Mary Louise Wanner Andra Autobiography

Phyllis, Utahna, Sergene, Mary, Colleen, Millie, Edith

Phyllis Andra, Utahna Andra, Sergene Sorenson, Mary Andra, Colleen Jonas, Millie Beck, Edith Andra

Autobiography given Nov 1961
I, Mary Louise Wanner Andra was born the 5th of March 1901 in Cub River, Idaho.  My father is John George Wanner, Jr. and my mother is Regina Nuffer.  I have five brothers and one sister, Eva.  The oldest were twin boys: William C. and Willard.  The other three boys were Golden, Rulon, and Serge.  I came sixteen months later after the twins, so Mother had three in diapers.
In the fall of 1907 my father was called on a two year mission to Germany because he spoke the German language.  We didn’t have much while father was gone, but we were happy.
He returned in the fall of 1909 and we moved back to Cub River and in the spring of 1910 we moved to Whitney, Idaho where my father bought an eighty acre irrigated farm and a one-hundred-sixty-nine acre dry farm.  This farm was owned by my Grandfather Wanner.  My father planted beets, potatoes, grain and hay.  He also had a herd of cows and there was plenty to do!  Father was very strict and we all had to toe the mark.  I remember the twin boys and Golden, just younger than myself, and I had to thin the beets.  The first two or three years the mustard weeds were so thick you could hardly see the beets.
We kids went to grade school and had to walk three miles.  Sometimes we would ride horseback in the winter when the snow was so deep.  When it got cold enough to freeze a crust on the snow, we would walk on top and cut through the fields because the snow was above the fences.  We sure thought that was a lot of fun.
Our farm was just across the road from George Benson and their daughter, Margaret was in the same grade as myself.
In the 8th grade, I was chosen to take the part of Snow White in the school play.  In school, during the recess, we would jump the rope.  There was no one who could turn it fast enough for me.  I could outrun all my girl friends.  I even used to catch the boys and wash their faces with snow.
We also had a girl’s baseball team.  We would play Franklin and the surrounding little towns.
In the summer after school was out, I would ride horses.  I would go up to the dry farm and get the cows.  One time I took my little sister, Eva and as we passed a brush, Eva fell off and broke her arm.
After I graduated from the 8th grade, I wanted to take sewing course in Logan at the A.C. (Agricultural College).  After coaxing my father for several days, he finally decided to let me go.  Inez Wallace and I went to Logan on the train.  I had been down to Logan for three days when my father came and got me to work on the dry farm, getting the land ready to plant.
In 1918, my brother, William C. died in France.  He was in the 145th infantry.  Three days later, my brother, Golden died in Salt Lake with double leakage of the heart.  Soon after, my father sold the farm and we moved to Preston, Idaho.  My father bought the Parkinson Farm (4th South and 4th East).  Then my father planted beets again and I still had a job of thinning beets.  We lived in an old home while my father was having the new one built.
In the early fall and winter of 1918, I went around to different homes taking care of the sick.  There was a flu epidemic at that time.  I was taking care of my cousin, Emma Nelson (George Nelson’s wife).  He was a wrestler.  Emma died of the flu.
In the spring of 1918, I went to work for Roy and Alabell Hull.  I cared for the twins, did the washing, ironing, and all the cooking.  They had seven in their family and three hired men.
At that time I was going with a young man by the name of William Andra.  He was born in Germany.  While my father was on his mission, he used to go to the Andra home.  My father baptized his oldest sister, Frieda.
I met William and his mother while living in Whitney.  I was still going to school.  He and his mother came by train and my father met them at the train.  After a few days, William’s mother went back to Salt Lake and William started working for my father on the farm.  I guess that is when the romance began.  I was 16 years old.
While working at the Hull’s, William would come and get me with his new buggy and horse.  We would to go Preston to a show.  At this time William was working for Jim Bodily.  Jim Bodily was the man who bought my father’s farm.  I worked all that summer for Roy Hull for $6.00 per week.
That fall of 1919, I went to Logan to the County Fair and rode race horses for Joe Perkins.  I was offered a job of being a jockey, but I didn’t desire that kind of a career, although I loved to ride horses.
In March 1920, William and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple.  We made our home in Whitney, Idaho on the Jim Bodily farm (where Lorin Bodily lives, only north in an old house).  I even helped thin some of Jim Bodily’s beets.  Our closest neighbors were George & Kate Poole.  Kate and I spent many hours together sewing.
I joined the Relief Society right after I was married.  I was asked to lead the singing.  Sister Barbara Ballif was the President at the time.
We lived there a few months, then we moved to the home where Bishop Morris Poole now lives.  My husband quit Bodily’s and he and his brother, Otto thinned beets for different farmers.  In the fall, these two would top beets at the sugar factory.  I would go out and hitch up the horses in the morning while they ate their breakfast.
