Sheila Kaye Aultman, 46, of Long Beach lived life to the fullest, despite a lifelong hearing impairment.
Born in Franklinton, La., she attended the Louisiana State School for the Deaf until enrolling in Fernwood Elementary and Biloxi High School in classes for the hearing impaired offered by the Harrison County school system.
Later in life, she was active in the de l'Epee Deaf Center.
Her mother, Betty Nash, remembers her as a sweet and loving person.
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"She gave me something I couldn't have bought for all the money in the world," Nash said. "She gave me the most precious gift a mother could ever hope for."
After Katrina, Nash waited for about a month for word of her daughter's fate. After Aultman's body was recovered in Waveland where she had gone to ride out the storm, her family held a memorial service and scattered her ashes in her mother's garden in D'Iberville, and Nash read the following lines from a poem:
"If you wish to remember me: Burn what is left of me and scatter the ashes to the wind to help the flowers grow.
"If you must bury something let it be my faults, my weaknesses and all my prejudices against my fellow man.
"If by chance you wish to remember me, do it with kind words or deeds to someone who needs you.
"If you do all that I have asked, I will live forever."