Social Face of Death 1996-1997ohrc111

A Guide to the Collection of Oral History Interviews at Indiana University Bloomington


Finding aid created by: Finding aid prepared by the staff of the Center for the Study of History and Memory with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Division of Preservation and Access, 2000-2002


Creator Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memory
Title: Social Face of Death
Dates: 1996-1997
Quantity: 24 interviewAudio files, transcripts, and collateral materials
Abstract: This project includes people living in and around Paoli, Indiana. The project includes people's experiences and attitudes toward death, dying, and illness. The interviewees share their feelings on losing loved ones. They discuss the roles of religion, family, fear, and medical interventions in the process of death and dying. They also discuss the various preparations involved including, funerals and wills, as well as personal preparations.
Location: Interviews are housed in Franklin Hall, Room 0030B. Copies of interview transcripts are also held by the IU Libraries University Archives. Contact archives@indiana.edu for more information. For other locations housing the interviews from this project, please contact the Center for Documentary Research and Practice office.
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Center for Documentary Research and Practice

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains twenty-four interviews conducted over two years. The interviews range from 30 to 100 minutes. All interviews consist of audio tapes and typed transcripts.


Restrictions

Usage Restrictions: The archive of the Center for Documentary Research and Practice at Indiana University is open to the use of researchers. Copies of transcript pages are available only when such copies are permitted by the deed of gift. Scholars must honor any restrictions the interviewee placed on the use of the interview. Since some of our earlier (pre-computer) transcripts do not exist in final form, any editing marks in a transcript (deletions, additions, corrections) are to be quoted as marked. Audio files may not be copied for patrons unless the deed of gift permits it, and a transcript is unavailable for that interview. The same rules of use that apply to a transcript apply to the audio interview. Interviews may not be reproduced in full for any public use, but excerpted quotes may be used as long as researchers fully cite the data in their research, including accession number, interview date, interviewee's and interviewer's name, and page(s).


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[interviewee first name last name] interview, by [interviewer first name last name], [interview date(s)], [call number], [project name], Center for Documentary Research and Practice, Indiana University, Bloomington, [page number(s) or tape number and side if no transcript; if digital audio and no transcript, cite time when quote occurs].

Acquisition Information

Oral history interviews conducted by the Indiana University Center for the Study of History and Memory from 1968 to the present, with particular focus on the history of twentieth-century America and the Midwest.


