Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Aunt Mary

Today I am thankful that I knew a wonderful lady - my Aunt Mary Kern.

Jean Marie "Mary" Goris was born on 23 April 1926 in Bingham Canyon, Utah to William and Jean (Bennie) Goris.

She married James Richard "Dick" Kern on 5 November 1951 in Reno, Nevada.  He was my father's half-brother.

They moved to Toledo, and later, Sylvania Ohio where they raised four children: Dorothy Jean, Kathleen, Craig and Timothy.

Aunt Mary died on 27 November 2012 and will join her husband and son Craig in heaven.

April 1953 - Bill Watkins, Mary Kern, Don Vail and Ruth Ormsby (spouses of Kern/Ormsby siblings)

April 1953 - Mary & Dick Kern, Vic Ormsby, Ruth Ormsby

Most of my memories of Aunt Mary make me feel warm and cozy.  She was a gracious hostess, and it was a tradition on Christmas Day to have dinner at her house.  In addition to her children (and later her grandchildren), and my immediate family, who would go every year, there were always other cousins, friends, and neighbors around the table.  Mary would open her doors to whoever wanted to stopy by - for appetizers, dinner, dessert, or just to visit.

Christmas 1967 - Don Ormsby, Shirley Kern, Mary & Dick Kern

Christmas dinner was something of a tradition as well.  Aunt Mary made the best lamb roast I have ever tasted - and have never been able to duplicate.  Another favorite dish was "Greek Macaroni" - noodles with butter and cheese.  This has become a tradition in my family as well - I taught my daughter Donna how to make it last Christmas, and am planning to have it on my table again this year.

Christmas 1985 - Uncle Dick and Aunt Mary

Dick and Mary spent a lot of time at their lake house on Cub Lake in Michigan.  Again, anyone who stopped by was welcomed with open arms.  Dick would entertain guests on his pontoon boat and Mary would be sure they were well fed before they returned to their homes.

July 2011 - Shirley Kern, Wimp Hill, Ruth Ormsby and Mary Kern

One of Mary's hobbies was painting.  She liked to paint landscapes - mostly for relaxation, I think.  I am honored to have one of her paintings hanging in my bedroom.

1968 painting by Jean Marie "Mary" Goris Kern
Goodbye, Aunt Mary.  I will miss you.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Society Saturday - Lincoln's Watch

The Lac des  Illinois chapter of Colonial Dames of 17th Century recently had a wonderful program.
Doug Stiles presented a true "detective story" he participated in.

He recalled a family story that his great-great-grandfather, Jonathan Dillon was a watch repairman in Washington DC and happened to be cleaning Abraham Lincoln's pocket watch on the day that the Civil War began.  He placed an engraved notation about that including that date and "thank God for our government" inside the watch.

Mr.Stiles set out to determine if the story was true and told us how he tracked the watch to the Smithsonian. The curator didn't believe him at first, but was ultimately convinced to open the watch after reading a 1906 NY Times article quoting the watchmaker.

On March 10, 2009, during a televised event, a master watchmaker opened the watch and found, the engraving behind the dial!!!!

It was a fascinating story, wonderfully told by a descendent of that watchmaker.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Society Saturday - Happy Birthday Isle a la Cache

Our Daughters of the American Revolution Chapter turned 2 today.  Isle a la Cache chapter had its organizing meeting in November 2010 with 12 members.  Today we have 37 members with four more applications waiting for approval. 

Two brand new members were present and were welcomed and given Gift Bags of DAR goodies.

Some of our projects during those 2 years are:
  • Honoring a Junior ROTC cadet at Romeoville High School
  • Sponsoring DAR Good Citizens at Romeoville and Bolingbrook High Schools
  • Decorating a Patriotic Christmas Tree at Rialto Theater in Joliet to aid in its preservation
  • Donating to the DAR-sponsored schools
  • Donating time and money to "Feed My Starving Children"
  • Placing wreaths at Abraham Lincoln Cemetery for Wreaths Across America
  • Welcoming home WWII veterans from Honor Flight
  • Working closely with the Children of the American Revolution
We had a lovely luncheon at Francesca's in Bolingbrook to celebrate these accomplishments.