Saturday, April 11, 2015

A to Z April Challenge: J is for Jack


“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 Jack E. Van Hyning. Jack and his wife Maxine attended the funerals of both my maternal grandfather Orvin Davis in 1963 and my grandmother Lucille Rucker Davis in 1990. Perhaps they remembered my grandparents when they lived in Shenandoah, but the Van Hynings were of the same generation as my uncle, so it’s possible they were friends with him more so than with my grandparents. Maybe they knew each other through their membership at Fields United Methodist Church.

Lucille Rucker Davis Funeral Guest Book 1990  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com

Jack was the only child of Arthur and Evelyn Van Hyning of Akron, Ohio. In the 1920, 1930, and 1940 censuses, he was right there at home. In 1940 he was a salesman for a paper manufacturer just like his father. However, that same year, just a couple months after the census was taken, he married Maxine Hatfield of Shenandoah, Virginia.

So how did a Buckeye boy find a Southern gal in Virginia? Certainly his time as a student at Massanutten Military Academy must have provided an opportunity. The school is located in Woodstock, Virginia, about thirty-six miles from Maxine’s home. 

Jack Van Hyning 1936  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
from the Massanutten Military Academy
yearbook 1936










Jack’s obituary on Ancestry.com must have been written by a family member who knew him well as the details are so personal:  his three children and numerous grandchildren, his love of sausage gravy, his enjoyment in feeding the birds, his career as a salesman of both insurance and dog food, his support of sports at James Madison University (Go Dukes!), and his service on the Town Council in Shenandoah.

But here are two more interesting bits of information found through GenealogyBank:
Jack Van Hyning 1937 sports article http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
from GenealogyBank
Richmond Times Dispatch
March 14, 1937
Jack must have been a star athlete in school. In 1937, he was mentioned twice in a sports report about the South Atlantic Interscholastic basketball championship. 

In 1948, Jack was elected treasurer of the Barrie Flying Club in nearby Elkton, Virginia. The organization is dedicated to providing quality flight training for those wanting to fly light sport aircraft.  (What?  Elkton had a flight club?? Who knew?)

Officers of Elkton, VA Barri Flying Club 1948 http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
from GenealogyBank
Richmond Times Dispatch
January 21, 1948















Van Hyning tombstone http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Van Hyning tombstone
from Findagrave
photo courtesy JAC

Juggle your time and Jump, Jog, or Jaunt on over to the A to Z April Challenge for some Jovial Jottings of Journalists and Jokesters.


© 2015, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

10 comments:

  1. Hi Wendy. Very nice bio of Jack. I have enjoyed most discovering things about my ancestors when they were young and not on death's doorstep. We forget so much what a person was really like. Jack sounded like quite a guy. Flying must have been a highlight for him. My husband and I live on a runway with a small plane. Every June we have an annual fly-in much like your clipping describes, only larger!

    Inventions by Women A-Z
    Shells–Tales–Sails


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My in-laws in rural Rockingham County lived near a family that had a runway. Thanks for visiting!

      Delete
  2. It's so interesting to find out about our ancestors. What a nice guy Jack is. I have a great grandfather who was a mayor. And a rich guy who squandered it all gambling. I know my Dad's family was very poor so that must have been frustrating knowing they could have had more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Squandering money is worse than just being stuck in a low-paying job. Sometimes you just want to shake people.

      Delete
  3. Maybe Jack wrote his own obituary? I have heard of some people doing that to include what they want to be said about them.

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That never occurred to me -- maybe he did. Thanks for visiting.

      Delete
  4. Probably one of the coolest A to Z themes I've seen yet!

    http://thecapillary.blogspot.co.uk/
    Stopping by from the A to Z Challenge

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why thank-you. Thanks for visiting.

      Delete
  5. I agree with Sharon's comment about discovering things about a persons life before they are on deaths doorstep. Jack was certainly an interesting person to know about. I also agree with Christiana...this is one of the coolest AtoZ Themes I've seen....and I have seen a bunch as a Minion! Looking forward to week #3.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal AtoZ 2015 Challenge Minion for AJ's wHooligans

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet you've seen it all as a Minion. You all are busy deleting people - my spot on the list keeps moving. I stumbled into a blog where the blogger announced she was quitting blogging altogether, not just AtoZ, the entire blogging business!

      Delete