comments, and how well we got to know her over these many years. Often, it’s the small strokes that paint the bigger picture…
She had a BA and an MA in history.
She was married to an architectural designer for 45 years.
She loved dogs, especially yorkies, and was incredibly supportive of my Maximus and Jelly through their various health issues and final days.
She loved pecans, berries, lobster, clam chowder, spaetzle with tenderloin, wild boar sausages (which she made after her husband’s hunting trips), Hungarian food, prawns, souffle, dim sum, shish kebab, a good Philly cheesesteak, and the Kahlua truffles her daughter would make (especially for her!) at Christmas but…
She hated beets after polishing off a bowl of them as a child. Also, not a fan of turkey sausage, melons, San Antonio summers, networking, zombies, or internet trolls.
She was a big fan Anne McCaffrey, the original Willy Wonka (showing clips to her economics classes to illustrate the factors of production: Oompaloompas as labor and Willie as entrepreneur), Star Trek: The Original Series (using the episode “Charlie X” to illustration the socialization process, or lack thereof, to her sociology class), Gary Larson’s The Far Side, and her Dallas Cowboys.
She eschewed gift cards (which she considered cop-outs) in favor of good old-fashioned personal shopping for the ones on her list.
She was a self-avowed “sportscar person” who would often tell her economics students that, if she were rich, she would have a Lamborghini.
And some of the comments she left on this blog that really gave us a sense of who she was:
“Everyone should know the name of the custodian who cleans their office (or in my case, classroom) and treat them with the same respect that they treat their boss. ”
“One of the best things you can do is to cultivate the people who are least noticed. These are the folks who are unsung, but who may do so much in the long run. I’m a teacher. What does it cost me to get to know the custodial staff? Nothing. Maybe a breakfast taco now and again or a dozen doughnuts a couple times a year. What does it benefit me? Myriad ways – little things like getting the best new pencil sharpener installed the same day as mentioning that my pencil sharpener is lousy…having loads of boxes of paper delivered to the copy room without having to ask (yes, it would seem that this is is given -NOT) Having your classroom given extra attention so that things are dusted and vacuumed regularly (not the case for everyone) And the smiles of all of them – knowing that I acknowledge their hard work which is almost universally unsung. Are these folks ever going to be in a position to help me “on the way up”? Unlikely. Although I did have some cafeteria ladies talk to the principal about how they’d like to have me as an administrator.
Everyone in an organization contributes to the end product, no matter how humble their job. If a person wants to make their workload lighter (in the long-run obviously) be kind to EVERYONE who makes your job possible.”
“Akemi did a lovely job on the beef – it’s the oven’s fault if it’s not done enough for you.”
“Whatever time Maximus has left he will spend with the one who loves him most, this is important.”
“Lovely Thanksgiving here, and my Cowboys win in the last 3 seconds! Excellent food, family and friends and a good game to boot. Today the two grandmas, my daughter, and my granddaughter go for our annual pilgrimage to see the Nutcracker ballet. Tis the season!”
“… Talk about a hard candy Christmas! But it was probably our most thankful one – we had much to appreciate in each other and within our family grew stronger.”
“It’s been a good Christmas here in South Texas. We had 15 over today for a huge pot of vegetable beef soup and the present exchange. Everything from the youngest 4 year old grandson to my 87 year old mother in law were present and had a good time. It was a bit crazy, but joyous.”
“I woke up one more time – each day is a gift.”
Donations can also be made in her name to FACTS (Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State) instead of flowers.