Memorial Day, 2017: Laurie’s and my parents…who better to honor and give thanks to! They brought us into the world, nurtured us and set the stage for who we are today. The stars aligned for our parents to meet and fall in love. In turn their love arranged our stars so that we would eventually meet and become the couple that we are today!
David’s mom, Elizabeth Selma Weed, daughter of Nathan B. Weed and Estelle J. Sibbald (Weed) was born in Liberty New York on January 3, 1916. For most of her life, she lived in and around Jackson Michigan. Elizabeth (Beth) had 2 brothers, Nathan and John and a younger sister Jeane. This formal color photo was taken about the time David’s mom graduated from high school.
Elizabeth went on to nursing school but other than a short stint as a personal caregiver, she never really worked in the profession. Later she worked as a secretary and then as a social worker for the state of Michigan.
Laurie’s mom, Doris Glenda McCormick, daughter of Otto McCormick and Rose Hetzel (McCormick) was born in Bancroft Wisconsin on March 4, 1911. She lived in Wisconsin until she went to nursing school in St. Louis Missouri. She is one of 5 siblings, the others being Harland, Lois, Alton and Marion. This photo was taken ca. 1934 for Laurie’s dad to have while Doris was away in nursing school.
David’s dad, Ronald Allen Myers, son of Frank J. Myers and Mary Ethel Cerrow (Myers) was born in Jackson Michigan on April 2, 1911. For most of his life, except when he was in the Army, he lived in and around Jackson Michigan. Ronald (Ron) had one brother, Clifford. This photo was taken after he graduated from High School.
Laurie’s dad, Robert Templeton, son of John L. Templeton and Lena Smith (Templeton) was born in Gillespie Illinois on October 28, 1913. He lived in Gillespie until he married Laurie’s mom Doris. He served in the US Army and was stationed in Ft. Leonard Wood Missouri. This photo was taken just before he reported for duty.
Coincidentally, John L. Templeton and Lena Smith Templeton emigrated from Scotland and David’s stepfather also came from Scotland. Both men were coal miners…John in Scotland and Illinois and Hugh in Nova Scotia. We’ve recently learned that their home towns in Scotland were no more than 30 miles apart.
This ca. 1946 photo of David’s mom was taken in front of her parent’s house at 124 East Prospect Avenue in Jackson Michigan. By this time she was a war widow and she was living with David at her parent’s home. Beth went on to remarry in 1947. Her second husband’s name was Hugh Thomson. He’d migrated to the USA from Scotland and Nova Scotia Canada. In 1948, David’s brother Robert Thomson was born…
Beth was an artist who worked in many mediums…water color, oil paints, clay, weaving…and in many styles too. Thanks to her, the walls of our house and David II’s family’s home out in Omaha Nebraska are covered in quality art ranging from primitive to impressionist works. Following a downward spiral health wise, we moved David’s mom from Concord Michigan to a care facility near our previous home in Mt. Prospect Illinois. She passed away on January 9, 1995 at the age of 79.
Like the photo of Laurie’s dad in uniform, this photo of Laurie's mom was taken at the back of the Templeton’s family home in Gillespie Illinois. The dog in the photo was named Tiger. At this point, Doris and Bob were engaged but were yet to be married.
An interesting fact is that Bob’s younger brother John, ended up marrying Doris’ middle sister Lois…creating a plethora of double cousins! Doris and Lois’ younger sister Marion lamented at the time that there weren’t any more Templeton boys left to marry!
Another coincidence… Both Laurie’s mom and David’s mom became registered nurses, both attending nursing school while engaged to their future husbands and separated from them at the same time. We have many letters written during the time they spent apart.
Laurie’s mom passed away at the age of 92 on August 21, 2003. She is dearly missed by all who knew her…
David’s dad Ron joined the army in 1942 after the United States entered World War II. He wasn’t shipped overseas until early in 1945 but Sgt. Ronald Allen Myers was killed in action in Czechoslovakia on May 6, 1945…just a couple of days before the war in Europe came to an end. Ron was with the 18th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Division of the US Army. David wasn’t quite 3 years old at the time.
After high school, Ron had attended Michigan State University and earned a degree in Conservation. He and Beth met while Ron was working as a ‘soda jerk’ in a drug store in Jackson Michigan…earning money to pay for college. Just prior to the war, Ron was working for what is now Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources as a conservation officer.
Laurie’s dad started out working in an automotive garage early in his life. At some point after he married Doris and they moved to St. Louis, Bob found his calling in sales. He was very successful selling forklifts to large corporations. At various times over the years he worked for Yale, Clark and Monroe.
Bob was very active in the community, serving as a deacon at Maplewood Methodist Church, as a board member at the Brentwood Missouri YMCA, as a Mason and as a member of the Maplewood Lions Club.
Sadly, Bob died from a massive heart attack at the age of 55 on September 20, 1969. Laurie was only 17 years old at the time. Her sister Bonnie was only 16. Both girls were still living at home and in school…
It’s a bit sad, but we only have 2 photos of Beth and Ron together…and both of them are with David in front of Beth’s parent’s house. There aren’t any wedding photos although we have documentation that they were married by a Catholic priest. All of the other photos that we have were taken by Ron or Beth taking photos of each other…
We have a number of letters from Ronald to Elizabeth and they are sweet and loving… One word that is consistent in their communications is “swell”, a word that is rarely used these days. Things were tough for the couple both before and after they were married, that’s for sure. It was still during the depression with jobs and money being very special commodities. In one letter, Ron apologized for not leaving Beth with a $1.00 so she’d have a bit of spending money. David was born on July 21, 1942 in Carson City Michigan while Ron was working for Michigan’s Conservation Department.
David here… I regret having no memory of my father. I know that my life would have been much different had he survived the war but I’m thankful that he and my mother were very much in love and that they brought me into this world. Hopefully, they are reunited in a better place.
Laurie’s parents met at a dance… Bob was there with Doris’ roommate and Doris was with Bob’s friend. The following week, Bob went to the dorm at the nursing school and Doris told him that her roommate wasn’t there. He told her that he came to see her and ask her out for a date. The rest is history!
Their early years together during the depression were challenging. Laurie has letters from them to each other as they were separated while he was desperately searching for work while she was in St. Louis either in nurses training or working as a nurse. Their letters revealed that how much they wanted to be together, have their own apartment and start a family. They wanted a girl first and they were going to name her Glenda Joy because she was so wanted. Surprise! Glenda Joy came first, followed by Robert Bruce, Karole Kay, Joanne Lee, Laurie Jean and Bonnie Arline.
Laurie has many great family memories…picnics in parks in St. Louis and St. Charles Missouri with all her double cousins…family vacations in Plover Wisconsin to visit Doris’s sister and family…the cottage in Heafford Junction Wisconsin…and many camping trips all over the country.
With Laurie’s dad’s sudden death in 1969, the lives of the entire family were completely changed. As it turned out, our family's lives and tragedies eventually led to Laurie’s and my paths coming together. So we both miss our parents very much but thanks to them and their sacrifices, we have each other and our families…
That’s about it for now. Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.
Let’s all remember our loved ones who have passed…
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave and Laurie