Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Other Grandmother I Never Knew

Both my parents lost their mothers at young ages. My maternal grandmother, Luetta Meyer Zimmeth died at the age of 37 on December 20, 1931 from complications from surgery for tuberculosis. She left three young children behind. John "Jack" was just nine years old, Catherine "Kaye" was almost eight; Marguerite "Margie" was newly turned six.

My mother's recollections of her mother were almost non-existent since her mother was so ill with TB. Mostly my mother lived with her aunt Rose and uncle John Ochsenfeld. Jack lived mostly with his Grandma Meyer and Margie was passed back and forth between families.

After my grandmother died, so close to Christmas, my mother said that was probably the best Christmas that she could remember, because everyone felt so sorry for those poor children. Of all the kids, Jack probably had the only real memories of his mother.  After the funeral, my grandfather left, and was only seen sporadically by family over the next few years. Mom continued to live with her aunt who was very strict, and her uncle who tried to spoil her.

My mother's childhood really shaped who she was and one thing she was determined about was her children. I think she really lived in fear that something would happen to her and dad while we were young and she wanted to be as sure as possible that we would not be split up like she and her siblings.

So of this other grandmother, all I have are a couple of small grainy photographs of a tallish woman who vaguely resembles my late aunt Margie, but nothing that tells me what she was like.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

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