Irwin John Jonas

With the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the events that occurred on that date, I thought I would make a special tribute to my Grand Uncle Irwin John Jonas.  He participated in D-Day and lost his life on 11 July 1944, just over 70 years ago, near Saint-Lô, France.

Irwin John was born the third child to the marriage of Lillian Coley and Joseph Nelson Jonas.  He was born on Friday 2 September 1921 in Thatcher, Franklin, Idaho, at 6:30 PM, although likely born in Cleveland, Franklin, Idaho, while the family made a go of farming.  The family could not make farming work and moved to Lewiston, Cache, Utah as his father took a job with the Utah-Idaho Central Railroad.  When Irwin was about 6, the family moved to Uintah, Weber, Utah.  Joseph was promoted to Section Foreman and the family moved to Ogden, Weber, Utah.  It was in this place that Joseph was accidentally electrocuted in 1932.  Afterward the family moved back to Richmond, Cache, Utah, Lillian’s hometown.

Irwin Primary Graduation Certificate

1025

The family moved around quite a bit and some of the children struggled with the moves and changes in homes.  The family lived in everything from a boxcar to a nice home in Ogden.  Joseph and Lillian were stern but loving parents, dealing with their own issues as well as with the children.

Irwin John Jonas

Irwin John Jonas

Lillian purchased a small home in Richmond with the funds from Joseph’s life insurance.  Lillian’s family helped raise the rowdy six boys, including Irwin, and youngest two girls.

Irwin Boy

Irwin continued through school.  He did not graduate high school, but at least made it a few years into North Cache.

Irwin High School Certificate

Here is a picture of Irwin at North Cache with Glacus Godfrey Merrill’s class.  Irwin is on the back row, third from the right, fifth from the left.  His brother, Norwood, my grandfather, is on the far right of the third row from the front.  You can see the other names for this photo here.

Glacius Merrill's Class about 1938 or 1939

Irwin Receipt

Shortly before his 18 birthday, 6 July 1939, Irwin enlisted with the Army.  He departed shortly afterward for training.

Irwin Jonas Departure

Unfortunately, the Army had a massive fire that destroyed most of the military records for World War II in 1973.

Irwin Jonas Guitar and FriendFamily recollect that he trained in the southwest as this picture also seems to show with the large cactus.

Irwin Jonas Target

He did make it to the rank of Sergeant in the Army.

Irwin Jonas Military

Irwin met Mary Elizabeth Popwitz at a dance at Camp McCoy, Sparta, Wisconsin.  They were later married 21 June 1943 in Winona, Winona, Minnesota.

Mary Popwitz and Winifred Perley

Mary Popwitz and Winifred Perley (Mary was Winifred’s Nanny)

Irwin wrote a Christmas Card home in December 1943 with the following photograph.

Irwin Jonas Christmas Card

Irwin was then sent to go overseas.  Irwin sent Mary to live with his mother in Richmond.  Mary gave birth to Robert Irwin Jonas in February 1944.  Irwin went to New York City in preparation for the D-Day Invasion.  At least that is the story told by family.

This following envelopes show Irwin was still in New York City in May and July of 1944.

Irwin Envelope 1944 May

 

Irwin Envelope 1944 Jul 8

An explanation could be the preparation for D-Day and not wanting to give anything away so they made it appear like it was in New York City.  Or it could very well be that he did not take part of D-Day and arrived after that date.  However, since he died on the 11th of July in Saint-Lô, it is unlikely he was in New York City on 8 July 1944.  Further that letter was dated 6 July 1944.  It was likely he was writing from France but marking the envelopes New York City.  At any rate, here is the single page of the postmarked 8 July 1944 letter.  You will have to click on it to read it properly, the pencil is hard to scan.  One of Irwin’s obituaries indicates he was sent to Europe in October 1943.

Irwin Jonas Letter 1944 Jul 6

Lillian received the dreaded personal visit from the Army in August 1944.  She received the following letter in September.

0001

The US Army determined to bring Irwin’s body home to the United States rather than bury him in France.   Lillian and Mary finally received Irwin’s body in late January 1948.  His burial took place 6 February 1944 in Richmond.

Irwin Jonas Obituary

2014-06-26 20.15.08

Robert Irwin Jonas continued to grow under the love and care of his mother and grandmother.

