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Colleen M. Burns, July 8, 2016
Colleen Burns, a former UYR volunteer from 2012-2013 and avid rescue advocate, met UYR George (formerly Kelsey) as a puppy while he was recovering from a life-saving liver shunt surgery. UYR rescued George from Dallas,TX and flew him all the way to Tampa, FL so he could get the specialized medical care he desperately needed. Almost immediately after he arrived in Florida, George met Colleen and her Yorkie Hayley and it was love at first sight (for all of them). A few weeks later Colleen adopted George and the rest was history, as they say.
Sadly, on July 8, Colleen's life was tragically cut short in an accident during a vacation at the Grand Canyon. Colleen was a wonderful, caring, energetic person with a big heart. Her passing was a huge loss to the rescue community and she will always be missed by UYR.
THANK YOU TO COLLEEN'S FRIENDS WHO DONATED TO UNITED YORKIE RESCUE IN HER MEMORY
Daisy Nazario, Allison Goldberg, Sandra Wendt, Harold and Virginia Williams, Zoie Hopkins, Rhea Paul, The Midwest Team at Yelp (Annette Janik), Kathleen Waters, Matthew Shaw, Jean Straub, New Jersey Credit Union League Board and Staff, Lauren Garcia and Family, Elizabeth Kuti, Ray Francis and the CUNA Mutual Group, Ms. Marcia Masulla, Tiny But Mighty Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennesse, Holly Bertoncini, Edmond and Joanne Jones, Maryann and Ed Sabredra, Zeva Bellel, William Stone, William and Emilie Bradley, Rita and William Dougherty, Patricia and Jim Duffy, Kristin Ottinger, Barbara Dowdall, Cheryl and Martin Everngham, Joan Moran, Bernice von Steyn-Weiss, Charity Fundraiser at the Rogue Pub - Tracy Cehovin - Owner and Manager
Christel A. (Lemley) Peace
August 26, 1955 - April 24, 2011
FRIEND TO RESCUE
Christel A. Peace, 55 of Cape Coral, formerly of Sandusky, OH passed away suddenly on April 24, 2011. Chris, as she was known to her family and friends, was a kind, generous and passionate person. She always went out of her way to help in any way that she could. She was a passionate supporter of United Yorkie Rescue. She was a wonderful friend to our foster dogs, and followed their stories, offering not only financial help but sweet notes of encouragement and prayer to those who were particularly challenged. Chris made many friends at United Yorkie Rescue, and will be dearly missed. Now that she has crossed the rainbow bridge, we must find comfort in knowing that her loving furkids who had crossed before she did, Mandy, Jimbo, Georgie, Fritz and Frank, were there to welcome her with an eternity of puppy kisses and dance.
Chris worked as a Histologist for Gulf Coast Hospital in Cape Coral, FL. She is preceded in death by her father James W. Lemley Sr. and step-daughter Donna Pavia (Dean). She will be deeply missed by her husband of 34 years Donald R. Peace Sr., step-children Shari Peace and Donald Peace Jr. (LeeAnne). She was the beautiful daughter of Joan Lemley, the most amazing sister to Susan Lemley-Gillespie (Marty) and Bill Lemley (Terrie). Beloved Grandmother of 5 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. Loving Aunt to 10 nieces and nephews.
The family graciously added that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to United Yorkie Rescue, for which we are most grateful. Please visit www.coralridgefuneralhome.com to leave online thoughts and memories for her family.
James L. Hill
February 8, 1934 - June 3, 2003
Friend to Rescue
March 21, 1935 - October 30, 2003
Friend to Rescue
I grew up in an animal loving environment surrounded by pets, never just one
at a time. I remember there was a time that I shared my life with a cat, a
dog, a bird, fish, a turtle, a hamster, and a rabbit. Although Mom had a few dogs in
her childhood, she was responsible for our menagerie. Truth be told, it
would be best said that Dad "tolerated" all these creatures. That is, until
Toby entered his life.
Until Toby came along, my parents did not share their life with a pet for 16
years. In 1986, they had to put two pets asleep - an 19-year-old Siamese
cat and 10-year-old dog. Mom swore she could not withstand the pain of
loving another pet. I knew the best thing for them would be to share their
lives with a pet again so I was persistent. Finally, Mom agreed (Dad could
care less), and I researched "hypoallergenic" dogs because of Mom’s
emphysema and late-in-life pet allergies. Long story short, they adopted
Toby who was fostered by Ant Mary. Toby came from a home with two very
elderly owners who had past away. A perfect match for the quiet household
of my "young" senior parents.
