Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Three Proctor Babies

Everett and Aune (Reini) Proctor c.1930
My grandmother Aune Reini fell in love with my grandfather Everett Proctor the moment she laid eyes on him. In her 95 years she often repeated this sentiment, "Everett was the most beautiful man I had ever seen!" They met at a dance (which was one of her favorite activities) when Aune was only 15 and Everett was 24, and after a whirlwind romance were married on May 5, 1927. Shortly thereafter, Aune delivered Everett's much hoped for son, named for his father Daniel. Everett was a real "man's man" who had grown up with three brothers and looked forward to doing all of the boy things with his sons like baseball, golf, building and fishing. Unfortunately, Aune had trouble carrying her pregnancies to term and delivered all five of her children prematurely, which resulted in three of them dying before she could take them home from the hospital. Daniel was one of them. One by one, Everett had to arrange the infants' burials while Aune recovered in the hospital. One was a baby girl that Aune often mentioned was "so beautiful and just perfect looking with long dark curls," but had premature lungs and only survived for a few hours. All three of the young couple's beloved babies are buried near their father at Greenwood Memorial Park in Renton, Washington.

As one can imagine, this caused great sadness to both of the young parents. It was so difficult that it became almost impossible to express joy at a new pregnancy. Lucky for us, their daughters Jean and Janis (my mother) were able to overcome their premature starts and grew into relatively healthy children. Even with these early hardships, Aune and Everett were able to leave a significant legacy. At the time of Aune's death, she had 9 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and 2 great, great grandchildren.

This spring we took a trip up to Washington with my mother and visited the many family graves in Greenwood Memorial Park, including her baby siblings. Three little lives that never even had a chance.

Baby Boy Proctor, 1927
Baby Girl Proctor, 1931
Baby Girl Proctor, 1936

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