30 December 2010

Bite-sized Obituaries--Bullman, Mack, Smith, Carpenter, Dake, Carpenter, Rarick, Morrison

I am often touched (and I must admit frequently amused) by the brevity and bluntness of some death notices in the local papers.  They are often the only mention of a death.  Sometimes, in the case of two of the names given here, there is also another paragraph in another community column.  One even has a full size obituary.  But these bite-sized at least pay homage to a life lived and not forgotten. 
These are all from the community/gossip columns of the June 4 1914 and June 11 1914 Fremont TimesIndicator. 

First the June 4th notices:

1--John Bulman, of Woodville died last Saturday morning from a stroke of apoplexy.  The I. O. O. F. of this place attended the funeral which was held Tuesday.

2--The funeral of Amos Mack was held at the W. M. church Monday afternoon.

This was accompanied in another column by this notice:

Amos Mack died at Mercy hospital in Big Rapids last Saturday after an abdominal operation.  Mr. Mack had been in poor health of late and sought relief by means of an operation.  He was 45 years of age and was neer married.  The funeral services were held Monday afternoon from the Dayton Center Wesleyan Methodist church and were conducted by Rev. C. F. Grim, pastor of the church.  The body was buried in the Jewel cemetery.

3--Ed Smith passed away last Friday in the Muskegon hospital.  The funeral was held Tuesday at the Bridgeton schoolhouse.

Providing further information is this notice.

Ed Smith, for a number of years a resident of Bridgeton, passed away from this life Friday morning, after an unsuccessful operation at Hackley hospital in Muskegon.  He had been working in Muskegon until ill health overtook him when he went to the hospital for the operation from which he never recovered.  The funeral was held Tuesday from the Creek schoolhouse.  Interment in the Bridgeton cemetery.

4.--The funeral services of Gerald H. Strovenjans, infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Gert Strovenjans, were held Saturday afternoon at the home in Dayton.  Rev. W. Van Westenberg of Grand Rapids officiated.

5--The death of Beatrice Dake, infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs Almond Dake, occurred Saturday morning.  The funeral services were held from the home sunday afternoon and were in the charge of Rev. R. A. Thibos.

6--The infant child of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Carpenter died June 2nd.  Burial was in the Holton cemetery.

7--Geo. Morrison, formerly of Greenwood, died at Shingleton.  The body was brought to Holton.  Services were held at Holton Saturday afternoon and burial in the Holton Cemetery.

8--Mrs. Rarick, who has been in Holland taking treatments, was brought home dead Tuesday night.  The funeral services were held yesterday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the Tyndall school house.

It was this last one, with its stark bluntness that first brought a chuckle to me, and then made me pause.  It was a full week later that the following obituary appeared.  

Nancy J Van Scoder was born in Hancock county, Ohio, March 26, 1859.  At the age of 14 she moved with her parents to Michigan.
She was married to Simon Tharp July 19, 2874, and to this union eight children were born, three having preceded their mother.  On December 11, 1889, her husband passed away leaving her to care for her family.  March 31, 1907 she was united in marriage to John Rarick, since which time she has made her home in Brunswick.  About two weeks ago she was taken to Holland to the home of her daughter for special medical treatment.  On Monday, June 8, she passed away at the age of 55 years, three months and 13 days.
She leaves her husband, three daughters, namely, Mrs Ettie Keirstead, of Greenwood; Mrs Maggie Horn and Mrrs. Stella Dare, both of Holland, two sons, Fred, of Bangor, and Aaron, of Holland; two sisters, Mrs Margaret Millard, of Fremont, and Mrs. Emma Lemmon, of Illinois; and two brothers who reside in Oklahoma.
The remains were brought to Brunswick last week Tuesday evening and the funeral services were held at the Tyndall schoolhouse Wednesday, conducted by Rev. R. A. Thibos.  Burial took place in the Evans cemetery.

The first notice, as is the case with most give no dates, merely stating the day of the week death occurred.  This second definitely is richer in details.  The fact that so many of these early obituary and one line death notices only give a week day for the death date can be confusing.  Is the writer of the column stating the date when he or she wrote it?  Or are they considering the publication date of the paper when they write.  For example, I often wonder about when the notice says "died Saturday".  If the writer had a Sunday deadline to get the article to the paper, did they change their wording if it was turned in late?  Or if it says Tuesday, and the paper came out on Thursday, how up to date is the death information.  The lack of precise dates is so frustrating. 
Although, a leeway of a week or two is better than no death information at all I guess.

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