Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday's Obituary - Happy 97th Birthday Daddy

Today is my dad's birthday. Happy Birthday Dad!! My dad would have been 97 years young but best of all he would have been living. Oh how I wish he would have lived on, but he didn't, but he did - he lived on through me and my brother, his two grandsons and his one great granddaughter at the time AND of course his wife, my mother. It is so hard to lose someone you love, and sometimes it feels like it will be almost impossible to go on without them. We had no service, no memorial, no family gathering to let him know how much we loved him and how much we would miss him, no stories to share, no jokes to tell - nothing. We did this because those were his wishes and we wanted to honor him but I don't think he knew how much we needed that closure. This was 7 February 2006 and 8 plus years later we all still feel the same- kind of in a limbo, no closure. I have given this a lot of thought over the years and shed a lot of tears. I have talked to him as if he were still here waiting for the answers to questions. He will always to be in my heart and a big part of my life but it is time to let go and let him rest in peace. Never really understood that statement "rest in peace" because what else are they going to do, but maybe just maybe they are still hanging around trying to give comfort and reassurance to the living that they are ok and they will be seeing us again down the road.

My dad wrote his own obituary and I kept it in tact except a little updating, plus I added the first picture. The cost was prohibited unlike the old days of these community notes being free but it is the least we can do for him............... we certainly wanted to honor him and tell his story. Hopefully it is captured here. But I don't know that it tells how loving he was, how patient, how much he loved his family and wanted only the best for him, how much his advise and counseling meant to each of us...... yes, I am my fathers daughter and very proud of it.

Sacramento Bee Newspaper,
Sacramento, California 12 Feb2006
In Roseville, CA, February 7, 2006, 9:20pm, born August 17, 1917 in Alliance, Ohio, age 88. Resident of Roseville, CA, and a long time California resident, 1957. Survived by his wife of 63 years, Mary Jane (Little) Gardner. Loving father of Sandra Lee Aberle-Benward & son-in-law Charles David Benward of Citrus Heights, CA and Robert Michael Gardner and daughter-in-law Nancie Grogan of Castro Valley, CA, 3 grandchildren, Michael John Aberle & his wife of Kristi Athena Aberle of Galt, CA, Jason Gardner Aberle of Roseville CA & Kimberly Ann Sheffield of San Lorenzo, CA. One great granddaughter, Ashlyn Makayla Aberle of Galt, CA. Son of John Patterson and Margaret Evelyn (Branfield) Gardner formerly of Alliance, OH, Del Ray Beach, FL and San Carlos, CA; Brother of Lois Ann Seidner and brother-in-law Richard John Seidner of Surprise, AZ and brother of Vancil Roy Gardner (deceased) of Alliance, OH. Graduated from Beaver Senior High School, Beaver, PA in 1935; attended Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh, PA. He served with Battery C, 1st Battalion, 135th Field Artillery Regiment, 37th Division, Ohio National Guard prior to World War II, Attended Officer Candidate School #23 at Ft Benning, Georgia, 1942. Served with the 385th Infantry Regiment, 76th Infantry Division during World War II; Army of Occupation in Germany with 33rd Field Artillery Battalion 1st Infantry Division, 867th Field Artillery Battalion (280mm Gun); Korean Military Assistance Group (KMAG) as Artillery Advisor to II Corps Artillery (Korea); attended military schools at Fort Monroe, VA, Fort Lee, VA, Fort Sill, OK, & Fort Bliss, TX.  
He retired from military service in 1962 at Fort Winfield Scott, Presidio of San Francisco, CA in the grade of Lieutenant Colonel, Artillery, after serving with the San Francisco-Travis Air Defense Command. Awarded the Expert and Combat Infantry Badge, awarded the Bronze Star Medal twice, the Commendation Ribbon with Medal Pendant. Retired from San Mateo County Assessor's Office in 1977 and El Dorado County Assessor's Office in 1983. Life member of the Military Officers Association of America, life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7889, life member of Disabled American Veterans, life member of National Association for Uniformed Services, member of the 76th Infantry Division Association. At Lieutenant Colonel Gardner's request, no services will be held. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and a friend to one and all. He will be interned in Arlington Military Cemetery, Wash DC. The family requests that any remembrances be made to the American Cancer Society.

