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Nana's Life Story

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FC: Nessa Brenegan

1: The story begins in Glasgow, Scotland where David Miller was a pastor. At the time, he and his wife Ellen had six children. When Gertrude, their youngest was about five years old, David Miller was sent to Toronto Canada to pastor another church. Nessie was born and, when she was nine months old, the family moved to Black Rock, NY and not long after to Worcester, Massachusetts. | David Miller | Robert Miller | Nessie with Aunt Jessie 1915 | Nesssie Age 4 | One of her earliest memories was of going to the park with her brother Bob when she was about four years old. He served in the United States Army during World War I and was home on leave. He later would be killed while waiting to return home at the end of the war. A dam broke in France where he was stationed. He and many others were washed away and drowned.

2: Growing up, her best friend was Marjorie Robb who lived across the street. They would play jacks, hopscotch, and dolls on the sidewalk in front of the building and sometimes on the roof. Nessie's favorite doll was a Bilo baby with a china head. | When Nessie was about three or four years old, her father was called to Brooklyn to pastor the 6th Avenue Baptist Church. They moved into a brownstone apartment at 433 3rd Street and lived there through Nessie’s grammar school years and early into high school.

3: On many Saturdays, Nessie would ride the elevated with her parents to go to the Steeplechase amusement park on Coney Island. He father loved the rides as much as she did. An orange ice in a cup signaled the end of a fun day and was enjoyed on the ride home. | Nessie always loved babies. She would play with and help care for her older sister Frances’ children, Helen Frances and Edgar, and later, her sister Helen's children, Bobby and Dickie. | Many short trips were spent going to visit friends and family in neighboring towns and cities up to Canada.

4: Blue Point, Long Island 1926 | David and Ellen Miller Aunt Jessie McInnes Nessie | David Miller | Nessie | Cape Cod, Massachusetts 1915-1917 | Top to bottom David Miller Frances Betty & Ellen Miller holding Nessie Gertrude & Helen | Left to right Ellen Miller, Gertrude in front, David Miller with Nessie in front, David Miller with Jessie behind,, Betty with Helen behind her | Blue Point, Long Island early to mid-1920's | Many summers were spent vacationing at the shore from Cape Cod down to Ocean City NJ. | Frances at far left, David & Ellen Miller in the middle, Jessie at far right, Helen Frances & Edgar in front

5: When Nessie was sixteen years old, her parents rented an apartment in Ocean City above a store front on the boardwalk. Her first job was in the ice ream parlor below. On her days off, she went horseback riding on the beach. In the evening they would sit on the deck and people-watch. On Saturday nights, everyone would put on their Sunday best and stroll the boards. | Nessie was closest to her sister Gertrude even though there was a seven year difference. In high school, Nessie would "borrow" Gertrude's clothes without her permission. There was a fur coat in particular that Nessie would often wear to school. Nessie wasn't found out until Gertrude took it to the furrier and commented that it seemed to get dirty quickly The furrier told her that he saw Nessie pass by wearing it many mornings on her way to school. | Betty and Gertrude 1933 | Nessie and Helen in Atlantic City Labor Day 1930

6: June 28, 1933

7: As a graduation gift, Ness was given a cruise down the east coast and through the Gulf of Mexico to New Orleans . She and Aunt Jessie departed on Wednesday, July 5, 1933 on the Dixie at 5:00 pm. They toured the city for a few days, and then boarded a train for the West Coast. to visit Aunt Jessie's family. | They boarded another train for home by way of Chicago and the World's Fair. Their hotel room overlooked the fair grounds and was beautiful all lit up at night. However, in daylight it was a different story. | "What a disappointment. Aside from a few buildings such as the Hall of Science Travel and Transport Building and the Agricultural Building it is a cheap and gaudy affair." | In California, they visited Aunt Jessie's family and toured up and down the coast, from the homes of the stars in Los Angeles up to Mount Ranier in Oregon.

8: After graduating high school, Nessie took an office job in the city. She would often meet her sister Gertrude for lunch. One day as she was waiting for her, a photographer from Ladies' Home Journal approached her and asked to photograph her. Much to her surprise, she appeared on the next cover! | The Millers continued to summer at the shore. In Ocean City, Ness is wearing the newest fashion rage - a rubber bathing suit in pale blue with white trim. | pictured left to right Ness, Dicky, Bobby, Fanny, and Edgar Ocean City, NJ 1933

9: When Ness was in high school, Reggie, Aunt Jessie's nephew, had came to live with the Millers. The two families had known each other in Scotland. After immigrating to the Unites States, the Brenegans continued on to California after about a year. Reggie was working in New York City and did not want to leave. At first, Ness thought he was annoying but fell in love over time.

