Saturday, January 19, 2019

Lucille Snodgrass, 1919-2019

I heard this week that Lucille Snodgrass,  the mother of my high school friend Nancy Snodgrass Falzone, had passed away.  She was living at Pinecrest in Mt. Morris, and we should all have a devoted daughter like Nancy—or even a good friend like my brother who visited her there.  Nancy and I used to ride horses together as children, so I remember Lucille and husband Bill who died in 1989 from their days on the farm on Mud Creek Road between Mt. Morris and Oregon.  I’d only seen her a few times in the last 50 years, but my memory of her is a sweet, beautiful, charming, classy gal who was a lot of fun.  I think her passing is the last of the “mothers” that I knew since the 1940s-1950s. I wrote this poem over 20 years ago,  after so many of the women I knew had died, although there were some, including my own mother, who were still alive.

The Mothers of Our Childhood
by Norma J. Bruce
February 20, 1997

I have filed a report
and sounded the alarm.
We are missing the Mothers:
They're nowhere to be found.

Strong women disappeared while
I was living away.
Perhaps a moment ago,
a year or a decade.

Housewife, retailer, artist;
teacher, farmer and clerk.
Secretary, volunteer;
No doctor, lawyer, chief.

Velda, Gladys, Marian, Mildred;
Rosalie, Rita, Rose, and Ruth;
Alice, Hazel, Ada, and Esther:
Born during the century's youth.

Finish this list of Mothers
while I go look around.
No, the veil closed behind them;
they're gone. We are alone.

When I searched her name, I found her wedding announcement on a genealogy page for the Freeport Journal Standard:

“10 Sep 1938 : Miss Lucille Moore, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Irvin Roy Moore, North Henderson road, and William Snodgrass, son of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Snodgrass, Mt. Morris, were united in marriage this morning at 10 o'clock at the parsonage of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Mt. Morris, the pastor, Dr. C. H. Hightower, performing the single ring ceremony.
       The bride was dressed in a boy blue dress with Alencon lace jackette, and her accessories were navy blue.She carried a bouquet of pink roses.
       The attendants were Miss Betty Peterson and Ralph Satterfield of Mt. Morris.
       After the ceremony the bride and groom left on a wedding trip to Omaha, Neb., and Denver, Colo.The bride's traveling outfit was a navy blue taffeta ensemble with rust accessories. On their return they will reside with the groom's parents on their farm home near Mt. Morris.”

I know a little bit more about Lucille and Bill than the parents of my other friends because Nancy kept a book of memories, and when she was 69, she put it all together with photos, and made a number of copies, of which I am the owner of one. It includes a wedding photo.  Nancy wrote that her mom was born September 9, 1919, so  she  almost made it to 100—which seems to be pretty common in Mt. Morris.  In addition to working alongside her husband on the farm she also worked at the Conover Cable Piano Factory in Oregon, then later at the Mt. Morris Cleaners

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