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Moon River – crossed in style

Andy Williams, smooth voice of the 1960s and 1970s and…through every Christmas I can remember, has died. Williams was 84 and died last night at his home in Branson, MO.

As a child in wintery Minnesota, I listened to Andy Williams sing Christmas songs on the family hi-fi and still, each December, play the same music, now in CD form, as my backdrop to trimming the tree. His voice takes me back to my childhood, to my family and to a time of innocence.

That innocence was shattered when Sirhan Sirhan gunned down Bobby Kennedy and our nation  watched as the young Robert Kennedy was laid to rest. Williams’ voice sang The Battle Hymn of the Republic and now, no matter who sings that song or what the setting is, I am suddenly 13 again and remembering Robert Kennedy’s funeral.

Music impresses memories and feelings onto our hearts as no other experience can. Williams’ life of class and grace, like his music, speaks of following one’s dreams, after all, there’s such a lot of world to see…Such a blessing, such a loss.

(S-R archives photo: Andy Williams Feb. 23, 1978)

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Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

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