Table of Contents


96-150 Babcock, James November 1, 1996
CreatorGranbois, Judith A. 27 pages, 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 75 minutes; index
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
James Babcock, born June 19, 1957, discusses the impact death has had on his life. He discusses the recent deaths of his parents as well as his mother-in-law. He expresses the pain he continues to feel and talks about how he and his immediate and extended family handled these deaths. He talks about how one can prepare and be prepared for death and dying, and how he feels he would cope were he faced with a serious illness. He discusses his close-knit family and that changing times may affect how his children prepare for his death as opposed to how he did for his parents, or his parents, theirs. He discusses his deep faith and the great importance it has in his life and in his feelings regarding death. As a principal, he discusses his view of the death of a parent or a child, how children deal with it, and the unexpectedness of death.
96-154 Bosley, Hazel November 21, 1996
CreatorGranbois, Judith A. 28 pages, 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 55 minutes; index
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
Hazel Bosley, born May 11, 1899, discusses her life and her family, both immediate and extended. She talks about the changes surrounding death and dying over the years, such as doctor home visits, and laying out the body in the home for a wake or funeral. She talks mainly about the deaths of family, especially her parents. She discusses preparations which must be made before or after a death and those that she has made for her own death. She discusses illnesses of her loved ones as well as her own and there effects. Bosley also talks about religion and its role in her life.
96-172 Conley, David June 11, 1997
CreatorGranbois, Judith A. 25 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 55 minutes; index
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
David Conley a minister, born February 20, 1948, describes his experiences with the death of loved ones. He talks about how he dealt with the deaths of his parents and their illnesses. He discusses the importance of funeral services and community support for the patient and their family. Conley also shares his experiences with pain management, hospitalization, and helping others through funeral pre-planning.
96-155 Cornwell, Bethel November 21, 1996
CreatorGranbois, Judith A. 16 pages, 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 20 minutes, index
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
Bethel Cornwell, born December 7, 1915, discusses the deaths of friends and family, particularly those of her husband and her parents. She discusses how and when they died as well as the time leading up to their deaths. She talks about the toll illness takes on the sufferer and on friends and family. Cornwell discusses the preparations that must be made before and after a death, spiritually, practically, and personally. She speaks of her own death, her hope for a peaceful one, her ailments, and her preparations.
96-152 Cornwell, Brenda November 18, 1996
CreatorGranbois, Judith A.; Pimple, Kenneth D. 19 pages, 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 50 minutes; index
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
Brenda Cornwell discusses the death of her father and the ways in which it effected the family. She also discusses the deaths of her grandparents and how her parents dealt with it. Cornwell discusses the deaths of friends and coworkers due to illness, how they prepared for it, and her feelings afterwards. She talks about how differently people prepare for their own deaths and how differently they grieve. She discusses preparing for her own death and the decisions she had to make such as a living will and funeral preparations.
96-151 Dillard, Arthur November 18, 1996
CreatorPimple, Kenneth D.; Granbois, Judith A. 27 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 70 minutes; index
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
Arthur Dillard, born in 1938, discusses losing a parent at a very young age. He discusses friends and family members who have died throughout his life. He discusses illness and physicians. Dillard discusses the financial issues people face today due to Medicare, nursing homes, and other health care expenses. He talks about how differently people adjust to the loss of a loved one and the problems often faced by the next of kin including the lack of a will, decisions concerning funeral arrangements, or the lack of a support system. As a lawyer, Dillard talks about issues he deals with concerning the will or living will and other legal issues that arise following a death He also discusses his own death, what preparations he has made, and how he hopes for a good death.
96-156 Dillard, Lucille December 12, 1996
CreatorSmith David H. 36 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 80 minutes; index
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
Myrna Lucille Dillard, born in the 1920s, discusses growing up in Paoli, Indiana. She talks about the deaths of her parents, of her husband, and of other family members. She discusses the effects the deaths had on her and the great importance of family and family ties, especially in the grieving process. Dillard speaks of religion and spirituality in her life. She discusses her own death, preparing for it, and in some cases defying it. She talks about the wonderful relationship she has with her physician and the helpful nature she has found in physicians in general. She also speaks of the writing she has done since her youth, and how the hobby still keeps her busy.
96-174 Fahey, Patrick April 22, 1997
CreatorGranbois, Judith A. 36 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 75 minutes; index
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
