Mom's Haley Family Memories, part 7: Pat, her little brother
The next child in the Haley Family was my
brother, Patrick Charles. He was born in 1936, in
May. He was a cute little guy with blond hair and a round chubby
face. My first remembrance of him is when I was four years
old. My Mom had me watch him outdoors and take him for walks in his
stroller, actually quite a job for a little 4 year old.
being outdoors and we would walk to the park (which was quite near). I remember
keeping him out quite long as he enjoyed it too. He had a
diaper accident and I didn't realize it and just kept on walking. He
had wet himself and in those days we didn't have plastic pants or disposables;
so the poor little guy got pretty sodden I guess. Anyway when we
got home Mom was upset with me that I didn't bring him home
sooner. I felt bad about it and didn't want to have her mad at
Not too long after that he became quite ill and as a child, nothing
was really told to me except that he was quite ill. My sister Helen
had been born by this time and that is probably why I was given so much responsibility.
Anyway he had to go to the Children's Charity Hospital in Toronto.
My Dad was the only one who could go visit him as Mom was caring for tiny
Helen. The only transportation they had was by
streetcar. It was quite a lengthy trip from New Toronto (a
suburb of Toronto along Lake Ontario). Poor Dad hated the trip and
then hated to leave that darling little boy to come home.
there at age two of a kidney disease and an infection in his spinal column—nephrosis
and spinal Meningitis. It was all so sad for our
family. I thought for years that if I had just brought him home
sooner he wouldn't have gotten that infection and died.
It was so
traumatic for my dad; he couldn't go to the hospital to visit anyone after
that. I remember that Pat's toy teddy bear and his small blanket
were stored on a shelf and we weren't allowed to play with it as it was a sweet
remembrance of him. You will find his picture taken in New
Toronto with Bill and me. He has a white snow suit on.
I just remembered more about
Pat. We were so poor we couldn't afford to have his funeral at a
funeral home so we had him laid out in his little casket in our front living
room. Bill was only 6 years old and he thought that Pat was just
laying there sleeping. He went over to the casket and took Pat's hands and
pulled him up to nearly sitting saying, “Come on Pat, get up and
let's play." My folks just about keeled over and I remember them
coming over at a rush.
Poor Bill, he didn't understand. Kids weren't really told much in those
days. It's much better today telling children what is going
on. I guess they thought they were protecting us. I on
the other hand was a listener and sat near the adults listening and learning.
Mom's Haley Family Memories, part 6: her big brother, OUR Uncle Bill
|Baby Uncle Bill|
Uncle Bill was the eldest of you and your siblings. What are
some of your first memories of your big brother?
Mom’s big brother, “Uncle
My first memories of my brother Bill?
I guess it’s when my Dad was taking him for a haircut when we lived in New
Toronto and I wanted to go with them. I was three years old. (1937) Dad said “No," but I must have been a headstrong little gal because I
started to follow them, thinking I knew the way they walked. But I DIDN’T know
and I got lost. A kind lady saw me cross the busy highway to
Toronto a couple of times and figured I was lost and she took me in and called
the police to let them know. I had messed up my clothes and she cleaned me
up. By the time my frantic Dad arrived I was really worried that I was in deep
trouble. But he was so glad that I was okay that I didn't get
punished. But I NEVER wandered off alone again!
This story is so darn cute! Remember how I disappeared in 1961 when I was 4? We were living in Maine, it was winter and I had crawled into the neighbor’s doghouse and just fell asleep for several hours. It was cold out and the dog was warm! Your story reminds me of that.
|Trailer park in East Holden Maine|
Our trailer after a blizzard, 1961
|Back yard of our trailer 1961|
MK and I sitting in a duck boat
(I remember that VERY well. It was a scary event when we lost you that day. It was while we were still living in the trailer park at Holden Maine. It was very chilly outside. You kids always played near the trailer with all the other neighbor kids. Gene was home from work and I was cooking supper. I called you in to come in for supper, but you didn't answer. We searched all over, even looking in the dumpsters and down at the lake. Finally one of the guys saw you crawling out of the neighbor's dog house where you had fallen asleep hugging the dog. We were so happy to find you. I remember you couldn't see why everyone was so upset. We sure were happy to finally move into base housing where it was much safer.)