Bob Jonas Baby

After Irwin passed away, Mary moved to Preston, Franklin, Idaho near her close friend Colleen Andra who would later marry Irwin’s brother, Norwood.

Bob Jonas Young Boy

Through the family, Mary and Bob moved to Ogden to work.  There, Mary, Irwin’s widow, met Irwin’s uncle Art Coley.  Irwin and Art were born the same year, even though Uncle and Nephew.  Arthur “Art” Christiansen Coley and Mary were married 3 May 1946 in Evanston, Uinta, Wyoming.

Art and Mary continued to raise Bob as their own.  Two additional sons joined the marriage, Stephen “Steve” G and Ronald Gary.

Steve, Bob, Gary

Steve, Bob, Gary

 

Steve, Mary, Gary, Bob

Steve, Mary, Gary, Bob

 

Bob Jonas Boy

 

Bob Jonas

Bob, Janet, and Bobby Jonas

Bob, Janet, and Bobby Jonas

As of my writing today, Mary is still alive.  She lives in an assisted living home in South Ogden, Utah.

Bob and Janet Jonas, Mary Coley, Steve and Julie Coley

Bob and Janet Jonas, Mary Coley, Steve and Julie Coley in 2004

1976 Andra Reunion

Here are a couple of photos from an Andra Reunion from about 1976.  I believe this reunion was in Preston, Franklin, Idaho.  These photos were from some tiny 110 film strips so they were pretty hard to scan.  The photos are not high quality for that reason.  But at least they are available and I can recognize the people in the photo.

Ross,

Ross, Colleen, Bill, Mary, Don, Sergene, Dale

More Ross,

Ross, Colleen, Bill, Mary, Don, Sergene, Dale

Looking sideways

Looking sideways, Ross, Colleen, Bill, Mary, Don, Sergene, Dale

Evan,

Evan & Colleen Elliott

Evan Elliott, Brook Jonas, Colleen, Linda Jonas

Evan Elliott, Brook Jonas, Colleen, Linda Jonas

Dale

Machelle, Judy, Kimberly, Jeremy, Eric, Dale, Anthony Andra

Don,

Back (l-r): Tim, Don, Toni, Lolane, Mark; Front: Jon, Cari

Ross,

Ross, Brenda, Adelaide, Carlos, Angela & Blas Gonzalez (Adelaide’s parents)

Sergene

Bill, Sergene Sorenson, Mary

Rupert 4th of July Parade

We attended the Rupert 4th of July Parade this year and enjoyed it.  I thought it was interesting to attend the Minidoka County Centennial Celebration in conjunction with the festivities this year.  I wonder what Aunt Fanny Ross Phibbs and Calvin Dickerson Phibbs thought when they arrived in the area on 21 March 1913 and witnessed the creation of Minidoka County that same year.  Calvin would go on to become a Judge in Minidoka County in 1918 and served for over 10 years.

While the Ross Clan has been in and out of Minidoka County for the past 100 years, we have left our mark for good or ill.

My thoughts turned to my own involvement in the Rupert 4th of July parade.  Here are a couple of the photos I could find.

Riding my trusty horse Mack, probably around 1991, for 4-H

Riding my trusty horse Mack, probably around 1991, for 4-H

Marching with the Minico Spartans Marching Bank, probably in 1996

Marching with the Minico Spartans Marching Band probably in 1996

Riding Dad's 1948 Ford 8N about 2001

Riding Dad’s 1948 Ford 8N about 2002

1948 Ford 8N about 2001

1948 Ford 8N about 2002

Just for fun because I do not know when else I would share them, a couple of pictures from the old Paul, Idaho parade.  I can still remember climbing up the ladder on the back of the pup to get into the trailer filled with gravel for us to stand on.  I remember looking down out of the trailer for the photo below.  This first photo has the Fenton Apartments in the back (still there and improved).

Circle A Construction Truck in Paul Parade about 1985

Circle A Construction Truck in Paul Parade about 1985

Andra and me with Grandma (Colleen Andra Elliott) in Paul Parade about 1985

Andra and me with Grandma (Colleen Andra Elliott at the time) in Paul Parade about 1985

 

 

 

 

 

The MTC

With my brother-in-law entering the Missionary Training Center (and now already left for his Carlsbad California Mission) I looked through some of the photos I have from the MTC.

