Ross & Adelaide Andra Wedding

(l-r): Bill and Mary Andra, Norwood and Sandy Jonas, Ross and Adelaide Andra, Phyllis Merrill, Edith Andra, Phyllis Andra, Millie Beck, Colleen Jonas

This is the wedding photo for the Ross and Adelaide (Gonzalez) Andra wedding taken 14 June 1963 in Preston, Franklin, Idaho.

Ross, Millie, and Colleen are three of the children of Bill and Mary (Wanner) Andra.  Norwood Jonas is the husband of Colleen and Sandy is their daughter (my mother).

Edith (Gudmundson) and Phyllis (McKinney, the one on the right) are spouses of two other Andra boys, Bill Jr and Don respectively.

Phyllis Merrill was a missionary who served in Brazil and became a very good friend to Adelaide.  She helped teach Adelaide English and spent the day interpreting for her as she went through the Logan Temple.

I particularly like this photo because of the golden smile Great Grandpa has on his face.  This is the best photo I have of his smile.

My Darling Mother

For my Mother’s birthday, I thought I would share a few thoughts about her.  I know she is pretty maligned by some, praised by others, and many more just do not know what to be in relation to her.  Therefore, I thought I would talk about her with that title, Mother.

The above photo came to me in 2010.  This photo was given to my Great Grandmother, Lillian Coley Jonas Bowcutt (1898-1987), probably not long after it was taken.  I am guessing before 1960.  From my understanding, it hung on the wall of my Great Grandmother in Richmond, Cache, Utah until she had to move in with her daughter, Lillian Jonas Talbot (1930-2009), in Layton, Davis, Utah the mid 1980’s.  It still has its original heavy paper frame and original glass.  I took the picture out of the frame to scan it and imagined that it was the photographer who placed it there in the late 1950’s, or more likely, one of my grandparents.  I can imagine the photo carefully located on Great Grandma’s wall and the love that swelled in her breast as she viewed my Mother and my Uncle Doug.  I am sure the scores of other grandchildren hung on the same wall, but these were grandchildren that also lived in Richmond and paid regular visits so there was a personal love as well as that motherly love.

When Great Grandma Lillian moved to Layton, all her photo albums and pictures went with her.  When she passed away in 1987, they fell into the possession of her daughter, Lillian.  It was almost 20 years later when I knocked on the door and wanted to see photographs.  I found the goldmine when she pulled out these albums.  I scanned the photo above in 2006, but after Aunt Lillian passed away in 2009, the family thought to give me this actual photograph.

A copy of this same photograph hung in my Grandmother’s house in Paul, Minidoka, Idaho.  It sat on a cedar chest in one of the bedrooms.  I do not know what happened to that photo when my Grandmother died, but I have this image in my mind of that photo being in my Grandparent’s possession from the late 1950’s as well.  Tended, loved, and on the wall overlooking the family as they grew through the years.  I know I probably romanticize it as any child does to ignore the pain of their childhood for the faults and inadequacies of their parents.  I know my mother romanticizes her childhood and the relationship with her parents.  I see in this picture a happy smirk and a couple of contented children.  What did my Grandparent’s see in their children?  What did my Great Grandmother see in this picture?  I will not likely know while I am alive.

As I now have a child of my own and feel great love in the features and form of the child, not to mention the personality, I know how I feel looking at pictures of my daughter.  I assume my Grandparents felt the same for their children.  I look at this photo with new eyes, especially where I can sense so many similar features between my daughter Aliza and her Grandmother Sandy (and even a few with her Grand Uncle Doug).

Here is another picture of Mom and Uncle Doug outside their home in Richmond.  Again, I see two cold, but happy, kids playing in the snow outside the home my Grandpa Jonas lovingly built for the family in the late 1940’s.

Here is another photo of Doug and Mom outside the Richmond home near the front sidewalk.

This photo does not look quite so happy.  Mom looks like she is in the same sweater as she was in the first picture above.  My Mom had a pretty mangled right-handed ring finger that had not been removed by this point.  I imagine  she is holding her right hand to hide the the bandages and injury to that finger.  That seems to expand my sympathy for her and the somber look she has on her face.  No three- year-old should have that type of injury and then keep a mangled finger for 5 years when it finally has to be removed due to doctor negligence and improper care.  I think she would have lost it anyway, but the doctor certainly sped things up.