November 25th, Thanksgiving, our first son was born.  My husband thought he had more time before the baby came.  He didn’t have the stove put up in the front room.  He got all excited and really sweat trying to get that stove up.  Will and Laura Dunkley were our closest neighbors.  Laura was with me when the baby was born.  Dr. Bland delivered the baby.  We named him William, Jr..  After William Jr. was about six months old, each Sunday when we went to church, as we got out of the buggy, all the young girls would come running to take little Jr.. They called him the ward baby.
Towards fall, we moved again down in the Joe Dunkley home, back of where the store now stands.  My husband got the janitor job for the church and the school house.  He was getting $30.00 a month and we were paying $18.00 in rent.  In the spring of 1922 we moved to Preston on my father’s farm.  William helped my father with the crops and after the crops were up, in the fall, we moved to Salt Lake City, out in Sugarhouse.  My husband got a job at the Royal Bakery hauling bread to the little adjoining towns.
On the 22nd of June 1923 our second child was born.  She was an eight month baby, only weighed 4 1/2 pounds.  We named her June.  Mrs. Hymas came down from Preston to take care of me.  Brother LeGrand Richards was the Bishop of Sugarhouse Ward where we lived, so we had him bless our baby.
The next fall, my husband’s brother, Walt coaxed him to go into the cafe business at Preston, so we moved back to Preston.  They had a good business.  In fact, the business picked up after my husband started working there.  The young folks as well as the older ones took to him.  I didn’t like the cafe business because the children’s father seldom saw the children with their eyes open.  William was always used to the outdoors.  He was really a farmer at heart.
On February 6th, 1925 our third child came along.  Another little girl and we named her Mildred.
In the fall of the second year in the cafe, my father wanted to sell his farm, and we bought all the land on the south and my brother, Willard bought the land on the north of the road.  There wasn’t much money in raising beets, and it was hard for us to make payments on the farm with the interest being so high the first few years.  My husband had to do extra work outside the farm work.  He dug basements for new homes, hauled sand, gravel, also beets from the beet pile to the sugar factory, any job he could get to make the payments on the farm.
On August 5, 1926 another son came along.  We named him Golden Rulon after my two brothers.  When he was two and a half years old, Golden fell out of a swing and was paralyzed (all of his right side except his arm).  At that time we had a Dr. Milford who brought him into the world.  For one whole year, every day, except Sunday, I took him to town to Dr. Milford’s for treatment.  His office was upstairs in the old Greaves building.
On the 27th of May 1928 I had a little red headed girl and we named her Colleen Mary after me.
Later on, after a few years, we started to raise peas and the pea crops were real good.  One year the peas went to four tons per acre.  No farmer beat that crop.  I helped in the fields all I could.  We couldn’t afford to hire anyone.  We didn’t have tractors at that time.  This was the year we bought our first car, a Ford.  The Doctor said it was too far to walk to town.
In the year of 1932 another little blond girl joined our family.  We named her Sergene.  I guess I wanted her to be a boy so I could name him Serge after my youngest brother who died in New Zealand on a mission.  Dr.Orvid Cutler brought her into the world.  When she was six months old, they were having a contest at the Grand Theatre for the healthiest baby.  Out of one-hundred-ninety babies, little Sergene took the first prize and we were surely proud of her.
On July 15, 1933 another son came along.  We named him Donald Wanner after my maiden name.  Seemed like all the boys had curly hair and they would pass for girls.  I had a niece from Downey, Idaho who came to help do the house work.  She was crazy about Donald and I heard her say many times that he was the cutest thing this side of heaven.
In 1934 I was six and one-half months along, but just didn’t have the strength to carry my baby the nine months.  The doctor said he wouldn’t live and for us to give him a name, so we named him Robert Lee.  He lived four hours.  By this time I was plenty busy with taking care of the children, but the older ones were big enough to help.
On the 2nd of December 1936 another son came along.  We named him Ross Leslie after Dr. L.V. Merrill.  I was also made Relief Society Visiting teacher that year.
On the 28th of February 1940 another son joined our family circle and we called him Dale.  I used to take these last two little boys, hook the team to the beet puller and put one on each horse.  They thought it was fun.
My husband would do the hauling, the older boys and girls would do the topping.  We all had to get out and work hard.  We still didn’t have a tractor at this time, but got one shortly after.  My husband used the tractor to harvest the potato crop.
In June 1942 another little fellow came along.  We named him Dennis Willard, after my brother, and April 9, 1943 our number twelve, a son was born.  His name was Larry.  When you would see these three little boys in the yard, you could hardly tell which was who, they looked so much alike.
William Jr. was in the Spanish American Mission when Dennis was born.  Dennis died when three years old.  Since this time I was put in as Relief Society Chorister.
It is 1961 and they have divided the ward and put me in as Secretary of the Young Ladies Mutual.  Our second missionary, Ross filled a mission in Brazil and the third son to go on a mission ins in the Western States.  His name is Dale and he has one more year to serve.
I am proud of my husband, sons, and daughters.
This is a story of my life and I would like to pass it on to my posterity.
Prepared and arranged November 25, 1961
Mary W. Andra