So what was Uncle Bill like as a kid? How did you guys get along?
Bill and I were never
very close, just the usual brother sister relationship. He found
school a bit hard and so my Mother gave him a lot of attention with
homework. I never minded that as I liked school and did okay on my
own. He always wanted to please the folks I
think. He was always saying, “I'm just like my Dad!"
He always had a lot of respect for Dad. He tried football when he
went to Saginaw High but quit school in the 10th grade, or at least I
believe when he turned 16.
When he got drafted, how did everyone react? How is it he ended up working for Kroger his whole life?
He went to work for Kroger’s at that time
and worked there all his working life except when he was drafted into the Army
in 1953 and sent to Korea during the war. He was a big help to Mom
and Dad financially and they really missed that while he was gone. I
on the other hand was in nurses training and couldn't help them at all; they
were still raising five more children.
|My mother is bottom left,|
Her sister Helen in the middle sitting on lap
Uncle Bill back right
Why did he never get married?
I asked Bill once why he never married and he said, “I can't
handle all that responsibility" I guess he had quite a few
girl friends but I never met them, but, he found other outlets to keep busy with. He is and always had been very
active in the Knights of Columbus and that is mainly most of his social
So that is about it. Right now he is trying to
stay well enough to have surgery on his left eye. The doctor hopes to fill the
hole in the retina so his vision will improve. Hopefully that will
take place on October 8th. So keep him in your prayers.
|The entire Haley family|
died years after you provided that last comment regarding his eye
procedure. Could you talk about his battle to recover from his years of not
paying much attention to his cardiovascular health and his final passing?
Uncle Bill got busy exercising I was busy taking care of your dad who needed
care for longer than most people were aware of. I do know that Bill did try to
walk and ride his stationary bike to regain his strength but his breathing was
a problem for quite a while. Win (Mom’s
did a lot for him then. After he couldn't see well enough to drive he finally
gave it up and she took him to his doctor appointments. About the time Gene
died he was already using O2 but not out in public. It seemed like it
progressed very fast after that.
|A WHOLE lot of Haley's in one place|
Uncle Bill in the back next to Uncle Jim
Aunt Helen & Aunt Winnie top left
Uncle Art & Aunt Eleanor and LOTS of cousins
And lets not forget Grandpa n Grandma Haley center left
finally passed away on February 28, 2010. He was 77 years
old. He died sitting on his couch with his 02 (oxygen)
running. Evidently he must have had a heart attack; he had his
emergency bracelet on and didn't even hit it. He had COPD and
emphysema, coronary bradycardia, and coronary artery disease.
He’d had a
stroke about 20 years before he died. That is when he quit smoking, too
late though as the lung damage had already been done. His death certificate also says he
had Type 2 diabetes. He never told Winnie or I about this
diagnosis and he certainly didn't watch his diet, probably because he didn't
want us watching what he ate.
|Uncle Bill all the way in the back in the kitchen w a beer|
Lots of Haley's in the house on 12th Street, Saginaw
This is the house that I remember
His vision remained very impaired, macular
holes in both eyes finally to the point that he couldn't drive
anymore. He drove much longer than he really should have. I had
called him from Florida around 7 pm and he said he was doing
fine. He didn't seem distressed then. Gail called him a little
later and asked if there was anything she could do for him. He told
her, "No, I'm okay." After Mass on Sunday morning Vana
stopped at his apartment, (where he had moved after selling his house to Gail) and
found him dead, still sitting on the couch.
|Uncle Mike, Aunt LaLa n Uncle Bill|
good times down in the basement,
the scene of MANY great parties!
You know Mom, that's the first I'd heard those details on
Uncle Bill's passing. It seems that he didn't want to trouble anyone too much
with his physical problems. I can respect that. A lot of folks end their days
whining and moaning. Like a lot of folks who were born in the 30’s and 40’s, he
“undid” himself almost unknowingly, though a lifetime of smoking, poor diet and
a lack of consistent exercise.
