Friday, March 11, 2011

The Miller Clan in 1945

While looking for another photo this evening, I came across this one of my grandfather, William Ambrose Miller, all of his children, a majority of his sons- and daughters-in-law, and those of his grandchildren who had arrived prior to January, 1945, when it was taken.

The occasion was not a happy one. Everyone had come home for the funeral of my grandmother, Jessie Frances (Brown) Miller, who died Jan. 7, 1945. This photo was taken soon after the funeral because, I suspect, Granddad figured that all of his children, scattered in Iowa, Colorado, Wyoming and Michigan, wouldn't be together in the same place again until they got together to bury him. Although that didn't happen until 1969, he was right.

It's a good-looking group, I think, but wonder how the same horrible thing could have happened to the hair of my mother, far right in the back row; and my Aunt Helen Miller, at far left in the back row, like bookends on a bad hair day. I feel badly about saying this and deserve to be haunted.

In the back row are (from left) Aunt Helen (Krutsinger) Miller, married to Joe; Uncle Joe Miller; Uncle Kenneth Krutsinger, married to Mary Miller; Uncle Owen Miller; Uncle Richard Miller, in World War II uniform, married to Marie; and my parents, Daniel and Reefa (Miller) Myers.

In the front row (from left) are Darlis and Dean Miller, children of Helen and Joe; Aunt Mary (Miller) Krutsinger holding son Jack; William Ambrose Miller holding Karen Miller, daughter of Richard and Marie; Aunt Marie (Lindquist) Miller, married to Richard and holding Margaret Krutsinger, daughter of Kenneth and Mary; our much-loved Verna Prentiss/Brown, Grandmother's niece who because she was disabled as an infant by polio and raised by my grandmother always lived with us; Aunt Mae (Miller) Gibbany; and Alice Krutsinger, the third child of Mary and Kenneth.

As to who isn't included in the photo, Aunt Mae didn't marry Uncle Elmer Gibbany until 1947, so he wasn't; nor was Uncle Owen's wife, Aunt Norma, who had four small children at home (Willa, Wayne, Jessie and Doug --- born just a month earlier). She quite wisely stayed at home on the ranch in Wyoming. After 1945. Owen and Norma had an additional son, Gerry; Aunt Mae and Uncle Elmer had Merv; my parents produced me; and Aunt Marie and Uncle Richard had Suzanne and Linda.

The story everyone remembers about this family gathering, a houseful to put it mildly, was that Karen, just six months old, was put to bed in a dresser drawer (removed from the dresser and suitably padded, of course).

Of the adults, all are gone now save Aunt Marie, still beautiful and very much alive and well and living in New York. Of the cousins, only Merv, claimed indirectly by AIDS in 1992, has left us.

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