Friday, October 26, 2007

Not Forgotten: An Addendum

I find it kind of ironic that I know enough about my great grandfather Victor that I can write four blog posts of his life and yet I knew my great grandmother Grace well and yet know very little about her past. Mostly it is because I don't have a scrapbook full of newspaper clippings from which to glean those little details that fill in the decade between the census reports. Even the census reports have been difficult as her maiden name is a very common one and tracing her ancestors has proved extremely difficult. So as an addendum to the writings on my great grandfather Victor, here is what I know about his wife, my great grandmother Grace.

Grace Viola was born in Iowa on September 15, 1897 and from 1900 until she was married, lived in Clinton, Iowa. I suspect that was where she was born but have no documentation to prove it. I do know that her father was Frank Isaac who was also born in Iowa but whose parents were both from Virginia. Grace's mother Annetta Jane is also listed as being born in Iowa but where she comes from is somewhat of a mystery to me. On the three census reports in 1900, 1910 and 1920 that I have on her lists her father as coming from Ohio, Virginia and Indiana and her mother from Virginia in all three cases. I suspect that I know who they are and that Virginia is where her father was born but have nothing more than a hunch for proof.

Grace went to the same college as Victor before the war so I suspect that is where they met and since they were married within a couple months of his return, where they dated. They had two children, my grandfather and my great uncle, whom I should blog about sometime and lived most of their lives in Rockford and Cedar Falls. This is where there is a great huge gaping blank in my knowledge of her life.

My personal memories of my grandmother Grace as I called her, begin when they moved up north from Florida after Victor had his several massive strokes. We always enjoyed seeing her because she would play cards with us for money (nickels) for hours on end when everyone else was busy doing other things. Although she was in her mid to late 80's at the time, she got around well and never really seemed that old to me.

After Victor died, she stayed for a while in her apartment near my grandparents before moving herself up to Albert Lea, Minnesota where she had an apartment in an assisted living community. She had a kitchenette to do some cooking but could go downstairs and enjoy a dinner prepared for her too. The building was probably ten stories tall and housed hundreds in similar conditions so she always had a group of friends to play games with and socialize. She lived there for a couple years before her heart stopped on January 13, 1989.

I went to the second funeral of my life and once again had to endure being herded past the coffin by my grandmother to see how "beautiful" Grace's corpse was. Afterwards, we moved her belongings out of the apartment into a rental truck and drove back across the snowy ground to Iowa and my grandparent’s house. All told, I probably have seven years worth of memories of her and they were mostly around playing Thirty-One for nickels. Not much to go on but all that I have

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