Support group forms to help those widowed

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By Alex Wimsatt

MOUNT WASHINGTON - The people of Schmid Funeral Home realize how difficult it can be to lose a loved one. With that in mind they’ve created an opportunity for widows and widowers to share each other’s company and support.

Sixteen people recently gathered at Kettle Creek restaurant for the kickoff of Friends Helping Friends.

One of them was state Rep. Linda Belcher.

Belcher, who lost her husband, state Rep. Larry Belcher in 2008, said she attended the luncheon to gather with people dealing with the same issues she’s faced since her husband’s death.

“It helps to share,” Belcher said.

Tim Gonterman, of Schmid Funeral Home, began Friends Helping Friends as a service to the community, to give widows and widowers a support group.

“This is strictly for folks to get together and have some fellowship,” Gonterman said.

Jean Gentry has had a hard time since she lost her husband late last year. She said it was nice having a supportive group like Friends of Friends to distract her.

Gonterman was pleased with the group’s first meeting.

“When you have 16 people at the first meeting that’s very encouraging,” Gonterman said. “It lets us know that there’s a need for something like this in the community.”

Evelyn Owen, who was widowed last year, said she very much enjoyed the event.

“The food was delicious and the company was good,” Owen said.

Exact dates have not been set, but Friends Helping Friends will meet once a month at Kettle Creek and will feature speakers and door prizes.

Mount Washington Mainstreet Director Dale Salmon will be on hand to speak at the June 15 meeting and Belcher is scheduled to speak at the July meeting.

For more information, (502) 538-7084.