Sharon Lee Elmer Tinnon

Sharon was born to Robert and Dorothy Jean Elmer on September 29, 1953, in San Antonio, Texas.  She was the oldest of four sisters. In 1960 her beloved stepfather, Wallace Grosse, joined the family.   She married the love of her life, Michael Tinnon in 1983 and welcomed sons Stephen in 1987 and David in 1989.  Sharon loved being a wife and mother and took great pride in being a registered nurse.  She died in her sleep on March 13, 2023, due to complications from a ten-year long journey with Alzheimer’s Disease.  Sharon was 69; and she had been married to Michael for nearly 40 years.

Sharon is preceded in death by her father, Robert Elmer and her stepfather, Wallace Grosse. She is also preceded in death by her cousin Albert (Bubba) Elmer.  She is survived by husband Michael and their sons Steve and David.  She is also survived by her mother, Dorothy Jean Grosse; sisters Trudie Elmer, Becky Bergeron, and Audra Grosse (Gilbert); Aunt Carolyn; and cousins Debbie, Denise, Carol, Linda, Tammy, and Gerry.   Additionally, she is survived by nephews Michael, Robert, and Matthew, and niece Maggie.

She talked to her Mother on the phone almost every day of her life, even when communicating became more challenging.   She loved being a wife, mother, sister, cousin, and aunt.

Sharon was a 1971 graduate of Douglas MacArthur High School in San Antonio, Texas. Soon after, Sharon started her medical career as a Unit Clerk at Methodist Hospital, San Antonio. She studied to become a registered nurse and served as an RN for nearly 40 years.  Later, Sharon earned her BSN from UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing.

While living In Houston, during the 1970’s and 1980’s, Sharon worked as a cardiovascular, surgical nurse with renowned heart surgeon Dr, Denton Cooley. Sharon’s heart extended to those in crisis as a patient, friend, and while doing missions work. She was a life-long Methodist and an active member at Coker United Methodist Church, San Antonio.

As a working mother, Sharon served with excellence at hospitals in Houston, Salt Lake City, Utah, and San Antonio, in the emergency rooms and in Risk Management. Sharon served in local and state leadership roles with the American Society of Health Care Sisk Management (ASHRM).   Michael attended several ASHRM conferences with Sharon, including those held in Denver, Boston, and Washington, DC.  Sharon retired early in May 2014, at the age of 60, largely due to Alzheimer’s Disease / dementia that robbed her of the requisite executive planning skills to succeed as a hospital risk manager.

Sharon was a very colorful piece of the quilt of her extended family.  As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, cousin and aunt, Sharon was the planner of zany events, costumed holidays, and delicious dinners.  She loved playing board games and watching the Houston Astros baseball team.  Sharon enjoyed the music of the Beatles, Elton John, and ABBA.   Sharon was enthralled when attending live musicals on Broadway, at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, Texas.   Some of her favorite shows were:  Jesus Christ Superstar, Wicked, Chicago, Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Annie, and many more.  Sharon was an avid traveler, while living in Breda, Netherlands as a young nurse and later, visiting numerous North American attractions including Niagara Falls, New York City, Disney World, Disneyland, Colorado, San Francisco, San Diego, Honolulu, Alaska, Cancun, Destin, Florida, and numerous national parks and attractions in the western states, including the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Arches, and Zion..

Her friendships were life-long. She gathered regularly with high school classmates, who remembered her directing plays and participating in flags. She and Michael were founding and continuing members of the “Eat-A-Lot” group, started in Houston, Texas around 1984.   This group began as a dinner group of young married couples who grew together, dining and traveling as newlyweds, working professionals, parents, dog/cat parents, grandparents, and retirees.

Sharon’s last years were not easy. Alzheimer’s disease robbed her of many abilities, from driving and reading to communicating.  She rarely complained, largely taking her condition in stride, while continuing to flash her beautiful, warm smile.  Michael was usually by her side filling Sharon in on the outside world, singing to her, holding her hand, and reminding Sharon that she was and always would be his best girl.

Their relationship provided us with a living example of a positive caregiving and care-receiving relationship.  Even Sharon’s caregivers at Pipestone Place, San Antonio, Texas, for the last 16 months of her life, were enchanted by her presence.  Sharon let them do her hair and nails, fuss over her, and love on her.  She made all who knew her  feel welcome and loved.

Sharon lived her life bearing full witness to the love of Christ and sharing it with us all.  Her spirt will live on when we live colorful, committed, and caring lives.