How did my Grandparents view this little girl who was injured?  I am sure they loved her dearly.  I remember one time after asking my Grandma how she felt about my Mom as a little girl and she referred to her as “her little darling girl.”  I am sure it was with heartbreak that this little darling girl now had to live with the pain of a lawnmower almost removing a finger.  I am sure a sigh of relief that only one finger was lost rather than all of them.

Here is another picture.  This was also taken in 1957, the same year that Mom would suffer the severe trauma to her finger.  She still has it in full glory at this point.  This picture was from the Andra Reunion which I believe was held in Preston, Franklin, Idaho.

Again, I feel for the family.  I sense a contented nature in this picture.  Grandpa did not have his life increasingly taken over by alcohol by this point.  He looks like a good healthy, strong man.  I love the classic late 1950’s clothing they all sport.  Doug’s ironed shorts, the patterns in Grandma’s pants, the shirt Grandpa wears with the sleeves rolled, and the one piece jumper Mom wears with its pattern.

(l-r): Sandy Jonas, Lola Bruderer, Jane Robinson

Here is a picture of Mom playing with some friends.  This picture was taken or developed in August 1958, at least that is what the side of the photograph said.  Classic wallpaper, carpet, and clothes of the late 1950’s.  I especially love the Crayola crayons box on the table.  I wonder where these other two ladies are now and what their impressions of the photo and others are?

Last picture of the childhood of my Mom.  This one is probably my favorite.

This photo is also classic of the time with its painted colors.  This is obviously a couple of years later, probably even into the 1960’s.  Too bad it is slightly blurred, but at least I have it.  Oddly enough, the same photo appeared in black in white just this year with this accompanying side shot.

A happy child lovingly tended to and cared for.  The years fly by until we hit about 1966.  The family’s time in Richmond was slowly drawing to a close.

Although by this time a younger sibling, Jackie, has joined the children.  Here is another picture from about 1968, probably shortly before the move to Burley, Cassia, Idaho.  Sally (1955-2010) was Mom’s best friend growing up.  Dee is Mom’s first cousin.

Dee Jonas, Sally Johnson, and Sandy Jonas

The family moved to Burley in 1968 when Grandpa secured work on the construction of the new Del Monte plant.  I know Mom was not at all excited about the move.  At this point, I think I will leave Mom’s time in Idaho for another time.  But I have at least documented some of her life from 1954 through 1968.  One last picture of Mom and me around 1980.

Mom with me on Jack

Happy Birthday Mom.

Aliza’s Four Generations

Maybe it is a product of our day where people live longer, but Aliza is fortunate to have 3 of her great grandparents living at this time.  For family history purposes, I thought I might post these pictures of Aliza with her great grandparents.  Further, I thought I would post a picture or two that Amanda and I have with our great grandparents.

Here is a picture of Aliza with Amanda’s paternal grandfather, DeLece (“D”) Hemsley. This picture was taken at a party in Kaysville, Utah for Amanda’s brother, Derek, upon coming home from his two-year mission in July.  We took the opportunity for a couple of photos with family.

(l-r): DeAnne, D, and Bryan Hemsley with Aliza and Amanda

This is Amanda’s paternal grandmother, Shanna Thompson.  This photo was also at Derek’s party.

(l-r): Mel and Shanna Thompson; Paul, Aliza, and Amanda; Bryan and Jill Hemsley

Lastly, here is my paternal grandfather, Milo Ross.  We took these pictures, the day after at Derek’s homecoming party, at Grandpa’s house in Plain City, Utah.  I will post three pictures because I think they are good photos.  This first one shows a great smile on Grandpa, Aliza, and Amanda.  I also like the profile of Grandpa.

Grandpa’s first sight of Aliza

I like this one because Aliza looks as cute as she always does.  For being 90, Grandpa can sure pick her up and throw her in the air with ease.

Here is one we took of the four generations with my sister, Andra, and her son, Daniel. Grandpa has two of his great grandchildren in this picture (and Dad has two of his grandchildren).

