12 May 2010

Dorothy Grace Nitzsche (nee. McNeill Walker) 1912-1948

How can I have a crush on someone seventeen years older than my father, AND who died over a decade before I was born?  But I do.  Perhaps it was how glowingly my parents spoke about her when I was growing up, including by my mother who never met her?  Or maybe I just think she is pretty?  I don't know.  I am just embarrassed to admit it, but my heart goes all aflutter when I see her pictures.

Aunt Dorothy was born December 2, 1912 to Clifton Leslie McNeill (1884-1969) and my paternal grandmother Mattie Mae Walker (nee. Needham, 1884-1938), and was affectionately known as "Pat."  When Mattie divorced Clifton and married my grandfather Keith Glen Walker (1894-1980) in 1916, he legally adopted Dorothy.  So she was my father's half-sister.  But to hear my Dad tell it, there never was any recognition of any familial differences among the siblings, they all treated each other like full siblings.

 Pictured above is my Aunt Dorothy and my father.
 Finding anything on Aunt Dorothy has been very hard, perhaps because she only lived 36 years; Perhaps because she was a woman, perhaps she lived under the radar.

 Dorothy (left) parties with two unnamed friends.
 Whatever the case, while scoring an obituary is often quite commonplace in family research, for me scoring Aunt Dorothy's felt like a home run!  From the Oakland Tribune - December 19, 1948, Oakland, California:
NITZSCHE -- In Oakland.  December 16, 1948.  Dorothy Grace Nitzsche, loving wife of John M. Nitzsche; daughter of Keith Walker, sister of Mrs. Genifer Gordon, Mrs. W. L. Wistrom, Violet Walker, Mrs. Leroy Strasheim and Arthur, Rlaph(sic), Paul and Wayne Walker.  A native of Nebraska; age 36 years.
Friends are invited to attend services Monday, December 20, 1948, at 1 o'clock p.m. at the Truman Chapel, Telegraph Avenue at 30th Street.  Dr. Harold Kelley, officiating.
The next step is to try and discover her gravesite and get a picture.  So here is to you Aunt Dorothy, from a nephew who never met you, but is somehow sure he loves you.

 © 2010, Copyright Kevin W. Walker

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