That morning we met with the Stake President to finalize everything before driving out to Provo, Utah, Utah.

The morning to go to the MTC with Milo Ross, Colleen Lloyd, and Jackie Melycher (aunt)

The morning to go to the MTC with Milo Ross, Colleen Lloyd, and Jackie Melycher (aunt).  My Grandma particularly liked this photo because it also gives a side profile of me as well as the front.

One final blessing and setting apart before leaving.

Gene Hansen, Paul Ross, Milo Ross, setting apart (again)

Gene Hansen, Paul Ross, Milo Ross, setting apart (again)

The first picture is at the front doors before going in.

Arriving at the MTC

Arriving at the MTC

My first companion Elder Kody Young from St. George, Washington, Utah.

Kody Young and Paul Ross, companions at MTC

Kody Young and Paul Ross, companions at MTC (the camera is incorrect, this was December 1998)

Our first snow while at the MTC.

Snow at the MTC

Snow at the MTC

One of my most distinct memories from the MTC was the heating.  I don’t know what it was, but I ended up with a bloody nose at least once a day.  I was not the only one.  Apparently it had something to do with the dryness of the air and the ventilation systems.  It made for long days where my head was not always in the lessons but often worrying about the next nosebleed and whether I had tissues nearby.  If I had to go to the bathroom, the paper towels only seemed to make the problem worse.

Elder Holland came and spoke to the MTC while we were there.  He insisted on the opening hymn as “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.”  After we sang it, he wanted us to sing it again with the silly extra phrases we all know.  It was quite a bit of fun hearing an organ play the introduction and then for us to sing along.  It was also in this talk that he told us that if we had to come home before our time was up, we better come home on a stretcher.  Even at the end, we should have worn out our days as missionaries.  We were so close the the Christmas holidays that we regularly sang Christmas music.

Our MTC District attending the Provo Temple.  Four of us were going to England, the remaining ones were headed to Peoria, Illinois.  The thing I remember most about the Provo Temple were the white escalators.  Years later when I went back, they were gone!  I was a bit disappointed not to see the white escalators again.

Our MTC District, I only know four of the 11.  From l-r, #5 is Elder Olson, #9 Elder Scow, #10 Elder Young, #11 Elder Ross.  The rest were going to Peoria, Illinois if I remember correctly.

Our MTC District, I only know four of the 11. From l-r, #5 is Elder Olson, #9 Elder Scow, #10 Elder Young, #11 Elder Ross.

There were a few things in the MTC that disgusted and horrified me but I will not relate them here.  They were not becoming of missionaries and I let them know.  There were also plenty of fun and enjoyable times.

Then the five of us were flying off to Manchester, England just in time for Christmas.

Elder Olson, Elder Scow, Sister Dunn, Elder Young, and Elder Ross at Salt Lake City airport flying out

Elder Olson, Elder Scow, Sister Dunn, Elder Young, and Elder Ross at Salt Lake City airport flying out

Some good friends and family came to see us off.

Elder Scow, Elder Young, Bryan Jensen, Elder Ross

Elder Scow, Elder Young, Bryan Jensen, Elder Ross

More friends and family.  My Sister, Dad, and Great Aunt Andra and cousin Denise, all came to share.  Sadly, my Grandma was told I was leaving from the wrong gate and was not present so I did not get to see her one last time.  She made it to the concourse just as the plane was about to leave and they let her send a package on the plane to me.  Very good friends to come say goodbye!

Andra Ross, Elena McBride, Milo Ross, Elder Ross, Denise Andra, Brenna Barnes, Adelaide Andra

Andra Ross, Elena McBride, Milo Ross, Elder Ross, Denise Andra, Brenna Barnes, Adelaide Andra

Maybe I can start sharing some more photos of the mission as time goes on.  I should get out my journals to add some more flavor to these entries than just photos.

Sergene Andra Sorenson Jensen

With Aunt Sergene’s passing, I thought I would make some of the photographs I have of her and her life available.  I am wrapping this around the language of her obituary.

Sergene was born 2 February 1932 in Preston, Franklin, Idaho.  She is the sixth of twelve children born to Mary Louise Wanner and William Fredrick Andra.  My Grandmother, Colleen, is the fifth and was four years older than Sergene.

