29 November 2012

Obituaries--Alyce and Pauline Warmelink

I found this article when going through the obituary files and microfilm.  Such a tragic accident.  It is notable the local slant of this article.  Both the Warmelink women were from Fremont.  The other victim was from Newaygo, and while he also died in the crash, not much information is given about him.  Descriptions are graphic.  Read on with care.

From the 7 November 1935 Fremont TimesIndicator:
Archie McKinley, Newaygo, With Party Returning From Croton Dance
Two Fremont young ladies and a Newaygo man were instantly killed early Sunday morning in the worst automobile tragedy that has occurred in Newaygo county this year.  The victims of the accident were Alyce Warmelink, 20, and Pauline Warmelink, 18, daughters of Mrs John Warmelink, and Archie McKinley, 47, of Newaygo.  William Anderson 23, of Newaygo, who was the driver was badly injured but will live.  Peter Bailey, 22, also of Newaygo was the fifth occupant, but was only slightly injured.
The members of the party had been attending a dance at the Oxbow, near Croton, and were returning home.  It is thought that the accident occurred about 4 o'clock.  The party were driving west on M-82 west of the Oak Grove school and had reached the bend in the road at Pettit lake when they failed to make the curve.  It was evident that the car was traveling at a high rate of speed and it crashed into the forest on the side of the road and struck three trees.
It was two or three hours after the tragedy occurred that the demolished car with its occupants was discovered.  The discovery was made by Grand Rapids hunters who hurried to Newaygo and notified Allen Peterson at the Newaygo garage.  When he arrived at the scene of the accident Bailey was being walked around by one of the hunters but he had not sufficiently regained consciensness to give any of the details of the accident. 
The bodies of the young ladies and McKinley were badly mangled and all three had skull fractures and internal injuries as well as many broken bones.  The two injured were taken to their home and Coroner Willis Geerlings was summoned.  McKinley was not a member of the party but was acquainted with the young men and was given a ride back to Newaygo from the Croton dance.
The positions in the car occupied by the two survivors saved them from death.  These men occupied the left side of the front and rear seats while the right side of the vehicle made the terrific impact with the trees.  Alyce was in the front seat and McKinley occupied the right side of the rear seat.  Between him and Bailey was Pauline.
The young ladies were well known here and the Warmelink family have made their home here for many years.  Alyce graduated from the Fremont high school in 1934 and was attending business college in Grand Rapids.  Pauline graduated from the local high school last June and was employed at The Shack, local restaurant.
Besides their mother girls are survived by two sisters, Mrs Bertha Hollender and Mrs. Jessie Ravey of Sheboygan, Wisc., and two brothers Fred of Harrisburg, Ill., and Leonard at home.
The funeral services for the young ladies were held Tuesday afternoon from the Second Christian Reformed church and were in charge of the Rev. C. Holtrop, the pastor. Interment took place in Maple Grove cemetery.

Such a sad story.  As is typical, they don't spare the reader.  Rather they indulge them with details.  You would never see a local paper giving all that information today.   
While accidents still happen today, as do late parties, but at least now with seat-belts and airbags, many of these serious accidents are usually not fatal to so many.  Of course, there is dangers not thought of then. (Hello, texting?)  But with the wide use of cell phones, help can arrive quicker.  Even if the accident isn't found till later, help can be summoned from the site. 
There are some advantages to modern technology.

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