Published in the Sacramento Bee on 2/12/2006. 

(Note: at the last minute this second photo was NOT included in the obituary)
Since 2006 the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, Dixon, California has been opened and Mom has changed plans from Arlington National Cemetery to the new Sacramento Valley National Cemetery for both of them to be buried. It would have been a very prestige's to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC (by the way, one of my favorite cities to visit) but it makes more sense, it is easier to visit in the future.  Since they are both veterans they will both be honored. 

By the way, dad was cremated and is just waiting patiently for his beloved Mary Jane to join him someday. She is now 94 years and has been waiting almost 8 years to join him. 

-- do a post- Beaver Senior High School, Beaver PA 1935  - I attended reunion in 1999/2000
--want to do more reading about the 1920's in Alliance, Stark County, Ohio and through the 1920's, 30's, 40's & into the 50's
--research more about Military Officers Association of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7889,  Disabled American Veterans, National Association for Uniformed Services, 76th Infantry Division Association.
-- I have a lot of the paperwork my dad kept about his military status                                                                            

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Travel Tuesday - Family Reunions

I remember my mom and my dad separately talking about attending family reunions in their youth. This was before they married- Millcreek Park, Youngstown Ohio was mentioned by my mom but that is it.
I wish I had the foresight to ask each of them about these reunions but my dad has passed on and my mom's memory doesn't remember much anymore...... my loss, my children and my grand children's loss.....

Why is it we seem to think about these questions after the fact when it is too late to ask? This past
year I have really been concentrating on finding living descendants. Maybe some of them might have participated or have some of the stories that their parents or grandparents passed down to them........  I can only hope.

Anyway this year my oldest son Michael has decided he wants to start new family memories and activities. He planned out the FIRST "ABERLE" FAMILY REUNION.......  My last name is BENWARD but my two boys last name is ABERLE, sons of my first husband. I was reluctant at first but then got into the spirit of it. Lots of plans were made, lots of activities and lots of down time planned. Invitations went out, RSVP's came back. AND we were a go........ Four families responded that they would be attending. We talked about what we wanted to do, eat, other activities, who would be coming and when and more. Each of us had a task or two - so we all had a hand in making this a successful reunion.New memories were made this year and I hope that we continue to gather each year.New memories were made this year and I hope that we continue to gather together each year.


Reservations were made at Jenkinson Lake (aka Sly Park Lake). It is located in Pollack Pines, California in the Sly Park Recreation Area. The Resort offers camping with full hookups. It is a beautiful place to bring families and young children.  Michael reserved two camping sites for July 6 Saturday - Tuesday July 10.

                                   This is our first family reunion picture. Isn't this a beautiful place!

l-r ..... Chuck Benward, Sandra (Gardner-Aberle) Benward, Lisa Cole and Michael Aberle, Jason & Krisi Aberle, Leslie and Travis Aberle with Sasha  (Peanuts ran out of picture)
front row l-r.....  Ashlyn Aberle, Aden Aberle and Josh Nickell (Krisi's son)

       Our camp site looked like tent city - large, medium and small tents, lots of coolers and chairs set out
                                                         Jason Aberle trying to stay cool
                                                Leslie Aberle and Ashlyn Aberle playing cards
                        Aden Aberle, Josh Nickell, & Ashlyn Aberle - A little down time with puzzles and coloring

                                      Granddaughter: Ashlyn Aberle with her original tye dye shirt
                                  Grandson: Aden Aberle showing off his original tye dye shirt

Both sites were flat, and plenty of space. Trees for shade, large circular pit for those hot dogs and smore's, a BBQ grill for all other foods. Three Aberle families were camping out overnight (Benward family came in for day to day use- we don't camp anymore unless in a camper or hotel) . The area was great for bike riding so all three grandchildren brought their bikes. Also we brought all types of water equipment. One of the activities was tye dying t-shirts. They did that in the early morning hours before I arrived. They were hanging from the trees in zip lock bags and were taken home in the bags. They had fun. Another activity was a scavenger hunt.......... a child with an adult of their choice - three teams in all. Great time.