Sergene standing, Ross, Donald, Jon Wanner, unknown, Kay Wanner all kneeling, and Larry, Dennis, Sharon Johnson, and Dale Andra

Sergene standing, Ross, Donald, Jon Wanner, unknown, Kay Wanner all kneeling, and Larry, Dennis, Sharon Johnson, and Dale Andra

Sergene in school

Sergene in school

Colleen, Larry, Ross, Dale, Sergene about 1945

Sergene graduated from Preston High School in 1950.  She was a cheerleader and the Preston Night Rodeo Queen where she was pictured on Roy Roger’s horse, Trigger Jr., on the cover of the Preston Rodeo program in 1949.

Sergene in High School

Sergene in High School (I only have a scan of a copy, hopefully some day I can have a scan of an original)

Andra Family Portrait, 1947; back (l-r): Bill, Golden; middle: Sergene, Millie, Colleen, June; front: Don, Larry, Bill, Dale, Mary, Ross.

Andra Family Portrait, 1947; back (l-r): Bill, Golden; middle: Sergene, Millie, Colleen, June; front: Don, Larry, Bill, Dale, Mary, Ross.

Immediately after high school she married a guy from Malad who turned out to be quite abusive.  Sergene defended herself and quickly had the marriage annulled.

Sergene married Bert B Sorenson 22 August 1950 in Nampa, Canyon, Idaho.  Two children were born to the marriage, Scott B Sorenson (1951) and Andrew S Sorenson (1953).  Bert worked for Mountain Bell.

June, Millie, Mary, Colleen, Sergene, about 1956.

June, Millie, Mary, Colleen, Sergene, about 1956.

Sergene, Scott, Bert, Andrew Sorenson in Preston

Sergene, Scott, Bert, Andrew Sorenson in Preston about 1957

1959 Andra Reunion, Phyllis (Don), Utahna (Golden), Sergene, Mary, Colleen, Millie, Edith (Bill).

1959 Andra Reunion, Phyllis (Don), Utahna (Golden), Sergene, Mary, Colleen, Millie, Edith (Bill).

Bert, Andy, Jackie Jonas, Sergene about 1964

Bert, Andy, Jackie Jonas, Sergene about 1964

Bert, Sergene with Jackie Jonas in front, and Andy Sorenson about 1964

Bert, Sergene with Jackie Jonas in front, and Andy Sorenson about 1964

June, Millie, Colleen, Sergene mid 1960's

June, Millie, Colleen, Sergene mid 1960′s

Andra Reunion, 1967, Sergene, Colleen, Millie, June, Mary.

Andra Reunion, 1967, Sergene, Colleen, Millie, June, Mary.

Sergene purchased The Wig Wam in Burley in 1969.  She purchased the Ponderosa Beauty Salon in 1973 and the Merle Norman Cosmetics store in Twin Falls in 1976.  She only purchased the businesses, not the buildings in which they were located.  The Ponderosa closed in the 1980′s and the salon with it.  I don’t know when she sold or gave up the Twin Falls store.  She ran the Burley location until she retired from it in the early 1990′s.  It was a sort of forced retirement as the restaurant next door caught fire and Sergene not to make the repairs to her building but just close shop.

Times News, 18 May 1976

Times News, 18 May 1976

Sergene with her parents in the late 1970's

Sergene with her parents in the late 1970′s

Colleen, Millie, June, Sergene, 1977.

Colleen, Millie, June, Sergene, 1977.

Sergene and Bert in the 1980's

Sergene and Bert in the early 1980′s

Millie, Colleen, Sergene

Millie, Colleen, Sergene

Sergene had a knack for golf and bowling.  She participated in the Idaho State Amateur Golf Tournament for 53 consecutive years.  She was honored as the Burley Municipal Ladies Golf Association champion from 1956 to 1986.  She regularly participated on the Idaho Women’s and Chapman couple’s golf circuits.  She also served as a member of the Idaho Couples Golf Association.

Sergene Golf

Bert and Sergene in the late 1980's

Bert and Sergene in the late 1980′s

Bert passed away 4 March 1991 in Burley, Cassia, Idaho.

Sisters at a funeral, 9 March 1991, Burley, Idaho, Colleen, Sergene, June, Millie.

