Berendena Van Leeuwen Donaldson Funeral

Sitting (l-r) Dora, Betty, Gladys, Maxine.  Standing: Unknown woman, back of man, back of man, Eddie Telford (in front of wheel of car)

Dena Donaldson graveside service.  Sitting (l-r) Dora Birch, Betty Donaldson, Gladys Ross, Maxine Telford. Standing: (l-r) Unknown woman, back of man, back of man, Eddie Telford (in front of wheel of car), Jan Birch, Richard Michaelson, Johnny Telford, Unknown man, Les Collins, Unknown man reaching out, Mary Hewitt, Andy Hewitt (face behind Mary’s head), Dena Michaelson, Mike Michaelson, Unknown man’s head, Minnie Berglund.

Here is a photo from the graveside service of Berendena “Dena” Van Leeuwen Donaldson in the Ogden, Weber, Utah Cemetery.  I have previously shared Dena’s life story.  But I thought I would make this photo available and hope maybe we can find a few more people in the photo.  My father says he was present, but did not make it into the photo.  He seemed to think he was standing with Jan, Richard, and Johnny, he may very well be the hidden person under the bough of the tree.  He provided me the names of the people in the photo, but I do not have a second confirmation for the names, so if you can confirm or correct, I would appreciate your help.

Dena died 5 March 1959 in Ogden.  This picture was taken 9 March 1959, the date of her funeral and this graveside service.  Three of Dena’s children are seated (Dora, Gladys, and Maxine).  Betty is Dena’s daughter-in-law.  Dena, Dena’s daughter, is standing also beside her husband Chauncey Michaelson.  Dad seems to remember Grandpa (Milo Ross) and Dave Donaldson are blocked by the tombstone on the right of the photo.  Two of Dena’s sisters are visible (Mary and Kate).  Dad could not identify any of the other people as they were either not family or distant enough he cannot recall them.  I think the man to the right of Johnny Telford and the man to the left of Mary Hewitt are Dena’s brother-in-laws, but I do not know which (only four were still living; George, Ellis, Ed, and Alvin), but they have Donaldson traits.

Donaldson 4 Generations

Dora Birch, Mary Donaldson, David Donaldson, and (boy) Jan Birch

I thought I would share this 4 generation photograph taken about 1950 or so in Ogden, Weber, Utah.  The older lady is Mary Elizabeth Williams Donaldson (7 April 1869 – 29 Mar 1951).  David Delos Donaldson (26 March 1894 – 24 September 1953), her son, stands to her right.  The other lady, Dora Mary Donaldson Birch (28 May 1920 – 30 July 2001), is the daughter of David.  The boy, Jan Claire Birch (3 August 1945 – 14 April 2004) is the son of Dora.

I have written previously about Mary (Donaldson-Williams Wedding) Donaldson and how stern and mean she apparently was in her outward demeanor.  This photograph is a complete and polar opposite portrayal of the lady so many have given to me.  There must surely have been some joy and happiness in there as this photo seems to indicate (if it is in fact Mary, some are not so convinced).

David (who went by Dave in life) I have also written of previously (Donaldson-Van Leeuwen Wedding) and mentioned his overall characteristics.  I wanted to take this opportunity to share another story I just heard recently.

I mentioned in the post about David that he was known for being a tight wad.  Well, apparently after he passed away, Dena had a dream about him coming to her during an afternoon nap.  He told her that she needed to go to the pantry.  She could not figure out why in the world she would need to go to the pantry but did so anyway.  She walked into the pantry, downstairs, and turned on the light and started to look around.  She noticed what appeared to be a loose brick and went over to investigate.  The bricks came away and in a little lockbox behind she found a quit-claim deed to the home made to her and about $1,500.  That was quite a bit of money in 1953, but it was just enough to pay off all David’s doctor and funeral bills.  There was even enough left for some nice things for Dena.

Dora and Jan Birch I really do not have stories for at this time, maybe some day.