Thursday, August 9, 2012

Eleanor Louise Holway Barkume

My grandmother passed away at the beginning of last week and I went out to California with my family to celebrate her life. She was an amazing woman and I am proud to be her granddaughter. She and her twin, Dorothy, flew out to Chris' and my wedding in 2008 and at the rehearsal dinner they got up together to sing karaoke to "Chattanooga Choo Choo" (Glenn Miller), a #1 song across the U.S. for 9 weeks in 1941 when they were just 19 years old. They were 86 years old at the time!
(Chris and I with the twins in 2010 - Shasta Lake, CA. My grandmother is on the left.)

My grandmother was born on February 22, 1922. Her mother died during childbirth and she and Dorothy were raised by their aunt and uncle. They have lived in California around the Los Angeles area for their entire lives.
(My grandmother is on the right.)

My grandmother, her twin, and their friends were in their early 20's during World War II and loved to share their stories about their USO days. They went to dances, exchanged letters with numerous soldiers overseas, and generally helped the war effort by keeping the soldiers happy. When Chris and I were talking with them about their war days a couple years ago, my grandmother insisted that everything was above board, and they never got "into that hanky-panky"! What amazing memories these two shared :)
(There are TONS of pictures of them in their 20s with soldiers on the beach!)

Eleanor met my grandfather Frank (who I unfortunately never got the chance to meet) after the war. They got married on Valentine's Day in 1953 and had five kids, including my mom. She raised an amazing family that loves to be around each other and celebrates holidays together to this day.
(My grandma with her two oldest children and two nephews)

She was truly an amazing woman who lived a long and full life. She prioritized her family and service to God and her church throughout her life and I think it's safe to say that she is now at peace and in great hands :)
I love you, Grandma Eleanor!


Ashley said...

Wow, Katie, what a tribute. Those picture are incredible! So glad you were able to be with your family to celebrate her life - she has left an incredible legacy behind in your family :)

Lauren said...

She is such an inspiration! Great tribute :) She is definitely where she needs to be right now. Love you!

Erika said...

You look so much like her!

LA-jan said...

That was a beautiful post, Katie! Mom would be so proud of her grandaughter for such a lovely tribute. (and SO glad you made a point that there was no "hanky panky" with the soldiers!)
Does anyone have a video of the twins singing at your rehersal dinner?

jennie said...

thank you for sharing those pictures and stories! what an incredible woman and an incredible life!

Dorothy said...

Thank you Katie, so much. That was. Beautiful and I am in tears.

Michele said...

Katie, I'm so sorry for your loss! I had no idea that this had happened when we were together last week! I'm so glad you got to go back and celebrate your Grandmother's life, What a beautiful tribute!

maggie said...

this was such a touching tribute to an amazing woman! I remember her and your great-aunt at the wedding and rehearsal! Thank you for sharing her life and those amazing pictures with us :)

Patty said...

This is such a beautiful post and tribute to your grandmother. tThose of us there at the rehearsal will never forget her spunk, as well as Dorothy's! You are blessed to have had her and we were to have met her.