10: Nessie and Reggie were engaged in 1936. This was the picture posted in the newspaper. | In preparation for the wedding they rented an apartment at 874 Presidents Street for $65 a month. (At the time, Nessie's father thought the couple had spent too much for rent.) Their one bedroom flat was in the front on the second floor. Before the wedding, they had purchased all of their dishes and furniture. They became best friends with their neighbors, the Gallaghers. | Their first Christmas tree

11: Ness and Reggie spent their first night together at the Vanderbilt Hotel in the city. They drove out to Newton, Massachusetts for a few days until their ship was ready to sail for their honeymoon in Virgina Beach. They stayed at the Cavalier Hotel. | Agnes Miller Is Wed To Lieutenant Reginald W. Brenegan Jr. April 24, 1937 | The wedding took place at 5:00 p.m. at the Sixth Avenue Baptist Church. Ness' father, assisted by Rev. Gordon Brownville (her sister Betty's husband) performed the ceremony. Her sister, Gertrude was the maid of honor. Her bridesmaids were her sister Helen and Helen Satterthwaite. Her neice Betty Anne was the flower girl. Reg was attended by fellow National Guardsmen. The reception took place at th Pierpont Hotel in Brooklynn. Aunt Jess mixed up the place cards and sat the officers who had visited the bar beforehand with all of the family and church friends who were nondrinkers..

12: The summer of 1938 Ness is pregnant with Joanne. | Kitty (Reggie's mother) and her sister, Jean | Reginald Sr. with Reggie's youngest brother, Georgie | Reggie loved to fly! | David and Ellen Miller loved to travel. Here they are in Rome. | The Gallaghers were their best friends. They lived in the back apartment on the second floor of the Presidents Street home.

13: Joanne was born December 18, 1938. | Reggie had Joanne in the water and a wave knocked them down so hard that it pulled off Joanne's diaper.

14: These photos were taken by the golfer, Tom Watson. He and his wife were were friends with Ness and Reggie. | Ness and her mother, Ellen | Left to right Ellen, Gertrude, Jessie | Kitty (Reggie's mother), Gert, and Nessie at Southold, Long Island | Reg had been working for Chase National Bank in New York City. There he met a man who introduced him to his wife's father, Austin Sherrer. Mr. Sherrer was the head of National Cylinder Gas Company so he hired Reg to work for his company. Reggie wanted to go to war with his National Guard unit. but because his company had a big military contract at the time of the war they had him exempted. Reggie was very disappointed. He loved the military. | Many summers still were spent going to the shore - Southold, Long Island and South Hampton

15: In 1941, Ness and Reg moved to Englewood, NJ to 312 Central Avenue. The house had a large backyard so they were able to have a Victory Garden to help with the war effort and relieve the impact of food rationing. Their vegetable garden was very large, about 16 x 16 ft. They grew a variety of vegetables, beans, onions, peppers, and tomatoes. Ness and Reg had such an abundance of tomatoes that Ness canned jars and jars of tomato juice, relish, stewed tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Ness and Reggie also had beautiful flower gardens. | Within the year, National Cylinder Company had transferred Reggie to Chicago. While they looked for a house, they stayed in a hotel apartment in the Oak Park suburb of the city. Reggie and Nessie became good friends with another couple transferred from California and, also were staying at the hotel. They would play dominoes in the evening and the loser would treat to dinner. After looking for a year, Nessie and Reggie finally found a house and put down a deposit. Reggie received notice that he was being transferred back to the northeast. | Nessie and Reggie found a home to rent on North Avenue in Weston, Massachusetts. The house was over 100 years old but the owner had fixed it up. It had a circular drive, two barns, and acres of property. They got a german shepherd, they named Kurt. Sadly, he was shot by a hunter up in the woods at the back of the property.

16: Reggie became friends with custom home builders in the area. They asked him to be their sales manager and he took the position. They began building their own custom home on Byron Road in Wellesley Hills, Weston, Massachusetts. Nessie loved this home. Reggie built rock gardens for her to indulge her love of gardening. Family and friends came to visit and Nessie would host large dinner parties. She always loved to cook and entertain and would write down her menus for the events. | The family got another german shephard they named Lucki. | Joanne's bedroom was in the front on the second floor on the right side of the house. | ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ | Ness and Reg sold their house in the mid 1950's and moved to Delaware. At first, they lived with Gertrude and Middy until they found a home of heir own. Joane went to high at P.S. Dupont and on to college at the University of Delaware. | Ewan McInnes (Aunt Jessie's nephew-the son of her brother James) Wedding, White Plains, NY early 1950's | Helen and Gertrude at Gert' and Middy's home on Monroe St. in Wilmington, Delaware | At Middy and Gert's newly built home in Landenburg, Pa. (left back to front) Middy, Reg, Ness, Joanne, Jessie, Gert, and Butch (their boxer)