Andra, Milo (Jr), Daniel, Milo (Sr), Paul, Aliza

Fortunately, Aliza has now had her photo taken with all of her living Great Grandparents.  Amanda was also fortunate to have such a photograph with all of her living Grandparents and Great Grandparents.  Even more, ALL great grandparents and grandparents are in the same photo!  Here is that photo from the day of her baby blessing in Kaysville.  LeRoy, D, Shanna, and Clara are all Amanda’s Grandparents.  Belle is D’s mother.  Walter and June are Shanna’s father and step-mother.

Back (l-r): LeRoy Holden, D Hemsley, Bryan, Jill, and Amanda Hemsley, Mel and Shanna Thompson. Front: Clara Holden, Belle Hemsley, June and Walter Hansen.

I had three Great Grandparents who were alive when I was born.  Unfortunately, I do not seem to have a photo in my possession with my Andra Great Grandparents despite the fact that I was 10 and 11 years old when they passed.  Oddly, I have pictures of my Great Grandpa and Grandma Andra that I was present when the photo was taken, like the one below.  This is my mother’s maternal grandparents about 1989.

Mary and Bill Andra

This is my mother’s paternal grandmother and some of the rest of the family at her sister’s funeral, Edna Coley Neilson.  My Great Grandma Lillian Bowcutt (remarried in 1953 after her husband Joseph Jonas died in 1932) is in the center of this photo and is the mother to the two ladies beside her and the four men in front.  I am more of a footnote in the photo, but at least I have one with Great Grandma Bowcutt in the same picture.

Far back (l-r): Unknown, Larry Talbot, Unknown (completely unseen), and Unknown. Middle: Jimmie Jonas, Hilma Jonas, Lillian Talbot, Lillian Bowcutt, LeReta Andersen, Lona Jonas, Colleen Elliott.  Front: Spencer Jonas, Joseph Jonas, Ellis Jonas, Evan Jonas, Paul Ross, Jackie Jonas, Andra Ross.

Memories of Great Grandpa and Grandma Andra

For the Andra Reunion this year, we have been asked to write our memories of my Great Grandpa and Grandma Andra (William Fredrick Andra and Mary Louise Wanner).  These are my maternal grandmother’s parents, but we just referred to them as Grandpa and Grandma Andra.  For sake of reading, I will call them by their more formal title.

My Grandma (Colleen, their daughter) lived in Paul, Minidoka, Idaho from before I was born.  She had grown up in Preston, Franklin, Idaho and her parents still lived there.  Therefore, the only time I saw them is when we visited them in Preston or they visited us in Paul.  At some point, I will write a more comprehensive history of Bill and Mary Andra, but for now I will only write my personal recollections.

Great Grandpa Andra was born in 1898 and Great Grandma Andra was born in 1901.  By the time I was 4 or 5, they were already in their 80’s.  Some of my first memories of my Great Grandparents were the Andra Reunions held at Wolcott Park, beside the Minidoka Dam, near Acequia, Minidoka, Idaho.  Here is a picture from the reunion in 1984.  Great Grandpa and Grandma Andra had 12 children, so our reunions could be quite the crowd of immediate family.

Andra Reunion, July 28, 1984. Bill (Jr), Millie, Bill, Mary, Golden, Larry, Don, and June in back. Colleen and Ross in front.

Great Grandpa Andra was pretty ill.  Some believed it was Parkinson’s Disease, others just thought it was old age.  I do not personally know what it was.  I believe the reunion was held at Wolcott Park because Grandpa was staying in the old folks home in Acequia.  I remember going there multiple times with Grandma and playing while she attempted to play cribbage with Grandpa.  He was pretty shaky, and could not speak in any way that I could understand him.  As you can see in the photo, he needed assistance walking by this point and standing.

I remember him at Grandma’s house in Paul one time and we were having dinner.  Grandma had to feed him.  I do not know exactly what happened, but apparently Grandma became very upset with Grandpa Andra and slapped him over something.  I was not present when it happened.  I remember Grandma crying and I entered the room hearing her sob and tell Grandpa Andra how very sorry she was for what she had just done.  For years afterward, she mentioned how you can spank your children, but you can never slap your Daddy.