My OWN memories of him in stream of consciousness style: early
60s in the house on 12th Street, Uncle Bill coming and going, Kevin and I
sleeping up in "the top floor barracks room" with all the other
"Haley boys (our uncles)." Uncle Bill coming home at odd hours due to
his job at Kroger’s (not to mention he WAS a bachelor!), trudging up the stairs
and staggering around down by his single bed by the stairway; the sound of his coin
change falling out of his pockets onto the floor when he took his pants off for
sleep, coins rolling all over the place. (Later I’d crawl around on the wooden
slat floor and retrieve them under the beds. How many beds WERE there up there?
At least 8 or 9 single beds I think).
Uncle Bill (and he wasn't the ONLY one!) crossly telling Grandma,
"MA! Get off my back!" when she'd ask him to do something he didn't
want to, like getting up for work or having a bite to eat.
|Uncle Mike, Uncle Bill. Uncle Keith Spear (my dad's brother)|
Another Haley basement party, this one in the mid 60s
And then years
later, when we moved in with them for that year in Birch Run on Oak Street,
Uncle Bill would come home from work, have dinner and then fall asleep on the
recliner, usually with a lit cigarette in his hand, sometimes with more than an
inch of ash waiting to fall.
I spent a LOT of time in that house over the years
because my paper route papers were delivered there and during that time Uncle
Bill made it WAY too easy for me to mess with him because he was always
sleeping in the living room. I’d take a cigarette out of his open pack,
carefully remove a half inch of tobacco put in some dirt and dust and then
repack the tip with tobacco to make the cig look normal. I’d wake him up
knowing that he’d reach right away for one and I’d watch him with a huge smirk
on my face waiting for that moment when the fire would reach the dirt. I never
got tired of watching his reaction when the cigarette would sputter and stink.
He NEVER caught on. Shame on me! (God help me, recalling it as I type this I’m
laughing RIGHT NOW!)
|Uncle Joe's 1st wife, Aunt Genie; then Uncle Joe and Uncle Bill|
Early 70s at a restaurant
And Uncle Bill’s snore! He'd snore so loud that it would
rattle Grandma's china. And you ARE right. I clearly remember him saying many
times how much like his dad he was. When I became a know-it-all young teenager
sometimes he'd have something to say and I must have given him a “you dumb ass
look” because he'd look at me and chuckle, "You think I'm full of it,
don't you, you young PUP!"
More than anything else, Uncle Bill is the
reason I never took up smoking. In early 1972 I stole a pack of his cigs and
smoked two or three of them in that storage closet in Grandma's garage. The
next morning I woke up with THE worst flu I've ever had. It was so bad that I
couldn't go to school for three days. In my mind I associated it with those
cigarettes I'd copped from Uncle Bill. Just the idea of smoking a cigarette
after that turned my stomach.
All in all though,
Uncle Bill was a good feller. I remember that laugh he did; it was like he
was surprised. It was a HEH! And that was usually it UNLESS he REALLY found
something to be funny. I never saw him laugh more than when he was with Uncle
Jim and another one or two of his brothers and Uncle Jim "let one go"
inside his snowmobile suit, practically choking himself to death on his
own flatulence. Uncle Bill laughed so hard, turned so red, that I thought
he was going to pass out. To me, THAT was WAY funnier than what Uncle Jim did.
I REALLY miss Uncle Bill, ....a lot.
Uncles Mike, Bill, Jim and Joe
Aunt Helen, My mom Mary and Aunt Winnie
Mom's Haley Family Memories, part 5: Grampa Charlie & Grandma Haley
What kind of dad was Grandpa Charlie? Was he a disciplinarian?
My Dad was a good
guy and we all dearly loved him. He of course was a man of his era,
always the boss of the house. It was always his way or no way, very
strict with all seven of us; although we used to tease Joe that Dad
spoiled him. He was 45 when Joe came along and probably too
tired to argue about things by that time. He was very strict with
Bill and me. When we didn't do what we were supposed to he gave out the
punishments (restricted to the house etc). Then he would leave to
visit with his friend Mickey McGovern and leave Mom to fend off our
He loved to follow the
boys’ sports and always belonged to the Athletic Association at Saint
Mary's. He was a pretty good Hockey Player in Toronto and skated
with the semi pro team there. His picture in uniform with the team always hung
on the dining room wall for all to see. (Where IS that picture?)
Days later… First of all I want to tell you we think we have found my dad’s
hockey pic, the one I told you about that used to hang in the dining room.
