On this location you will find a picture (to be added) followed by short biographies of our newsletter staff and some of the women who make up our correspondence team. We thought it would help you to know a little bit about who we are and perhaps be more comfortable with where we are coming from personally. It is our desire to be open with you about our lives and experiences so that you can better identify with us.
Kristine Pappas, author of Widow for a Season: Finding Your Identity in Christ, is also founder of Widow-to-Widow Ministries and creator of www.widowtowidow.net. Kristine lost her husband to pancreatic cancer in 1998 at the age of 42. At that time she was home educating two children ages 14 and 17.
In 2003, Kristine conducted a conference for widows in the Columbus area and continues to speak and write as well as mentor and work with widows in her church and community. Although a Registered Nurse by profession and home educator for twelve years to her now grown children, Kristine is currently working on her Master's degree in Ministry, and resides in Greece.
Wilda Pappas is 89 and the oldest member of our board. She lost her husband in 2003 after a sudden heart-related problem. Wilda has five adult children, several of whom live in various countries around the world. She is active in her church and community and involved with missions, various prayer teams and Bible studies, and ministry to other widows. Wilda is a real prayer warrior and is the prayer team leader for Widow-to-Widow Ministries. Wilda loves wildlife and enjoys caring for her many flower beds in the summer and watching the birds and deer that frequent her yard year round. She also enjoys handwork such as sewing, knitting, and crocheting.
Terri Burrows is 42 years old and has two daughters, ages seven and five that she home schools. Although a lot of work, Terri loves the preparation involved in home schooling. Terri and her husband, Ed, were married twelve years when he died in May of 2003 due to complications from esophagitis. His death left her with a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old daughter. In addition to raising her daughters on her own, Terri also continued to struggle with the death of her first born daughter in 1998.
In addition to teaching her two girls, Terri keeps busy with yard work and maintenance of her 130-year-old home. She is also the secretary of her church and is involved in church related activities.
Jo Reece has been a widow for nearly 15 years, having lost her husband to pancreatic cancer in 1992. She has two grown children and five grandchildren. Jo's daughter, Christine, and her husband Todd Mathews, are on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ and live in a suburb of St Paul with their three children, ages 7, 5 and 3. Jo's son, Tim, his wife and two children, Katy and Luke, live in Columbus just a short distance away from Jo's condo. This allows Jo to do some babysitting with Luke who is 2 1/2.
Jo is a retired elementary teacher and does some substitute teaching and also gives tours of the Ohio Statehouse one day a week. Although not an Ohio State grad, Jo is an OSU fan and has been on the last three bowl trips. In addition to family functions, church activities, and traveling Jo is an active 70-year-old woman.
Cathy Merrick is a licensed P&C Insurance Agent. She lost her husband of 24 years unexpectedly to an aneurism in his lungs in 2005. He was 50 years old. She has a 21 year old son who is serving in the Marines and an 18 year old daughter who will be leaving for college this coming summer. When she is not working she is busy writing or creating new flower gardens at her home. She also is the leader of her church’s drama team and is on the worship planning committee. Cathy enjoys speaking to groups and helping other widows to trust God completely. Cathy has recently moved to North Carolina but travels to Ohio frequently to visit her family and coordinate the activities of the Widow Board.
Because Janelle Fling does not work outside her home she is able to work with teenage children through foster care, a role she played with her husband before his death in 1999. Janelle’s husband died after a long illness from Hodgkin’s Disease. She has three grown children of her own. Because she lives in the country, Janelle has lots of room for gardening. She also enjoys quilting, and dancing. Janelle is an avid reader thus the time she spends researching books and reviewing them for the ministry is a job that she enjoys very much.