Another time we were driving somewhere in Grandma’s 1974 yellow Mercury Cougar.  Grandpa Andra was in the car with us and a song came on the radio.  The song was “O My Papa” and Grandma sang along with it, apparently to Great Grandpa.  Both of them cried.  Grandma always sang along with the song, probably in memory of her father.  Even today, I hear the song and I think of Grandma singing to her father.  Very, very sweet.

Great Grandpa moved back to Preston after probably only a year or two in Acequia.  The only times I really saw them then was at the Andra Reunions, now held at Riverdale, Franklin, Idaho.  Here is a picture of Great Grandpa in the shade at the Riverdale water park where the reunions were held.  I remember he was not very coherent by this point, and family kept herding us away from him so he could have some peace in the shade.  I believe this is the last Andra Reunion he attended in 1989.

He passed away during the spring of 1990 and because school was still in, I was not allowed to go down with Grandma to the funeral.  I remember wanting to go and sad I could not.

Somewhere before this time, for some unknown reason, we went to visit Great Grandma Andra in Preston.  Grandpa was still in the old folks home there because we went to visit him.  We actually stayed the night at Great Grandma’s for the only time I ever remember doing so.  Grandma left us with Great Grandma for part of the day and she pulled out a big board with holes in it.  We played “Aggravation” and it is the only time I think I ever remember playing it.  You move marbles around on a board and somehow your marbles were sent back home.  I remember enjoying it and Great Grandma getting quite a kick out of Andra’s reaction (I know, confusing, but it is my Sister’s first name…I wonder where my Mom got the name?).  She laughed and laughed at one point where Andra was not laughing at all, which only added to Great Grandma’s enjoyment of the situation.

We helped Great Grandma in her massive garden for a good while.  I remember the smells of the garden more than anything.  She had flowers surrounding the garden and even my young 9-10 year old mind knew it was beautiful.  Here is a picture of Great Grandma in 1990 after Great Grandpa Andra passed away.

My last memory of Great Grandma Andra was the day she passed away.  She did pretty well getting around and taking care of herself until a stroke hit her a few weeks before she passed away.  She went downhill very quickly and I remember there being concerns she would not even live until the Andra Reunion in 1991.  The reunion was held and she was in the old folks home in Preston.  Everybody knew it was pretty much good-bye at this point.  We lingered that Saturday with family and then made our way over to the home to say good-bye to Great Grandma.  We all hugged her and gave her kisses.  Grandma climbed on the bed and gave Great Grandma a hug.  She pretty much was laying on her and sobbing and telling her how much she loved her.  Grandma was there too long and we could see that Great Grandma was starting to struggle to breath.  Aunt Jackie pulled Grandma off Great Grandma and I still remember the fluffy white hair in the light as we left the room.  It was a sweet feeling as we left.

We drove from Preston to Paul.  As we walked into the house from the garage, the phone rang.  Grandma answered the phone and the person on the other end informed Grandma that Great Grandma had died while we were driving back home.  Grandma started crying and went somewhere to be alone.  I remember feeling just as sad knowing how much Grandma loved her parents.

I have a very soft spot in my heart for my Great Grandparents because of the love I know my Grandma had for them.  I did not get to know them very well.  Their memory is still fresh in my mind though.  I can still remember both of their smiles, Great Grandma’s laughter, and a sly look Great Grandpa Andra would get in his eye when he would tease me.  I can remember looking at his little tattoo that looked like a eggbutt snaffle bit, that was the only thing in my life that I thought it resembled, just above the thumb knuckle.  Kinda like an 8 on its side with a line between the loops near the thumb of the hand.  I cannot remember if this was the hand he lost his thumb?  (I seem to remember being told someone had the thumb in a jar!)  I did not get to attend Great Grandma’s funeral either.

Anyhow, in closing, here is a picture of after May Melycher was born.  They all drove down to get a 4 generation shot.  I assume sometime in 1989.

Mary Andra, Jackie Melycher, Colleen Jonas, holding May Melycher

Andra’s in Virginia

Since I seem to write so much about ancestral lines and their stories, I like to pay homage to the living from time to time.  Here are a few photos from Thanksgiving 2007 when my Great Uncle and Aunt Andra came to visit.