                                           Travis Aberle and Josh Nickell throwing the ball
                                 Michael Aberle getting that fire going for the SMORES ....... yummy!!
Grandpa Chuck helping grandson Aden Aberle with a USA puzzle. Ashlyn Aberle and Josh Nickells coloring
                              Travis and Leslie Aberle's dog  Sasha. She is so friendly and loves playing
                          Travis and Leslie Aberle's dog Peanuts. He is so cute & very friendly. Loves the outdoors
Everyone down to the lake and into the water. New blow-up boat for Michael's birthday. Everyone tried it out. They all loved it. Everyone in the water..........

I forgot that the boys took their children out fishing - no luck but they loved it.

New memories were made this year 
I hope that we continue to gather together each year

We are already planning 2015 Aberle Family Reunion.............  
................bigger, better but just plain fun & relaxing 

(I would like to rent a motor home for next year and stay over the weekend....... don't want to miss a minute with my grandchildren)

NOTE: need to document this a little better with more details.
Want to search for newspapers in Youngstown, OH for any news of the family reunions my mom was talking about.
Do a little more research to locate living descendants of the Gardner Family, Little Family, Branfield Family, Bristol Family?  OK this is going to take some time to do this. I am aware of living descendants in the Little Family in another branch but I have not asked them about my mom's branch, they may know. Duh!!
Have not done much research on the Aberle side either, so looks like that is on the schedule too.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Those Places Thursday - Only in Small Town America

I have been very lucky to visit one of my favorite cousins this past week in Homer, Cortland Co, New York. It is so relaxing. The weather is great and a little rain at night. The country side and all lawns and trees are wonderful shades of green - all shades of green NOT BROWN or YELLOW! OMG it is so green here, so beautiful, so green. Did I tell you how green it is here?   AND there are no fences.

I am staying with my cousin Barb (Barbara June Little Bean GEBHARDT). We have lived day by day, relatives and neighbors coming and going visiting, sitting on the front porch watching the world go by.

I was reading the local newspaper "The Homer News" (July 3, 2014 page 2) while drinking my homemade lemonade. (N o I am not sucking on a piece of straw)
The Letters to the Editor column caught my eye...... and after I read it I said to myself 'this would only happen in small town America.............. titled:

To the Editor:

Last Thursday and Friday, along with many other Village residents, we experienced the longest power outage that I have experienced in 25 years of being in business, Outages never exceeded
4 hours or so even during the storms in the late nineties.  Our losses were significant and we must make preparations for occurrences to happen more frequently.

Gone are the days when the linemen from Niagara Mohawk lived and worked in the communities they serviced. Those days, the local workers knew the power grid inside and out, prevented problems and would be proactive at the first indicator of a problem.  Our aging electric infrastructure is now owned by a British Company and they rely on crews from up to hundreds of miles away.
When news of the long term outage began to spread, contrary to the reports from National Grid, we began to make preparations to move much of the savable product to off-site locations. We were able to accomplish this because of the kindness of local businesses as well as friends and staff. An enormous amount of work was completed in a very short amount of time, enabling us to reduce our losses.

We would like to than Laurence Beaudry, Kathy and John Sears and Gerry Contento for offering us the use of their refrigerators and freezers. Thanks also to Fran Endler and the folks at Contento's who dropped what they were doing and began work on obtaining a generator large enough to power a store, and to the many friends who were able to lend a hand moving product.
People say living/working in a small community where news travels fast and everybody knows everyone's business can be a drawback. Sometimes..... its a blessing.