Uncle Bill gave it to Mike and he gave it to Michael Sean. I just
talked to Nan who just returned from up north with her friends. She isn't sure
that Mike took it when he moved so she will look for it. We hope to have
some good copies made and get it to you.
|Hockey Player Grandpa Charlie in his late teens|
I wish I could
remember that photo when it was on the dining room wall, but I don’t recall it
at all, too young I guess. Michael Shawn was kind enough to scan it into
Facebook and Kevin sent it to me attached to an email. I also posted it into my
Flickr photos. Mom, can you provide some more details on the photo?
Let's see if I can put the time element together
for that pic. He probably was between 18 and 20 and yes it was a semi pro team
in Toronto. He quit school after 12 years, never graduating. Primary school was
13 years in Canada then. In about 1925 he came to the states probably around 20
years old, not long after that photo was taken. He married Mom when he was 25
in 1930. The picture was never up when they lived on 12th Street; it was always
in our dining room on Merrill Street. I think Joe said it was stored in the
basement on 12th Street, so you wouldn't have seen it.
|Great Grandma n Grampa Haley w little Grandpa Charlie|
His hockey background
made him a wonderful skater. He taught us all to skate and we loved it. Central
Junior (across the street) had a rink in front of our house so we were pretty
close to the ice, and he took us to Hoyt Park quite often. He would
skate around enjoying the ice and would stop to watch the young hockey
enthusiasts and quite often would join in their game. We would hear them
remark, "Look at that old guy go!" He was probably in his mid
to late 30's at that time, young by our standards now.
He held a variety of
jobs but the last years of his life he was an auto parts salesman. He
really liked that job, called on lots of stores all over the Thumb Area and
around Saginaw and outlying towns. His great love was being a member
of the UTC (United Commercial Travelers). He made many friends and enjoyed
calling on the stores and shooting the breeze with the owners. He met
Grandpa Spear through that job selling parts to the State Highway Department
where Grandpa worked. Once he found out that your Dad was the son of Ray
Spear that’s when it became alright for me to date him. Dad was always
very strict with who I was allowed to have as my friends.
|1961: Phil, MK, brand new Kevin|
About a year before Granda died
My dad was so very proud of his first
grandchildren. You and Mary Kay and Kevin were the only three he was to
know as he died so young, just 57 years old. He bought you a beautiful
trike and I remember at the time that he really couldn't afford it but he
wanted you to have it. Today he probably would have had a bypass or
pacemaker and would have lived at least into his 70's but it was not to
|Grandpa & Grandma Haley|
55 and 58 years old
his life style as far as what he did to affect his health? Back in the day
diet, smoking and exercise was not much on the cultural radar like it is these
days. Also, some of your stories lead me to believe that he did not manage his
stress level very well.
Actually he did most of all the wrong things. He smoked camel
cigarettes for years, but at least he did change to filtered when I was in high
school. I never thought that he overreacted to things but I guess you are
right, he did get upset easily. Mom was much more laid back. They
say that opposites attract and they were very opposite.
|Grandpa turned in his chair|
Grandma behind him
The piano is to the left behind her
of your mom, MY grandma, Winifred Haley, I think this would be a good place to talk about
her. She was a good buddy to me from the time dad retired from the air force
and we moved to Michigan right up to mid 1975 when I shipped out to the
Francis, Mary and Winifred Kehoe
Grandma Haley's parents
Mary (Scott) & William Kehoe
Your Grandmother, Winifred Catherine Kehoe Haley was born in
Chicago, February 2, 1902. I'm not sure when they moved
to Flint, Michigan, but I believe it was when she was quite
young. Her four
siblings Charles, Mary, Frances, and Margaret were all
born in Flint. I don't know why they moved to Chicago as I
believe both their families were from Wisconsin. I only recall
them talking about the house on 2nd street one street off Detroit Street. I
remember them saying that they had a horse and buggy lodged in a stable across
the street that Grandma Kehoe used to drive; but when they got a
car she never learned to drive that. They were only about 2 or
3 blocks from Saint Michael’s Church and school, so she walked there
for Mass and classes. I started school in Toronto and then finished the
1st grade at Saint Mike's.
|Top left, the same little girls above|
Francis, Mary, Winifred, Margaret
Parents Mary & William Kehoe
Their 50th anniversary
But I digress from Grandma’s story. Grandma
Winifred found school a little hard so her parents sent her to high school
at a private school in Monroe, at Saint Mary's, where she graduated in
1920. The other three girls graduated from Saint Michael's in
Flint. She got a job in the office at the Buick Plant and worked there
till she married my Dad.
