Saturday, April 4, 2015

A to Z April Challenge: D is for Donald


“We need to get together more often and not at a funeral.” How many times have you and a cousin said that? Funerals are much like a family reunion. You can learn a lot about a family just by looking at who showed up. Using my grandparents’ guest books and sympathy cards, I’ll be exploring “Who came to the funeral?

is for Donald, Donald Ashton Carruthers. The name in my grandfather’s funeral Guest Book meant nothing to me until I saw the card from Kevill’s Florist in Portsmouth, Virginia. Donald and his wife Phyllis, along with Mary Lee and Chris Upton, sent a spray of white carnations.













“Phyllis” and “Mary Lee” are names I know:  my mother’s second cousins. Their mother Elta Sullivan Farrar was my grandfather’s cousin. The Farrars and the Davises both moved from Shenandoah to the Cradock neighborhood of Portsmouth, Virginia during World War II because there was plenty of work to be had at the shipyard.

When I was growing up, Elta was a frequent visitor at my grandparents’ home, so it was a comfort that both Elta and my grandmother Lucille Rucker Davis were in the same nursing home. That is where I sometimes saw Phyllis and Mary Lee. However, I never knew their married names until I studied the cards and guest books from my grandparents’ funerals.

Donald and Phyllis also sent a card when my grandmother died in 1990.  

Sympathy Card from Phyllis and Donald Carruthers 1990 http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Inside Sympathy Card from Phyllis and Donald Carruthers 1990 http://jollettetc.blogspot.com



















But what about Donald? Like our cousin Phyllis, Donald was a Cradock boy.
Donald A. Carruthers
Cradock High School yearbook 1950

They might have met in any number of ways – through mutual friends, through church, or even at the local drugstore. At any rate, they married and raised a family in Chesapeake, not terribly far from where I live. 

The year following my grandfather’s funeral, Donald and Phyllis welcomed a baby boy whom they named Richard. Sadly, Richard lived only to age 23.    

Donald and Richard are buried in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Tombstone Donald A. Carruthers Greenlawn Memorial Gardens  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
from Findagrave.com
Contributor not identified

Discover delightful displays of daydreams and discourse at the A to Z April Challenge.


© 2015, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.

16 comments:

  1. Love your A to Z theme, so original. And what an interesting way to track down family!

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    1. Thanks and thank-you for the visit.

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  2. I enjoy family history even when it is not my own. Interesting blog.

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    1. I enjoy other people's history too. Thanks for the visit.

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  3. Donald was a fine looking man in his "youth". It is interesting the detective work you do to track down who belongs to who. I bet when you make the connection like you did with Donald, it is rewarding!

    betty

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    1. I enjoy the moment when the dots connect. Thanks for visiting.

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  4. You're doing a great job on the Jollett family research!

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    1. Why thank-you. And thanks for the visit.

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  5. What a great post. I really enjoyed reading about your family history. Good luck from an A to Z blog hoping friend.

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    1. Thank-you very much. And good luck to you too. Thanks for visiting.

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  6. Your 'Cousin Clues' are growing by leaps and bounds. Neat that these are cousins that you met and remember. Having this Funeral Registry may turn out to be a resource that will catch on with other Genealogy Researchers. I know it sure is giving me ideas.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal
    AtoZ 2015 Challenge
    Minion for AJ's wHooligans

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    1. I didn't have the name "Carruthers" in my database until I started studying the guest book.

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  7. This is the second post today that I have read about a "Donald" for D. Popular name and both seem to be good worthy men. Thanks for sharing and for dropping by and commenting again on my blog!
    Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

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    1. Interesting -- I wonder how many duplicate topics there are on any given AtoZ day.
      Thanks for visiting.

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  8. What a handsome guy! I am having so much fun learning about your family friends and relatives, Wendy.

    Hugs,
    Kathy M.

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    1. Thanks Kathy -- and I'm enjoying reliving your vacation with you.

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