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Family History

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Family History - Page Text Content

FC: Nancy The First 90 Years | Age 2

1: This book is in honor of my mom, Nancy Minnie Curtis Walbridge Johnson Ettles' 90th birthday. I have seen her work 2 jobs to take care of her family. Stand up to people who were trying to harm her children. I have laughed and cried with her. Mom is the kind of mother that is always there for you. No matter what the problem she is there ready to help you. My husband, Russ, always tells her she started this whole mess! He's right. Without Mom none of us would be here. How fortunate we are to be a part of her! We love you Mom! Donna, Judy, Patty, and Wally Grandkids, Great-grandkids, and Great-great-grandkids

2: Gertrude Amelia Hansen was born May 18th, 1896 in Astoria, Oregon. She had 2 sisters, Mary and Alice, and 2 brothers, Arthur and Edward. Her parents was born in Norway. Walter Barrows Curtis was born May 16th, 1896 and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana by his Presbyterian minister father and mother. He had a brother, Harold, and 2 sisters, Laura Curtis Krause and Edith M. Curtis. Walter and Gertrude were married on January 7, 1919. They would later divorce in 1929. Gertrude married Hugh McGuckin in May 1929. Walter married Frances. She had 2 children, Frank and Nadena, whom Walter would adopt. They also had a daughter Mary Louise in 1936. | The Beginning

3: January 7, 1919

4: Growing Up | Grandma Gertrude, Great-Grandma Minnie, Mom and Wally about 1943. | Delores Saunders Mom's best friend in High school.

5: Aunt Mary is in many of Mom's childhood memories. Aunt Mary and Grandma would drive to Tiajuana to gamble and leave mom sitting outside in the rumble seat of the car. Aunt Mary was a wonderful woman who loved Mom. Mary (Hansen) Doran had 4 children Leroy, Melvin, Donald and Theresa. Theresa, an aspiring dancer, was killed in auto accident at age 15. Mom was named after her adopted grandmothers. Minnie for her maternal grandmother and Nancy for her paternal grandmother. Mom lived in many places due to her step-father being in the Coast Guard. Some of her favorite memories are of a quilt her Aunt Mary made her. She also enjoyed swimming in the ocean, hopscotch, jacks and roller skating. She wanted a bicycle but her mom wouldn't let her have one because they lived on a busy street. She took knitting and sewing classes. They sewing would come in handy later as she made many of out clothes. She enjoyed going to church. She enjoyed the teen parties although her mother wasn't very religious. Believe it or not, her mother wouldn't let her do any cooking except making muffins. She did the dishes every night and on weekends she cleaned the house and did the laundry.

7: Holidays were spent with family and friends. Mom was a really good softball player. She was a good hitter. She also played basketball but not very well. Mom liked to be a princess or witch for Halloween. Her costumes were always homemade. Christmas was celebrated on Christmas Eve with a Norwegian dinner. They would open their gifts at this time. Some of her best memories included her father. She would spend summers in Seattle with him and his family at 2108 McClellan Street. She loved going blackberry picking. She also loved playing ping pong with him outside in the yard. The fist time she ever saw snow was in Seattle. A storm dropped 4 feet of snow! She and her friends went to the park and built a snowman. She also got to go sledding and ice skating. Her father passed away in 1960. He had worked for the post office for more than 30 years. I remember Mom leaving to got to his funeral. It was the first time I remember her being away from me.

8: Lance Dale Walbridge | A lovely young girl wearing a fuschia formal met a handsome young man wearing a green sport coat and brown slacks at a VFW dance in San Francisco. 12 dates and 3 short months later they would wed on November 2, 1940. In spite of being a newlywed, Mom would go on to graduate in January 1941. Mom and Dale went to her prom. The theme was Stardust. After the dance the newlyweds went to San Francisco and spent the night at the Top of the Mart. Dale left the service and they moved to Glenrock and Denver. December 8, 1941 Dale re-enlisted in the service. He went to Italy in 1943. Mom stayed with her mother until she passed away in 1944. She then moved to Astoria until Dale returned. | Dale was from Glenrock, Wyoming.