17: By the end of the 1950's, Joanne was married and Ness began working at DuPont. In 1958, Victoria, the first grandchild, was born. Ness sewed many beautiful dresses and coats for her including Easter outfits for the first years. In 1959, Joanne moved to Pittsburgh and in 1960, Gregory was born. Ness and Reg would drive out to visit. | Lancaster Court, Wilmington, De | During the 1960's Ness would travel with her sister, Gert. Reg and Ness would spend summer vacation at Cape Cod in Massachusetts where her sister Betty and her husband owned a hose and cottages on the water. | Ness and Gert in Delray Beach, Florida. Ness is holding Gert's mink stole. Ness always loved Gert's furs! | Ness and Reg visit Joanne and Vicki in Pittsburgh, Pa. | Joanne moved back to Wilmington. Joanne and the children stayed with Ness and Reg until finding their own apartment in Lancaster Court. On August 2, 1969, David Moyer married Joanne and adopted Victoria and Gregory.

18: The 1970's brought additions to the family. Dave and Joanne had a daughter, Jennifer, born on December 1, 1972. | Reggie earned his private pilot's license. He would fly Ness to other cities for lunch. Later, Vicki would fly with him over southern New Jersey while he practiced flight maneuvers such as dives and rolls and loops. | Reg and Ness bought a condominium in Linden Knoll, right down the road from Dave, Joanne, and the grandchildren. | ______________________________________________________________________________________________ | Vicki graduated from the University of Delaware in May of 1980 with a degree in Special Education.. | When Dave became Superintendent of the Deptford Township Public Schools, the family moved to New Jersey. Ness and Reg would would often drive up to visit. On Thanksgiving, Joanne and Ness would cook and Reg would carve the turkey. | In 1983, Ness and Reg's first great-grandchild, Nina Christina, is born. | April 24, 1987, Ness and Reg celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary | On May 1, a celebration was held at Brandywine Valley Baptist Church. Joanne made all of the preparations as well as the food. Over fifty family friends came. Dickie played the bagpipes. It was a lovely event. | Reg's brother, Euan, came for a visit from California. | Christmas 1988 | The sisters get together! (Left to right) Helen, Betty, Gertrude, Ness

19: Vicki married Pete Sachetta on June 10, 1989. Though it was a joyous occasion, Reg was greatly missed as he passed away a couple of weeks before the wedding. Dickie played bagpipes in his honor. | At Vicki's condo for Easter in 1989. | December 1988 | Christmas 1988 | _______________________________________________________________________________________________ | The 1990's brought more additions to the family. Katherine Sutherland was born to Pete and Vicki on May 12, 1992. Ness was staying with them while Joanne and Dave were in Florida. Ness was with Pete and Vicki all through labor as a coach and was in the OR and watched the C-section. Pete and she were the first to hold Katie while Vicki was in recovery. | Greg graduated from Rutgers January 18,1991 and walked with his class that spring. | Many dinners for holidays and birthdays were celebrated together at Dave and Joanne's house as well as at Pete and Vicki's home.

20: The family brought in the new millennium together at Pete and Vicki's home in Bexhill Farm. Despite all the public fears, the internet did not self-destruct, nor was there global chaos. | In 2000 Jen and Carl became engaged to be married in September 2001. Two weeks before the wedding there was a terrorist attack on the United States. Jen and Carl's wedding on the 22nd of September gave us a moment to reflect on the importance of family and liberty. We sang God Bless America. | Riley was born to Greg and Colleen on October 28, 2002. It was wonderful to have another baby in the family. | Colby arrives on February 10, 2004. | 2005 Eagles Season | Greg and Colleen wed in December 2005. | Mason is born on September 7, 2006

21: In 2008, Ness' first grandchild, Nina,, married, Brian Cross on July 26th. | Greg passed away on July 27, 2010. We miss him greatly. | At Nina's bridal shower | Christmas Day 2006 The Eagles beat the Cowboys! | It was a joyous occasion when Baron was born on November 17, 2010. Ness' family continues to gather together for birthdays and holidays to celebrate milestones and achievements.

22: In June of 2010, Ness moved to New Jersey to be closer to her family. At Washington Township | This one of my favorite pictures! | Senior Living she has a lovely suite. Throughout the year there are many activities including a Halloween Parade for the families of the residents and a South Philly Night with Mummers and the Phanatic. | 4th of July Cookout at Pete and Vicki's house | Riley's 10th birthday at Colleen's house. Ness was in the chair to the right of the picture. | All of the great grandchildren at Mason's birthday party in September 2012. | Watching football with the guys! | Thanksgiving 2012 | I am so thankful that I have had my grandmother for all of these years! She instilled in all of us the importance of family and patience and the power of prayer. Because of Reg and | her, I have a wonderful mother who embodies the same values. I compiled these photos to share her story with the grandchildren and great grandchildren who will not spend as many years with her as I have.

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  • By: Victoria S.
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  • Title: Nana's Life Story
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