She met him through mutual friends who all
ran around together. Dad's best friend, Miles Martin, worked at his
Dad's funeral home and he and my Dad and their buddies would take the hearse
and pick up the demised to prepare them for the funeral. (Doesn’t
that sound like fun? Ha! Ha!) Mom
knew Miles and he introduced them.
They married in 1930 and soon after the
honeymoon they went to Toronto as there were jobs there. They stayed there
for nearly 10 years, coming back (to Flint) in September 1940 where Uncle Mike
was born on December 25, 1940. They lived there probably a year before
moving to Midland, every time always to find a little better
job. Winnie was born in Midland, June 14, 1942.
A year later we moved to Saginaw and they stayed in the home on Merrill Street until
around 1958 when they bought the house on 12th Street. After
her marriage my Mom was a homemaker for the rest of her life.
|Winifred Haley and her brother and sisters|
Charles, Mary, Frances,Winifred n Margaret
Grandma Haley had a pronounced hump in her back that got
worse as she aged. You or Grandma used to say that it was from bad posture
while she was doing secretarial work during her working years. I believed you
guys for years but later I began to realize that that couldn't be true, that
she must have had some sort of congenital condition, like scoliosis or
No she didn't have scoliosis. I truly
believe it was bad posture.
Her back condition was just so pronounced that I have a hard
time accepting that sitting in a slumped fashion could possibly have caused it,
at least not without some other underlying problem. I found this online, a site
explaining why some women develop what’s called a “dowager’s hump.” Tell me
what you think. “If you have
Osteoporosis of the spine, your vertebrae can fracture. This can
cause Kyphosis or a Spinal hump.”
That explains the back
problem very well. That also is why as we age we start shrinking in height. We
all get osteoporosis, seems like it is more prevalent in women. But I do see it
in men also.
(I've actually already written a personal tribute to my Grandma Haley a few years back. Here's the link: "My Time Machine, My Grandma"
|Grandma Haley 78 years old|
Aunt Nan and Aunt Winnie seated behind her
Mom's Haley Family Memories, part 4: Our Unforgettable "Aunt LaLa"
|little Mary and Brother Bill |
with Aunt LaLa
circa the late 1930s
Now, let’s start gathering family relationship memories...
Could you describe your relationship with Aunt Helen? I know that at times there was some tension between you two and I also remember her causing me to feel
"small" on occasion when she would criticize.
|A very young Aunt LaLa|
3 years old
Let's see, about Aunt Helen, or “LaLa” as
we called her when we were all kids, she was a very frustrated “old maid."
She would have loved to have married and had children of her own but that
was not to be. First of all she was a very large lady. She weighed 12
lbs at birth and just kept on growing. In all of her pics I never saw her with
even a suggestion of thinness. She helped her Mom raise three children for
the province of Ontario so she exercised her mother instincts there and felt
she knew everything there was to know about raising
Whoa wait. What do you mean by she
helped her mom raise three children for Ontario? Are you talking about foster
|Aunt Helen only about 3 yrs old|
Yes they raised foster kids. One girl
was close to Aunt Helen's age and then later on Grandma took in a sister and a
brother who were around my age. I think they were paid by the province to do
this. I know at that time my Grandpa Haley was not working and only Aunt Helen
(LaLa) worked at the Eaton Department Store in Toronto. She would buy all
our clothes there at quite a discount.
So they raised these foster kids. Did
the kids go on and become part of the family? And what do you mean she got
quite a discount from the department store? Was that due to her doing foster
care for the province?
|Aunt Helen first communion |
about 10 or 12 yrs old
Aunt Helen, my aunt, worked
at Eaton's Department Store all her life and because she worked there she got
any purchases there at a discount. So the discounts had nothing to do with the province
|Aunt LaLa holding |
either Bill or Mary 30s
What happened to all those foster kids raised by your
grandmother and Aunt LaLa? Did they remain in the family? Did they stay in
Sorry to say I really don't know.
