Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Meet Hazel Belle Windle and Goldie Opal Van Buskirk ----- My Grandmothers

Hazel Belle Windle my maternal grandmother 1896-1968
She was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa on 29 November 1896. She was the oldest child of her parents, John Albert Windle and Lizzie Irene Casey.  She was followed by her brother Harry Windle, born in 1898, and Frances Elizabeth Windle, born in 1903. As a little girl, she was my hero and my solid anchor.  In my child's mind, she was the person that seemed like other regular people, and normal.  I later realized that no one is "normal" but the place she held in my mind was so very important in the rough days of my own childhood. 

Hazel married Ralph Orion Cary in May 1917.  She was a good wife, good mother, good daughter, good sister, and wonderful grandmother.  I loved her so very much.  Her life was filled with sad events, and happy events.  She survived all of this and led a very meaningful and good life.

This picture of her is in 1924 as she was leaving Ottumwa, Iowa on her way to Council Bluffs to attend her grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary.  Her grandparents were Abraham and Lydia McNeil Windle.  She was so pretty and I love her hat. She was age twenty-eight in this picture. She would be age one hundred and eighteen this year.  

I always estimate a generation is about twenty years, and our family seems to follow this pretty close.  That means there would be six generations of her descendants in 120 years.  That is correct for her descendants: (1) Hazel Windle; (2) Dorothy O. Cary; (3) Patricia A. Craig; (4) Cindy L. Meier and Laurel A. Meier; (5) Chad Lewis and Ryan Lewis; Logan A. Currie; (6)Oliver Lewis; Stella Lewis; Jack Lewis, Grant Lewis.  

Thank you Grandma Cary for giving all of us life.

Goldie Opal Van Buskirk my paternal Grandmother 1896-1962 
She was born 3 June 1896 in Davis County, Iowa. She was the 4th of the ten children of George Van Buskirk and Mary Ann Edinger.  Unfortunately, I was never close to Goldie.  I never called her grandma, or grandmother.  She was always Goldie to me and my two older cousins and my brother.  The younger grandchildren did call her Grandma, but she seemed more accepting of the name by then. She became a grandmother at such a young age, I guess it was hard for her to accept that title.  I have matured, and with that I realize she could only be herself.  It was hard to understand when I was younger but I do understand now.  

She married Claude Craig when she was just age fifteen.  This picture is shortly after having her first child, my aunt Claudine.  She was just a baby herself, and she is so very pretty.  Claude was ten years older than Goldie and their marriage was a tumultuous one.  It ended in divorce around 1925.  She had three children: Claudine born in 1912; my father, Gerald Vuhr Craig born in 1915; and Gwendolyn born in 1919. 

She married Fred Peck later, and that is the only husband I ever saw her with.  Although we were never close, I have come to recognize traits I have inherited from her.  More so than from my maternal grandmother, as much as I loved her. 

I know I am what I am due to the genes I inherited from all of my ancestors, and especially from my paternal grandmother, Goldie Opal VanBuskirk.  Thank you Goldie, for our life, for me and all of my descendants.  You are an important part of our heritage.  May you rest in peace.

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