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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Thelma Loraine Stevens Myers

DMIL passed away early Wed. She wanted no funeral,no graveside service nothing. She was cremated and her ashes in a container placed in her husbands grave. This is very hard for me being a Catholic and believing we should honor the dead but this is what she wanted.

So I thought I'd write a little something about her on here.

She was born Thelma Loraine Stevens in 1915 in Bysville Ohio. The fourth child of Bertha and Ira Stevens a housewife and coal miner/farmer. When she failed to thrive the Dr.'s decided her mothers milk wasn't good and put her on a bottle. But by that time she was so weak they didn't expect her to live. So they took her down and had a professional photo taken of her with her siblings. Of course she beat the odds and lived 92 more years. I think it was an example of how tough she would show the world she was.

She met and married her first husband George Walter Leimenstoll (Walter) at seventeen.He was ne-er-do-well , playboy from a well to do family from the south. She described him to me as the love of her life and good for nothing but charming women. She told me this was not to diminish the love she felt for her adored second husband the best man she ever knew but simply a different kind of love. What she felt for Walter was the head over heels starry eyed love of a seventeen year old. After two children and ten tremulous years of marriage enduring his drinking, gambling, womanizing he came home one night and ask for a divorce. She said fine.The next day she packed her bags while Walter now sober recanted and begged her to stay. But she refused. She told me she could put up with a lot but she wouldn't stay where she wasn't wanted. With a few belonging in a couple suitcases she took her two children and boarded a train to Ohio. And never looked back. She never received a cent of support from him .

Not one to sit around and feel sorry for herself she immediately applied and got a job at the Goodrich rubber factory in Akron.Where she worked for the next twenty five years. Remember this was the 1940's when single mothers were rare and women's wages sorry. She worked,bought a house and supported her children as good or better that most men at the time. Eight years later in the factory she met a newly divorced man raising two children of his own. Whom I can only describe as the kindest, best man I've ever known. They married,combined their families and built a good life together. Grandpa passed away in 1987. She continued to live on their farm in Eastern Ohio until her death this week..

Rest in peace Grandma you earned it.


Anonymous said...

I am sorry for your loss.
What a beautiful story about a beautiful lady. She sounds like she had a long wonderful life.
Your story brought tears to my eyes.
Thanks for sharing.

Patty said...

what a loving tribute, a woman of strength, leaving a wonderful legacy.

Christine Thresh said...

Sherie, you said, "...being a Catholic and believing we should honor the dead..."
Well, you did honor your mother-in-law with this moving piece. It brought out her character and gave insight into her life. I wish I had met her. I know she was a wonderful woman.
Go forth and carry on her loving ways.

Leanne said...

Lovely post what an amazing life.

Heleen said...

I wish you and your family lot's of strength.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sheri,
My heart goes out to you.
Prayers and hugs,

Jilly said...

What a wonderful story. Your grandmother was an amazing woman and your tribute is just beautiful.

And thank you so much for visiting Riviera Dogs. So glad you like it and I appreciate your logging on regularly.