All that info died with my Aunt Helen. You know she was my godmother and
she felt that meant she should help raise me too I guess. We loved to see
her visit because she always brought Grandma (who was Helen’s mother of course) with
her, who by the way was the sweetest woman alive. (Mom, sounds
like we need a paragraph JUST on HER! We’ll add it down below this one.)
Aunt Helen was really bossy to her too. As happy as we were to see her
arrive, we were probably happier to see her go.
|"Little" Aunt Helen standing behind a WWI Canadian soldier|
My Grandmother, Lenora Ladle
Haley was born in Burlington I’m pretty sure. I don't know
how she met her hubbie Patrick Albert Haley. She had a red haired
daughter first, Nora, who died very young. My Dad was born in
1905. Then came George Cameron Haley (I think his middle name
was Cameron). Charlie, my dad, when he was learning to talk couldn't say
George; instead, he called him Dodes, and that name stuck with him all his
life. Aunt Helen (LaLa) was next and she never married. Uncle Art
was after her; his real name was James Arthur Haley.
Grandpa didn’t go by Patrick but rather by Bert and Uncle Art didn't go by
his first name either. Aunt Helen was always LaLa to us; it seems
like nicknames were very prevalent then.
Grandma Nora Haley was a
sweet quiet lady and I never heard a mean word come from her. We all
loved her and she always had a hug for us.
My Uncle Art always said that I looked just like her. So I
guess I am more Haley than Kehoe. She
had a severe kidney infection and never told Aunt Helen (her daughter) that she
wasn't feeling well until she was very ill with it. She was
admitted to the hospital for treatment. At the time, in the late 50s, there was a
bad flu epidemic going on. She got the Flu in the hospital and couldn't
fight both infections and died when you were just 6 months old.
She did get to see your picture though and was so pleased to have a
great-grandson. I'll try to get some info about my Mom, who had a wonderful
sweet personality. (She does further below).
top: Helen, Dods, Grace
Center: Charlie, George, Baby Bill w Grandma, Winnie
did Aunt Helen take it when Grandma stood up to her? Grandma was not from
her side of the family so how did Aunt Helen react at that moment? Did
she apologize, back down, go quiet or just huff and walk away?
Mom stood up to her a couple of times and if
we could have cheered we would have. If I remember correctly, Aunt Helen just grew quiet and
walked away when Mom stood up to her. Actually,
Aunt Helen did have a good heart and if it hadn't been for her we would have
had some very sparse Christmases. She brought many gifts for us on Christmas and birthdays. Mom and Dad never had an extra penny for gifts when we
were small. You and MK were her first grandnephew and niece; she
showered you with gifts too and likewise to Kevin and Gail. She couldn't
see that she was sort of self centered but that's all ancient history. Hope
I haven't said too many mean things about her. Just stating the
facts I guess.
|Mary Winifred Grandma Helen|
late 40s or so
|Artie Helen n unknown cousin about 1912|
you aren’t that hard on her at all. You include the pleasant with the not so. That’s
life. We all have our rough edges, you know? It’s what makes us human. I
do know you didn't include some of the stories where she actually made you cry,
when she could be so mean, but that’s ok. She put some edge into your
personality, which everyone needs to get along in the world. We can't all be
sweet little lamb people, got to have some wolf in there too to keep you alive
and kicking when things get tough.
were you the only one that felt the sting of Aunt Helen's criticisms? Did
the others have your sensitive side and feel the hurt as well or just
you? I imagine all of you felt the brunt of her bossiness eh?
|Aunt Helen in the middle|
of two friends 1930s
The other kids in my
family all had the same experiences with her. Helen did even as a grown
up. Aunt Helen had come over for Gail's First Communion and was
going to stay at Helen and Jerry's. When they drove into the driveway at my
sister Helen's house Brian had done some mischief of some kind and Jerry lost
it, yelling and ranting at Brian, who of course sat cowering (I
imagine). Aunt LaLa got all upset and said “I will not stay in
this house!” and told them to take her back to Winnie's (my Mom's).