Donald is the brother to my maternal grandmother, Colleen Andra (1928 – 1999).  I have written of her elsewhere, rather than a link, you can search for it here on the blog.

Donald and Lolane were called to serve a mission in the Washington D.C. Temple for 18 months.  We visited them many times in Kensington, Montgomery, Maryland.  After Thanksgiving Dinner with them in the Rock Creek Ward building, they were finally able to take some time off, drive down to Richmond, Henrico, Virginia, and spend some time with us.  I have written about their visit at the time, but wanted to include a picture.  We visited the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens (the picture above was in one of their buildings).  We also visited Monticello, Shirley Plantation, and various sites around Richmond, Virginia.  We very much enjoyed their time with us and look forward to when we can spend more time with them in the future.

One of the highlights of the visit for all of us was having lunch with Sister Angela Andra and her companion.  It was a unique experience for me to sit at lunch with three full-time missionaries, all cousins with the last name of Andra.  Angela is the granddaughter of Don’s (and my Grandma’s) brother, William (Bill) Fredrick Andra (Jr).  Here is a picture of that occasion after lunch in Chesterfield, Chesterfield, Virginia.

I will wrap up with a picture of the breathtakingly beautiful Washington D.C. Temple.  I wholeheartedly understand and agree with the reasons why the church has moved to the smaller temples for ease of access and utility.  However, something about the size and grandeur of the big temples still strikes more awe of God into my hard heart.

Jonas-Andra Wedding

Bill and Mary Andra are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Colleen Mary to Wilburn Norwood Jonas, son of Joseph and Lillian Jonas.  They were married in Elko, Nevada on 27 September 1946.

Colleen is a 1946 graduate of Preston High School.  She is currently pursuing a degree at Brigham Young University.

Norwood attended North Cache High School.  He is currently employed at Pet Milk in Richmond.

The couple will make their home in Richmond.

While short and sweet, I think that is what their announcement may have been like.  What else is in there between the lines?  Norwood and Colleen met at the Persiana in Preston, Idaho.  A dance hall on the second floor of the building.  William and Mary Andra were not entirely pleased with Colleen’s selection of a spouse.  The poor boy from Richmond who smoked and drank was not an appropriate mate for their daughter.  Not only that, she loved him so much that her parents did not see this as a good influence on her even while they dated for a couple of years before.  While not entirely supportive, they allowed their daughter to make her own choices after having a number of clear, frank conversations with her.  If this is what she wanted, then she could do as she pleased.  But she was well aware that much heartache and pain could be in her future, at least as her parents predicted.

With so little support from her parents, many of her siblings liked “Nor” for the most part.  He worked hard and provided for his family and that is most important.

Joseph Jonas had died 14 years earlier and would not be around for this occasion.  In fact, Norwood saw his father electrocuted before him on that fateful day in Ogden, Utah in 1932.  Norwood often took his father his lunch at that time because they lived in railroad housing not far from the switchyard where he worked.  Nor walked up the tracks and his father saw him coming.  He stepped down from the locomotive they were working on to the track and started walking toward Norwood.  A Mr. Child who had been warned earlier to move the line had not done so and Joseph hit his head.  Norwood saw his father thrown back to the ground.  Mr. Child made the mistake that killed Joseph that day and every time he saw the family he always apologized for the death.  If that wasn’t a burden to live with for Mr. Child, it was for Norwood.  His brother, Ellis, indicated that was the day the lights went out in Norwood.  Nor’s mother, Lillian, also indicated Norwood was never the same after that day.

The family lost their housing with the railroad and moved back to Richmond, Utah.  There the family had to live in two train cars placed side by side for years to come.  Finally the family could afford to move into a little home of a few hundred square feet, but that was after most, if not all, the children were gone.  Lillian (nee Coley) was a humble, faithful widow who did what she could for her children.  Much relied upon the good people of the ward in which she lived, but the boys had their crazy days without a father.  The Jonas brothers were known to be a rough, mean bunch.  The meanness only exacerbated by alcohol.

Colleen had graduated Preston High School and followed her parents suggestion by enrolling at Brigham Young University.  I think the parents probably hoped some good boys would come along.  However, Norwood and Colleen could not bear to be that far apart and Norwood came down to pick her up at school after only a few days or weeks there.  They drove back north and would eventually take Lillian and run to Elko to “elope”.

