28 Oct



Judy Wills



I don’t remember much about my Mother’s father – just glimpses, since he died when I was only five-years-old.  But I’ve heard many stories about him.

I know that he was a little over 10 years older than his wife, my Granny.  They married in 1909, and their first child, my Aunt Jessie, arrived in July 1910, with my Mother making her appearance in 1913.

Jessie told me once that, if they (the girls) ran around the house with just their undies on, Grandpa would swat their bottom as they passed, with the words, “better get some clothes on, sister!”


They lived in many places within Kansas and Texas, and he had several occupations that I know of.  I know that he was a carpenter at one point in time.  He built many footstools, stools, corner tables and children’s chairs out of empty spools of thread in his spare time, for the family.








See, Granny, Jessie and Mother all worked at the Rochester Handkerchief Factory in San Antonio, Texas for many years.  That company used many, many spools of thread in the business, all wound on wooden spools.  I guess he just couldn’t stand for anything to go to waste, and so those three ladies brought home the empties.  While the children’s chairs have been given away, we in the family still have the footstools, end tables, and the corner table.  They may not be very valuable in monetary terms, but they each hold great sentimental value to us all.











One other job he held was that of mortician (funeral director/embalmer).  I only know one story about that time, and it was told to us by Mother.  Seems that a very young girl had burned to death.  When her body was brought to him to prepare for the funeral and burial, the family was extremely distraught.  He worked all night long, peeling that burned flesh from her body, until only pink skin was left.  They said she looked like her normal self!  The family was unbelievably grateful to my Grandpa for taking the time to make her beautiful for them.

He was an interesting man.  I wish I had known him longer.


2 Responses to “Grandpa”

  1. How blessed you are to have the tables he made! I love that your family worked in a handkerchief factory as I am very fond of them.


    • DiVoran Lites at 3:21 pm #

      That was a wonderful posting, Judy. The stories are as valuable as the furniture.


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