Posts Tagged ‘Gladys Evelyn Branum’

Gladys Evelyn Branum Foster and her first grandchild

Gladys Evelyn Branum Foster and her first grandchild

 

When my grandmother passed away in 2001, her death certificate pronounced her birth place as Lancaster, PA. This was my first mystery. Grandma was the third of four children. Her siblings were Twila Mae, Samuel Louis and William Denzil Branum.

Of the four kids, two were listed as having been born in Ohio, and Samuel (Louis) was born in West Virginia. That was logical. The family lived in Ohio, but my great grandmother was originally from West Virginia. It’s entirely conceivable (no pun intended) that she was back home when Louis was born. But the Pennsylvania thing really confused me. Not at first, mind you, because my grandfather’s family were from Pennsylvania and when I first started out, I had everyone jumbled in my head. But slowly, it began to dawn on me that there was something amiss.

And then I had a “Duh!” moment and realized that my grandmother and her family were living in Lancaster, Ohio at the time. (In my defense, I never heard anything about Lancaster growing up—I was always told Grandma was from Marion.)

Grandma went back and forth between Ohio and Florida quite a bit. I remember riding in the car, driving down to see her. This was back in the day when seat belts were just a suggestion at best. I was the youngest, so I slept on the package shelf of the car. I have a vague recollection of being sick when we were down there for one trip, but I don’t recall if it was the same visit. I know that on one visit, there was a hurricane that came through, aptly named Hurricane Gladys. I don’t remember much about that, though.

Grandma lived with us for a while before my parents divorced. My memories of this time are fuzzy, but I have a clear recollection of being with her in the car and her telling me that the turn signals talked. “Listen,” she said, “it’s saying ‘Right turn, right turn, right turn, right turn.” A few minutes later, she told me it was saying, “Left turn, left turn, left turn, left turn.” I still think of that when I’m waiting for a traffic light.

Today, July 16, Grandma would have celebrated her 100th birthday. I would have liked to have seen that. Happy Birthday, Grandma!

 

Gladys Evelyn Branum FosterOne of my biggest genealogy regrets is not taking the time to sit down with this lady and learn more about her past. My grandmother would have been 98 years old today. She was born 16 July 1913, in Lancaster, Ohio, the third of four children born to Cora Ellen KITTLE and Samuel Clarence BRANUM.

I don’t think her life was easy. Her parents were divorced when she was still in school. She didn’t have a good relationship with her father at all, and from what I’ve been told, she pretty much wrote him off.

She lived in Florida for a time and I have vague recollections of going to visit her there. One time, we went to visit her as Hurricane Gladys was hitting the area. What are the odds?

This was back in the days when kids didn’t need to ride in car seats, and although it was probably a different trip (one with my mom, cousins and uncle), I remember sleeping in the package shelf of the car on the trip down. Craziness!

She was married twice. Her first marriage, to Roger MINYOUNG, ended in divorce. She had a son, Charles, whom I don’t recall ever meeting. (Part of the reason I’m so interested in this side of my family is because of the lack of connections between various relatives.)

She remarried in 1935, to my grandfather, Howard FOSTER. He died before I was before I was born, as mentioned in a previous post. The had three more children together, including my mom.

Grandma was in and out of our lives throughout the years, taking care of us while my mom worked just prior to my own parents’ divorce. She and her sister Twila were in Florida a lot, I think. And she’d be in Marion as well. I think one of the things I need to do is get her kids to help me pinpoint a timeline of where she was and when. There is a lot I don’t know about my grandma, and I would really like to fix that.

Her last few years, she lived with my mom. I regret that I didn’t try to get to know her better. She wasn’t very mobile then, but her sense of humor was still intact and she could get a gleam in her eye… I can only hope I’ve inherited her sharp mind.

Happy Birthday, Grandma! I really miss you.