Saturday, July 18, 2015

Gramma Kit

“But a man is not forgotten, as long as there are two people left under the sky. One, to tell the story; the other, to hear it.” - Diana Gabaldon, Drums of Autumn

Katherine Jamison
In many ways my mother's aunt, Katherine Jamison, was a mother to her. She provided physical and emotional support to Mom throughout her high school years. She also filled the Gramma niche for me, and it is easy to call and remember her as Gramma Kit.

On March 1, 1917 she married the love of her life, Lonnie Parker. Throwing caution to the wind, the couple were often seen riding a motorcycle with a side car up and down the dirt roads on the Colorado mountainside.
Alonzo (Lon/Lonnie/Lawnie) Grant Parker
Born: October 7, 1893 at Good Hope, Illinois
Married: March 1, 1917, Katherine Jamison
Died: October  30, 1918
Father: Ellsworth Parker, born January 1862, in Illinois (his father was born in Wisconsin and mother in Ohio)
Mother: Amy L.  born, December 1870, in Illinois (her parents were born in Canada)
Parents Married: 1887
Siblings: Rena, born April 30, 1887
              Charles, born August 11, 1889
              Earl L., born November 9, 1891
(1900 and 1910 US Census) 

Kit's mother-in-law, Amy, gave her this quilt:
Amy stitched this schoolhouse quilt in 1882 when she was 12 years old. My aunt used all her handmade quilts as they were intended, on beds keeping the user warm so this quilt is the worse for wear but perhaps not in such terrible shape for being 133 years old!

In 1917-1918 Lon and his brother Earl registered for the draft in Boulder Co., Colorado. Lon's brother, 2 years older, also worked for the Welch Farm at Big Elk, Colorado. (Colorado Draft Registration 1917-18)
A short year and a half after the couple were married Lonnie became seriously ill, Kit sent a message for my Grandfather to come.  Lonnie was so ill, my grandfather would not let his sister-in-law, Aunt Kit, continue to care for her husband in the mountain cabin but cared for his brother-in-law himself. As a young child my Great Aunt Kit had contracted scarlet fever. This left her with a heart that was three times the size of a normal heart. Grandfather was afraid if Kit spent time with Lonnie she would catch the disease and with her weak heart she would surely die. Lonnie did not recover and died leaving them childless.

My Aunt never remarried and loved her Lonnie with all her heart for the rest of her life.

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