Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A to Z April Challenge: V is for Vessie

This is day 22 of the A to Z April Challenge.

is for Vessie Bernice Jollett Steppe.  Vessie is my maternal grandfather’s cousin, therefore my first cousin twice removed.  She was the only child of Ulysses and Sadie Jollett, born August 21, 1904. 

No, that's not Tommy Smothers!
Ulysses and Sadie Jollett
with Vessie
Vessie remembers not wanting
 to hold her daddy's hand.

Vessie grew up in Shenandoah, Page County, Virginia where she met Gilbert Steppe.  They married  December 26, 1922. Like his father-in-law, Gilbert worked for the railroad, and like most women, Vessie was a stay-at-home mom caring for their only son Jollette who was born in 1924. 

Gilbert, Jollette, and Vessie Jollett Steppe

Later Vessie and Gilbert moved to Dahlgren,
Virginia where she lived until her death in 2001. 

My sister and I spent a lovely day with Vessie, probably in 1999.  Even at 95 years of age, Vessie lived alone although her daughter-in-law lived next door and checked on her regularly.  Vessie cooked lunch for us as she shared her memories of the Jollett family.  

Why don’t you Vege out and Venture over to the A to Z April Challenge to View a Veritable Vortex of Veracious Verbalizations before they Vanish.

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. She looks like a sweet lady! :)

  2. I adore old-fashioned names like Vessie.


  3. Thanks for an interesting post about your family :)
    My brother-in-law has helped me become interested in our family tree & it's fascinating.

  4. Great post about Vessie! I love the picture where she doesn't want to hold her dad's hand and how she remembered that. Priceless!

  5. What a beautiful memory of a woman from a younger time

    thanks for the delightful V

    my V

  6. How neat that you met Vessie and she shared her family memories. Great photos! All of your Alphabet Monograms have been great, as well. I've so enjoyed meeting your family through the A to Z April Challenge.

    1. Thanks Sue! It took me forever to pick out the letters, like it was really important. I found that I cared more about some letters than others. Sheesh~

      I've enjoyed meeting your family too and look forward to getting to know them better after the Challenge is over.

  7. There aren't enough words to say how wonderful Vessie was. Sweet, smart, kind and most of all she carried the Jollett gene of getting weepy when we got ready to leave that day. She had such a sharp mind. Her daughter in law, June was more than lovely too.

  8. I DO love your V for the day. Family history always interests me. And your V alliteration is very delightful!

  9. What great photos and memories! Thanks so much for sharing. Vessie sounds like one amazing woman. :)

  10. Vessie, huh? I've never heard that name before. It's very nice...very nice indeed:)

  11. Well Hello Jollette family! So amazing to see this site. I am Vessie Jollette Steppe's eldest grandchild. I am the daughter of June and Jolly Steppe born March 11, 1954 and Vessie was my beloved grandmother, to me and my sister, Janeiro, named after Vessie's mom ( she goes by Jana) and Gilbert, named after my grandfather, Vessie's husband, my adored grandfather. We called my grandmother BeeBee, and she was BeeBee to the whole neighborhood, too.
    You do have the memory about her not wanting to hold her father's hand correct. As I recall, she did either not want to wear the hat, or wanted to, and her Dad thought otherwise. So she was having a pout session, and being his only child, I am sure she got her way eventually!
    BeeBee was our touchstone, our matriarch, our precious family memory-keeper and loving presence. She was always full of hugs and kisses and warmth and humor and we were so blessed to have her for 96 (almost 97!) years.
    As for her name, Vessie, she never did like it and she said she never knew where it came from. She always said she wanted a pretty name, like her cousins, Pearl, or Reba.
    Oh, and my Dad, Andrew Jollette Steppe, was born in 1923, July 28th.
    Would love to hear from other Jollette kin!
    Andrea Collins

    1. Andrea, thanks for checking out my blog and leaving this comment. We must hold a Jollette reunion! Vessie would love it, I bet.