Although Mom doted on Toby, he velcroed himself onto Dad from that very
first day. Toby became Dad’s "Little Man." He took Toby everywhere, even
to the supermarket. Dad thought nothing was wrong with putting Toby in a
cart, stopping to chat with the veggie manager and continuing to shop for
groceries until the manager asked him to leave.
For over a year, my husband took Dad for (almost) weekly chemo treatments to
Sloan Kettering, a well known cancer institute here in the East. They were
gone for hours - Toby would lie on Dad’s bed with his chin on the windowsill
and wait... and wait... and wait until his return.
Three weeks before he passed away, Dad was admitted to Sloan-Kettering’s
hospital for evaluation. His oncologist determined that it was time for
chemo to cease - Dad wanted to come home to be with "The Little Man." We
had hospice come to the house for 15 hours per week for those last two
weeks. Mom, my brother and I filled in the "gaps" of his care. Toby never
left his side except to eat and quickly do his business, and to let his
Sissy take him for a walk around the "hood." There were never fewer than 3
of Toby’s favorite toys in bed with Dad. Toby would bring the toys in bed
and scratch near Dad’s hand hoping for him to play. He would lick Dad’s
hand, sit on his stomach, and sleep under his armpit - in my heart, I knew
Toby realized what was going on. He was totally giving himself to Dad, not
expecting anything in return. As Dad passed away, Toby lay cradled in his
arm with his little face in his hand. Neither Mom, my brother nor I were
surprised that this was Toby’s final gift of love to Dad.
Debra Jacobson - Daughter
Dad was Toby’s third owner who has passed away. I truly believe that God
put Toby on this earth to be an angel.
Below is the eulogy I gave Dad at Mass and a poem my husband wrote.
James Leo Hill
Our dad was many people. Son, brother, husband, brother-in-law, uncle,
father-in-law, grandfather, friend, employee, co-worker, neighbor, coach,
and of course, #1 Mets Fan. But until last night, we never realized how
many lives he touched. Even childhood friends came. It touched our hearts
to hear from people that we had never met tell us what a truly wonderful man
As a die-hard Mets fan throughout the years, Dad proved himself a fighter,
but never more so than when he began his fight against cancer 6 years ago.
In the true spirit of former Brooklyn Dodger Gil Hodges who managed the ’69
Mets to become World Series champions, Dad optimistically led us, his family
team, through his fight. Although Dad got strength through his enjoyment of
telling Scott all his stories over and over and over during their weekly
trips to Sloan Kettering, it was time to call into the bullpen to bring in a
relief pitcher. This relief pitcher wasn’t a rookie. He was a two-time Cy
Young winner named Toby. According to Dad’s oncologist, four-legged Toby
had done as much for him as chemo. Toby gave Dad an extra year of life than
Dad expressed that when the end was near he wanted to stay at home and he
got his wish. Even when Hospice said he had a few hours, he fought and went
into extra innings. We couldn’t understand why he struggled so, but Jim
realized that Dad fought for so long to bring us together again as a family.
Dad, you will always live on in our hearts. How could we ever forget your
silly sayings like: Cop some Zzzzzz; Fine Fine Speaking Dog; Yo, What’s
shaking?; Sam, you made the pants too long; and Cheaper on the outside.
Beloved sends 49th wedding anniversary wishes to her Bumkin. Thank you Dad,
you played a great game!
I had to write this poem about my father-in-law
The best darn Mets Fan you ever saw.
He’d enter a place stating "Jim Hill-Clifton",
The spirits of the whole room he’d be liftin’.
He loved Cecile, Debby and Jim,
And wouldn’t let his problem get the better of him.
For a year we went for his treatments he just kept tryin’
I tell you this guy had the heart of a lion.
Then a rescue group had a dog they would send
Toby was his pride and joy right to the end.
Jim Hill was a great man, make sure no one forgets,
He’s now up in the clouds chanting "Lets Go Mets."
Mum had the bluest of eyes. She was strong. She was a cancer survivor. She rarely complained of her health that had been poor ever since her childhood. Because of her strong character, we thought she would live forever; sadly, we were wrong. Emphysema took her from us at age 68 to join my Dad who died at age 69 just four months earlier. Because of his cancer, he jokingly said he would go first and get their “apartment” ready in Heaven. In her last hours, she said she thought she had more time, but I imagine Dad had quickly gotten their apartment together in order to free her of her struggle to breathe. She was unsure what heaven would be like – I asked that she send a “sign” telling us she found it a wonderful place.