Patrick Fahey, a minister, born May 16, 1956, discusses his personal experiences with the death of his grandparents and the deaths of members of his congregation. He discusses advance preparations and funeral services. Fahey discusses his children's responses to death. He describes his ideal death and his hopes for his family in the event of his death. He also talks about the support one recieves from the church and the community after the loss of a loved one.
96-163 Forbes, Dan April 2, 1997
CreatorGranbois, Judith A. 36 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 70 minutes; index
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
Dan Forbes describes being a funeral director in Indianapolis and Paoli, Indiana. He shares his feelings and thoughts on his father's illness, final wishes, and death, and his mother's illness. Forbes discusses helping others plan for funerals, the importances of a funeral service and support from the community. He also discusses planning his own funeral and living will. He shares his wishes for his graveside service and his family's happiness.
96-153 Gray, Mabel November 19, 1996
CreatorGranbois, Judith A. 18 pages, 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 25 minutes; index
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
Mabel Gray, born June 31, 1912, discusses her experiences with the deaths of friends and family, particularly her parents and her husband. She discusses how and where they died, their health, how they prepared, and what had to be done following their deaths. She talks about her own death and, preparations and decisions she has made, and the role religion plays in the process. Gray also discusses the changes that have come about in funerals over the years.
96-169 Greenberg, Miriam June 4, 1997
CreatorGranbois, Judith A. 15 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 35 minutes; indexed
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
Miriam Greenberg, a physician, born June 10, 1954, describes her experiences with death. She describes her feelings about those who have died during her childhood and funerals she has attended. She also discusses death from a physician's perspective. She talks about pain management and her grief over the deaths of young patients.
96-158 Hall, Blanche; Hall, Exum January 29, 1997
CreatorPimple, Kenneth D. 36 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 80 minutes; index
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
Blanche and Exum Hall discuss the deaths of those they've known, especially their parents. Blanche discusses her mother's poor condition and the hardship illness brings to both the sufferer and the family. Both discuss health care in hospitals and nursing homes. They talk about Exum's health problems and surgeries. They discuss the changes that have occurred in the factors surrounding death and dying since their childhoods, including funeral traditions. The Halls talk about preparations and decisions which must be made in regard to death such as wills, health care, funerals, and financial issues. They also discuss the role of religion and their personal beliefs. They talk about their own deaths.
96-173 Hall, John M. June 12, 1997
CreatorGranbois, Judith A. 25 pages, 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 60 minutes; index
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
Reverend John M. Hall, born November 17, 1953, discusses his father's illness and death. He talks about the great attitude his father had despit his ailmet, during his last year of life. He discusses health care providers in their various forms, including hospitals and home care. As a priest, Hall discusses his experiences with death through his parishioners. He talks a great deal about the importance of grieving and of support. He discusses the preparations and decisions that must be made before and after a death such as health care decisions, funeral arrangements, and spiritual readiness. He discusses his own imminent death, his fears and hopes. He also talks about the suffering death causes for both the individual and for the friends and family.
96-164 Hall, Stanley April 22, 1997
CreatorGranbois, Judith A. 17 pages; 2 tapes, 1 7/8 ips, 30 minutes; index
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
Stanley Hall, born April 29, 1956, discusses the deaths of his grandparents and his aunt. He discusses their illnesses and their funerals. He discusses health care providers and the frustration his mother felt with them. He talks about the medical technologies that are now available to keep a person alive. Hall talks about different preparations to be made before and after a death. He discusses the importance of family and religion. He also discusses his own death.
96-160 Jackson, Gerald December 11, 1996; February 1, 1997
CreatorGranbois, Judith A. 50 pages; 2 tapes, 1 7/8 ips, 70 minutes; index
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
Gerald Jackson, born on November 8, 1946, discusses his early life and education. He discusses the deaths of his father and his grandmother, and the huge impacts they made on him both in life and in death. He discusses their lives including his father's involvement in World War II, and his grandmother's simple yet vast wisdom. He talks about illnesses they had and how it effected those around them as well as the health care they received. Jackson discusses grieving for the deaths of loved ones, how necessary it is, and how the process seems to change from generation to generation. he talks about the preparations which must be made before or after a death, including funeral arrangements, wills, health care decisions, and spiritual readiness. He discusses how his father and grandmother had prepared, and how he is preparing for his own death.
Lindley, Chris March 18, 1997
CreatorGranbois, Judith A. 18 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 40 minutes; index
