Urn makes unique

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 18, 2000

final resting place


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Jan. 17, 2000 11 PM

For years, Johnnie Mae Warren has been molding clay into a variety of useful shapes for her own pleasure and for that of family and friends.

She took classes in pottery from Estelle Campbell more than 20 years ago on Academy Street and fell in love with the art. When the classes were moved to Knox Street, Warren followed them there. Recently, when the classes were moved to the Colley Senior Complex on Elm Street, Warren moved with them.

"Pottery is something I enjoy doing and something that I can do that brings other people pleasure, too," she said. "I don’t know if I have a talent for it but I know it passes a lot of time for me and people say I do pretty good work."

One day, "out of the sky," Warren had an idea for a unique piece of pottery for a very special purpose. Her niece, Jewel Lenard, had mentioned that she would like to have a special burial urn for the ashes of her mother and grandmother.

"I just started thinking about it and I wanted to surprise her with that special urn," Warren said.

After selecting just the right design, Warren cleaned the piece and prepared it for firing and then for glazing.

"I picked out a decal with beautiful flowers that I thought Jewel would like and then I wrote the names of her mother, Mable A. Lenard, and her grandmother, Lillie M. Talver, on it in gold leaf. I wrote the dates of their births and deaths in gold leaf, too, and it turned out so nice. I thought Jewel would be proud of it and she was."

Lenard knew her aunt was making a burial urn for the ashes of her loved ones but she didn’t see it until it was finished.

"It’s beautiful," she said. "I could not have hoped for anything any more fitting. This is just the right thing."

The ashes of Lenard’s mother and grandmother are in separate containers but will soon be together in the special urn designed by Warren.

"My mother and grandmother were so close in life and I wanted them to be together in eternity," she said. "This is a fitting final burial for them both. It is a loving tribute to both of them."

Lenard said there will be no special service when the ashes of her loved ones are combined in the urn.

"I think this is something I will want to do alone," she said. "After it is done, the urn will have a prominent place in my home. It will be in a visible and honorable place and I will cherish it all of my life."