9: I always thought Mom looked like a movie star in this picture. No wonder we are such a good looking family! | No wonder Dale fell for this young lady!

10: Dale's Family | Grandma's Father | Grandma's Mother | Grandma Violet Walbridge Walkinshaw Stevens | Uncle Bob and Dale

11: Mom and Dale

12: Grandma and Grandpa Ed | Edward Walkinshaw January 25, 1889 February 7, 1962

13: Violet Walkinshaw Stevens June 9, 1985 December 30, 1995 | Grandma married Austin Stevens after Grandpa died

14: Walter Wally Walbridge

15: Mom | always loved | him best! Just look who has the most baby pictures!

16: More Wally

18: Judith Kay Walbridge

19: Judy was born September 17, 1946 | in Douglas Wyoming. | She would one day leave her Wyoming home and live in Alabama, Germany, and Arizona.

20: Patricia Ann Walbridge | October 2, 1947 Douglas, Wyoming

21: My crazy sister Patty!

22: Kenneth LeClare Johnson | After divorcing Dale, Mom went to work at the Townsend Hotel in Casper, Wyoming. It was there she a cook by the name of Kenneth LeClare Johnson. Shortly thereafter they married. They would move to Alaska and have a daughter, Donna. Unfortunately, the marriage didn't last and Mom left Kenny in the summer of 1957. Not much is known about Kenny except he was born in Illinois. His family is from Sweden and he had siblings. He also had a son and daughter from another marriage.

24: Donna Lee Johnson | I was born on December 20, 1956 | in Anchorage, Alaska. Mom always called me her Eskimo baby. | Who knew I would spend most of my childhood terrified of horses?

26: The Kids

28: After searching through thousands of pictures, this is the only one I found of Mom and her 4 kids. | August 1983

29: Divorces | What a topic to put in a book on family. Well in this family it is rampant. Both grandmothers were divorced as well as Mom, Wally, Patty, Judy, and myself. Unfortunately, tradition has spread to our children and grandchildren as well. | After Mom and Dale divorced, he married Elenore. They would stay married until his death in 1977.

30: Mom would spend many years alone after divorcing Kenny. After I left for college she met Clarence. Clarence Ettles would become Mom's final husband. Mom gave all her pictures of Clarence to his children. | Clarence Richard Ettles December 24, 1915 March 6, 1986

33: Wally's Branch | Wally married Terry Ann Aho on February 2, 1960. They would become the proud parents of Walter Wally Jr. on June 6 7, 1961, Kenneth Dale on January 16, 1963, and Mikel (Wally wanted to be able to spell it) Lee (after me!) on May 5, 1973. My first memory is waiting for a bus to come. Mom told me my brother would be on it. I didn't know him because we had left Alaska when I was 6 months old. Now at 3, I was going to meet my big brother. The bus pulled up and down stepped this tall, handsome man with a tall, thin woman. Wally and his bride Terry. I later found out he wasn't really very tall, but in that moment he was the tallest brother ever. Wally, Terry, and the boys are part of almost every childhood holiday. Terry, Mom, and I in the kitchen and Wally yelling at us every time we used the mixer. He took me water skiing (I failed), shooting (another failure), taught me to drive, and walked me down the aisle.

34: Christmas 1960

35: December 1977 | August 1983

36: May 1975 | Thanksgiving 1961 | 1993

37: Little Wally | Born June 7, 1961 Glenrock, Wyoming

39: Wally. Cheryl, step-daughters Jennifer and Samantha, and Jeffery August 1989 | Jeffery Allen Born March 3, 1989

40: My first born nephew left us far to soon. I remember so many times with him. My favorite memory is making him dance with me in Mom's kitchen. Billy Don't Be a Hero was playing and we were dancing and laughing. | June 7, 1961 March 9, 2007

41: Kenny

42: Kenny and Gail | February 26, 1979 | August 1983

43: Todd Alvin | December 29, 1978

44: Todd and Michelle | July 11, 2009

45: Hope Danelle Hunt | December 8, 1995

46: Drake Kenneth | March 27, 2011

47: Tiffany Lynn | March 30,1989

48: Tiffany and DJ | December 30, 2011

49: Mikel

50: Mikel and Tiffany

51: Kellie Ann | June 14, 1991

52: Xander Ray Jennings | July 5, 2012 | 9 pounds 5 ounces 20 1/2 inches long 8:02 P.M. | Welcome to the grandparent club Mikel!