Sisters at a funeral, 9 March 1991, Burley, Idaho, Colleen, Sergene, June, Millie.

Sergene and Colleen in San Diego

Sergene and Colleen in San Diego

Sergene married Harlan Brent Jensen 13 November 1991 in Elko, Elko, Nevada.

Harlan and Sergene Jensen in the mid 1990's

Harlan and Sergene Jensen in the mid 1990′s

Millie, Sergene, and puppies

Millie, Sergene, and puppies

1998 Andra Reunion, Milie and Vance Beck, Sergene Jensen, Colleen Lloyd.

1998 Andra Reunion, Milie and Vance Beck, Sergene Jensen, Colleen Lloyd.

Harlan passed away 4 February 2002 in Burley.

Sergene then spent considerable time with her dear friend and companion Edward Neil Dean from that point forward.  They were close friends and golfing buddies.

Sergene, Neil, and Vance Beck in 2007

Sergene, Neil, and Vance Beck in 2007

Sergene and Neil in 2008

Sergene and Neil at Lava Hot Springs in 2008

Ross, Don, Larry, Sergene, Neil Dean at 2010 Andra Reunion

Ross, Don, Larry, Sergene, Neil Dean at 2010 Andra Reunion

Sergene passed 14 February 2013 in Lake Havasu, Mohave, Arizona.

Sergene's Funeral Program

Wanner, John George, Jr. and Eliza Sterling/Regina Nuffer

I found this biography written by Mary Louise Wanner Andra of her parents.  I will write a separate history for them in the future, but I thought I would make this one available unadulterated by me (typed completely as written in the book, although I added the photo).

This biography was published in Whitney Centennial 1889-1989: Whitney’s First 100 Years.  It was published in 1991 by the Whitney Ward, written and edited by the Whitney Ward Centennial Book Committee.

John George Wanner Jr Family abt 1912. (l-r): Eva, William, Golden, Serge (sitting), John, Regina, Rulon, Willard, Mary.

Our father, John George Wanner, Jr., was born in Holzgerlingen, Neckarkreis, Wuerttemberg 29 October, 1870.  His parents were John George Wanner and Anna Maria Schmid.  He was the oldest in the family of five boys and five girls.

His father had a small farm and some cattle.  He was also a road overseer.  So dad, his mother and brother and sisters did most of the farm work.  They also got wood from the forest for winter fuel.

Dad’s parents were very religious people and belonged to the Lutheran church.  They were very hard workers and tried to teach their children correct principles.  Dad tried hard to follow in their footsteps.

His parents joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1891.  They made sure all their children were baptized as they became of age.  His parents could see that it was the only true church on the earth, and they wanted to go to America, where they could worship as they wished.  They also felt it would give their children a better opportunity in life.

His parents were the only ones in their respective families who joined the LDS church.  Our dad was baptized in July in 1891, and came to America with one of the missionaries – a brother Terrell who was from Providence, Utah.  Brother Terrell took good care of him and helped find work for him to do and provide for himself.

Dad got a job working for brother Fred Nuffer in Glendale, Oneida County (now Franklin County), Idaho.  In 1893 his father, mother, and his brothers and sisters came to Cache Valley from Germany.  Dad and brother Nuffer met them with a wagon and buggy in Franklin, Oneida County, Idaho, June 18, 1893.  I am sure he was happy to see his family again, as it had been almost two years since he had seen any of them.

Dad met a lovely girl from Providence, Utah, by the name of Eliza Sterling, and this relationship blossomed into marriage in 1894.  They were blessed with two sons, George and Earl Wayne.  This marriage was not a very happy one and they were divorced.

On the 31st of August 1898, dad married Regina Nuffer who was a sister of our uncle Charles August Nuffer.  [Daughter of the marriage of Eva Katherine Greiner and Johann Christopher Nuffer]  On 9 November 1899, they were blessed with twin boys, William and Willard.  As time went on they were blessed with more children, a total of five boys and two girls.

Dad went on a mission to Germany in the fall of 1907, leaving a wife and six children.  On March 8, 1908, their son Serge was born.  Mother and the family were living in a home John Nuffer built for dad.  It is a rock house on East Oneida Street in Preston, Idaho.  This house is still standing and is in good condition at this writing – June 1979.

