My Mom's Family - The Willeys
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We start with my mother's side of the family. Great Grandmother Kusch - my mother's maternal grandmother. The Kusch family was German-Russian-French and defected to America in the 1800's. Grandma Kusch bore Laura Ann Kusch (nicknamed Larry Ann), who became Laura Ann Willey, my mother's mother. She died when my mother was a teenager and I have no pictures of her, but Mom named both me and my older brother Larry Alan for her.
My Great Aunt Helena and Great Uncle Jake Kusch lived in Enid, Oklahoma, and I remember visiting them several times as a child. Aunt Helena's house was filled to the brim with all kinds of knick-knacks and glassware and things which I know now must have been collected for many years. Aunt Helena & Uncle Jake were enthusiastic fishers, and we got annual pictures showing off their catches.
My maternal grandfather and great grandfathers, Raymond C. Willey, Sr. & Jr. Grandpa Willey was a magical man to me. He was the epitome of what a grandfather should be - he collected coffee cans full of marbles, he raised parakeets, he had fishponds, and he was a wonderful wood carver. I still have a couple of heart-shaped knick-knack shelves he made early on, and a wooden rolling pin that he carved. He was also a preacher of the Church of Christ and built the altar and pews for the church in DeRidder, Louisiana, where he later baptized his grandaughter (me).
Grandpa's two sisters, my great aunts Essie and Bess. Aunt Essie lived in Strong City, Kansas all her life and was the post mistress for the town - a career woman before her time! Her daughter was Rae Jeanette, my mom's best friend.
After my maternal grandmother Laura Ann died, Grandpa married Marjorie Bradburn and she was the only grandmother I knew on that side of the family growing up. The thing I remember most about her is that she had this enormous collection of salt & pepper shakers, and wherever we travelled we had to bring Grandma Willey a set of shakers!
My mother, Bonnie Maxine Willey, born November 7, 1919 to Laura Ann and Ray Willey, in Strong City, Kansas. She died in July 1976 of breast cancer and I still think about her and miss her nearly every day. From Mom I get my creativity, my sense of adventure and fun, love of words, thirst for learning and great sense of spirituality. She has been the guardian angel on my shoulder since the day she died - sharing all my ups and downs and reminding me to live life to it's fullest one day at a time. She was 56 years old when she died and had been married to my father for almost 30 years. You can see a lot of her spirit in the pictures below. She had the ability to make everything fun.
Mom's first husband was Chuck Humiston, with whom she had one child, my half brother Larry Alan Humiston. After Mom divorced him and married my father, Larry lived with Chuck and came to visit us for summers and vacations. You'll see more of him later on in the story...
TOP: Four Generations
BOTTOM: Lolly with Aunt Bess
Paths on the journey down Family Lane
Page 1 - For My Children - Christmas 1998
Page 2 - The Willey Family - Kansas (My Mom's Family)
Page 3 - The Bland Family - Virginia (My Dad's Family)
Page 4 - 1947 - 1954 - Early Lolly - Key West
Page 5 - 1954 - 1965 - Growing Up - Key West, Paris, Connecticut, Oklahoma
Page 6 - 1968 - 1971 - Marriage & Babies - Kansas to New York
Page 7 - 1971 - 1980 - California Years - Southern CA to the Bay Area
Page 8 - 1980 - 1984 - Single Mom & Kids - Part I
Page 9 - 1985 - 1987 - Single Mom & Kids - Part II
Page 10 - 1987 - 1989 - Married Again - California to Tulsa
Page 11 - 1990 - 1997 - Tulsa, Kansas and Both Kid's Weddings
Page 12 - 1997 - Now - Kansas to Pennsylvania - A New Life
Back to Mom's Websites...
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