Debbie and Kevin Williams

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Travel Tuesday - My New Buddy- Miss Mabel Flip Pal

I am in the State of New York, County of Cortland, Village of Homer. I have been here almost a week and am loving it - except for the humidity. Everything is green, green, green all shades of wonderful green........ NOT brown or yellow!

Isn't there a way of piping the excess water across country to help the Midwest and the western states ? I can see that happening why aren't we building it? They can build that pipe all the way from Alaska we can build one across the country...........  transferring water wherever/whenever it is needed. Problem solved.

I have spent several evenings going through my cousins family albums and scanning pictures, obituaries, and some documents. Everyone was very impressed at the simplicity and ease while scanning the pictures and items........  can you guess what I used? Yes, my trusty little FLIP PAL. This was a good purchase.  It was a little work horse for several days through about 7 albums. Even I am  very impressed. I even scanned the backs of most pictures too......  don't want forget names and dates. Anyone thinking about a FLIP PAL go for it , get off the fence and buy it, it is worth every penny. I have not done large items that you can stitch it back together,  but I will ............ my friend Marilyn  has used that feature and love it. More to learn. I did buy rechargeable AA batteries so I always seem to have one set in the charger while using the other set. The batteries seems to last quite a long time which does make it very portable and good for traveling. Good for libraries and courthouses and visiting with other family members.  Are you thinking you can't live without a FLIP PAL? Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society has a link for information and purchasing and Yes if you purchase thru that link we receive a little back in our account............ thank you.

I am collecting my stories for the LITTLE and BRISTOL family's (New York and England) It is so great to be able to put a name to a face in the photos- a lot more personal and adds a little more personality to the bones.

 So much work to do when I do get home.

AND tomorrow is another laidback day..............  ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sympathy Saturday - More About Elizabeth Dietz Gardner

Great Grandmother Elizabeth DIETZ GARDNER
                                                                on my fathers side
                                      Death Certificate from Ohio Department of Health


Death Certificate........   Ohio Dept of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, Certificate of Death 34820
Red Dist No. 1356 Primary Reg Dist #8545 Registras No 102

Place of Death.. Wayne Co                Usual Residence:   Ohio, Wayne Co.
City:  Wooster       Length of Stay: 15 yrs             city: Wooster
Full Name of Hospital/ address if not in hospital: 928 N Grant St.   (same address if rural state location)
Name of Deceased:  Elizabeth Dietz Gardner     Date of Death:  May 2 1951
Sex: Female       Color of Race: White       Status: Widowed    date of birth: July 10 1864
Age at death: 86 y 9 m 22 d             Business/ home          Birthplace: Baltimore, Md USA
Fathers Name:  George Dietz          Mothers Maiden Name: Caroline Noel
Never in US Armed Forces / no SS #   INFORMANTS NAME: Margaret Schultz
Disease or condition: Cerebral hemorrhage 10 days
                  antecedent causes: arteriosolois & hypertension 7  years
No Autopsy
Doctor attended from March 1951 to death and death occurred at 9am on date stated.
Paul K Jentus MD -- Medical Arts Building  date signed 3 May 1951
Burial May 4 1951 Alliance City Cemetery, Alliance Oh
Embalmer: Russell Smith A3665 Lic#
Date Rec by Local Reg: 5-3 51 Betty Jane Keister
Funeral director: Cassaday & Tinkle lic# 2455 Russell Smith

NOTE: this gives me her birth date, place of birth, death date, age at death, widow, cause of death,  fathers name and mothers maiden name - YES her mother's maiden name.
It does not answer the question of what type of treatment she went to Battle Creek Michigan for in 1920! I guess it could have been for High Blood Pressure......  but Alliance OH and Battle Creek Michigan are quite a distance..... why did they travel so far for treatment (?) for Elizabeth?
[Hypertension: High Blood Pressure  --  Arteriosclerosis: Narrowing of the arteries]

