Gene Notes

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

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Speak To Me! The Rest of the Bucket List!

A couple people I inadvertently left off my Bucket List of People Who Have Passed with Whom I'd Like to Speak, yesterday are my grandmothers. Both my grandmothers died young (ages 36 and 45) when my mother and father were young, so I never met them. I think I was an adult before I ever saw a picture of either of them.

1. Luetta Zimmeth nee Meyer. She died following surgery for Tuberculosis at the age of 36. My mother rarely lived with her own parents because her mother was too ill to care for three small children. Uncle Jack went to live with his grandmother, Amelia Knost Meyer, Aunt Margie went to live with her Uncle Elmer Meyer (Luetta's brother) and his first wife, and my mom went to live with her Aunt Rose Zimmeth Ochsenfeld, her father's sister. My mom always felt her parents were her Aunt Rose and Uncle John. In 1939 when my mother was 14, her Aunt Rose died, Uncle John went to live with his son, Frank, and my mom was shipped off to a cousin who had two children of her own at the time. So, I would dearly love to hear from her.

2. Mary Percival nee Bowman. Mary gave my dad his sense of humor. She died too young (45) while she, Grandpa (John Stearns Percival), my Uncle Johnny (also John Stearns Percival) and my dad were on vacation. She first took ill while they were camping near Grayling, Michigan. Grandpa took her to a doctor, who diagnosed Flu. She felt a little better or really didn't want to ruin their vacation so the family continued on across the Straits of Mackinac (no bridge at this time) and stopped in Saint Ignace in the UP (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) where she became seriously ill. My dad and his brother were left at a cabin in Saint Ignace while Grandpa drove Grandma to Sault Ste Marie, Michigan to the War Memorial Hospital where she died of an intestinal obstruction. I can't imagine losing my mother at that age while on vacation. My dad always told me that his mother died of "female trouble." Um. No. She died of an intestinal obstruction. So, yes, I would dearly love to "hear" from her, too.

A few years ago, my Aunt Shirley Percival nee Kardux gave me letters Grandpa sent to Grandma during his service as an Engineer in World War I. It revealed a completely different side to Grandpa that I never imagined. Of course, he couldn't hang on to the letters Grandma sent him (they were engaged at the time) which is a pity. I only have a couple letters that she wrote to him in the late 1920s when he moved to Detroit to take a job as a Civil Engineer with the city of Detroit and to find a home for all of them. They gave me the tiniest glimpse of a woman with a wonderful sense of humor.

As I sit here and write this, a couple more names have cropped up. Watch for those people on Wednesday.

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

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