Catherine Ryan Hyde Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 25 published and forthcoming books, including the bestselling When I found You, Pay It Forward, Don't Let Me Go, and Take Me With You.


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Vance Hyde 1922-2012

Catherine Ryan Hyde

My mom passed away on Wednesday the 21st. Just last week. Needless to say, it's been a very rough few days. But I wasn't planning to say much about the situation on my blog.

But today the obituary I wrote for her, with the photo I sent, came out in our local paper. Not the way I wanted it to. The photo was supposed to be my mom on shipboard in the Mediterranean Sea. It went along with the text depicting her as a woman who remained hugely adventurous well into her 80s. They cropped it down to nothing but a head shot. With no advance warning that they planned to do so.

And I'm...upset.

I usually try not to share too much upset on my blog, but when you mess up someone's mother's obituary, even in a small way, there's just no do-over on that. Everybody only gets one. And besides, I'm sure you understand that anything involving my mom is likely to pull big emotional strings right now.

What can I do? Well. This. I'm creating my own do-over. Here's how it was supposed to look:


Vance Hyde

Vance Hyde, 31-year Cambria resident, died quietly at home on March 21st.

Born in 1922, she was a former advertising and personnel executive at Adam, Meldrum & Anderson department stores in Buffalo, NY. She came to Cambria to retire in 1981, but needed a couple more decades to perfect that intention.

Vance was known about town for her “Adventurous 80s,” during which she traveled to Machu Picchu, enjoyed back-to-back cruises in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas, and hiked down to Cedar Ridge (and back!) in the Grand Canyon. Last autumn she hiked to the base of Yosemite Falls and stood atop Pike’s Peak.

 She was actively involved in, and deeply concerned with, environmental and economic justice and animal welfare.

She is survived by daughter Catherine Ryan Hyde and grandchildren Sara and Justin Fawcett.

An informal celebration of her life will be held at Leffingwell Landing on Thursday, April 26th at 6:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers please consider donations to Best Friends Animal Society.  


There's also an online guestbook at, and due to my vociferous complaints, the photo will be changed to run correctly there. Anyone who knew my mom, and even those who didn't...I'd love to hear your thoughts, either here or there.