53: Joshua Lee | September 9, 1997

54: On August 26, 2008 I got a phone call that changed my life forever. My big brother was gone. I would never hear that voice paint the air blue again. Kenny and Gail asked me to speak at his service. I wanted to say no so badly but it was the last think I would ever be able to do for that tall, handsome young man that was my beloved big brother. As I wrote my speech, I thought about the time he taught me to light his lighter and I set the curtains on fire, the story of him shooting a hole in the kitchen ceiling and stuffing it with cheese before mom got home. I knew he would smack from the beyond if I tried to give a sappy speech about how perfect he was. In hindsight, I realize how much I left out. Wally loved his family, friends, and his dog, Bogie. Wally was Wally. A very unique person. He loved the outdoors. Hunting, fishing, bows, and guns were his favorites. I think he would have made a wonderful mountain man. Living there with the likes of Jeremiah Johnson and Jim Bridger. I know I speak for us all, when I say we love and miss you!

56: Judy's Branch | Judy married Larry Fanning in 1961. They had 2 daughters together. Tammie Jean was born January 13, 1961. Brenda Fay would arrive on February 15, 1963. The family spent many years traveling as an Army family, including 2 tours to Germany. Eventually they would divorce and Judy moved back to Glenrock. In Glenrock she met Jim Leach. He turned out to be the love of her life! Funny how life works out sometimes. Something unpleasant turned into something wonderful! They have been together happily for the last 30 years. They are now retired and live in Arizona.

57: Jim and Judy | Getting married November 1985 | 2012

58: Tammie

59: Tammie and Rose

60: Brenda

61: Brenda and Larry | September 28, 1985

62: Kassidy Nicole Graham | March 23, 1986

63: Madison Kendall Graham | September 28, 1992

64: Patty's Branch | Patty married Frank Scott Browning, Jr. (Scott) in September 1962. They would have 2 children together. Shannon Lynn born January 30, 1963 and Frank Scott Browning III on January 3, 1965. Frankie was the first baby born in Converse County that year! Unfortunately, Patty and Scott ended up getting a divorce. Patty moved back to Glenrock and met Noble Gail Welch. Quite the name, huh? Patty and Gail would marry in 1970 and have 2 sons together. Lance Charles on March 3, 1975 and Brandon Gail on May 9, 1976. The divorce curse struck again and Patty and Gail would end up divorcing. Patty now lives in Watson, Illinois.

65: Patty and Scott | September 15, 62

66: Shannon

67: Shannon and Ed | May 19, 1984

68: Erica Lynn Bushue | January 3, 1987

69: Kayla Renee Bushue | September 2, 1990

70: Shannon and Brien | July 30, 2005

71: Lauren Virginia O'Brien | April 4, 2001

72: Frank

73: Frank and Leona | October 1, 1994

74: Phillip Andrew Martinez | October 9, 1992

75: Benito Rayos Martinez | July 13, 2011

76: Jacob Scott Browning | April 11, 1994

77: Patty and Gail

78: Lance

79: Lance and Lynn | August 9, 1998

80: Cody Micheal Charles | August 21, 1997

81: Brandon

82: Brandon and Kristie Higgs | July 4, 1995

83: Brance Glenn | April 29, 1999

84: Ethan Gail | August 24, 2000

85: Donna's Branch | Finally it is time for the family baby, that would be be me. I married Herbert John Klodt and we had 3 daughters together. Autumn Nicole, September 15, 1978, ErinRenee, August 16, 1982, and Kimberly Faith, August 28, 1985. Now Kim was due on November 7th so her start to life was a rough one. However, today she is fine and happily married. Unfortunately, my marriage did not work out either. About 10 years after my divorce, I met Russell Lynn Southwick. We have been happily married for almost 9 years. Not only did I get a wonderful husband I got a step-son and a step-daughter. I now have a step-grandson and my step-daughter has a step-daughter. Does that make me a step-step grandma? I'm the one that stayed in Glenrock. I am just beginning my 24th year as an elementary teacher. I've watched this small town grow and change. Some is for the better but some has not been so good. However the family roots seem to be mostly in this small Wyoming town. We have family from Norway and Sweden and yet this is where we are now. At least Mom and I. The rest of the family has scattered across the country.

