Since 1989, the Clark Funeral Home’s Widow-to-Widow program has continued on.

Since 1989, the Clark Funeral Home’s Widow-to-Widow program has continued on.

And according to Tina Hierholzer, one of the original co-organizers, it is “20 plus years and still going strong.”

“We started out with 10 ladies and currently we have an average about 40-50 people per meeting,” she said. “We meet twice a month (alternating between Northside Baptist Church and United Methodist Christian Life Center) with the exception of November and December and then we just meet monthly on those months because of the holidays. Our goal is to provide support and information to help (widows) learn to adapt to living without a spouse. We have had lots of ladies that have created friendships through the group that have never met one another that have formed outside interest together, as far as playing cards and doing things outside of the Widow to Widow group.”

Sue Clark and Hierholzer founded the program.

“(Sue and I) just decided that there was a need,” Hierholzer said. “We actually tried do a combination of a surviving spouse group, but the men, we didn’t get any feedback from the men, we got feedback from the women. So we decided to go that route and do a Widow to Widow support group. Sue was always she was active in the group. I would say for Sue and I, it would be a labor of love.”

Each year, the group takes economical day trips such as to Branson or Grove, Okla. or to Rogers, Ark., for dinner theatres. Hierholzer said on average about five day trips are planned each year.

In November, the program has a Thanksgiving luncheon and then in December, they offer a Christmas luncheon.

“On Nov. 14, we are having catered Thanksgiving luncheon by the Newcomers Club and it is $12 per person and that will be will at the Christian Life Center,” she said. “On Dec. 12, we will have a Christmas luncheon at the Christian Life Center and that is complimentary from the funeral home. They can make their reservations by calling 451-2345. We usually we have up to 100 to 125 (during the Christmas and Thanksgiving luncheons). We invite any widow that has lost a spouse to be a participant in our program. It is not limited to (funeral) services that we have had here (Clark Funeral Home).”

Asked why she thinks the program has lasted this long, Hierholzer said, “well because of one thing, there is no dues, there is not any expenses, it is a service. I also think that being a small community, and a lot of people do know each other in the community, so that brings them together under one common denominator and it gives them an opportunity…I think that the bottom line of it is friendship and support.”

For more information, please call 451-2345.