Norwood attended North Cache High School but never graduated.  Only one of his siblings would graduate from high school (Ellis).  Norwood was bright and able to keep up with school.  So much, he attended with classes with his older brother, Irwin, who was two and a half years his senior.  Norwood even shows in Irwin’s class pictures.  But the life of the widow was hard and the boys found employment as soon as they can to help with the family expenses.

The two would be happily married for years to come.  The first child would not come for 6 years after the marriage.  Norwood and Colleen enjoyed the social environment and party of friends, often hosting Bridge and other card games at their home.  Children would arrive in 1952 (Douglas Norwood), 1954 (Sandra, written about at this link: Baby Sandra Jonas), and 1960 (Jackie).  I really don’t know much for sure of this period.  Other than they seem to have lived the usual family life.  Alcohol would eventually come to cause the majority of problems within the home and which would eventually take Norwood’s life in 1975.

Colleen’s journals from 1944-1946 can be found here.  Colleen’s Journal 1944-1946.  I also wrote about the journal at this link: Colleen Andra’s Journal.  While short in its entries, it tells more than anything I could have ever found out otherwise.  Everyone, keep a journal, even if only one sentence a day.  That one sentence tells scores of information decades later.  I treasure every word.  I wish she had such a journal extending through every year.

Baby Sandra Jonas

This is the only photograph I have of my mother as a baby.  I am sure there are more out there, but they have not been shared with me.  This photograph was in an album of my Great Grandmother, Lillian Coley Jonas (Mom’s paternal Grandmother).  It was in an album that had the plastic stick pages and you can see the effects of that and a little moisture on the photograph.  Hopefully some day another version will emerge.  I am sure my Grandmother had some more pictures but nobody seems to know where they went in 1999.

Sandra Jonas was born 16 March 1954 in Logan Hospital in Logan, Utah.  She weighed in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces and I do not have a record of how long.  Her parents were Colleen Mary Andra and Wilburn Norwood Jonas.  They resided at the home Grandpa built at 142 N. State Street in Richmond, Utah (someone update me so I can correct this).  I do not know the exact address.  She was delivered by Dr. Willard Goodwin Noble.  An interesting note about her birth certificate, Dr. Noble made out the certificate of birth on the 24th of March and was probably filed the next day, but the certificate says it was filed on the 15th of March, the day before she was born!  L. K. Gates was the Registrar.  That is all from the State Certificate of Birth.  The Logan City Certificate of Birth all states the same except signed by H. R. Pedersen as City Recorder with W. W. Nyman as deputy.

Sandra, who had a strong dislike for the name Sandra, has always gone by Sandy.  Sandra is not a family name and was popular at the time.

Wilburn went by the name of Norwood (or “Nor”) because he did not like Wilburn.  He is shown as a laborer on the birth certificate and worked on and off at various jobs through the years.  The majority of the time he worked for Sego Milk (aka Pet Milk) in Richmond.  When the plant closed in the late ’60’s, that is why the Jonas family moved to Burley, Cassia, Idaho.  Norwood then began work helping construct the new Del Monte Plant in Burley.  Colleen also worked through the years at various jobs, usually working at the at the pea and other packing plants in Franklin, Idaho and Smithfield, Utah.

Sandy was the second child of Norwood and Colleen, the older being a boy born in 1952, Douglas Norwood.  Mom was later followed in 1960 by Jackie.  Neither Douglas or Jackie are family names and the family appears to used names that suited their fancy than having any tie to ancestry.

As I look at the picture, I see a happy baby.  She continued to grow into a happy little girl.

I look at our new baby, Aliza, and I see much of my mother.  While I never knew my Mom’s real face because it was rebuilt cosmetically after a wreck threw her into some barbed wire than nearly removed her face and her life, I see in this photo many features of Aliza.  Everything from the long hair on the baby, the smile and build of the face, the wrinkles in the skin of the neck, and more.  Little Aliza does not have the ears or the plumpness of this baby.  Perhaps the plumpness will arrive when she is able to sit up as Mom is able to in this photo.  We will just have to wait and see.