Friday, August 16, 2013

1983 Family Letter Aug. 15

A letter written three days after the funeral services for Jean's sister, Virginia Ballantyne Dailey, "Aunt Virginia," who passed away on August 10, 1983, making Jean the matriarch of the Nathaniel Wallace Ballantyne family line, a position she then held for 28 years until her death in 2011.

A two-page letter was an oddity, but this is an interesting description of Aunt Virginia's funeral and the relatives who were there as well as the more ordinary family and New Vienna news.  Paragraph breaks have been added and typos and misspellings have been corrected in an effort to make the family news more readable.

Monday -
August 15, 1983

Dearest Family -

Guess you have all heard by now that Aunt Virginia had a stroke Wednesday and passed away that evening.  Dad, MV and I drove up Friday.  The girls and Tom said that she had just lived for Maureen's wedding and really enjoyed all the activities pertaining to that.  She was having nutritional problems plus - was down to about 90 pounds.  The last time I talked to her - about two weeks ago I noticed that her speech was slightly slurred but before the conversation was over had seemed to be about normal.  It was good to see the family.

Bill and his wife,  Mary Pat, came Saturday morning so didn't get to see as much of them (& their or rather his two sons, Scott and Health, 10 & 13) Tom & Leslie have bought a home in Naperville, IL  west of Chicago & have already sold their Laurel, MD home & will be moving in September & are looking forward to living and working in that area - Leslie is a medical technician & hopes to get a position in that area.  Hope that we and Serena can get together with them on a future trip to Chicago.  Sarah has moved to Pittsburgh (from Oil City) & we didn't recognize her husband, Jim at first - he has really gotten gray.  Sarah, two children, Gretchen, 20 and Danny, about 15 were both there.  MV referred to Gretchen as a typical teenager!  She will be a junior at W.V.U.  Mary Ellen flew up from Charleston, S.C. but Tom and their two boys didn't come.  They had been in the midst of entertaining house guests from Maine.  She is still selling real estate but not conducting tours as it takes away too much time from the family.  Joe and Barbara drove from Gaithersburg, MD.  They are talking about coming to see us a year from this fall.  Joe works for the Bureau of Wts. and Measurements and even able to go home at lunchtime to walk their dog - Barbara works in the Pentagon.

I forgot to mention that Tom Dailey works for Crisco & shouldn't have to do as much traveling coast to coast as he was doing.  Both Sarah and Maureen are selling some kind of cosmetics - Nutri _____.  Bill is back working for the Dept. of Agriculture - something to do with people who give their stamp of approval on meat, poultry, etc.  He didn't find private practice of law the best way to make a living.  The boys weren't too happy to have to be wearing "real shoes".  Sneakers have gotten so acceptable any place I doubt if many people would have lifted many eyebrows.  Bill did tell Dad that the Catholic service was the instigation of the girls & not his idea nor likely his mothers.  None of the other Ballantynes got to viewing or service as they are either gone or too far away though they did send flowers.  Not many of Jim's family are around either - a sister-in law and a close cousin & a nephew & his wife.  All the visitors were either from the nursing home or the in-laws relatives.

We had planned to go see Aunt Virginia this Friday on our way back from northern Ohio where Dad has a meeting in connection with the commissioners and the extension services.  August 22 she would have been 69.
HH, JB & MVU 8/12/83 Before seeing Daileys for visitation for Virginia

Her funeral was at 9:00 AM so we went back to the motel and swam & then had lunch in a new shopping development transformed from the freight yards of the Pennsylvania and Lake Erie Rail Road.  It was really a bustling place.  The restaurant was rated as Extra Value and ** stars.  Enjoyed looking around afterwards.  Picked up a couple of gifts and other items.  There is a Dansk outlet (thought about you Serena but didn't know what you had in mind but they had alot of seconds as well as first quality merchandise).  Got a gift for Tim Schamaun and his bride to be.  Their wedding is to be August 28 in Westerville.  (Don't know anyone around here that might be invited except the Stan Fawleys (Jr.)  Think Marvin is at Oxford, Ohio but not sure.  At least the Marvin Schamauns and Greg & his family should be there. [Schamaun details follow.]

I thought that Dansk was made in Denmark but found things made in Japan primarily.  They did have some real nice things.  There was also an FAO Schwartz store there where we picked up a couple of things for Wendy's birthday.  Wondered later if they might be too advanced, especially one of them but they could be put away til later if so.

We enjoyed the trip in the van - really have plenty of room to spread out and even take a good nap if the road isn't too rough.  We specially like the cruise control on it.  It may have looked rather out-of-place in a funeral procession but we didn't have too much choice.

Mie Young stayed out at Hannah's while we were gone.  Her father has called several times from Los Angeles where her sister In Young is visiting.  It looks now like she will be going to school this fall in the LA area and staying with friends of her mother's.  They do have two children about her age.  Hope that Kim is able to make arrangements to move to the US soon.

Last night was the annual Sunday School picnic.  It was held at the church outside - beautiful evening.  We just had home made ice creams and desserts, which was a change from our usual after church picnic someplace in the area.  The Messengers sang afterwards in the sanctuary.

I went to school today and things are shaping up for the start with the teachers meeting next Monday and students' arrival on Tuesday.  This is the first year in ? years that there is to be only one first grade so Roseanna Wills Curtis will be teaching reading this year instead of 1st. unless there is a big influx of first graders before long.  Last year there was only morning kindergarten and Miss Shirley taught reading in the afternoon.

Hope that the Morgans enjoyed the rafting at least one day.  It was good talking to them on the phone yesterday.  Also Roberta and Serena on Thursday, and John & X on Friday.  Was surprised to hear that Steve Weiss is getting married in January to a girl that went to Cedarville College.  Is she from Ohio or the New Jersey area or where?

Mary Virginia showed roses, etc. at the county fair . . . the judge was quite talkative so M.V. got a number of points for next year.  The county fair had a good turn out with some 20M attendance.  The News Journal must love that activity for they had plenty to write and have pictures about.

Clyde Irwin [1918-1987] came to our rescue again as we were having some drainage problems in our back yard, found some roots in the line plus several broken clay tile, which Clyde replaced with plastic tile, so hopefully that will be trouble free for some time.  The Commissioners are involved in a drainage problem in Blanchester so last Monday we stayed over in Wilmington with your Mother and I eating at the new Chinese restaurant there and then going to Blanchester.  Had time to visit the library and then Jean went to visit some squ dance friends, while I dreamed for a breath of fresh air during the smoke filled meeting.  I am a poor politician.

After a three week dry period we finally got an inch of rain, which has greened up our yard and put some life back into our garden.  The raspberries are starting to yield again.  Our new patch across the street look great.

[Love, etc.]

* * * * *
Marvin Schamuan 1924-1998, Marvin remarried in 1977.
Joanne Wester Schamaun 1926-1976
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Mary Crowson said...

Don't know if anyone beside Dad made the connection about Rosanne Wills Curtis was daughter of Vernon Wills (taught at ECHS?)and married Bob Curtis, son of long-time Wells employee, Arlene.

Catherine Uible Morgan said...

MV, thanks for sharing the info about Roseann which I did not know. Also I updated the Schamaun information as I was incorrect about Greg. Not the Greg from the former NV Schamaun family, but a person with a similar name and born the same year in Ohio, died in 2012.

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