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Surname Saturday: Timeline: Harry B and Elizabeth (DIETZ) GARDNER

Timeline:  Harry B GARDNER
Great Grandfather
on my fathers side

11 Nov 1863 Harry B......  Born, Glasglow Scotland
11 Jul 1864    Elizabeth .... Born Baltimore MD
1864+/-         Harry Immigrated with parents George & Jane Gardner
1870C           Census - did not find George, Jane or Harry
1872              Birth: brother John Gardner/ New Jersey
1874              Birth: sister  Margaret Gardner/ Ohio
1874-78        Father George Died or Left Family
1874-78        Mother Jane remarried John Douglass
1878              Birth of step sister: Mary Douglass/ Ohio
1880C           Census -John DOUGLASS & wife Jane + 4 ch OH Columbiana Co Middleton
1881-84         Marriage of Harry & Elizabeth (Dietz) GARDNER
1884              Birth of first son: George A/ Pennsylvania
1886              Birth of first daughter: Nettie K/ Pennsylvania
1888              Birth of son: John P / Ohio [my grandfather]
1890              Birth of daughter: Margaret J/ Ohio
1892              Birth of daughter: Caroline / Pennsylvania
1894              Birth of son Harry B II/ Ohio
1900C           Census- Harry B & Elizabeth Gardner/ + all 6 children Allegheny City, Allegheny PA
1908              Marriage of daughter Nettie to Edgar Hartzell/ Alliance OHIO
1909              Marriage of daughter Margaret J to Frank Schultz/ Alliance OHIO
1910C           Census- Harry & Elizabeth Gardner  + 3ch Lexington Twp, Stark C. OHIO
1911              Marriage of son John P to Margaret Branfield/ Alliance OHIO
1916              Marriage of son Harry B II to Clara George/ OHIO
1920C           Census -Harry & Elizabeth Gardner +mother Jane - Canton City Stark Co OH
1926              Death: Mother Jane passes- Alliance City Cemetery, Alliance,  Stark Co., Ohio
1929             Marriage: son George A & Rebecca/ Illinois
1930C           Census- Harry & Elizabeth Gardner - Plain, Canton City, Stark Co OH
1930C           Census- Retirement - from no occupation on census
1933              Marriage of daughter Caroline to Donald Boyd/ Missouri
1936 -           Death:   Harry died - Alliance City, Lexington Two, Stark Co OH
                           Alliance City Cemetery, Alliance Stark OH

1938            Death of daughter Nettie Hartzell/ OHIO
1951            Death of wife Elizabeth / OHIO - she lived 15 years after her husband passed away.

I did not include Grandchildren, just gets to lengthy and complex.

I thought I was pretty set with this family but I can see once I have everything written out in front of me that there is a whole lot of work to do on this family........  too many holes and too many questions.

Immigration to America. Where did they emmigrate from? Scotland? I have a British Presenter laugh at me when I told him that my GARDNER's are from Scotland. They say that this is not a Scotish name but more a English name. I don't know, I only know what the paper trail is saying...  and it is saying Scotland.

I have not found anyone in the 1870 US Census yet. They should be in America by now and I think it should be in the census.

Need to find marriage of George and Jane and then marriage of John Douglass and Jane.
Have not found out anything about Harry's brother and sisters........
.......and so many more questions to answer

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday - My First "Last Will and Testament"

Locating one of my first "Last Will & Testament's" .......... it all started with a trip to Salt Lake City and ending at a courthouse in Canton, Stark Co., Ohio. YIPPPEY!! 

Lucky me, while in Salt Lake City at the Family History Center I located the case# for Harry B Gardner's Last Will and Testament. I held on to this information till I visited the courthouse in Canton, Stark Co., Ohio 2004. It was in the court house building,on the second floor,  in a back room where the oldest microfilm reader/printer I have ever dealt with .......... after dozens of dozens of sheets of paper later I was so excited........... but I have only copied a small piece of it here that shows the wife and children and where everyone was living. Yes I was thrilled about that. Now I have some new places to check for a grand uncle (George) & his wife, plus where they lived, and a married name for my grand aunt (Carolyn) and two new locations for her.