You are invited to attend a Celebration of Life Service for Sharon, to be held in the Sanctuary at Coker United Methodist Church, 231 East North Loop Rd., San Antonio, Texas, 78216, on Saturday, April 22, 2023, at 10:00 AM, with a reception to immediately follow, in the Fellowship Hall. We look forward to seeing friends and family, to cry, laugh, and reminisce.

Memorial gifts, in Sharon’s name, are welcomed at Coker United Methodist Church and the Alzheimer’s Association, San Antonio & South Texas Chapter Office, 1100 Northwest Loop 410, Suite 302, San Antonio, Texas 78213.


Terms of Endearment

When I am out to eat with friends and family, I often hear folks order their food or drink with “I’ll do….” For example, my son Steve might say: “I’ll do the Mexican plate.” Whereas I usually order by saying: “I’ll have the Mexican plate”. When did we start ordering food with, “I’ll do……”? I responded with “I do” when I took my wedding vows with my wife Sharon in 1983, when Pastor Bill Hinson asked me, “Do you take Sharon as your wife, to have and to hold, and to love to cherish?” But I still order food by saying something like, “I’ll have the number 8.”

Many of us that care for a loved one use the term caretakers. I much prefer to refer to myself and others as caregivers, care partners, or carers (England, Australia). Caretakers provide care of things, such as estates (think Jack Nicholson’s character in “The Shining”), gardens, and trusts. Caregivers whether they are doing it without pay, or for pay, provide care for people.

I am nearing my 70th birthday. I have not yet heard a term I like for someone like me that is not young. I dislike the terms “senior citizen”, “elderly”, “mature” or “geezer”. Do you have any suggestions, for a hipper name for someone my age? Another view might be that we should embrace being older?!

When did many of us start calling our grandchildren “grands”?! In my circle of friends some may write “I recently visited my four grands”, rather than “I recently visited my four grandkids”. Is calling our grandchildren “grands” a shorter, hipper way to write about them. Also, some of us want to have cooler, younger monikers such as “Loli and Pop”, “Gigi”, and “Pop Pop”, versus Grandmother and Grandfather.

With my own name, Michael, I like being called Mike or Michael. I dislike “Mikey (as in the Life cereal commercials with the young boy named Mikey). When someone calls me Mikey, I sometimes think they are teasing me (which could be a sign of endearment), or don’t take me seriously. I am not a fan of Mickey either, unless I could a hit fastball like Mickey Mantle, or throw a curveball like Mickley Lolich.

What do you find interesting these days about phrases in everyday English?


I’m flying today for only my second trip since COVID started in early 2020.

I awoke this morning to the news that a nationwide computer glitch for the FAA network, was stopping or delaying most flights Wednesday morning, Jan. 11. I got notice of it soon enough, so that I could pass the time at home, without having to go and sit in the airport terminal in San Antonio for hours.

My Southwest Airlines flight finally departed the gate about 3:40 pm Central time, “only” about 4. 5 hours later than it’s scheduled 11:10 am departure.

I’ve enjoyed the flight, although bumpy air suspended beverage service early and left the “fasten seat belt” lights on for much of the flight.

I had the opportunity to sit in seat 13A {aisle) across the aisle from a young family with a 3-month old boy and an 18-month girl. The kids were mostly quiet and the young boy kept me entertained much of the flight with his alert eyes.

Today’s delays were due to the FAA’s computer system issues. It had nothing to do with Southwest Airlines. I have found the Southwest Airlines employees on the ground in San Antonio, and in the air on flight 295, to be full of hospitality and grace.

I think the current time in Las Vegas may be about 3:40 pm PST, as I write this blog on the flight, wit about 45 minutes until landing.

Signing off for now…….

My younger son David Michael

The Good Ole Days

This morning, I happened upon one of my favorite songs from my early 20’s, “Anticipation”, written and performed by Carly Simon.

My favorite line of the song is the final line: “So, I’ll try and see into your eyes right now And stay right here, ’cause these are the good old days”

Ms. Simon then closes the song with a repeat of “And stay right here ’cause these are the good old days.” Then, she repeats four more times: “(These are the good old days)”

I usually think of the good ole days as the past. I might look at some of my childhood years, growing up in Rochester, Michigan in the 1960’s, as the good old days. I might look at my early years of marriage to Sharon and raising young sons in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s as the good old days. I loved when I came home from work in the mid 1990’s, and my sons Steve and Dave would rush to the front door, exclaiming with excitement, “Dada’s home”!