D-Day Sacrifice

I wrote about Irwin John Jonas a year ago in regards to D-Day.  I have a new document I want to share relating to him.

As I mentioned then, he participated in the D-Day invasion and lost his life on 11 July 1944, almost 71 years ago, near Saint-Lô, France.  He was part of the 38th Infantry Regiment then in the 2nd Infantry Division.  They landed on Omaha Beach on the day after D-Day.

As you can see, this is the Application for his headstone giving his birth and death date.  He is buried in Richmond, Cache, Utah.

While the death is tragic enough, the family still has to deal with the paperwork and other related issues with someone’s death.  We often forget about those incidental issues.  Here is a copy of the document just to resolve the headstone issue.  I assume the military had a quarry and set of stone masons just to take care of all these headstones, and then the shipping clerks to have them sent all over the nation.

Let’s not just forget the sacrifice of those who died for our freedom, but also the family who sacrificed with the aftermath of such a sacrifice as well.

U.S.HeadstoneApplicationsforMilitaryVeterans1925-1963ForIrwinJJonas

Sadly, the tombstone provided in this application has been seriously damaged by Richmond City.  For which they have ignored my phone calls and requests for communication.  Even more tragic, this was not the only marker I can see damaged by careless caretakers.

2014

Theophilus and Martha France

In an odd twist of fate, I thought I might share my latest story in search of the family of Theophilus and Martha France.  I stumbled on this photograph when scanning the photos of my Great Great Grandmother.  She married Herbert Coley, whose sister, Martha Ann, is shown above.  This photo was in the collection, likely from Martha France herself, to my Great Great Grandfather Herbert.  The photo just had the two names written on the back of the photo.

Since, I have tried to track down the family with little or no success.  I will give some of the limited history I know at this point and then close with my latest little find.

Theophilus was born 26 December 1863 in Dudley, Staffordshire, England.  He married Martha Ann Coley 4 November 1891 in Logan, Cache, Utah in the Logan LDS Temple.  Martha was born 18 August 1860 in Lutley, Worcestershire, England to Stephen and Hannah Maria Rogers Coley.

Theophilus was a musician that took the family to various places chasing performing and music instructions.  Mostly in Cache Valley, but also taking in a jaunt to Salina, Sevier, Utah.

