About Me

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Just to tell you a little about myself, my name is Vickie and I was born and raised in Kentucky. The majority of my ancestors have been in Kentucky since the 1790’s. I have always loved history, a good mystery and puzzles and that is what Family History Research is all about. As a child we would take day trips on Saturdays and head down some dirt road looking for old cemeteries. A lot of the time we weren't looking for anyone in particular, we just like to read the epitaphs. We would have a picnic lunch packed and have lunch at whatever cemetery we were at. If the weather was bad my Dad and I would go to a courthouse and dig through old records in musty old basements looking for our ancestors. So as you can see I have had an interest in Family History for quite some time.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Daisy Elnora Loftis

For my last ancestor for the year 2015, I am writing about someone near and dear to me and I am sure to all her other family as well.  She was someone I knew personally and who I loved with all my heart.  She was the epitome of LOVE!  You could feel the love radiating from her home just by driving down the lane going to her house.  Everyone who was ever there, family, friend or stranger, said the exact same thing about her.   The porch light was always on no matter how late you might be coming in and there was always food on the table, and you never went away hungry.  I loved to eat anything Mamaw made.  I do not like green beans to this day, but if Mamaw made them I would eat them, but no one else’s.  This very special person was my grandmother, my Mamaw, Daisy Elnora Loftis.  She was my Mom’s, mom and was born March 19, 1917 in Salem, Livingston County, Kentucky the daughter of Jasper Guy Loftis, 1895-1945 and Amy Susan Floyd, 1893-1968.  The following is the only picture I have of her when she was little and she is with her Mom and Dad in this picture.

Mamaw was the oldest of her eight siblings and she also had an older half-sister as well, making nine children that her mother had.  They were the following: Marguerite Rachel Floyd, 1914-2011, married Curtis Ashby Rushing, 1910-1959; J B Loftis, 1918-2004, married Dorothy Helen Beard, 1926-2009; Myrtle Mae Loftis, 1920-1998, married James Robert Moreland, 1917-1986; Christine Virginia Loftis, 1921-2015, married Joseph Benedict Alvey, 1902-1964; Willow Belle Loftis, 1924-1986, married George E. Watson, 1919-1991; Dorothy Elizabeth Loftis, 1927-1929, died of whooping cough and pneumonia; Bobbie Laverne Loftis, 1930-1975, married Paul Gregory, 1929-1979; and Norma Jean Loftis, married first William Earl Fox and then Percy Rex Martin, 1932-1998.

The following picture is from left to right: Daisy, Bobbie, Norma Jean, Willow Belle and Christine with their Mom, Amy, setting in front of them, taken in about 1950.  These five girls were always very close to each other.  Their other two sisters Marguerite and Mae never lived close and had left home when they were teenagers and Dorothy had died when she was just two.  Their brother J B had moved out to California right after World War II ended and lived there till the day he died.  Next are pictures of Marguerite Floyd Rushing in 1950, the only boy, J B Loftis in about 1940 and Mae Loftis Moreland in about 1940.  I have never seen a picture of little Dorothy, so there may never have been one.

Mamaw had a pretty tough life growing up, money was always tight and they all went to work pretty early in life, they were just dirt poor as the old saying goes.  Their Daddy worked in a number of the spar mines around Western Kentucky, and I know he worked at the Klondyke Mines in Livingston County in 1930, also the Bonanza Mines in the 1920’s.    Sometimes, unfortunately, he could be just plain lazy and Mamaw remembered at least twice of Night Riders coming and laying a bundle of switches on the front porch.   Back in those days if someone was lazy and not providing for their families, there were men that would take care of these people, you got one warning when a bundle of switches were laid on your front porch.  If you weren’t out and looking for a job the next day they came back and drug you out of the house and whipped you pretty good.  Mamaw said her Daddy never got whupped, because he always got the message and would usually have a job again in a couple of days.  Mamaw loved him dearly, but she said sometimes he made it hard to do so.  The following is a picture of her Daddy, who was sometimes called Jack, Jess and Jesse and every now and again he went by his middle name of Guy as well.  I only have the picture of him with his wife and daughter, Daisy and this one.  If any others ever existed of him, I have never seen them.  It could be they were just so poor they didn’t have the money to have any pictures taken.  I have a number of pictures of the family after he passed away, but not too many before that time.