But, when Carly Simon sings this refrain, she is likely referring to the moments now, as being the “good old days”. It is a great reminder to me, to be in and stay in the present as much as possible. These moments today will someday become the memories of “good ole days”.

I have the opportunity during the next six days, when I travel to Nevada, to practice being in the moment, as I visit my younger son David and my sister Karen, who I have not seen in person since 2018!


I came back to work last week. Surprisingly, it has energized me; and, I feel happier. I am even enjoying getting up earlier in the mornings, four days per week.

I liked not working for the past 16 months, until I didn’t. I had my ups and downs. I could have done volunteer work, traveled, or done more projects at home – but, largely, I didn’t.

I love visiting my wife Sharon, who has lived in an assisted living for those living with Alzheimer’s / dementia, for the last 9+ months. But, I also want to trust the great caregivers that provide loving care to Sharon, when I am not visiting her.

I may be a person that does better with structure in my life. Left to my own devices, and without Sharon’s companionship and love, 24/7, I floundered a bit.

So, thank you to my boss and company, COI, in Boerne, Texas, for asking me back.

Baseball Analytics

When I was growing up in Michigan in the 1960’s, I enjoyed following and rooting for my beloved Detroit Tigers. I loved to check out the sports page to study the box scores, from the preceding day’s ballgames. I knew the baseball statistics and leaders of the day, such as the top 10 in each of three hitting categories.

For batters, the main stats were: Batting Average (BA); Home Runs (HR); and Runs-Batted-In (RBI).

For pitchers, there were two main stats: Won-Loss record and Earned Run Average (ERA). In the 1960’s, it was not uncommon to have starting pitchers throw 150+ pitches per game, and complete the game, pitching all 9 innings. Now, 100+ pitches or less per game is the norm; and, a complete game for a pitcher is an outlier.

I kept up with the statistics for my favorite Tigers’ players, such as Al Kaline and Rocky Colavito, as well as the stats for stars on other baseball teams.

Now there are many other statistics, such as WAR (Wins Above Replacement) and OPS (On-Base percentage Plus Slugging); and for pitchers, there is WHIP (Walks and Hits per Inning Pitched). I know how to calculate many of the newer analytical statistics; and, I recognize good season and career WAR numbers, but I do not know how to calculate WAR!

I love baseball; and, I brought that love of baseball to my wife Sharon. She and I became huge Houston Astros fans in the 1980’s, while we lived in Houston, Texas.

“Baseball has been very, very good to me.” (and, for Sharon)

I Do Life Better Married

During the initial months of the COVID-19 Pandemic, starting in mid-March 2020, I realized that I kind of liked being a home body. Sharon was still in better health and moods, and we were reasonably happy.

I had some prior experience with Zoom, from using it in a virtual Bible study class, prior to 2020. This provided me with service opportunities to be the Zoom master for some Alanon and church groups. I found that somewhat invigorating for a few months, before I passed the Zoom batons to others.

Caregiving for my wife Sharon, living with Alzheimer’s / dementia started to get more challenging for me in 2021. While we were (and, are still) married, I was continuing to lose my partner to the disease.

Most of our marriage, we picked each other up, encouraging each other. If Sharon was discouraged, I could pick her up; and, vice versa. We enjoyed raising our two, adopted (at birth) sons, being active at church and being with friends.

Thus , I came to the realization recently that I do life better married! When I was in my 20’s, before meeting and marrying Sharon (we married, when we were both 30, or nearly 30), I sometimes floundered a bit. Sharon is my love and my foundation. She gives so much to me and our families during our marriage. She still gives, with her gentle spirit.

I have not had Sharon as that anchor and equal partner for the last few years. I miss my “former” (the vibrant wife, Mom, daughter, skilled RN) Sharon.

I am honored to love and serve her “in sickness and in health”; and for “richer and poorer“, “until death do us part”. Sharon is my best girl and the love of my life! Happy Anniversary Month, Sharon!

My Awakening from Caregiving Slumber

As I wrote recently, I was a feeling a bit down and unmotivated for several weeks from the end of April through most of July. Sunday afternoon, July 31, I mark as me awakening from a late Spring / early Summer slumber.

I am not sure what woke me up. But, Sunday afternoon, I became more engaged; and, I started to see clearly again the joys of my life.

“We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing. Consequences give us the power that motivates us to change.” This is a quote from authors Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. Jake Townsend. Tony Robbins has a similar quote.