Theophilus France, in the middle, nicknamed Foghorn

Theophilus France, in the middle, nicknamed Foghorn

Born to the family were 5 children.

Ada France born 1 April 1893 in Franklin, Franklin, Idaho and died 14 February 1957 in Caldwell, Canyon, Idaho.  She married Henry James Flippence.

Marguerite France born 19 October 1894 in Franklin and died 20 Mar 1936 in Logan.  She married George Bright.

Franklin Bank, circa 1895

Franklin Band, circa 1895, Theophilus France is sitting second from the right, supposedly as the leader

Wilford France born 25 Mar 1897 in Lewiston, Cache, Utah and died 28 August 1986 in Los Angeles County, California.  He married Elsie Arvilla Brown.

John France born 22 May 1899 in Lewiston and died 18 June 1953 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.  He married Meryln Burton.

Beatrice France born 16 October 1901 in Lewiston and died 14 October 1997 in Salt Lake City.  She married Robert Wallace Ekenstam.

From the census records, it appears Martha may have had a son (maybe a brother) named Frank.  He appears and then disappears.  He may be a cousin who came over from England with Martha and then died, married, or just moved away.  I cannot trace him down again, so this is one question I have always wanted to answer.  But finding a member of this family has not proved easy.

I knew Theophilus and Martha are buried in the Lewiston Cemetery.  Her brother, George, and their parents, Stephen and Hannah, my Great Great Great Grandparents are also buried there.  Theophilus died 30 October 1923 in Lewiston.  Martha died 18 July 1949 in Parma, Canyon, Idaho.

George Bright and Marguerite Coley had at least 8 children, but only one of them lived to marry.  I knew her name was Gennevieve Bright and that she had married a man by the name of Elvon Monson Jensen 22 April 1947.  He died in 1990 and trying to track down a lady Monson in Utah or Idaho, especially where she could have remarried, seemed an impossible task.  I left it there and tried some of the other lines.

In 2011, I was in my office and visiting with the wife of the other attorney from who I rent office space.  I knew Kent was from Preston and in a lull of the conversation asked the name of Kent’s parents.  She mentioned Elvon and Gennevieve.  I could not tell where, but I knew that Elvon Jensen was in my family history.  That night I looked him up and sure enough, there he was.  I rent office space in Burley, Idaho from my 3rd cousin, once removed!  Kent’s children are my 4th cousins.

It was with some sweet satisfaction that I was able to provide a copy of the photograph of Theophilus and Martha above to him.  He had not seen a picture of them before.  I asked that he put me in contact with the member of his family who does the family history on the France/Coley line.  Maybe I can help bridge some of the divide and flesh out more fully the Coley line in Utah and Idaho.

The picture above of Theophilus and Martha was scanned in 2006.  Who knew that I would be providing a photo of ancestors to a line who did not have a photograph.  Maybe there will be more such stories in the future with all the photos I have and continue to make available.  We can only hope.  Here is a photo of Martha later in life, I don’t know how old she was at the time.

Martha Coley

Martha Coley

Coley-Rogers Wedding

William and Mary Rogers are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Hannah Maria Rogers to Stephen Coley, son of James and Letitia Coley.  They were married 3 October 1852 in Halesowen, England.

This family has limited information, but since we stumbled upon a picture recently, I thought I would make it available.  Hopefully some other photos of the family will appear.  Another appeared, it is posted below.  A darker picture, but closer.  Hopefully I can get the whole thing at some point with the clearer resolution.

Light photo of Stephen

Stephen was the third child born to Letitia Willetts and James Coley on 28 January 1830 in Lutley, Worcestershire, England.  James, as far as I can tell was a hired man, but we do not know anything more.  The family stayed in Lutley and by the age of 21 Stephen was working as a servant for the widow Ann Page as a farm laborer on her farm.  Stephen continued working as a farm laborer until he took a job in the Iron Works of Haley Green by 1871.  The 1881 census lists him as a mender, we do not know what kind. When he shows up on the 1900 Census in Syracuse, Davis, Utah he is a day laborer.

