Tuesday, January 02, 2007


It occurred to me that people wandering through my blog might find me a little morbid as I post on my family which have passed. I really am not, I'm just very family focused, am also a genealogist/family historian and love photography, especially old photography!

Today, I would like to pay tribute to my Grandma, Dorothy Larimore Duren Johnson. January 2, 1920 to July 12, 1987. Her life was cut short by more than death; she suffered from Alzheimer's Disease. It is still quite painful for me to think about how she suffered probably for several years before being diagnosed. Grandma, Dot, as everyone called her, had a hard life. Her parents divorced in the 1920s, not common, especially in a devout Catholic family. She and her brother ran away to find their Dad and were then put in the Seattle Children's Home, an orphanage, for awhile until legal custody issues were straightened out. Her stepfather was not always kind to the children from the first marriage. She watched her three month old baby Patty die in her arms on the way to the hospital and her marriage failed. Next she became pregnant out of wedlock with my father. It was not a good situation all around, but my Grandpa stuck with her to the end. In spite of all these life circumstances, many of which I did not even list, she was a cheerful and humorous person. She was quite capable of doing just about anything she set her mind to. She was stubborn and she had a temper. You had to really watch out when she was mad! She liked music and singing and dancing. She loved the Big Bands. She hated Elvis...unless she heard him singing and didn't know it was him! LOL She worked hard. She played hard. She went huting, camping and fishing with our family. She was an awesome cook and baker and made beautiful wedding cakes. She was a natural nurse and took care of us all as well as others. And she spoiled me rotten! At the time I was the only girl in our family. As a child she was my "favorite" Grandma because she was fun. Looking back I think maybe God gave me all that fun with her because we had a short time together. She died when I was 21, but she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's when I was 14 and had probably been suffering from it since I was about 10. Grandma would be 87 today, if she were alive, and I miss her still! From her I think I got my persistence, my nursing abilities and my sense of humor.

In the picture above, probably about 1928-1930, she is pictured with her siblings (all gone now) at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington. Left to right, Charles Alexander "Bud" Larimore, Mary Alice Larimore, Grandma Dorothy and Evelyn "Eve" Veronica Larimore Johnson Wilson.

1 comment:

Lynette said...

Theresa, I really enjoy all of your site, but the stories of your family have to be my favorite. And I don't think you morbid at all. I enjoy telling family stories to J.
Quite often he will ask me to tell him a story about when I was a little girl. I have find that many forgotten memories of my mom have come back to me (my mom as been gone 12 years).
Family stories are the best! Thanks for sharing & don't stop.