“We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing. Consequences give us the power that motivates us to change.” This is a quote from authors Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. Jake Townsend. Tony Robbins has a similar quote.

I have been Sharon’s husband for nearly 39 years (we married on August 13 in 1983). We lived together until mid November 2021. Then, I made the difficult decision to place Sharon in a small facility, that cared for people living with dementia.

The emotional and financial responsibilities of Sharon living outside of our home, and me trusting others to provide loving care for her, is still hard. But, I don’t have nearly the stress of caregivers of spouses, where the spouse, living with dementia, still lives at home. I am grateful for this.

I have an online coach, Tavia Sharp, that is encouraging me to start a facebook support group primarily for spouses of those living with dementia. Since I have many friends and followers on facebook, I may roll out this group in the coming weeks. Please let me know if you have any thoughts on this project.

Intellectually, I knew this was the case, but I was not putting much action into practice for several weeks of slumbering. Once I did, my life got back on track!

I am a big fan of Dr. David Burns, MD/Psychiatrist, who has a weekly podcast, “Feeling Good”, for therapists and non-therapists alike. In his book, “Feeling Good”, he has a simple diagram on page 119, that shows Action on the top and Motivation in the middle, then More Action on the bottom, with arrows pointing at the phrases. Dr. Burns makes the point that actions must come first; then, as we do actions / activities, more motivation comes from those actions. Motivation does not come first!

That is, don’t put the cart before the horse.


During some of my largely, idle weeks recently, I have watched several episodes of the USA Network TV series (2002-2009) , “Monk”. Surprisingly, I found many of the episodes funny and entertaining.

The title character, Adrian Monk, plays a former San Francisco Police Department detective, who consults for the police on a new case each week. He figures out the true bad guy by the end of each show. Often, Mr. Monk utilizes his hands (see photo in this post) to visualize and see things at the crime scenes, that allow him to solve the case.

Monk was suspended from the police department for his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) behavior, after the death of his loving wife Trudy, prior to the start of the series. Thus, he ends up consulting for the police department, with the help of his competent assistant, Natalie Teager. I must admit that I developed a small crush on Natalie, portrayed by actress Traylor Howard (see photo in this post).

I identify a bit with Mr. Monk, for his lack of social skills. While my social graces may be better than Adrian Monk’s, I sometimes feel awkward in certain social / business gatherings.

I also carry some small OCD tendencies. When I go about my day, on walks outside, I often pick up trash. Also, for several years, I have been on the lookout for potential “tripping hazard” objects on the floor, which I often will move or straighten up. I noticed myself doing this at the gym today.

I am also a bit OCD with facebook posts, text messages, blog posts, and business correspondence. While I know this blog will contain some errors, I sometimes obsess too much on trying to be 100% correct with my spelling, grammar, and the best word choices. My mentor, author Seth Godin, advises to “ship it” / publish it anyway.

More importantly, because of his OCD, Mr. Monk generally has trouble having fun, relaxing, and enjoying life. While I enjoy my life, sometimes I reflect too much on the past or future, while I am “pissing” on the present, where life is really lived and enjoyed. Going forward, I plan to be more deliberate each day to try and live generously and more lovingly to those in my life.


I am having trouble falling asleep tonight. I tried listening to music. I drank some decaf coffee. I just am not sleepy at Midnight on Sunday, July 31 / Monday, August 1.

I have struggled a bit the last few months. I just have had trouble getting going many mornings. Then, the morning rolls into early afternoon, then early evening.

Once per week or so, I play trivia with my son Steve, his girlfriend, and the girlfriend’s family. I can usually contribute some correct responses for our team, in categories like Sports, U.S. cities, and American Presidents.

My baseball team, the Astros, are playing well. That has been a good diversion for me most days, watching them on TV. I also belong to some Astros fscebook groups; and, it is fun to interact with other fans in Game Thread posts, as the game progresses.

i have been skipping church. I think about going, but then, I don’t get ready.

There are a lot of projects I want to do in my home, but I am largely not getting them done. I visit my wife Sharon, when I can. The place where she stays recently had a soft quarantine for a couple of weeks, because of COVID.

I have a new friend to do some things socially with, such as a meal out, see a movie, improv, and more.

I have a counselor I meet with every other week. I am getting ready to start a grief support group in mid-August. I have some great on-line coaches. I have an Alanon-friendly group I attend on Tuesdays.

Several of my friends currently have serious medical issues, including me with Sharon’s Alzheimer’s.

Well let me post this, and see if I can find some Zzzzz’s.

Good night and Godspeed.