Darker photo of Stephen

Darker photo of Stephen

Hannah was the first child born to Mary Harris and William Rogers on 4 June 1832 in Romsley, Worcestershire, England.  Some of the census records show Lutley too.  This family we know little about as a whole.  Mary died in 1859 and Roger in 1862.  We do not know his occupation or even where the family and other children end up.  The name is too common and tracking down siblings to this point has been unsuccessful.  The family lived near enough Romsley to be married there and each of the children christened there.  The only reason we know anything more about Hannah is because she left her own record with her posterity and church.

We have records of 7 children born to Stephen and Hannah Coley.

William Coley born 19 October 1854 in Hasbury, Worcestershire, England.  William married Sylvia James 19 Aug 1877 in Dudley, Worcestershire, England.  We do not know anything more about this family.

Charles N Coley born January 1857 in Hasbury, England.  Charles married an Ann and had 7 children we know of.

Martha Ann Coley born 18 August 1860 in Haley Green, Worcestershire, England.  She married Theophilus France, and more is written of them at that link.

Arthur Coley born 17 January 1862 in Lutley and married an Elizah Willett.  We know nothing more about him.

Herbert Coley born 12 February 1864 in Lutley and married Martha Christiansen 1 December 1896 in Lewiston, Cache, Utah.  This are my Great Great Grandparents and I will write more of them later.

George Harry Coley born 16 April 1868 in Lutley and married Caroline Wilson, and more is written of them at that link.

Francis Henry Coley born 8 October 1871 in Lutley and died 10 July 1893.  We do not know where, but that is the date passed down by the family.

While the family lived in Lutley, Mormons came to the community.  We do not know the conversion story, but Martha joined 23 August 1867, Herbert 1 June 1881, George 22 August 1881, and Frank 2 June 1882.  The call to gather to Utah was strong enough that these four children decided to make the venture.  We do not know if Stephen and Hannah came begrudgingly or not, but they accompanied the children on their journey.

The family boarded the RMS Wisconsin in Liverpool.  They arrived 23 October 1890 in New York City, New York.  Stephen traveled with Hannah, daughter Martha, niece Letitia Lea Willetts, one of Letitia’s daughters Clara,  and an unknown Frank and Mary.  We don’t know who these last two children are, but they traveled with the company.  The confusing thing is that Clara is listed as a Coley, yet her mother Letitia is a Willetts.  We believe it is this same Frank who shows up in the 1900 Census living in the Martha France household where he is listed as a step-son to Theophilus.  Therefore, it appears this Frank is Martha’s child, but we have no record of his birth, father, or where he ended up after the 1900 census.  Mary may be the daughter of Charles Coley, but the age is two years off, and she disappeared once they arrived in Utah, so we do not know.

Martha married in Logan, Cache, Utah on 4 November 1891.  Interestingly, Hannah was baptized a Mormon that same day.  Martha was sealed to Theophilus in the Logan Temple.  It is likely that Hannah attended to the temple the same day and was baptized in the font of the temple.  (They used to allow convert and children of record baptisms in the temple font)  Stephen was baptized 5 January 1892, we do not know the location.

Stephen and Hannah were both endowed on the 12 October 1892 in the Logan Temple.  They were sealed to each other the same day.  George married 23 November 1892 and his parents likely attended.

Hannah died 22 October 1894 in Franklin, Franklin (then Oneida), Idaho.  I don’t believe they were living outside of Lewiston so she was probably visiting or died there for some other reason (Lewiston and Franklin are only a few miles apart).  She was buried two days later, 24 October 1894 in Lewiston.

By the time the 1910 Census rolls around, Stephen is staying with Edwin Paice, step-son of his niece Letitia Lea Willetts who had remarried to William Paice.  Edwin lived next door to William and Letitia.  The photo above was likely taken between the death of his wife his own death 19 years later.  I am guessing somewhere after 1900, which year would put him about 70, since I guess he looks like he is in his 70’s.

Stephen died at home in Lewiston 22 October 1913 (same day as his wife) and was buried two days later, 24 October 1913 in Lewiston.

Mary Jonas Coley Obituary

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

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

July 21, 1918 ~ August 12, 2014

OGDEN – Mary Elizabeth Jonas Coley passed away on August 12, 2014 at the age of 96. She was born on July 21, 1918 in St. Paul, Minnesota, and attended school in Owatana, Minnesota.