When Serge was a few months old, mother took all the children and had a picture taken and sent it to dad so he could see the new baby.

While Dad was in Germany, he met William Andra’s mother and family and baptized the eldest daughter Freda.

In 1910, Dad’s mother and father sold their home and farm in Whitney to Dad.  This is the farm Lawrence Bodily now has.  Dad built a red barn that is still in use on the farm.  After grandpa and grandma sold their farm to dad, they moved to Logan, Utah.

In 1913 dad’s parents, brothers and sisters had a family reunion at their home in Whitney.  There was a large crowd and we all had a good time.

We all had to work hard and dad relied on his daughter Mary for many hard farm jobs.  However, on Saturday nights he would take us to the picture show and give us each 25¢ to spend on the show and treats.

In 1917, I begged to take the sewing class at the USAC in Logan, as I wanted to learn to sew.  However, I was only there a short time when dad brought me home to work on the dry farm.  I have always felt bad about this as I wanted to learn to sew.

My brother, William, enlisted in the Army on August 5, 1917.  He was with the 145th Light Field Artillery, Battery C.  He left Salt Lake City for Camp Kearney on October 11, 1917.  He left for France August 2, 1918.  William contracted the influenza and died December 1, 1918.  His body was brought home November 11, 1920, and interred in the Whitney Idaho Cemetery.

Just a few days before they got the sad news of William’s death, their son, Golden, died November 26, 1918 in Salt Lake City from influenza.

On January 8, 1921, dad sent his son Willard on a mission to New Zealand.

Dad and mother were to face still more sorrow when their son Rulon died February 26, 1924, in the Logan hospital.

Dad believed in missionary work with all his heart and soul and on December 15, 1925, he went to Tennessee on a six month mission.

In 1928, Serge went to New Zealand on a mission and died there October 5, 1929.  His body was brought home for burial.  The funeral was held in the old opera house in Preston, Idaho.  These were trying times for our parents.  Losing four sons, and all their bodies returned home in a box.  This left them with only one son and two daughters.

On April 7, 1930, dad sent Eva on a mission to California.  Dad was not a stranger to hard work.  He raised crops and took good care of his farm animals.  He took pride in having things looking neat and clean around the farm and yard.

When Dad operated his farm in Whitney, he was always up early in the morning and usually was the first to get to the beet dump in the morning.  The story is told about some of his neighbors who decided to beat him to the dump.  They got up extra early to get a head start.  Before they got to the beet dump, they could hear George Wanner going down the rad ahead of them.  They could hear him saying to his horses, “Gid up–gid up–gid up.”

When dad sold his farm in Whitney, he purchased 40 acres nearer to Preston and built a beautiful home on it.  Part of it is where the Oakwood School is now located.  When he retired he sold his farm and home to his daughter Mary and her husband William Andra.

Dad was successful in the various undertakings he engaged in.  He was one of the first in Preston to have an automobile.  When he brought it home he did not know how to stop it.  He yelled “whoa” when he got in the garage, but before he got it stopped he had gone through the end of the garage.

Dad built the two little homes on the west side of second east and first south in Preston, Idaho.  He also built three homes on first south and the south side of the street in Preston.  Dad and mother lived in one of them until she died in 1942.  Mother was ill for quite a while before she passed away.  Dad cared for her the best he could and would take her for little rides in the car.  She was unable to walk and dad would carry her on his back from place to place as they went visiting.

As many of you will remember, there was a humble side to dad.  I have seen him cry when bearing his testimony and when he was grieved over the death of a loved one, a relative, or friend.  He wanted to leave this world a better place than he found it, and I feel sure he made some contributions and brought this desire to fulfillment.

After mother died, dad remarried and went to live in Salt Lake City, Utah.  This marriage was not successful and they were divorced.  Later on he remarried again and was living in Florida.  He became ill and wanted to get back to Preston.  My son William went to Florida to bring him home, but when they got to Chicago, he was too ill to go on.  So, William put him in the hospital where he passed away on January 5, 1947.

Regina Nuffer was born January 26, 1869 at Neuffen, Germany, a daughter of Johann Cristoph and Eva Katharina Greiner, she came to Utah with her family after they were converted to the gospel.  She married Jacob Scheibel July 15, 1889, in Pleasant Valley, Carbon County, Utah.  Her first child, Alma Katherine Scheibel Naef, was born, September 27, 1889.  When her child was six months old, she and her husband separated and she moved back to Mapleton, Idaho, where she stayed with her parents on their farm.  During this period, she would help people when they were sick, and her mother would take care of her child.