ESTATE Records case file # 28197 (66 pages copied) R R Denny Clunk, Probate Judge........

Last Will & Testament for Harry B Gardner of Alliance Stark County Ohio- died 22 January 1936
wife Elizabeth Gardner receives ALL until death or remarriage ... then it will be distributed equally among children and to children of any deceased children
Elizabeth Gardner is Executrix with no bond -- if Elizabeth is deceased Nettie Hartzell [daughter] of Alliance Ohio will be executrix if neither are available then son John Gardner then Margaret Schultz. [dated 24 Aug 1934]
Elizabeth Gardner declines executrix and requests Nettie Hartzell /executor
Nettie presents Application to Probate Will in the probate Court, Stark County Ohio
Harry B Gardner left Elizabeth Gardner widow of 2242 s Linden Ave, Alliance Ohio and the following persons:
John Gardner / adult / son / Beaver PA
Caroline Boyd / adult/ daughter / Miller MO
Harry Gardner / adult / son / Edinburg O
George Gardner / adult / son / Milwaukee Wis
Margaret Schultz / adult/ daughter / Wooster O
Nettie Hartzell / adult / daughter/ 2242 S Linden Ave., Alliance O

etc etc etc................

NOTE: The list below was at the very end of the document. I will need to sturdy this further because Harry B Gardner died in 1936 and my parents (John & Mary Jane Gardner) weren't married til 1943 but they just met in Jan/Feb of 1943.....  Was it in probate that long or what is the purpose of the list? It is helpful but what is the purpose? I did not find another date or a later date. Now I guess I need to find out the final date of the will. 

Nettie Hartzell (daughter) accepted the task of being executrix after her mother declined. Looking at the timeline: Harry B Gardner died in 1936, Nettie died in 1938 and my parents didn't even meet till early 1943. Did the court process slow down because of the death of the executrix Nettie? OR was every handle by the time of her death? 

John & Margaret Gardner/ 2214 S Linden Ave, Alliance O                          [grandparents]
Caroline Boyd/ Hygea Hall, Wooster College, Wooster O                            [grand aunt]
Harry and Clara Gardner/ Edinburg, RD 1, Ravenna O                                 [grand uncle]
George and Rachael Gardner/ 2936 Kilborn Ave, Milwaukee, Wisconsin     [grand uncle]
Margaret and Frank E Schultz/ 928 North Grant St, Wooster O                   [grand aunt]
Walter G and Dorothy Hartzell/ 2242 S Linden Ave., Alliance O                  [1st cousin once removed]
Helen Hartzell and Fredrick Workman/ 1009 Main St., Coshocton, O          [1st cousin once removed]
John Jr and Mary Jane Gardner, 1411 Parkway Blvd, Alliance O                 [ my parents-married Apr1943]
Vancil and Flora Gardner / Orville, O                                                          [uncle]
Lois Ann Gardner (a minor) / 2214 S Linden Ave., Alliance, O [born 1929]  [aunt]
Warren and Helen Gardner / 1956 High St., Columbus O                             [1st cousin once removed]
Harry Jr and Maureen Gardner / 756 Armoured Tank Div, Battalion School Training, Ft Benning, GA                                                                                                                               [1st cousin once removed]
Wade Gardner (a minor) Edinburg RD 1, Ravenna O           [born 1932]      [1st cousin once removed]
Nancy Gardner (a minor) Edinburg RD 1, Ravenna O          [born 1935]       [1st cousin once removed]
Dr William and Helen Schultz / 523 College Ave, Wooster O                        [1st cousin once removed]       Robert and Elizabeth Schultz / RD 1, Wooster, O                                         [1st cousin once removed]