Mary married Sgt. Irwin J Jonas on June 17, 1943 in Rochester, Minnesota. He died at Normandy, France, on July 11, 1944, while serving in the U.S. Army. She married Arthur C. Coley on May 3, 1946. Arthur passed away on April 19, 2004.

She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and homemaker. She loved her family dearly and was always there for them.

Mary volunteered in the PTA. She was employed at the Defense Depot Ogden, American Sportswear, and Brigham Apparel in Brigham City. She was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mary and Art enjoyed fishing, hunting, camping, and traveling together. Mary loved to cook; she also enjoyed doing puzzles and embroidery.

Mary is survived by her two sons, Robert I. (Janet) Jonas, Roy, and Stephen G. (Julie) Coley, Roy; daughter, Sandra K. (Loran) Schnaidt, St. Louis, MO; daughter-in-law, Shirley Coley Larson, Farmington, NM; stepson, Lorus Evans, Hackensack, MN; six grandchildren, Rebecca, Christine, Dawn, Karla, Marne, and Kerry; 17 great-grandchildren; and seven great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by both of her husbands, Irwin J. Jonas, and Arthur C. Coley; son, Ronald G. Coley; and grandson, Robert I. Jonas II.

Funeral Services will be held Monday, August 18, 2014, at 11 a.m. at Lindquist’s Ogden Mortuary, 3408 Washington Blvd. Friends may visit with the family on Monday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the mortuary.

Interment, Lindquist’s Memorial Gardens of the Wasatch, 1718 Combe Road. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to your favorite charity in memory of Mary Coley.

Send condolences to the family at: http://www.lindquistmortuary.com.

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

Richmond, Utah Cemetery

I am writing some history on my Grand Uncle Irwin Jonas who gave his life shortly after D-Day.  I do not have a picture of his tombstone and I hoped to grab one this past weekend.  Let me tell you how disgusted I am with the condition of his tombstone!  This is in the Richmond, Cache, Utah city cemetery.

Here is a picture from 2009 of his tombstone.  Even the markings on the stone at that time show a complete disregard by the caretakers regarding driving over the stone and scratching it, very likely with their mower.  Notice how the top right corner is chipped and I am willing to bet it is from the same activity that marked it.  This grave stone was in good shape only a few years before this photo was taken and these were new markings at the time.  Unfortunately I cannot find that circa 2004 photo at this time.  Of course I complained to city offices.

2009 condition

2009 condition

It is quite apparent my complaint to the city offices fell on deaf ears.  Here is a picture of the same grave in 2014!

2014

2014 condition

Notice that the top of the stone is nearly all chipped away!  It is bad enough that portions of the cross on his stone have also chipped away.  Also, look at the nice king/bend in the American Legion marker on the top left of the picture.  This shows a complete disregard for the property of another and a disrespect for the dead and their family for which the stone represents.  This is a man who fought to protect Americans and died in France about a month after D-Day.  He was not buried until February 1948, nearly four years after he died in battle.  This is the grave of a veteran who gave the ultimate sacrifice.  Richmond is a fiduciary, a trustee, of these stones and must treat them with full respect and accord.  I cannot imagine this is allowed in many other cities in Cache County, not from my personal experience in most of the other cemeteries.  Somebody needs be held accountable for this damage.

I walked through the cemetery quickly in the space of about an hour and documented many more failures by Richmond in their care and maintenance of this grave.  It extends beyond just markings and chipping of markers which I will document at another post.  The members of the cemetery district should be held accountable.  The City of Richmond should hold them accountable, the taxpayers in this cemetery district should hold them accountable, and someone should put together a class action lawsuit to pay for these damages.  I would happily sign on.  Does the City of Richmond not see what is going on in their own cemetery district?  Inasmuch as the City of Richmond is condoning this activity, the mayor and council-members should also be held accountable.  Not only should anyone responsible be voted out or removed from office, there should be personal liability for the damages.  This is quite frankly disgusting.  Shame on Richmond City.