Mamaw’s Mom took in laundry to earn money and try to make ends meet and Mamaw told me that by the time she was eight, she was helping to do the laundry that her Mom took in, as well as helping to take care of the smaller children.  Mamaw was only able to go to the eighth grade, her Daddy had wanted her to quit even sooner and go to work, but her Mom was able to convince him to let her go just a little while longer.  Mamaw had always wanted to go to high school, but in those days you had to pay to go to school and usually stay with someone in town, which you also had to pay for, and there was never enough money for her to do that.   After the eighth grade, Mamaw went to work full time, doing laundry, cleaning people’s houses and it seems like I remember her saying she worked at a store in Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky as well.  I wish I could remember the name of that store.  I don’t think any of her sisters or her brother went any further then the eighth grade either.  The following are some pictures of her Mom, Amy, who I remember really well as she died when I was ten years old.

Pretty soon my Mamaw, Daisy Elnora Loftis, ran into my Papaw, Ermon Edward Fraley, 1914-1994, and they started dating and the sparks flew between them.  Mamaw told me a story about this old car in the following picture.  She said, Papaw would help her get in the car, she would get her dress all settle nice around her and then Papaw would hop in the car on his side and start the car up.  They would be going down the road and there was some kind of button on his side of the car that he would pull, which would send a blast of air right where Mamaw was setting and it would blow her dress up over her head.  Papaw got a kick out of it, I can just hear him laughing now, and Mamaw said she would smack him and tell him she wouldn’t go out with him anymore unless he stopped doing that.  So he would stop and then the next time they were together, pretty soon he would pull that button again and up would go her dress and smack, he was laughing again.  Mamaw always laughed when she told me that story.

A little over a year after they started dating, they were married on March 19, 1938 in Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky in the upstairs room of a house across the street from the courthouse, it was Mamaw’s 21st birthday.  I know I have taken at least a couple of pictures of that house, but can I find one of them now when I want one, NO.  The following picture shows the house in 2005 when I took this picture, that was the first house that my Mamaw and Papaw lived in and where their first child, Barbara was born, just outside of Marion going towards Fredonia.

Mamaw and Papaw settled into married life and soon their children started coming, Barbara Ann Fraley who married Curtis Leon Fritts 1934-2005; then my Mom, Erma Jean Fraley 1940-2011, who married Duell Franklin Beard 1935-2009; Guy Robert Fraley who married Eleanor Jane Summers; Amy Corene Fraley who married Thomas Edward Brooks 1943-1997, then Joseph Monroe Mitchell; Connie Rose Fraley 1947-1950; Iva Nell Fraley who married Roger Dale Griffin and Edward Jewell Fraley 1952-1954.

Pretty soon World War II started and my family was effected the same as most of the rest of the nation and the world.  My Papaw was called up in 1943 in the United States Navy Reserve and was sent to the South Pacific and was on board a hospital ship as a corpsman.  Mamaw said it was a very hard time for her and she worried about him all the time he was gone.  She was raising chickens and selling them and their eggs to help make ends meet and somehow she had enough money to buy a house while Papaw was gone, along with what she got from Papaw’s service pay.  I have a picture of that house she bought, that I took in 2011, when I took my Mom back home the last time, and I have the following pictures too, one of Papaw in uniform and one that my Mamaw sent to him during the war of her holding Amy who was born right before he left and then from left to right my Mom, Guy and Barbara.

The war finally ended and Papaw was able to come back home to his family, where the last three children were added to their family.  The following pictures show Connie Rose, Iva with Mamaw and Papaw and Edward Jewell.  The pictures of Connie and of Edward were taken not to long before they passed away, they both apparently had the same thing wrong with them.  My Mom and her other siblings never said a lot about it, but I know my Mom really had a hard time when they passed away and I am sure the others did as well.  I also know my grandparents suffered for a long time to, wondering if there was anything they could have done differently, but both deaths were pretty sudden and seem to be almost the same type of thing happening to the both of them.  My Mamaw told me a few different times that a mucus like pus was coming out of their eyes and ears, they both had really bad coughs and high fevers, right before they died and the doctors didn’t really know what the problem might have been.  We now know it might have possibly been encephalitis.   They had taken Connie to the Children’s Hospital in Louisville, because the doctor in Marion didn’t know what was wrong and that is where she passed away.  Mamaw told me that after Connie died the doctors wanted to do an autopsy, but that was such a new concept to them and most people at that time, that they didn’t want it done to Connie.  Mamaw told me that after Edward Jewell died, she and Papaw both blamed themselves and wish they had let the doctors perform the autopsy on Connie and then maybe Edward wouldn’t have died.  I don’t know how they did it losing a child, let alone losing two children within a four year time frame, I know it haunted them both till the day they died.

Mamaw and Papaw and their children moved out to Woodlake, Tulare County, California in 1953, because Mamaw’s brother, J B Loftis and his wife, Helen Beard had moved out there in 1946 after they got married and told them jobs were plentiful and they would love it there.  The above picture of Edward Jewell was taken at Mooney’s Grove in Visalia that year.  They found work right off, but only stayed for about a year, they were so homesick they had to get back to Kentucky and so they packed up and went back home.  They moved to the Hardin’s Knob area of Crittenden County when they got back to Kentucky and that is where Edward got sick and died in 1954.

In 1959, my grandparents left Crittenden County for the last time and moved up to Hebbardsville in Henderson County, Kentucky about 70 miles north.  My Mom and Dad had gotten married in 1957 and my Aunt Barb and Uncle Leon had gotten married in 1955 and they both stayed in Marion for a little bit longer.  My Aunt Iva started third grade there at Hebbardsville Elementary and Aunt Amy and Uncle Guy as well as Aunt Iva all graduated from Henderson County High School just like I did, a few years later.   They lived in at least three different houses that I can remember before my Papaw built the house that they would continue to own and live in until 2006.  The following three pictures shows one of the houses in Henderson County they lived in when I was just little, that is me on the front porch and with my Aunt Iva out in the yard at one of the houses and the house Papaw built in the 1960’s.  After they moved out to their house off of Hwy 416 in Hebbardsville, I would go out there on Friday’s and spend the weekend every chance I got.  After I got to Middle School and High School I could catch the bus that took me to their house and would stay all weekend when possible and just ride the bus to school on Monday mornings sometimes as well.  I loved to be out there with them.

Mamaw went to work at Henderson County Middle School as a cook in the lunch room in 1970 and worked there for the next ten years.  When I was in Middle School I would always go in and talk to her and I even worked in the lunch room as a helper when I was in seventh grade.  You got your lunch for free if you helped during your lunch hour.  Usually your job was washing down the tables, sweeping the floors and taking out the trash.   She really liked the ladies she worked there with and so did I, they were all really sweet.  The one I remember the most was Mary Clouse, and that is mainly because they lived on the other hill across from my grandparents off of Hwy 416.  We always called her Aunt Mary and we still do to this day.  I was hoping to go and visit with her when I was home in August of this year, but I just didn’t have enough time.  I did get to go see her and visit when I was home three years ago though.  The following two pictures of Mamaw were taken in 1974 and 1975 when she was working at HCMS.

In 1988 Mamaw and Papaw celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and their children threw a big party for them at Atkinson Park in Henderson, Kentucky.  The following are just a couple pictures from that day.  Mamaw had never had a wedding ring, they just didn’t have the money for one back in those early days.  In the picture where they are setting Papaw had just given her a gold wedding band, she was thrilled to say the least.  We had all been taking our rings off and trying each other’s on and having her try on our rings too while setting around the kitchen table a few days before.  She never suspected what we were really up to and that was trying to see what size ring Papaw needed to get for her.  To say she was surprised is an understatement.

Life moved on and times got better, the family grew, with 15 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren when my Papaw, Ermon Edward Fraley, died August 4, 1994 at their home in Hebbardsville, Kentucky they had been married for 56 years.   It was a devastating blow to all of us, but one we had been preparing for since he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just a few weeks before.  Once again my Mamaw knew heartache, but she was strong and nothing could get her down for long and for the next 12 years she went on without her sweetheart by her side, but her kids and grandkids were always there for her, always making sure she had everything she needed.

Mamaw’s eyesight was getting worse and so she couldn’t see real well those last few years, but she knew where everything was and so she continued to stay out at their home in Hebbardsville.  There was always someone calling or stopping by to check on her pretty much every day.  The Clouse family on the other hill, even cleaned out a lot of the trees and bushes in the gully between their homes so that they could see through to her house better.  They told her anytime she needed something to just call and they would be right there and during the night if she flipped on the lights in the kitchen they knew she needed help and they would be over there in a heartbeat.   Aunt Mary has two sons Don and Ricky who still live on the hill too and they kept her yard all mowed and kept things fixed around the house if one of us wasn’t going to be there before it needed it really bad.  Ricky and I are the same age and we use to wonder all over the woods around Mamaw’s house and his house.  We would swing from grapevines in the gully, are climb in the big old trees behind Mamaw’s house and set up there for hours.  They were the best kind of neighbors to have for sure.

Mamaw loved to set outside and it was getting harder for her to walk down the steps, so we all pitched in some money and with the help of my cousin, Teresa’s, husband, George, he built a deck off her back door.  George also put in a ramp so she didn’t have to maneuver down the stairs anymore.  The following picture I took of her on her porch as she always called it, on Mother’s Day in 2005 when I had gone back to visit.

In 2006 Mamaw was starting to have some weak spells and had fallen a few times so Aunt Barb convinced her to come up to her house in Valparaiso, Indiana and spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with her.  The other girls, Aunt Amy and Aunt Iva lived in Henderson and both were working at the time and my Mom, Jean lived in Utah and Uncle Guy lived in Florida, so they couldn’t run out to the house every single day to check on her.  Mamaw agreed and so Aunt Barb came and got her around the first of November and took her home with her.  About a week or so after Thanksgiving, Mamaw apparently had, had some small little strokes or something similar.  My cousin Phyllis who is a nurse lived close to her Mom, Barbara, and so she was coming over and checking on Mamaw every day.  Sometime on December 3rd or 4th I think it was, Mamaw couldn’t talk or move and so they took her to the Porter Hospital there in Valparaiso, where she passed away on December 5, 2006 with all of her children around her bedside.

The lane leading back to their house seemed so lonely and forlorn the week we were all there to say our last goodbyes.  The house on the hill was bustling with activity, but it was not the same as when they were both there to greet all of us.  The following are pictures my husband took the week we said our last goodbyes.

She was taken back to Kentucky and was buried beside her sweetheart and their two little children, Connie and Edward at the Deer Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Sheridan, Crittenden County, Kentucky on December 11, 2006.  When Mamaw passed she had 15 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and 6 great-great-grandchildren, but only 4 were still living.  The following is a picture of her five surviving children, from left to right, Jean, Barb, Guy, Amy and Iva, Mamaw’s grave that day and all 15 of her grandchildren at her funeral in 2006.   There are now as of December 28, 2015 = 28 great-grandchildren and 33 great-great-grandchildren, if I haven’t missed any, but I think I have them all accounted for now.  I am pretty sure the great-grand’s are done, but I am sure they will continue to be more great-great-grands in the future.

I was just at the cemetery in August this year, my cousin, Phyllis, took this picture of me by their grave.

The old Dolly Parton song said it best when my Mamaw passed away, “The ole' family tree is shedding its leaves, But we'll all meet in Heaven again, Oh, she's an angel Let her fly, let her fly, She's gone home to glory, To her home in the sky, When God sees her comin', Heaven's choir will smile and sing, "Oh she's an angel, let her fly, let her fly, Ooh, she's an angel, let her fly”.

Our special Angel is no longer with us, but we think about her almost every day and miss her constantly.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Duell Franklin Beard

My ancestor this week is my Daddy, Duell Franklin Beard, son of Aubrey David Beard and Jessie Holeman Doss.  Daddy was born September 7, 1935 in Providence, Webster County, Kentucky and was the last child of his parents.  From my Papaw Beard’s journal we read the following about the day my Daddy was born.  “Jessie gets me up at 3:30 A.M. Doctor comes at 5:00 A.M. I get breakfast at 6:00 A.M.   An eight & 1/4 lb. boy gets here at 7:15 A.M.  Dr. Franklin brings a nurse.  Baby's name, Duell Franklin Beard."  All of Daddy’s close family called him Tog from the time he was small and he was given this nickname by his mother when she saw some "children’s togs" (clothes) advertised in a store display window.   His siblings as well as his nieces and nephews to this day still refer to him as Tog and Uncle Tog, most everyone else called him Frank.  I took the following picture in 2011, as I drove through the little town of Providence.

Daddy’s mother Jessie was married four other times and so he has three half-brothers as well as his seven full siblings, who were all the following: Charles William Teague, 1919-2008, married Mattie Marie Braden, 1920-1977, they were divorced, then Marjorie Louise Degenhardt, 1923-1995; Harold Crawford Walls, 1924-1997, married Mildred June Lynn, 1931-1986, they were divorced, then Lucy M. Wright; Dorothy Helen Beard, 1926-2009, married J B Loftis, 1918-2004; George Anderson Beard, married Donna Jean Beair, they were divorced, then Lois Louise Jones, 1939-2009; Audrey Dale Beard, 1930-2014, married Robert Ray Sharp, 1931-2002, they were divorced, then Charles ‘Bud’ West, 1921-2010; Donald Ray Beard, 1932-2004, married Bertha Irene Woodburn, 1938-2001; Jackie Loy Beard, 1934-2004, married Mary Howard; Jack’s twin sister Violet Joy Beard, married Norris Mahan and the baby of the family, Bobby David Corley, married Charlene McDowell.  All ten of these children were either born in Webster or Crittenden Counties in the state of Kentucky.  The following is a picture of my Daddy when he was about a year old and then just a little bit older, being held by his father Aubrey.  Also one of my Daddy next to his Mom, Jessie, then his sister Violet and his brother, Jack in the white clothes and long curly hair.

A couple of years after my Daddy was born the family moved back over to Crittenden County where they lived in a number of different homes throughout the county.  My grandparents never really got a long and by 1940 things were really starting to go downhill for them.  They were living in an old house back behind the Love Graveyard in Crittenden County in 1940.  That little house was still standing in 2012, though no one lives there any longer.  From what Daddy told me about some of the houses they lived in when he was a kid, this one probably looks better now, than it did when they lived there.  I took the following pictures of that house when I was back home in 2012.  Between the two pictures of that house is also a picture of my Daddy and Uncle Jack, that has always reminded me of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, which may have been take somewhere near this house.  Daddy is the taller of the two even though Uncle Jack is 18 months older.

In 1941 they left the above house and moved to a house on Walker Street in Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky where the family continued to live until July of 1943.  My grandparents had gotten divorced in 1942 and my Papaw Beard moved out of the house and rented a little room there in Marion, while Mama Jessie and the kids continued to live in the house on Walker Street.  These were bitter and trying times for my Daddy and his siblings, but they all eventually made it through and turned out to be some very fine people.  On July 12, 1943 Papaw Beard took his seven children, Helen, George, Dale, Don, Jack, Sis and my Daddy and boarded a train in Princeton, Kentucky for California.   After a very long tiring and slow trip on a troop train, they arrived in Tulare, California on July 19th.   World War II was in full swing so that is why they were traveling on a troop train.  My Daddy’s, Uncle George, his father’s brother and his cousin, Peggy, met them at the train station and took them to the small town of Woodlake where they lived for several years.  The following pictures are of the train tracks leading away from Princeton that I took when I was home in 2011 and a couple I found online of an old truck that might look like the one Daddy and them road to the train station in, from Marion to Princeton and one of the train depot in Tulare, Tulare County, California about the time they arrived.

After arriving in Woodlake they moved in with their Daddy’s sister and her family, Aunt Nina and Uncle Clyde and their children Buster and Peggy.  Aunt Nina’s house was pretty small, but somehow she made it work for a while until Papaw Beard could find a job and get back on his feet some.  Papaw Beard was able to get a job as a guard at Sequoia Field in Visalia during the war, but after the war he had to look for other work.  After a few months they left Aunt Nina’s house and moved out to McGee’s Camp, just outside of Woodlake and lived there for about a year.  There wasn’t much room for everyone at the camp and the building they lived in wasn’t much more than some boards and nails with cracks in the walls, and so Papaw Beard worked on convincing his brother, George to let them live in the house on Walnut Street, that George had built for their mother.  Uncle George finally agreed on the condition that Papaw Beard would now take care of their brother, Petieman, who was mentally handicapped.  Papaw Beard agreed, and so the family moved into that house and lived there for a number of years.  It was the nicest house any of them had ever lived in before and they so enjoyed living in a house where rain and snow would not being blowing through the cracks in the walls and onto their beds.  It was a palace compared to everything else they were use too.  The following is a picture of that house, it is still standing, but has been added onto and doesn’t even look the same anymore.

They all like California for the most part, but the kids all missed their mother.  Over the next several years Daddy and his brothers would hitchhike back and forth to Kentucky.  They would just get a hankering for home and their Mother and take off, usually without telling their Dad, because he would have said no to their request.  I can’t remember for certain how old Daddy said he was the first time he hitchhiked back home, but I am thinking it was when he was around 15 or 16 years old.  Times were different then and it was safer to, for the most part.  Daddy said he was always able to catch a ride and never really had to walk too far.  The following are some pictures of all of Daddy’s siblings.  First his sisters, Dale, Helen & Sis in 1949; then Don, George, Jack and Daddy in 1951; then their mother with their two oldest brothers in 1939, Harold Walls on the left and William Teague on the right; then their little brother Bobby Corley in 1942.

Daddy learned to play guitar on one of his hitchhiking trips back to Kentucky, when his little brother, Bobby let him use a guitar he had just recently gotten.  Daddy never learned to read music, he played by ear and soon was picking and a grinning and never stopped till the day he died.  Daddy was always good looking, at least as his daughter I sure thought so.  The following are just a couple of pictures of Daddy in California when he was in high school.  In the one his sister, Violet or Sis as everyone called her is in the dark top and white skirt and in the other she is in the front of the sled.  They were up at Sequoia National Park in that one.  If anyone that reads this knows of an Alma and an Alta, who lived in Woodlake in the 1950’s, I would love to hear from you.  I ask Aunt Sis about them and she couldn’t remember their last names, but she said they were in the same grade as her.  Maybe they have some pictures of my Daddy they could share with me.

Daddy quit high school in 1952, bummed around for a while and then joined the Air Force, but ended up getting a medical discharge less than a year later, after he got rheumatic fever I believe it was.  After he got out of the Air Force, Daddy went back to Woodlake, California and graduated from Woodlake Union High School in 1955 and got his diploma.  Right after that he hitchhiked backed to Kentucky again, where he became friends with Harold Fraley, they both like to go to honky tonks and they both were excellent singers and since Daddy played guitar, a lot of times they could get their drinks for free.  J  Anyway it wasn’t long before my Daddy met my Mom, because Harold Fraley was her Uncle and they started dating and the rest is history.  Three days after my Mom graduated from high school on May 11, 1957 at the home of the Rev. David Winters in Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky my Dad and Mom were married, thus begin their next 52 years together.  The following is their wedding picture.

