Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wistful Wednesday: A Sad Story

This is one of the photographs that I found in the trunk last winter.

We still have that cute puppy “Tippy” this time nestled in Auntie Beryl’s arms. Beryl was 24 years old and the mother of two.  Grandpa James X. was 53 that year. Cousin Donna was 18.

Beryl 24 and Tippy James X 53 and Donna 18

Beryl ( Daughter in law), James X.  and Donna (Niece)

It was summertime in 1942. 

Donna was doubt she had just graduated from High School.( She was Tracie and James X. Niece)  She got a job as a telephone operator.  She married a soldier in November of 1943.  He was off to Europe in 1944. About the time that his letters stopped coming she gave birth to a son.  When her son was just three months old she got the “official” notice.

This is how it read:

“It has been established from reports received in the War Department that your husband, S/Sgt. Robert W. Weeks died April 23, 1945 while a prisoner of war of the German Government.  The Secretary of War extends his deep sympathy.”

She must have been so sad. In August of that same year she was in the hospital with double pneumonia..her recovery was slow. She moved in with her parents.  She seemed well and the next spring even moved into her own little cottage across the street from her parents.  On July 13, 1946 she died after being sick for only twelve hours.  The cause of death was hemorrhages during a siege of double pneumonia.  She left behind her fourteen month old son Billie.  He was raised by his Grandparents Emma and Rubert. Emma was Grandma Tracie’s sister.

I have finished all Grandma Tracie’s diary entries..she also left another book.  She took an old Yearbook of the Department of Agriculture from the year 1915 and pasted obits, birth and marriage announcements inside.  I have just begun to read them, from them I pieced together Donna’s sad story:(

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  1. Did she really die from complications from pneumonia, or more than likely what the obit didn't say, a broken heart. A sad story indeed.

  2. I wonder what happened to her son, if he had a good life. He would be in his late sixties by now. I always find your historical work interesting. It is a very sad story, there were so many like this in those days.

    1. Billie was raised by his loving grandparents. He had a successful career and retired here in his home town. He never married. We see him from time to time:)

  3. That is a sad story. You should try and find out what happened to her son - being the good "detective" that you are.

  4. How very sad. I hope her son has had a happy life!

  5. Donna's story is tragic, but I'm glad you shared it.

    The history left behind in that old book is priceless as is this blog post because both keep Donna's story alive.

  6. How sad. But, how wonderful that you can piece together the stories and bring your family's memories to life.

  7. I think we forget how easy it was to succumb to diseases back then, so many children, and adults were taken quickly. Some lingered longer, but there was limited medicines to help.

    This just illustrates how tragic life could be.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  8. Yes, a very sad story indeed. Poor girl. I'm glad there was somebody to take in her little baby boy. :)

  9. That is a terribly sad story. And the child...the child will never really know his parents. Thank heavens he did have grandparents and would never experience an orphanage.


  10. That is tragic for that little boy. What's his story? I hope it turned out good.

    Play off the Page

  11. It is such a sad story, but a very important one for generations to come. I'm glad you have all that rich family history to treasure and also to grieve.

  12. Very sad. One of those wasted lives. This didn't have to happen as at that time they had the medical knowledge to treat her condition.

  13. That is sad! I hope the son had a long life!

  14. What a sad sad story. Life was tough back then.

  15. How sad but how strong that generation was in character. It was so wonderful that their little son had loving family to raise him. I must admit though that the people I tend to respect the most I usually find out have been through some type of adversity in their life.


Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie