After my post about my great-grandfather George Edmund Pleau dying in 1932, commenter chmjr2 wondered what became of George’s wife (my great-grandmother) Bertha and his son (my grandfather) George.
It wasn’t long before Bertha and young George moved back to Lynn, Massachusetts from Baltimore by 1933, where they lived at 145 Lewis Street. Bertha’s mother Jennie had long since died, but here mother’s extended family (the Whites) lived in and around Lynn and her father and brother Frank and Edwin Colomy both lived there. Family stories state that Bertha’s first cousin once-removed Hazel (White) Hill took care of George during the 1930s; however, Hazel was also a widowed single (and working) mother, so I don’t know how she would have had time to do so.
From 1935 to 1940, Bertha and George lived at 16 Cherry Street. Bertha worked as a shoe worker and George eventually went on to Lynn English High School. Frank, the only grandfather that George would have ever known, died in 1936 of a brief illness.
Bertha died in March 1940; my aunt’s guess was that it was due to a heart problem, but I don’t have here death certificate yet to confirm or disprove this. Bertha is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery next to her brother’s 2nd wife, Eleanor. I assume that Edwin Colomy was willing to give up this plot, since he was married to his 3rd wife Pearl by then, in order to help his nephew with the predicament of his mother’s burial. Bertha’s name is not inscribed on the gravestone.
Shortly after Bertha’s death, George moved in with music teacher Benjamin Johnson at 474 Eastern Avenue. I assume Benjamin was an associate of Bertha’s, since she had been a piano teacher for many years. George worked as a part-time clerk at a grocery store and managed to graduate from high school on June 14. I was so proud of him when I found his diploma; how difficult those months must have been!
It wasn’t long before George began a relationship with Eugenie Beryl Atwell of 143 Timson Street. They were married on February 8, 1941 in Seabrook, Rockingham County, NH. At this point that is all I can say, as we start to get into living memory.
This was just a tiny glimpse at the end of Bertha Pleau’s life, but there was so much more to her story, as my aunt and I began to discover. It seems to have begun at least two generations before she was born. More to follow!