The other side of the family tree


Oliver and Dorothy went on to raise their 4 children. Barbara is my mother. She met Dwight (my father) while they were in high school together and they married shortly after graduation.

I don’t know a whole lot about my father’s side of the family. But here’s what I do know. My great-grandparents were both immigrants from Sweden. I don’t know if they met before or after they came to the U.S. My grandmother, Florence, was married to a man named Carl, though I never met him. When my dad was in high school, Carl committed suicide by hanging himself in the basement of their home. As a child I knew he died, but never knew the circumstances until I was in high school. Even now I still don’t know the whole story.

Florence and Carl had four boys: Dwight, Fred, Leonard and Wayne. After Carl’s death, Florence never remarried. I know she worked at a hospital, I believe in administration. She raised the boys alone. I always wondered why she never remarried. I had many questions that I was always afraid to ask her: Did she ever date again? Was she lonely? Why did Carl hang himself? I wish I had asked her while she was still alive. I wasn’t as close to her as I was the family members on my mom’s side.

I do remember spending some time with Florence though. My siblings and I would go over to her house occasionally and spend the night with her. She was a very quiet woman. But I always enjoyed the time with her. She taught me to crochet. To this day I still crochet, and I’ve made it a tradition to make a blanket for each new baby in our family.

Sometimes we would go to a nursing home to visit Florence’s mom, Alma. I don’t remember much of her, only that we would visit her there. Sadly, I don’t have very many memories of this side of the family from my childhood.

When Florence was older, I remember she had fallen and broke her hip. She was put in a nursing home, and that’s where she died. I try to go and visit her at the cemetery, though I don’t go as often as I should.

NOTE: I found some history my dad had given me on this side of the family. You can read about that here.


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