“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?”
It’s a bit of a puzzle as to how Grandma and Kathleen were childhood friends. Kathleen was the daughter of Chester and Mary Alice Sigler of Luray, quite a few miles from Shenandoah. It would have been inconvenient for her to attend school with my grandmother.
Perhaps Kathleen spent time with her grandparents or other relatives who lived closer to Shenandoah. If so, that might be where Grandma saw Kathleen’s grandmother. The story my grandmother always used to tell was that Kathleen’s grandmother was Black; she always wore a large bonnet, probably hiding her hair. The family passed for white. That would explain why I cannot find any evidence of a Black, “Colored,” or Mulatto grandparent anywhere in Kathleen’s family tree. If anyone was actually NOT white, they did not claim it in a census.
Kathleen’s father was a grocery salesman, so it’s possible he sold to my grandparents who ran a store on Sixth Street in Shenandoah. But would Kathleen have been her father’s sidekick on those sales runs? I rather doubt it.
At any rate, they were friends. When Kathleen married Edward Aulis Rinney in 1928, she moved to Washington D.C. Edward was a native of Finland but had been in the United States since 1914. Like their father, Edward and his brothers were all carpenters. I wonder if they were “finish carpenters” or just “Finnish carpenters.” Yes, folks, I’m here through the weekend.
|snipped from Google Maps|
211 Hodges Lane, Takoma Park, MD
For a time Kathleen was a clerk for a department store. According to city directories, she was an authorizer for Woodward & Lothrop, a chain headquartered in Washington D.C. Later she became a supervisor at the store. What she authorized and whom she supervised, I have no idea. But she formed a tight circle of friends among her coworkers.
|This photo was attached to the family tree of Irene Lanham (second|
from left) on Ancestry.com
Kathleen is fourth from the left.
Irene was also an authorizer for Woodward & Lothrop
photo courtesy of Irene Hoffert Crofford
At some point Kathleen and Edward returned to Luray, maybe in their retirement years.
They are buried in the Evergreen Memorial
Gardens in Luray, Virginia.
|Left: Lucille Rucker Davis|
Right: Kathleen Sigler Rinney
Virginia Beach, Virginia
|Photo courtesy JAC|
Don’t keep your knickers in a knot; put the kibosh on that kerfuffle; keep a hold on your Kinkajou and Kangaroo; kick up your kilt; knit a kerchief. And whatever you do, key up for the A to Z April Challenge.
© 2015, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.