My poor sister cried and begged her to stay but she would have none of
it. Turned out she went to Uncle Art's for the rest of her
visit. I remember feeling so bad for my sister. Jerry
didn't realize he had done anything wrong and couldn't figure out what all the fuss
|Aunt Helen wearing |
skates w hockey stick
publishing the story above I thought I’d pass it by my cousin Brian; his mom
and dad are the Helen and Jerry from the story.
Brian, I'm publishing my mom's memoirs in installments on my blog so more
people can view them. Of course not everything in life is peaches and cream.
There is one mention of an event involving your dad, your mom and our Aunt
Helen (LaLa). I don't know if you remember her or not but she figured big in
the family up until her death. She was hyper-critical and sometimes hard to
take. Anyway, read this and let me know if you think you or your
sisters and brother would prefer I don't put it in the blog version. I personally
don't think it’s bad at all since your dad is who he is, and the same thing
goes for Aunt LaLa. It’s more of an example of a clash of personalities. But if
you think it will make your family uncomfortable or unhappy I won't include it
in the installment. Get back to me buddy!
|Helen aka Aunt LaLa Haley|
Thanks for asking.
Don't see any reason this cannot go out as written. Everyone knows dad
has a temper and has never been one to hold back.
Yes, I remember Aunt
LaLa. We visited her home when I was pretty young—I believe Theresa was a
baby—sometime in the late 60s. I remember bits and pieces of playing outside on
a tricycle or big wheel, or something like that in the front drive.
I don't remember this
specific situation mentioned by your mom but it does sound like dad. Mom
probably let him have it later in private. I have often thought about Aunt
LaLa and could not remember what year she died. I remember when Grandma
Kennedy died in 1973 but not Aunt LaLa, was still a bit young in '71, only 4 or
|Haleys Mike and Bill |
w their Aunt Helen Dec 57
Anyway, thanks for
checking. I don't think anyone in the family will have an issue with this
that’s what my cousin Brian had to say about our Aunt LaLa. I thank him
sincerely for providing that.
Back to my Mom: So Mom,
my memories of Aunt LaLa have stayed with me since her death in 1971. She died
of cancer right? How did that go? How did she take her
impending death? Was she okay with it? I know it must have been
rough on her.
|Aunt LaLa Helen 68 visit to San Antonio at Expo|
know, Aunt Helen’s was the first funeral I ever went to; I'm pretty sure she
died before Grandpa Spear, right? I remember after the funeral going
back to my bed that night in Grandma's basement (Gail’s house now) and
being totally spooked. I lay there scared to death staring up the ceiling
without a hint of sleep until the next morning. It was the longest night of my
Last evening I was
talking to Winnie about Aunt Helen's death. She died on August 19, 1971.
I'm not sure when her cancer was diagnosed. She was okay when we first
came home and retired from the AF so she probably didn't suffer for more than
that year. Thank God as you are right, that is usually a painful death.
She and her Uncle Archie Ladle had sold the Ladle home and moved to an
apartment and that’s where she died.
Ally Metcalf, her cousin’s widow, lived in the same apartment building. Helen took care of Uncle Archie until he
passed away and when she died she had already made arrangements to be buried in
the US. (I think). So she had a funeral
in Burlington and then her body was brought here and that is the funeral you
went to. You had finished 8th grade, getting ready to start high school
in Birch Run. You didn't mention how much that funeral affected you at
the time. I guess that was the first one you experienced (until
Grandpa Spear died in November of that same year).
|Aunt LaLa Helen in 68 visit to San Antonio|
Family comments added below:
I remember Aunt La La very well which is kinda surprising because I was only 5 or 6 yrs old when she passed. My 1st recollection seeing her was during Christmas at Grandmas, and as Aunt Mary stated, she had presents for all us kids. I recall liking her for that because she gave me a gift and I didn't even know who she was. I still remember the gift. It was a set of building blocks of some type. I recall the following summer, going with my parents in their station wagon to flint to pick her up from the train station. I was excited and adamant on going because I was sure she would have another gift for me. She didn't and I remember being disappointed. I'm pretty sure she was visiting for the family reunion, because I remember her there and yelling at all us little kids to go play and stay away from the tables until after the adults had eaten. It seems I suddenly did not like her much after that and was kinda afraid of her. Last thing, I do remember her dying because I thought that I just saw her recently and she was the first person I knew that had died. I also remember not being able to go to funeral. I think I was upset because Audrey was allowed to go. I could be wrong.