86: Donna and Herb | December 27, 1976

87: Autumn

88: Autumn and Gabe | June 7, 1997

89: Johnathan Brian Ericson | October 23, 1999 Casper, Wyoming

90: Autumn and Jesse | November 27, 2004

91: Emma Rain Klemann | June 11, 2005 Casper, Wyoming

92: Tyler Dean Klemann | December 21, 2006 Casper, Wyoming

93: Erin

94: Wade Allen Gray, Hope's dad | James Ivan Martin, Jr. Faith and Kristian's dad

95: Hope Mariahlee Klodt | April 19, 1999 Casper, Wyoming | Y2K

96: Faith Nicole Klodt | October 13, 2006 Casper, Wyoming

97: Kristian James Martin | May 8, 2009 Casper, Wyoming

98: Kimberly

99: Kim and Sam | June 27, 2009

100: Russ and Donna | January 3, 2004

101: Patty wins for having the most family in one picture! Although she has an advantage! | Now I mentioned the divorce curse that runs in the family. Another victim of the curse was Wally and Terry. Wally used to tell Mom that if they ever broke up he couldn't move home because Terry would already be there! Terry truly is the fourth sister. After her divorce from Wally she married John Cox. They have been happily married for many years.

102: This book has been a labor of love for me. I laughed, cried, and laughed some more as I put this together. As I looked at all the photos, I couldn't help but notice we are one good looking family! We have had our ups and downs but we are still here looking forward to tomorrow. As we lose some, we gain many more. Really we have to be grateful that we have lost so few. It doesn't make the it any easier to have them gone. But just look at the promise of the future! Kassidy and Tiffany have earned their master's degrees. Kim has her Pharmacy Tech degree. Mikel is working towards his engineering degree and Madison is working on her speech pathology degree. The future for our family is bright! In the past we have let time, petty disagreements, and distance separate us. With the technology of today, there is no excuse to not keep in touch. I think about things I wish I would have said to Big Wally and Little Wally. It's too late for that but it is not too late for the rest of us to be a family and share our lives with one another. It is never too late to make changes. I love you all and hope I did justice to our family history. Donna P.S. I will add the section on Mom's birthday later.

104: Judy, Donna, Patty, and Mom

105: The Grandkids | Back Row: Brandon, Kenny, Tammie, Brenda, Mikel, Autumn Front Row: Frank, Mom, Kim

106: Judy's Branch | Judy, Jim, Tammie, Brenda, Larry, Madison, Kassidy

107: Patty's Branch | Patty, Frank, Kristy, Brandon, Brance, Ethan

108: Donna's Branch | Back Row: Jesse, Autumn, Russ, Donna, Kristian, Sam, Kim, Hope Front Row: Tyler, Emma, Nana, Faith, Johnathan | Erin, Hope, Donna

109: Back Row: Tiffany, D.J., Gail, Kenny, Mikel, John, Terry, Jim, Russ,Brenda, Madison, Larry, Autumn, Jesse Second Row: Brandon, Kristy, Brance, Brianna, Tammie, Judy, Patty, Donna, Kassidy, Kim, Sam The Front: Ethan, Frank, Faith, Mom, Emma, Tyler, Hope, Johnathan, Kristian | Nancy's Family

110: The Great-Grandkids | Back Row: Hope, Kassidy, Brance, Tiffany, Madison, Johnathan Middle and Front: Lance, Kristian, Mom, Faith, Tyler, and Emma

111: Wally's Branch | Terry, John, Gail, Kenny, D.J., Mikel, Tiffany, Mom, Brianna

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  • By: Donna S.
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  • Title: Family History
  • Nancy's first 90 years
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  • Published: almost 6 years ago