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
Chris Lindley, a minister and school teacher, discusses the deaths of his grandparents and his reaction to them. He discusses ministering to the terminally ill and their families. Lindley acknowledges the patient's fears of pain, loss of control of their bodies, and the high cost of medical care, as well as a growing quest for immortality. He also shares that the church becomes a source of support for mourning families and the ill even if it has not been part of their lives otherwise.
96-159 Mathers, Elizabeth February 12, 1997
CreatorGranbois, Judith A. 14 pages; 1 tapes, 1 7/8 ips, 60 minutes; index
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
Elizabeth Ann Weeks Hollan Mathers, born June 4, 1930, discusses the sudden, accidental deaths of both her first husband and her brother as well as the deaths of her parents. She discusses what she considers to be a good death. Mathers discusses various preparations for death including wills and spiritual readiness. She discusses her family and her religious experiences.
96-167 McAdams, Harvey April 23, 1997
CreatorGranbois, Judith A. 27 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 55 minutes; index
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
Harvey McAdams discusses his experiences with the death of friends and family. He also discusses his experiences with death in his work as a funeral director. He discusses living wills, doctor-patient relationships, personal effects, and community support for loved ones. He also shares the benefits of pre-planning funeral arrangements.
96-157 Minton, Harold February 5, 1997
CreatorSmith, David 19 pages, 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 40 minutes; index
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
Harold Minton, born September 4, 1929, discusses those he has known who have died, especially his parents. He discusses the care his mother needed prior to her death. He talks about the health care field as well as preparations and decisions that must be made for death. He discusses the responsibilities he had as a trust officer in a bank when it came to death and the next of kin. Minton talks about funerals and their role in the grieving process.
96-170 Pope, James June 10, 1997
CreatorGranbois, Judith A. 35 pages; 2 tapes, 1 7/8 ips, 100 minutes; index.
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
James Pope, born June 16, 1958, describes his experiences with illness and death in his lifetime. He describes his wishes for his own death. Pope shares how he deals with grief, his difficulties with funeral ceremonies, and thr role of community support. He shares his opinion about the differences in the grief experienced by families that deal with violent death as opposed to a long illness.
96-171 Shepard, David G. June 2, 1997
CreatorGranbois, Judith A. 24 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 80 minutes; index
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
David G. Shepard, born June 3, 1954, discusses the deaths of those he has known, especially as a minister. He discusses illness, health care, and health care givers, as well as medical technology and how it has both helped and hindered the dying process. He talks about preparations which must be made surrounding a death such as treatment decisions, wills and personal effects, funerals, spiritual readiness, and the help that Hospice provides. He talks about the lack of communication people have pertaining to death and the problems surrounding death, including financial problems. He talks about the stress of death and dying for the patient, for friends and family, and for him as a minister. Shepard also discusses his hopes and fears about his own death.
96-166 Trinkle, John April 24, 1997
CreatorGranbois, Judith A. 20 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 40 minutes; index
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
John Trinkle, born September 27, 1947, discusses death and dying. He discusses illness and health care, both at home and in a facility, as well as health care givers. He speaks of his father's bout with Alzheimers and the pain and difficulty such an illness brings to both the sufferer and friends and family. He discusses the preparations which must be made in regard to death including treatment decisions, funerals, and spiritual readiness. Trinkle discusses the importance support from the church and community. He also discusses his fears and concerns about his own death.
96-165 Webb, Cynthia April 24, 1997
CreatorGranbois, Judith A. 23 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 55 minutes; index
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
Cynthia Webb, born January 16, 1943, discusses the deaths which have touched her life. She talks about illness, especially cancer, which took the lives of many of her family members, and the pain it caused for both the patients and their families. She discusses the care she gave to many of those whom she talks about, as well as the health care field. Web discusses the preparations that need to be made for death, those that were neglected by some who have passed, and those that she has made for herself.
96-162 Wellman, Anne March 20, 1997
CreatorGranbois, Judith A. 36 pages; 1 tape, 1 7/8 ips, 100 minutes; index
Access Status
Open
Scope and Content Note
Anne Wellman discusses her experiences with the death of her husband in a work accident, a friend who died of AIDS, and the elderly in a nursing home. She discusses her feelings on the tradition of open caskets and funeral procedures. Wellman shares her appreciation for community support during the time of her husband's death. She discusses making preparations for her death and helping others make those preparations as well. She shares her thought about her role as a social worker helping patients know that they will not die alone.