Having lost Dad so recently, Mum openly shared her thoughts and wishes with us about her own passing. I now look at this as such a personal blessing. She had made provisions for Toby in her will. She even sautéed and shredded enough boneless chicken breasts to last a few months after she was gone. She gave me explicate instructions on his care – and oh yes, reminded me the day before she died that he could have only one raw baby carrot a day or it would upset his tummy. Toby was her world – truly the reason she struggled to get out of bed each morning.
A week before she died, she told me, “Tell people I smoked for over 50 years. I never thought this (emphysema) could happen to me. If I had my life to live over, I never would have smoked.”
Just hours before Mum died, she said she saw Dad, Jesus and “bunnies.” The morning I was preparing for her funeral, Toby brought me his pink “bunny” with Jesus loves me embroidered on it. Mum had given me that promised sign.
Little angel Toby has done the impossible these last two weeks since Mum passed – he has put several smiles on my face with his silly antics. I am blessed to have him share my heart … I look in those sweet brown eyes and see Mum…and Dad.
Mum and I shared a love for newspaper columnist Erma Bombeck - especially her column “If I Had My Life To Live Over” written when she was diagnosed with cancer. I have struggled to find the positive in losing both my parents within 4 months. I think the answer lies in living by these words and changing my outlook on life…
Debra Jacobson - Daughter
IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained or the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."
There would have been more "I love you's." More "I'm sorry's."
But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute, look at it and really see it, live it and never give it back.
I lost a great friend today. I am still in shock and cannot believe it. I
never had the opportunity to meet Cecile in person, but had lots of very
long phone calls with her and we got to know and like each other very quickly.
We 'met' through a very special Yorkie named Toby.
I rescued Toby after his elderly owner died. Toby was such a lost little boy
and this was clearly seen when you looked at his face and into his eyes.
I put Toby on our Website and Cecile's daughter saw this picture and made a
copy of it to show her mom. Cecile was convinced that Toby needed to come to
live with her and she would make him happy again. After multiple phone calls
with Cecile, I was convinced that she and Toby needed each other and that I
would never find a better Forever Home for my special little rescued pup!
Since Cecile lived in New Jersey and Toby and I were in Ohio, we had to make
plans to get him to New Jersey and into his new home. Further complicating
this was poor Toby kept having set backs after his neuter. He actually quit
breathing twice during his post op period at the vet's office. My vet
rescusitated him and then instructed me on what to do when I came to pick
him up that afternoon. In spite of being underweight and having more
problems after this surgery, I was determined that I would get Toby well
because he needed to get to New Jersey to live with his new mom.
Cecile was getting nervous about these delays and was afraid that with all
that was happening with Toby, I would decide he needed to be 'adopted' closer
to me so I could keep an eye on him. But...I knew in my heart that Cecile
and Toby needed each other.
My brother actually transported Toby directly to New Jersey and was able to
hand Toby over to his new Mom!
Toby thrived in his new home, however, he bonded with his new Dad and not
his Mom as we had hoped. This worked out well because Toby's Dad had
cancer and was in the process of having chemotherapy. I think that Toby
sensed that his Dad needed him and was there for him through the rest of
When Toby lost his Dad, he and Cecile were there to comfort each other.
Unfortunately, Cecile already ill herself, was worn down from the months of
caring for her husband through his final months.
Cecile herself then got very ill. When Deb called me to let me know that her
mom was very ill, I could not believe this. This could not be happening this
soon after she just lost her husband. I immediately felt a sadness for my
friend and for my little rescue Toby. I worried about how he could possibly
handle another ill owner. I prayed that Cecile would have the strength to
fight and get well, but this was not to be.
Even as Cecile lie in the bed very close to death, her thoughts were on Toby
and what would happen to him. She also told Deb that she wanted me to have
all her Yorkie treasures. When I heard this I just started crying. I could
not believe the generosity of a woman that I had learned to love through our
Further surprising me was the fact that Cecile and Jim had already made
arrangements to have any donations made in their memory be donated to
whatever Yorkie Rescue that I was a member of. They were so appreciative of
the fact that I chose them to be Toby's new family.
In my last phone conversation with Cecile she told me that she had to tell
me something that had been bothering her for the past year. She told me that
she did not want to let me know that she and her husband were ill for fear
that I would not allow them to adopt Toby. What she did not know is that
that would not have made a difference to me. I knew that they would give
Toby a great home for the time they had with him. I told her this then and
she sighed in relief to have gotten this off her conscience.
I will miss my conversations with Cecile. I feel a loss for someone that was
very special in my life.
Cecile, I hope you are at peace and no longer in pain. I know that you and
Jim will be waiting for Toby at the Rainbow Bridge when his time comes to
join you. I thank you for being a part of my life and for the love and care
you gave to Toby.
Blessings and Love,