In about 1893, after the death of her mother, she moved to Weber County, Utah, and worked for the Will Taylor family in Farr West and the Bowman family in Ogden.  She again returned to her father’s farm.  On her way home, she stopped in Logan and walked out to Providence to visit a friend.  While eating lunch, she happened to think that she had left her new coat on the train.  She went back to Logan to the train station and they sent out a tracer.  In a few days she got her coat back.  After returning to Idaho, she worked for several people in Franklin and Preston.  She lived in one room of her brother John’s home in Preston.  Her brother was on a mission in Germany at the time.

On August 31, 1898, she married John George Wanner in Logan, Utah.  That winter she lived on his ranch in Worm Creek or Glendale, Idaho.  In April she moved with her husband, daughter, and step son, Wayne, to the Bancroft flat, a little west of where Grace is now.

She was known as a fine, well mannered woman.  Her niece, Athene Hampton, said that toward the end of her life her health was not very good and she had a hard time speaking.  When Athene and Louisa Nuffer would visit, they would converse by writing notes to each other.  She died on March 10, 1942, in Preston, Idaho.  Her funeral in Preston was very well attended.

Robert Lee and Dennis Willard Andra

I have read a number of stories lately about individuals who have lost their children at young ages.  Some due to health reasons, some birth defects, and other reasons.  I do not want to lessen any of the pain that come from such a loss.  I have never suffered any loss of a child.  I do think I would struggle more with having a child for a few years and then losing them.  A child whose personality I have not really perceived and a hope and glimmer I never glimpsed seem like it might be easier to let go to the eternities with the knowledge I will raise them at a future time.  But the loss and separation of having that child become a part of my daily life, whose personality fills my home, whose laughter and cries I recognize in another room, and then losing them to a future date seems more deep and poignant.  I hope I never have to experience either, but I know others have and will still endure such a trial.

I have a Grandfather and five great grandparents I never met.  While I know their image, some of their personality, their lives are woven into mine; I cannot recognize that influence.  I have one great grandparent whose only memories are of her sitting in a lawn chair at reunions and laughing at us playing.  But the grandparents and great grandparents I mingled, played games, and enjoyed their presence I miss.  Some days terribly.  I imagine it would be somewhat similar with the loss of a child, although the stillborn or soon passing child will have memories in the mind and life of the parents.  Who knows, maybe it is any memory that makes it difficult.

In that light, I thought I would share some history, photos, and stories of Robert Lee and Dennis Willard Andra, my Grandmother’s brothers.

Robert Lee Andra was born 24 August 1934 in Preston, Franklin, Idaho.  He was the eighth of twelve children born to Mary Louise Wanner and William Fredrick Andra.  All I ever really heard about Robert is that it was a long, hard birth.  He was born in the morning and passed away by the end of the day.  Grandma told me he never really turned the right color, he had a tint of blue up until he died.  She remembered her Mom holding the baby what seemed like all day.  Little Robert was buried in the family section of the Whitney, Franklin, Idaho cemetery.

Dennis Willard Andra was born 10 January 1942 in Preston, Franklin, Idaho.  He was the eleventh of twelve children born to Mary Louise Wanner and William Fredrick Andra.  I imagine he grew up like any other child in the Andra household; one of many, playful, and a little mischievous.  One of Don’s only memories are of Dennis in the highchair as a little boy, probably similar to this photo.

Dennis about one year old

Dennis about one year old

Here is a picture of Dennis with some siblings and cousins.  This is a scan of a copy of a photograph.  I hope some day I can get a scan of the original photograph so it is higher quality.  Sergene, Ross, Don, Larry, and Dale are all siblings of Dennis.  Sharon Johnson would be Dennis’ niece, June’s daughter (Sharon is one year younger than Dennis and a few months older than Larry).  Jon and Kay are maternal first cousins.  I have another photo of just the Andra siblings together, but its quality is so low that Dennis is not really distinguishable, so I did not post it.