Daddy and Mom soon started their family and I (Vickie Dale Beard) was the first to join in, followed by my sisters, Kimberly Ann ‘Kim’ Beard and Deanna Jeanette ‘Deno’ Beard, and then my brothers, Anthony Franklin ‘Tony’ Beard and Barry Alan Beard.  My Dad and Mom had us five kids, followed by 14 grandchildren and at this date, December 2015, there are 16 great-grandchildren living, twin girls passed away shortly after birth.  The following are some family pictures, first my Dad and me with my Mom who is pregnant with my sister, Kim, in Marion, Kentucky in 1959; then me and my sister, Kim with Daddy at Church in Visalia, California in 1963; then me and my sisters, Kim and Deanna, with our parents in 1965 in Henderson, Kentucky.  Then us five kids in 1975 and a picture of my two little brothers, with our parents in about 1982, Barry’s in the shorts, hope he doesn’t shoot me for posting this picture of him.  J

While I was still living at home we lived in Kentucky, California and Utah, however after I was married my parents and my siblings also lived in Texas for a little while.  My Dad was an instructor at the Job Corp, first at Camp Breckinridge in Morganfield, Kentucky and then at the Job Corp in South Weber, Utah, he taught plumbing and electrical while he worked there.  After my Dad quit working for the Job Corp he and my Mom became property managers for over 30 years, managing apartments, houses, and mobile home parks as well as storage units.  My Dad did all the maintenance and my Mom collected the rents, kept the books and also did most of the cleaning after people moved out.

Like I said previously my Daddy loved music and kept us all entertained for years.  We loved his cow songs, his imitations of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Hank Snow and Ernest Tubb just to name a few.  Daddy even won an all-expense paid trip from Salt Lake City to Nashville in a talent contest in 1983, he was very proud of that accomplishment.  Daddy could play guitar, piano, banjo, mandolin, harmonica and a few other instruments, all he had to do was have someone play a song on whatever instrument and then he could play it right back to them.  He never could figure out the fiddle though and I know he really wanted to learn that one.  He was also in the choir in high school at WUHS in 1955.  After they moved to Utah he was always playing for church parties and at the local nursing homes and other groups, his name got around and he was playing every Friday and Saturday nights and sometimes even in the middle of the week as well for many, many years.  The following are just a few pictures of him in the high school choir from his yearbook, a newspaper article with him and a couple of ladies that sang with him for a little while and Daddy and his guitar in 1962, the 1970’s and in the 1990’s.

Daddy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and so he slowed down on his music, he was embarrassed to be shaking while playing and singing and he thought he didn’t sound as good.  We of course thought he still sounded just fine and we would get him to play and sing as often as we could.  I even started having a birthday party for him every year up at my house and would invite some of his music friends and other friends so that he could sing and play for all of us.  Following are a couple of pictures from those parties, Daddy with his friends the Capener’s in 2007 and 2008 in my backyard.  In the first picture he is playing a guitar that belongs to the Capener’s now, but originally had belonged to Johnny Cash.

The birthday party in 2008 was the last one we were able to have with Daddy.  That next year he just wasn’t feeling himself, he seem to be slowing down a lot and the Parkinson’s seem to be even more pronounced.  My first grandchildren, twin boys, were born on May 10, 2009 and the first Sunday in July they were blessed at church and Daddy was there to see them and be in the circle when their father gave them their blessings.  He was pretty weak and we had a stool for him to set on while he was in the circle.  Just a little over a week later he suffered a massive heart attack early in the morning and lasted almost two weeks before he passed away at the age of 73, on July 27, 2009.  The doctors were amazed that he survived the heart attack because his heart was so damaged.  I believe he wanted to give us all a chance to get use to the fact that he wouldn’t be with us anymore.  I don’t know that over six years later we are any more use to it, we still miss him so much and I know we always will.   Daddy was buried at the Clearfield City Cemetery in Clearfield, Davis County, Utah on August 3, 2009 and my Mom was buried beside him two years later on October 8, 2011.

“Together Forever”

The following are some videos I did with my Daddy singing a number of different songs that I posted on You Tube.  You can access them from this link: Daddy's videos