Copyright 2016 © by Karen Vorbeck Williams
Pearl Woodward (1891-1989) as a girl.
Pearl's Great Grandchildren
While cleaning closets, purging the house of things we no longer use, I found my grandmother, Pearl's, photo album. Needing a rest, I sat down with the tattered old book full of black pages and old photographs and became so absorbed that I have not pulled away from it since. The thing that struck me most was knowing that when Pearl pasted these pictures into her album she did not know what would become of her children, grandchildren and
great grandchildren. But I look at these pictures today and know the stories that go with many of the faces. In some cases I know how the stories ended. My grandmother lived to be 98 years old. She survived two of her children and said, "I don't want to live long enough to lose another child." She lived through some of her children's and grand children's divorces. Something heartbreaking for her and almost unheard of in her time. Fortunately she did not live long enough to suffer the loss of two of her great-grandchildren.
Following her husband's death in 1935, Pearl had to work. I remember only two of the companies she worked for; Merle Norman and Farmer's Insurance Company. She loved to travel and if she had been free to do so, she would have seen the world. As it was, her travel was mostly limited to trips to visit Bette and her family in Colorado and Bob's family in Seattle.
Pearl at the Seattle airport.
Farmer's Insurance Company
Though Pearl suffered with painful arthritis and spent many years in a nursing home, she outlived her son, Richard, by over 30 years and my mother, Bette, by 11 years.
Unfortunately I grew up without knowing my "boy cousins" in Californa; Bobby, Tim, Jim and Byron Burgess, so I was unable to recognize their children, except for Byron's Lisa and Richard, whose pictures were well labeled.
K A R E N V O R B E C K W I L L I A M S