Sergene standing, Ross, Donald, Jon Wanner, unknown, Kay Wanner all kneeling, and Larry, Dennis, Sharon Johnson, and Dale Andra

Sergene standing, Ross, Donald, Jon Wanner, unknown, Kay Wanner all kneeling, and Larry, Dennis, Sharon Johnson, and Dale Andra

Dennis had just celebrated his third birthday with his family on 10 January 1945.  My Grandmother, Dennis’ sister Colleen, told me a story that still made her cry 50 years later.  Dennis came in to her in the middle of the night.  He could not sleep and his ear hurt.  Grandma got up and made him a hot pad for his ear and held him for a while.  He seemed to feel a little better so she laid him on her bed.  She pulled out some dark red fingernail polish and painted his fingernails.  He just laid there and watched her.  It was clear to her that he was not feeling well.  After she finished painting his fingernails she got up to take him back to his own bed.  He did not want to go, he wanted to sleep with his sister.  She got pretty stern with him and told him he had to sleep in his own bed.  She carried him to his bed and tucked him in.

The next morning Great Grandma went in and found Dennis in eternal sleep, he had passed away in the night.  Great Grandpa took little Dennis’ body in and laid him on their bed.  Don remembers that his little foot curled a little and Great Grandpa straightened it out.  Don saw his father cry from the circumstances.  Here is a picture of little Dennis laid out for his burial at Webb’s Funeral Home in Preston.  My Grandma had a better picture (which I don’t have), but this is again a scan of a copy until I can get a better scan or an original.

Dennis Viewing

If you look closely, you can see that Dennis’ fingernails painted dark red.  Grandma would look at the picture and her eyes would tear up.  I remember her at one point saying that she felt bad she had spoken sternly to him before putting him back to bed.  She loved him dearly and showed it by spending time with him, but the last words she spoke were perhaps harsher than she wanted some of his last feelings.  I also know she wished she would have let him stay in her bed, not that it would have changed the outcome, but he might have felt a little more loved.

Dennis died 13 or 14 January 1945 (although his tombstone and death certificate says the 14th) in Preston.  The difference in death dates is probably found in the family have him dying on the 13th when he went to bed, the coroner and formal documents have him pronounced dead the next day.  His parents went with the 14th on the tombstone and he probably did die in the early hours of the 14th.  He was buried 17 January 2012 in Whitney beside his brother.  Both brother’s graves are at the heads of their parents.

Colleen’s journal only gives these few comments about her brother.  On 9 January (which is a day off from the formal records) “Dennis birthday”.  On 13 January 1945, “My darling brother Dennis died.”  On 14 January 1945, “Several people came.  I am thanking them.”  On 17 January 1945, “My dearest brother’s funeral.  I just couldn’t hardly see him go.”

Bruderer

With a third photo identified with a Bruderer in it, I thought I would make these photos available.  From my understanding, the Bruderers were good friends of my grandparents, Norwood and Colleen (Andra) Jonas, when they lived in Richmond, Cache, Utah.  When my grandparents moved to Burley, Cassia, Idaho in 1968 the friends did not see each other as much.  Leonard and Donna (Andrus) Bruderer also eventually moved to Brigham City, Box Elder, Utah.  Leonard and Donna also lived next door to my Great Grandma Lillian Coley Jonas (Edna’s sister)(and across the street from the Dorney family).

I visited with Donna in 2007.  She is an Andrus and her father is Gerald Andrus(1903-1984).  Gerald married my Great Grand Aunt Edna Coley(1900-1983) on 17 April 1921 and had a son, Harold Christian Andrus(1921-1966).  Harold is my cousin and is an Andrus although raised as a Neilson.  Gerald and Edna were married less than a year or so and he remarried to Donna’s mother, Ida Christena Smith, in 1923.  Harold is Donna’s half-brother and I called to visit with her more regarding Harold than the Bruderer line.  I did mention I had a photo of Leonard and Donna from many years ago as well as a photo of their daughter Lola.  Leonard Bruderer passed away in 2006 (born in 1922).

(l-r): Sandy Jonas, Lola Bruderer, and Jane Robinson in August 1958

(l-r): Sandy Jonas, Lola Bruderer, and Jane Robinson in August 1958

Leonard Bruderer and Norwood Jonas

Leonard Bruderer and Norwood Jonas

Donna and Leonard Bruderer

Donna and Leonard Bruderer