Freelancer Naomi Spigle remembered for passion for writing
She married Harry Spigle when she was 22, a college graduate living at home with her parents.
"Women today are urged not to be emotionally dependent on their husbands, not to submerge their own identities. We are told we must be able to stand alone. I agree," she wrote in a 1997 piece. "But being married to Harry made me more than I was before, not less. His love, his encouragement, his unconditional support gave me greater strength and more self-confidence than I had every possessed before."
The column was part of a four-part series written in the first person about what she called the "rocky terrain" of widowhood.
Spigle, 87, a South Bend freelance writer whose poetry was published in numerous anthologies, died Wednesday of Parkinson's disease.
She wrote lyrics to a song that Mahalia Jackon, a gospel singer, recorded in 1964 -- "Song for My Brother," a civil rights anthem.
Spigle was an occasional contributor to The Tribune, often writing quirky columns about domestic life.
But her series on widowhood was a serious examination of navigating sorrow, and it was well received by local women, according to her daughter, Judy Spigle.
Spigle said her mother's passion was writing, and she recalled her sending out poem after poem in a field that doles out a lot of rejection.
"She really was very tenacious about getting her stuff out there," Spigle said.
Naomi Spigle's poetry was published in publications like Indiana Writes, Kalliope and The Christian Science Monitor.
Spigle said her mother submitted a poem to the Christian Science Monitor about camping, and wrote about the smell of coffee in the morning.
Spigle said the Christian publication told her mother they couldn't print a reference to coffee, so she changed it.
"She was thrilled with being published," Spigle said.
Spigle wrote an ongoing column called On Second Thought for the Tribune after the paper published her series on widowhood. The Chicago Tribune also published her work.
The funeral is Friday at 1 p.m. at Temple Beth-El at 305 W. Madison St. in South Bend. Friends and family may visit the home of Spigle's daughter, Judy, Saturday, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and then from 7 p.m. on.
Staff writer Madeline Buckley: