Monday, December 2, 2019

James Edward "Ed" Pattillo 1913-1990 My Father - Part 1

Ed and Lottie at John and Emma
Thornally's home in Brookdale
This blog post was written by my mother Lottie, Ed’s wife.

Dedicated to the memory of my sweet and loving husband for the 51 happy years we shared from August 19th, 1939 to September 3, 1990.

I met Ed at a dance at the German House in Oakland in January of 1938. Our first date was on January 30 to the President’s Ball. It was held at the Oakland Auditorium – a special event to raise money for polio victims. It also honored President Franklin Roosevelt who was crippled by the disease. We had a wonderful time and dated regularly from then on.

Ed was anxious to get married – he was 25 but I was only 18, and not ready to settle down and become a housewife. I wanted to enjoy my new independence for a little longer. He wanted us to “break up”, but even though I didn’t want to get married – I didn’t want to lose him. I realized what a good husband, lover, friend and father he would be. So, after lots of discussion we decided to be engaged, but wait a year before getting married.

German House where Mom and Dad met in 1938

Oakland Auditorium where Dad took Mom on their first date
That important day was August 19, 1938. We had a lovely wedding at St. Leanders Church. I planned the details for months, and with Rosemary’s help, I designed and made my wedding gown. We had our reception at Sequoia Country Club, and then left for a one whole month honeymoon – as Ed had been saving up all his time off for this day. He planned it all. Our first night we stayed at Hotel Oakland – our room overlooked Lake Merritt – even though we already had our own apartment on Oakland Avenue. 
St. Leanders Church where Ed and Lottie were married, 1939

Two shots of the interior of the Sequoia Lodge where Ed and
Lottie held their wedding reception
Our next night we stayed in a pretty little cottage in Monterey. We went to a 2nd hand store and bought a little cast iron fry pan and a couple of pots, and I cooked our first meal. We took a boat out of San Diego to Catalina Island. What a thrill it was to dance in the AvalonBallroom. (It was just as wonderful on our return visit in 1982 – 44 years later.) We skipped Los Angeles (to my disappointment) and drove straight to Yosemite National Park. For a week we hiked the trails – till I had blisters on my toes. And then to complete our honeymoon we spent a week at Brookdale at my Mom and Dad’s summer home. 
Avalon Ballroom on Catalina Island - where Ed took Lottie
for their honeymoon.

The theater on Catalina Island
Our marriage wasn’t one of wild passion, but rather happy contentment with the little things life offered us and the desire to please each other. I knew it would last for a long, long time, and now that its ended, my only regret is that it couldn’t have continued for many more years. 
The first of 51 years, taken in 1940 on their 1st anniversary
In the beginning, Ed had a good job with Signal Oil Company and commuted to San Francisco every day, but six months after we were married, he was fired – for being honest. He reported some crooked deals to the wrong man – not knowing he was also involved in the scheme. So, they got rid of Ed to cover up for themselves. We had some rough years, but we managed, and there was lots of love between us. 
Dad when was working as a truck driver
during the early years of their marriage., 1948
Move to San Leandro and Births of Terry and Kathy
We moved to a duplex on 78th Avenue. Rent was only $27.50 per month. It was there that we became acquainted with our first “married friends” – Mickey and Harold Mohr. But we got each other in trouble with the landlord and we all got evicted. So, in 1941 we moved to Joaquin Avenue in San Leandro. That’s where we lived when Terry was born March 11, 1942. It was a pleasant and comfortable place, but Ed wanted Terry to grow up in his own home with a big yard and animals. 
When Terry was born Dad was adamant
that they buy their home on Elsie Avenue
So, we went house hunting, and bought our nearly new five room home at 730 Elsie Avenue. My Mom and Dad lived just around the corner at 636 Sybil – they took care of Terry when Ed and I went out partying and I’d push Terry home in his buggy, so as not to wake him up.

Twenty months later Kathy arrived. She was a sweet and good baby and I was delighted to have a little girl to sew dresses and pinafores for. 
Two photos taken at their home on Elsie, 1944

Kathy, Ed and Terry planting seeds, 1945
On December 7, 1942 the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and our country went to was against them. Our whole country was in a crazy mess. Ed was all set to join the navy and just waiting for a departure date. I even gave him a farewell party. But the real celebration came, when they changed the rules, and Ed was not drafted because of his age (30). Instead Bert, Harold and Cliff were inducted. 

By law, Ed had to get work in a defense plant. So, my Dad got him a job at United Iron Works and wanted him to become a machinist. But Ed disliked that kind of work and was pretty unhappy.

At last the war was over and our friend Walt Gunn offered Ed a job. At first it was just digging ditches, building forms and hauling materials. But Ed worked hard and gradually learned construction and carpenter work and he was much happier. In 1946 he joined the carpenters union #1622. That was a good decision. So, we have always been grateful to Walt. 
Walt and Jean Gunn. Walt gave Dad his first job in
construction and remained close friends for life.
Our life on Elsie Avenue was pretty good. We still didn’t have much money, but we went on picnics with Jess and Cliff and Grace and Ernie, spent holidays with mom and Dad, Ma and Pop, Bert and Marge and the Anglemyers. We got acquainted with our neighbors – Floyd and Clara Van Epps, Ronnie and Freddie Shehab, Bea and Jo Arnold. We all liked to play pinochle and took turns as hosts at each other’s homes. The guys would run across the street and check on the kids now and then (a no-no today). Freddie introduced us to New York pizza – nobody in California had ever heard of it at that time.

I had built up a nice clientele of ladies that I did dressmaking for, and it gave us a few extra dollars for pleasure spending.  
Lottie, Ed, Kathy and Terry at Elsie home
One project Ill never forget! In one three-day weekend – we painted our entire house. Clara and Floyd, their kids and my Dad all pitched in to help Ed and I. Clara did all the cooking and we ate our meals at their house. A few weekends later we reversed the process and painted Clara and Floyds’ house and I did all the cooking for the gang. My Dad cleaned all the paint brushes and cleaned up our mess. Boy were we tired and slap happy when it was done. But darned proud with a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.
Lottie and Ed with Chris

Move to Castro Valley and Birth of Chris
In June of 1948 we bought a lot on Alma Avenue (a half-acre for $10,000) and drew up plans – with Walt’s help – to build our present home. It was a huge undertaking with lots of headaches. But still today it gives us a wonderful feeling of satisfaction. I’d take Terry and Kathy to my Mom and then ride the bus to Castro Valley – get off at Redwood Road and walk up to Alma Avenue – 1 mile. Later my Dad gave me his old 1928 Hupmobile and I learned to drive out here. I’d work on the house, sanding, painting, putting on button board, or those awful furring nails in the stucco. Then as soon as Ed got off work, he’d join me and we’d work till dark. Then back to San Leandro to pick up Terry and Kathy and drop into bed pooped. On weekends, I’d bring out our electric roaster and cook our meals. 
John Thornally, Lottie, Emma and Terry. The Hupmobile in
the driveway of their new Castro Valley home, 1950

Mickey and Harold and Rich Mohr were our contractors but Walt helped us a lot with the plans, materials and subcontractors and Bert helped us with the concrete work and plastering and stucco – along with more friends. And so, in April 1949 we moved to Castro Valley and a new chapter in our life.
It was only three months later that I was pregnant for the third time and Jean said – oh! We forgot to tell you Castro Valley is nick-named Pregnant Valley. But lo and behold on January 24, 1950 Chris became a wonderful addition to our family tree. She was always a happy go lucky little girl. Terry adored her, and so did Kathy – Ed beamed and I was in my glory with two girls.

Those were busy years – school activities, PTA, Brownies, boy scouts – Ed and I took an active part in it all. And for a while Ed was a volunteer fireman. I started working at Daughtreys part-time. Doing the alterations and working in the Children’s Department with Marge Searle.
Dad's photo in the Castro Valley paper when he was part of the volunteer
fire department
 Ed worked hard - sometimes jobs were plentiful – he must have hung a million feet of sheetrock - he took pride in doing a quality job. But other times jobs were scarce, so every morning he went to the union hall and waited for a call - that didn’t come. He’d finally come back home very discouraged. But no matter what happened, he never complained and just kept on doing his very best. And whenever one of our friends needed help, he was always there with a willing hand.

The years flew by. Terry graduated from Castro Valley High in 1960 – then Kathy – and suddenly she met Larry. They were married at Our Lady of Grace Church on February 22, 1964.
Kathy on her wedding day with parents Ed and Lottie
About the same time Chris went bravely thru a traumatic period while she was in the 8th grade. During a routine physical at Kaiser, her Doctor determined that she had scoliosis – or curvature of the spine. She had a very difficult back surgery – they inserted an 8” steel pin. She was in a full body cast for six months. She sure was a good patient and like her Dad – never complained.

Just six months after Kathy and Larry married, they moved to Alaska. We all missed her so much that in 1965 we bought a camper for $750. That July Ed drove the Alcan Highway to Fairbanks in only seven days. What a great trip that was for six weeks. It was really cozy when Kathy joined us for a week to Mt. McKinley National Park and way down the Kenai Peninsula. Sure hated to say goodbye when we went our separate ways in Anchorage.
The camper we drove to Alaska in to visit with Kathy and
Larry in the 60's
We had a lot of good times in that little camper. Up the beautiful California coast into Oregon, Yosemite, Santa Cruz, Disneyland, on hunting trips with Bert and Marge, Marie and Mike, Johnny and Helen and Jim and Carol and extra special good times with Jean and Walt at Scull Flat Ranch.

Then in May 1971 we bought a new Four-Star Camper and took some great trips to Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion National Parks, Yellowstone, Canada, Vancouver Island and Olympic National Park. What wonderful times my sweetheart and I had in those years.

Kathy came home for a three month visit in 1967. Shaun was three months old and in 1970 she came when Eric was three months and Shaun three years. After a year stay in England they returned to Australia.
Ed with grandson Shaun, 1970

Ed with his grandson Eric
Terry worked at Caterpillar Tractor Company for ten years and then retired in 1974. He enjoys life – helps others – does volunteer work at church and CCD. He enjoys going to auctions and collecting and recycling aluminum cans.

Chris graduated from the University of California in 1975. With a lot of hard work and determination, she has established a very successful business as a landscape architect. She has an attractive office in Oakland. She and Dianne have a lovely home in the Oakland Hills. In January 1990 they also bought a great little cabin in Point Arena. It’s located on ten pretty acres of Redwood and Pine trees and covered with wildflowers and rhododendrons. What a peaceful spot it is to spend a weekend relaxing.
Ed and Lottie at their Castro Valley home 1956

Ed and Lottie when Dad still had hair

The family in outfits Mom made, 1946

Bert and Marge, Lewis and Anna, Ed and Lottie

Ed and Lottie with his 1936 Chevrolet, 1938

One of many parties on our patio at the Castro Valley home.
L-R Rose and Emma Thornally, Lewis, Terry, Anna, Ed, Bert,
Kathy, Maege, Pat, Christy and Pat - all Pattillos

One of many happy Christmas holidays. Emma, Terry,
Kathy, Lottie, Ed and Chris, 1956

James Edward "Ed" Pattillo 1913 - 1990 My Father - Part 2

Ed and Lottie on one of their two trips to visit Kathy in
Australia, 1979
Retirement and More Travel

Ed retired in 1976 at age 63. From then on, we had some fabulous trips together: Mexico with John and Hope in 1977, two trips to Australia – 1979 and 1985 including New Zealand, New York in 1980, the Panama Canal cruise to Puerto Rico with Flo and Andy and then we drove with them to Florida in 1983. Eastern Canada, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland 1983, Western Canada 1984, Florida Cruise and Epcot Center 1987, England, Ireland and Scotland 1988, copper Canyon Mexico and Texas in 1989. Also somewhere in between were two trips to the four islands of Hawaii. Those were our luxury trips – tour packages.

But in 1985 – August we bought a 1973 Winnebago motorhome – oh how Ed loved that. He was so excited about driving it. He’d wanted one for years but we never had enough money – so when I retired from Daughtrey's in April 1985, there was enough money in my retirement fund to buy our Winnebago for $9000 and enough for me to have all my kitchen cabinets refaced, new linoleum and new stove too. Wow! Were we happy then. 
Winnebago purchased in 1985

Took our first trip in it to Clear Lake. But our best one was to Albuquerque New Mexico for the Balloon Festival – oh how Ed enjoyed that – then Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands, Sedona and many more wonderful sights. Short trips to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, Lava Beds, Brookdale and Ben Lomond.

I always did the planning – but Ed and Terry too were always ready to go. He loved to drive and I loved to ride. He was a good driver and I always felt safe and content wherever we went.
Leukemia Diagnosis
Our dreams were shattered in May 1986. After a general physical at Kaiser Dr. Jensen Akula informed us that Ed had chronic leukemia. I was so scared! But Ed took the bad news calmly and went on living without complaint. He began to tire easily and was very confused at times – he’d forget how to get to Kaiser, or our friends’ homes, but he just did the best he could. I loved him all the more for his attitude and determination, although sometimes I was cross and impatient with him and now, I hate myself for being that way.

During his illness, Dr. Akula prescribed medication only three times. Kemo pills – Alkeran or melphalan. A ten-day dose seemed to bring his white blood cells down to a safe level. They ran from 21,000 to 43,000.
Kathy, Chris, Lottie, Ed and Terry celebrating Ed and
Lottie's 50th wedding anniversary, 1989
I am so grateful that we were able to celebrate our 50th (and 51st) wedding anniversary. First, we took a trip – a cruise that is to Alaska in June 1989. Jess and Cliff and Grace and Ernie were with us – also celebrating their 50th. After the cruise, Ed and I continued on to Denali National Park and Fairbanks. It sure had changed a lot since our first trip in 1965. Ed was pretty sick at times and tired easily, but even so, we walked all over Anchorage, Denali and Fairbanks. He was such a good sport and tried so hard to please me. It was a wonderful trip and I’ll never forget it.

And then best of all on August 1, 1989 Kathy came home for a one-month visit – her first in 19 years. Chris made the arrangements for her ticket and besides that she hosted a 50th party in her home for Ed and I and all our good friends on August 19th. What a feast we had – good drinks and dips, then fabulous turkey that Dianne barbecued. Chris made delicious salad and Kathy made my favorite dessert – Pavlova. Ed was still feeling pretty good so we had a super happy day. Everyone took pictures and brought lovely cards – for my scrapbook. I told Chris not to give us a party because she had given us one on our 25th and another on our 40th but I’m so glad she didn’t listen to me. The memory of that day with Ed and all our close friends will be with me forever. 
Ed, Kathy, Terry, Lottie, Walt Gunn and Ernie Moore
at the 50th Anniversary party.

Then we all went camping to Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Kathy rode and slept with Chris in her van – also Rookie. Ed and I, Terry, Ebony and Misty in the Winnebago. It was a happy four days for all of us – except Chris got stung by a yellow jacket. Jean and Walt spent an evening with us, Chris started drawing up our family tree, and we picnicked up at beautiful Alpine Lake, and spent our evenings playing Tripoli – our favorite game.

In October of 1989 Ed and I took an outstanding trip to Copper Canyon Mexico. It was a difficult and strenuous trip for Ed and he got pretty sick. We were home three weeks before he felt well again and began to eat. Then in mid-December he had a bad fall on the gravel driveway while helping Terry put up the Christmas lights.

Ed sitting in his chair with long time friends Al, Cliff
Gossett and Ernie Moore.
After that his condition went downhill. There were more falls and he was very confused – poor sweetie. On January 4, 1990 he entered Kaiser – against his will. I felt so badly – I didn’t want to leave him there but the doctor wanted to do some tests. He was there a week. Test results showed previous strokes and a small clot on the brain. Dr. Akula and his co-doctors said the damage was permanent and no medication would be of any help. I was heartsick. They sent him home with the discouraging words – not to expect any improvement. Ed was in bad shape, hardly able to speak, ate practically nothing, not able to get dressed or do anything for himself. Kaiser home nurses came but advised me to place him in a nursing home. I knew I couldn’t do that without first trying to care for him myself. So, with determination, patience and a lot of T.L.C. I brought him back to a reasonably healthy man. From wheelchair to walker to cane and even walking alone. We began a new and even closer life together. 
Lottie and Ed on one of their trips to Hawaii, 1980s
We went for drives in the car, shopping for groceries, lunches at Southland, a couple of shows and nicest of all two camping trips. In April 1990 we spent four happy days at Millerton Lake and in May we celebrated Ed’s 77th birthday and Mother’s Day for another four days at Del Valle Reservoir. Chris and Dianne came to spend a day with us too. I was so grateful – I didn’t think I’d ever have this chance.
Things went well – his appetite improved – he gained weight. Shaun and Sandy arrived March 11, on a round the world trip – they cheered him up and joined us on our rides to get acquainted with California. Then they were off to Wyoming for two months with Larry – returning mid-June. Ed was doing really well at that time and I was ecstatic – even able to go up and down a few steps.

About the end of June things got bad again ….. Ed did not respond to treatment and each day he slipped a little farther away from me. On September 3, 1990 at 6:15 PM while we were listening to the A’s ballgame, he closed his eyes and took his last breath. I knew I was going to lose him, but even so I wasn’t ready to let him go. I miss him so very much. Every day I told him I loved him and he always responded “I love you too” even though sometimes he just moved his lips, nodded his head or squeezed my hand. 
Lottie, Ed and Chris with Rookie and Misty, ca. 1984

We held his memorial service at Chapel of the Valley on September 7th. Chris gave a wonderful eulogy honoring her Father. The chapel was filled with our good friends who loved and respected him. He was buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland. It’s a pleasant spot with a big shade tree and a view of the bay and San Francisco skyline on a clear day. The opposite view of green slopes with magnolia, fir and other varieties of trees, and is dotted with the headstones of other loved ones.

He’s been away from me for two and a half months, and I’m still so lonesome for him. He was such a quiet guy, but he was always there whenever I needed him. I know I’m lucky that we had 51 happy years together, but I wish we could have had more. 

So now I’m trying to put my life back together and begin a new chapter. Ed always said “It doesn’t do any good to cry about it” and I know he’s right but it isn’t easy. I know I’m very fortunate to have Terry here with me and Chris just a phone call away. I’ll always have my memories and now I’m trying my best to move ahead without my sweetheart.
Ed as a toddler

Ed’s Life Before Lottie by Chris
James Edward Pattillo was the eldest son of Lewis and Anna Pattillo. He was born in Los Angeles on May 10, 1913. When he was about five years old his family moved to Fresno and lived in a house at 1245 Iowa Street. Two years later when the 1920 census was taken they had moved to 3512 Tulare in Fresno. Ed attended Jackson Elementary School in Fresno. Then his family relocated to Oakland where he graduated from Alexander Hamilton Junior High on June 12, 1927, and Fremont High School on December 12, 1930. He earned a School Seal on his diploma signifying a minimum average scholarship of 1.9, and a conduct record of 105 points. This was the second highest ranking in his school. He was one of 31 to get this acknowledgment in a class of 148. He was also an honor roll student. Only 40 of 148 students in his class made the honor roll. 
Ed as a young boy
Between junior high and high school the Pattillo family moved to 1310 49th Avenue. After graduating from high school dad took a job as a truck driver for Signal Oil Company. On September 20, 1938 Ed and Lottie became engaged. By September 1939 dad had switched to Texaco Oil Company still working as a truck driver and in March of 1942 he was driving for Sunshine Biscuit Company. The rest of Dad’s story is in Mom’s narrative above.
Dad always had a garden and grew much of what we ate
Terry, Chris, Ed and Lottie at Chris's home to celebrate Mom
and Dad's 40th anniversary, 1979

Ed, Jess and Cliff Gossett - lifetime friends

Lottie and Ed celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, 1964

Their 40th anniversary

Ed with daughter Kathy and three grandsons Eric,
Shaun and Loren, 1979

Ed and Lottie with friends Flo and Andy Anderson on
 cruise to Panama Canal, 1982

Ed, Lottie, Jessie and Cliff celebrating their 50th anniversaries
on a cruise to Alaska, 1989

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Mary Gilliat 1821-1882 My 2nd Great Grandmother on my Mother's Side

St. Peter Church in Thorpe St. Peter where Mary was christened
Mary Gilliat was the wife of Samuel Thornally Jr. and the mother of nine or ten children. She was the daughter of John Gilliat and Susanna Abraham. Mary was born in 1821 in Thorpe St. Peter, England and she was christened there on September 8, 1821. She was one of eleven children and the second daughter of John and Susanna. Mary’s older sister Henrietta was born in about 1817 and her older brother Abraham was born about a year later. Her younger sisters were Betsy born about 1822, Ann 1824, Elizabeth, who was known as Eliza, 1829, Harriet 1832 and Susannah, presumably named after her mother, born in 1834. Mary also had three younger brothers Alfred 1824, William 1827 and John 1833. John Gilliat was a farmer so it is likely that Mary and her siblings helped with the family farm as they were growing up.
A portion of the 1841 census showing Mary on the second line and
her siblings Henrietta, Betsy, Alfred and Ann
Mary’s family lived in Thorpe Hall in Thorpe Parish in Spilsby, Lincolnshire which is about two miles from Wainfleet. She appeared on the 1841 census for Thorpe St. Peter where she was listed with her siblings including Henrietta – both were shown as being twenty years old. Most likely this was a recording error on the part of the census taker. Their address was noted as being in the East Fen Allotment. In 1872 Thorpe had a population of 649 residents and occupied 2880 acres of land of which a large portion was fens (marshy areas). Thorpe was referred to as a scattered village and parish and still had a Lord of the Manor at that time.
This map shows the county of Lincolnshire and the
location of Thorpe St. Peter where Mary and Samuel
When Mary was sixteen Victoria assumed the throne of Great Britain when her uncle William died. Queen Victoria reigned for the remainder of Mary’s life. It was a time of “significant social, economic and technological change, which saw the expansion of Britain's industrial power and of the British empire.”

When she was twenty-two Mary married Samuel Thornalley Jr. and they established their home in Thorpe. Their first child, a daughter Mary Ann was born on August 23, 1846. Next was Samuel 1847, Susanna Ellen 1848, William Gilliat – my great grandfather who was born in 1850, Emma Marie 1851, Hepzibeh 1853, Betsy 1855, John Henry 1857, and Eliza 1859. Some records list a tenth child Kate born in 1864. So, Mary was pregnant for much of the time between the ages of 24 and 43.
This is the 1851 census showing Mary, now married to Samuel Thornally
and four of their children - Mary Ann, Samuel, Susanna Ellen and Gilliat,
my great grandfather.
In 1851 when the census was taken Mary was living with Samuel and their first four children. Ten years later they had moved to West Ham and were living at 249 Culbert Road in Plaistow, England. In 1867 her father died and the following year Mary’s husband Samuel died on January 27, 1868 when Mary was 47. 
The 1861 census shows Samuel and Mary living at 249 Culbert Road in Plaistow, England

The 1871 English censuses list a Mary Thornley as a patient at Islington West Trinity. In 1881 I found a widowed dressmaker living in Thorpe  at No. 15 Quadrant Road in Pancras, London. Though the name was spelled differently the age jibes with our Mary so it is possible that she supported herself as a dressmaker after Samuel died. Mary’s mother died in 1878 and Mary died a few years later at the age of 61 while living in Pancras. During Mary’s lifetime, Charles Dickens wrote Oliver Twist, slavery was abolished in the British empire in 1838, a uniform one cent postage rate was established, the world’s first municipal park opened in Birkenhead near Liverpool, and the Crimean War began.
Two screen shots of Pancras from Google earth

Sources for the Post: 1841-1881 English census, marriage and Christening records for Mary and her children, Sue Tucker's family tree.