Monday, April 29, 2013

A to Z April Challenge: Y is for Yonnie

This is Day 25 of the A to Z April Challenge.  My theme is women with unusual names although I must cheat now and then or I’ll have a name and no story.

is for Yonnie Virginia Mathias Cook, my aunt by marriage.  That is, she was my father-in-law’s sister.

Yonnie Virginia Mathias Cook about 1940
Yonnie Mathias
Yonnie was the last child and only daughter born to John Roy and Essie See Mathias on June 5, 1923.  Throughout her youth she lived in Lost River, Hardy County, West Virginia. 

John Roy and Essie See Mathias, Hardy Co, West VA
John and Essie Mathias














Mother and Daughter:  Essie and Yonnie Mathias
Essie and Yonnie
When Yonnie grew up, she looked
just like her mother!











However, when she married Ernest Franklin Cook, they became hard-working dairy farmers in Timberville, Rockingham County, Virginia.  In addition to raising cows, they raised four children:  two boys and two girls. 

Children of John and Essie See Mathias
Ervin, Yonnie, Wilmer, Marvin
Mathias












A family reunion was an important event to Yonnie and her brothers.  It was always held on Father’s Day at Lost River State Park in Mathias, West Virginia.  After Yonnie’s parents died, she assumed the role of matriarch over the Mathias brothers and cousins and saw to it that the family reunion continued.  On Father’s Day.  Yonnie loved the symbolism of honoring the Mathias ancestors on that date.

In recent years, the younger generation has grumbled over the timing of the reunion, mainly because those who married a Mathias are deprived of spending Father’s Day with their own fathers.  Even though Yonnie passed away in 2009, no one has been brave enough to propose a date change.  Soon my husband’s cousin will send out the reminder of date, time, and place for the Mathias Reunion. 


The love and admiration Yonnie and her three brothers had for their parents, and then their children had for their grandparents is a testament to John and Essie Mathias.  That the reunion continues to bring cousins together – on Fathers Day! – is a testament to Aunt Yonnie. 


Yippee!  There will be no Yawning over the Yarns Yielded by Yuppies, Youngsters, Yokels, and Yodelers over Yonder at the A to Z April Challenge.


14 comments:

  1. What a lovely tradition to keep even though it is always held on Father's Day.

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    1. It is indeed a wonderful tradition. My husband's side of the family is big on reunions whereas on my side there are no reunions. However, the Jolletts used to hold reunions religiously many years ago.

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  2. A pretty and memorable name, and obviously one held in high esteem. Hopefully her two daughters will persevere as Double Matriarchs...some 'Family Traditions' should never change. What wonderful pictures.

    My Letter'Y'...Confessions of A YarnAholic
    Sue CollectInTexasGal
    AtoZ LoneStar Quilting Bee

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    1. The reunion duties have migrated over to one of the other cousins, a daughter of my husband's uncle.

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  3. I agree with Sally. The reunions (even on Father's Day) are such a wonderful tradition.

    Happy Monday, Wendy.

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    1. With families growing ever smaller, it is good to keep in contact, even if just once a year.

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  4. What a wonderful tradition and you have written an excellent tribute to your distant family member.

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    1. You're so kind. Thanks for visiting!

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  5. I have been reading all the names but now I see that I have neglected to comment. Sorry! I wonder if I were to do my family if I could come up with 26 different names and stories. I like that no one will change the date of the reunion. Traditions are hard to change but how nice. When my mom and her siblings were still living, they always got together once a year. The cousins who were nearby would attend. I miss the gathering and cherish the memory of the reunions. I'm glad you still share them.

    http://completelycalifornia.blogspot.com/

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    1. No apologies necessary! I confess I do a lot more reading than commenting myself, thinking I'll get back to it later.

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  6. It's very amusing that even though Yonnie passed away in 2009, no one is prepared to suggest changing the date of the family reunion. She must have had a powerful personality!

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    1. Isn't that the truth! Thanks for visiting!

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  7. How wonderful to have a regular reunion.

    By the way, Yonnie is Australian slang for a stone or rock!

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    1. Oh Sharon, how funny - and appropriate. She was hard as a rock about that date, that's for sure!

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