I was born on my family’s farm in October 1925.  Our family had 300 acres on French and Ballard Rd, which is now County Hwy OO.  Mom and Dad lived on the farm to help work it with my grandparents.  I was the oldest of seven born; four girls and three boys.  Two of the boys died right away as they were preemies, and my brother died when he was four.  He was thirsty and drank out of a bucket he thought was water, but it was an acid.  After spending July to February at Madison General Hospital, he died.

All Dad had was four girls, so I would go out and drive the team for the hay. As I got older, my younger sister started helping on the farm, and I went in to help mom and grandma cook for the farm help.  Some days we had 12-14 men on the farm helping to work the crops and animals, feeding them all two meals each day.  We had an old cook stove until grandpa bought a combination stove – cook stove was half and then two gas burners that used Skelgas, which was propane.

When I was 10 years old, there was a magazine that came in the mail and there was a listing of pen pals you could write to.  Joan and I started writing to each other, and continue to write to this day.  We have spoken on the phone and sent each other photos, but we have never met each other in person.  Joan lives in Pasadena California.

 Dad had a milk route in Kimberly, Combined Locks, Little Chute and my uncle had his route in Appleton.  We had fun riding along with dad some days.  I went to school at St John’s High school in Little Chute, which is no longer there.  The other girls went to either Kaukauna or Kimberly. I graduated in 1942 when I was 16 years old.  I went to vocational school and learned typing, shorthand and Dictaphone transcription.  Dad took care of a hobby farm for Charles Boyd, owner of The Appleton Coated Paper (now Appvion).  He told Dad that I could go speak to a lady at the company, and she would give me a job.  I was happy working there for the next 10 years.

During those years, I married Raymond in 1950.  He lived on a farm just a mile away, and I knew him since I was a young kid.  My sister ending up marrying Raymond’s brother who had a twin sister.  We bought a house in Appleton on Leminwah Street, off of Wisconsin Avenue by Riverside Florist. Raymond and I had our two girls, Ann Marie, and Susan Ray.

My uncle bought the farm, and then Dad started working at Sacred Heart Church in Appleton.  After ten years of working at The Appleton Coated Paper, I started working at Miller Electric in the Sales Department.  After ten years of working there, I changed to Riverside Florists and then Memorial Florists until I retired.   Raymond died in 2000 after having a stroke, and we lost Ann Marie when she was 58 years old, who died in her sleep.  Ann had two daughters, Megan and Alyson, and Sue had two kids, Ben and Emily.  All of my sisters are still alive, and we see each other a few times a year.

I enjoy knitting, crosswords, puzzles and reading.  I knit a stocking for each of my kids and grand-kids when they were born, with their names on it.  This Christmas the spouses of my grand-kids will get their stockings too.  This Thanksgiving, I’m looking forward to spending it with my family.