Monday, January 13, 2014

52 Ancestors - Week 3 - Nancy Ellen (Jones) Yeakley

Nancy Ellen Jones, or Ellen as she was called, was my grandmother. She died in 1938 at the age of 50. That was 11 years before I was born and I feel cheated. She was a loving person who raised eight children who, even as adults, couldn't wait to spend time together. Family gatherings were always fun and there was never any drama.

My mother passed away on May 8, 1998, two days before Mother's Day. It was difficult without her on that Mother's Day as it has been for the past 15 years. However, we celebrate that day because for 60 years my mother missed her mother and I am quite certain that there was a joyous celebration when they were reunited.

Nancy Ellen Jones was born on December 26, 1887. She was a twin and Allen Augustus Jones outlived his sister by 19 years. One of eight children, they lived in Archer City, Texas where many of her sibling remained. On December 29, 1905, she married Ernest Marvin Yeakley, leaving Archer City for Wichita Falls, Texas.

Ellen loved being outside working in her garden. For a family of eight and a husband as a minister, she was frugal. My mom said she never realized they were poor. Later when my grandfather also worked as a printer and photographer, they had a little more money but Ellen always found enough. She didn't make a big mark on the world except to raise the children to be good citizens. All of the children went to school, six of them to college. They were a musical family and all of them played an instrument or the piano. Even as adults, when they were together, singing was a favorite pastime.One of my uncles had a heart attack, at age 80, on his way to sing at the "old folks home". Clearly, he didn't count himself as one.

This was my grandfather's favorite photo of Ellen. It was a picture he took showing that even at rest, she was always busy doing handwork.

Photo was taken by my grandfather. He said that Ellen looked so peaceful and he wanted to keep the image. As a child, I thought the picture was creepy but given the spirit in which it was taken, I understand his need to keep his wife with him.

Ellen passed away on June 28, 1938. She died in my mother's arms in the garden she loved. For 60 years, my mom missed her mother but I believe that Ellen's quiet faith sustained her for those years knowing that they would be together again.

1 comment:

  1. Did you have a Maxine and Myron Yeakley in your family who lived in New Philadelphia Ohio in the 1940s (and perhaps much later also)? My father worked with Myron on a U.S. Weather Bureau project during the war.