Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A to Z April Challenge: L is for Lorraine


“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 Lorraine Keim. She was not a member of the family but nonetheless she attended the funeral of my maternal grandfather Orvin Davis in 1963. Her connection to my family reads like the Seven Degrees of Kevin Bacon game.

Connection #1
A school picture shows that Lorraine undoubtedly knew several members of my family. In her class were Rosalind Rucker, my grandmother’s sister. Also Granddaddy’s cousins Leota and Elta Sullivan attended school with Lorraine Keim.


Shenandoah School 1918  http://jollettetc.blogspot.com
Shenandoah School 1918
#1 Rosalind Rucker, #2 Leota Sullivan
#3 Elta Sullivan, #4 Lorraine Keim
scanned from Shenandoah: A History of Our Town and Its People
Connection #2
The census records show that Lorraine and her widowed mother lived in the same rented house from 1920 to at least 1940, right next door to my grandmother’s uncle Robert Rucker. There were many opportunities for the families to get to know one another.

Keims' house on the left
Ruckers' house on the right
Third Street, Shenandoah, Virginia

Lorraine’s mother Hettie Keim was a widow most of her life. Her husband Adam, a carpenter for the railroad, apparently was badly burned and died in Hagerstown, Maryland. Lorraine spent the rest of her life with her mother, never marrying.

Connection #3
Lorraine signed the Guest Book right after Floyd Eppard. Floyd was my grandmother’s cousin. He was also an officer of the First National Bank there in Shenandoah. In the 1930 and 1940 census, Lorraine was a bookkeeper at a bank. And that bank was none other than FNB. In fact, she retired from FNB, and she and Floyd posed for a keepsake photo. If Lorraine retired at a normal retirement age, she did not live much longer.  She died at age 68 in 1969.

Floyd Eppard on the left with Lorraine
scanned from Shenandoah: A History . . . 











Lorraine may not have been related, but she was a part of my family’s lives for many years.








Don’t let the labyrinth of lampoons and belles-lettres languish at the A to Z April Challenge.


© 2015, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.

20 comments:

  1. Sometimes you don't have to be related by blood to be part of a family.

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  2. Great information girl!

    She might as well have been family, all those connections!

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    1. Really! I guess that's the small town, for ya - everybody knows everybody.

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  3. What a wild chain of connections - this is a really interesting theme you have going! Returning a drop in to my blog - thanks again for visiting!

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    1. Thanks - appreciate the compliment as well as the visit.

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  4. Small town connections...thank goodness for them. These connections made for an interesting look into Lorraine and Floyd's connection with the photo. One big family...that's a small town motto.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal
    AtoZ 2015 Challenge
    Minion for AJ's wHooligans

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    1. It's a good motto too. As I've delved into these Guest Books, I'm seeing connections of these friends not just with my grandparents but with each other as well.

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  5. That was a fun post. My Baha'i belief is that we are all connected in ways seen and unseen.

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    1. And I suppose if we look hard enough, we might find the unseen. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  6. this is a good way to go through your family history.

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    1. I've been learning a lot. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  7. Wow, so many connections. Lorraine was definitely a part of your family!

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    1. The moment I saw Floyd's name, I figured they might be connected somehow, but the other connections were a real surprise. Research can be fun.

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  8. This makes me think of the term I learned about in J. Mark Lowe's SLIG class---fictive kin. There are those folks that aren't related but are just as much a part of our family. I love the way you are able to piece all of these folks in. It's fascinating to watch.

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    1. "Fictive Kin" - what a great term. I need to save that for a blog-book title.

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  9. That was interesting with Lorraine and her mom living in the same rental house for 20 years.

    betty

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    1. Yes, it is interesting and a little sad to be unable to own their own home.

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  10. Inspiration to do my own research...Thx.

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    1. Good luck with that! Thanks for visiting.

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