|Art Grandma Helen Haley early 30s|
it's kinda funny. I guess I'll add that I also recall my mother telling us to behave around Aunt LaLa. I asked why. And I'm pretty sure she said something to the affect of "well she has never had any children so she is not very patient with them" LOL
Chuck... I'll have to question your mom about that "reason" to watch your p's and q's around her, since it turns out she was around a lot of children, helping her parents with a series of foster kids and all. Sounds like Aunt Win was stretching the truth a bit to keep you guys in line around her Chuck... that IS hilarious.
Phil, now that you mention it, I seem to recall mom ALWAYS telling me to behave when we would go visit relatives
Maybe it was ALL me.
Oh how she loved all of her Grand Nephews and Nieces..as she loved all of us.., yes she was stern probably as her parents were ., we were always taught that we should be seen but not heard..lol..(not in todays world...kind of happy about that change.)..I remember going shopping down town with her and my sisters always walking ahead of them And she would say(isn't she cute?), so of course whenever I would be around people at the tender age of 3,4, and 5, I would say (Ain't I cute) an embarrassing moment for mom and dad and my older siblings)...Thanks LaLa.., she was so giving..A christening gift was given to us older nieces and nephews for our oldest child-and each of our children were baptized in the gown...,she also always bought Canadian flannel and mail too me to makes diapers for my new babies...and by the way Phil,-what your cuz Chuck -I wasn't stretching the truth-I didn't want them to be told by her to behave and then dislike her...
|Aunt Helen maybe 10 yrs old in Toronto|
Phil - Mom's story about Aunt Lala - has become a wonderful story from all the grand nieces and nephews about her but also their Uncles and Aunts... so much love reading all your comments - if you had been in the shop this afternoon - a few comments were were made by a couple other grand nieces.... hope everyone has enjoyed this as much as your Aunt Winnie.
Okay, so, the lilac smell you remember so vividly was actually lavender. Yardley English Lavender, to be specific. She used to give it to grandma Haley as gifts, I think. But it was also her favorite.
|Aunt Helen if looks could kill her brother Artie would be dead!|
My memory of that particular funeral is that there was a song in the radio that was played heavily during that time. "Sweet City Woman". It had a banjo solo. By The Stampeders, who were actually Canadian, it turns out. It was playing in the car on the way home from the funeral parlor in Vassar. Makes me think of her to this day every time I hear it.
Also, in true Irish fashion, I remember Frank Geary taking Joe, Jim, and, I think Pat (Art) Haley out to the parking lot of the funeral home to "change a flat tire". Alcohol was involved.
Very cool I remember Aunt LaLa and felt the lash of her tongue more than once.... Don't know why I was such a good kid after all...I do remember Grandma snapping back at her once "leave him alone" or some such probably remember that because Grandma was never one for confrontation. I also vaguely remember Uncle Archie, we took a trip to Canada when I was very small he had this little wooden chair that I apparently called my chair because it was my size. When we left he said I should take it, that chair sat in my bedroom my whole childhood, I have it still
|Helen feeding chickens|
By the way I've been doing some digging the last few years and Ladle or Laidle is a Welsh name, not saying that part of the family didn't emigrate from Ireland, lot of back and forth between the islands, just thought that was interesting. I was surprised to learn that
I remember playing with all of her jewelry!
|Aunt Helen sitting w parasol n grandma w cousins|
Where was that Theresa? It was in a jewelry box?
It was after she died...I think my mom got a jewelry box full of her jewelry??
I also remember that jewelry box. I recall seeing it and told about it from Brian at your parents and being creeped out because it was a dead lady's jewelry. I thought "why wasn't it buried with her?"
I loved playing with that jewelry!!!! I wish I still had it!
|Aunt Helen w brother Art about 1915 or so|
|Aunt Helen with baby buggy later given to Mary |
and destroyed by her brothers (chuckle!)
|Aunt Helens friend Ester Lynn winter 1929|
|Helen w little brother Art n Grandma Haley about 1916|