Saturday, January 21, 2006

My Mother and her Siblings

Richard and Mercy, as I mentioned earlier, had five children.
•Oldest was John Hallock (we always called him Uncle Whit), on the right. He married Aunt Frances, and they had 4 children (Mary Ellen, John, Linda, Bobby).
•Next in line was Margaret (Aunt Peg), tallest in the back row. She married Walter Tong (Uncle Walter) and they had three children, (Eloise, Curtis, and Annarae).
•My mother, Alice, was the middle child and is in the middle of this photo. She married my father, Thomas A. Howell, and they had four children: Kim (me), Tommy, Hunt, and Dick.
•Dorothy was the fourth child (front right in this photo). She married Eric Johnson (Uncle Eric) and they had three children (Karen, Linn, and Beth).
•The youngest child was Richard (far left). He married Aunt Janet, and they had two children, Richie and Barbara Sue.

So I had 8 aunts and uncles and 12 cousins on this side of the family. Most of those cousins have grown up and had children and grandchildren and even great grandchildren of their own by now. I could not make an accurate count even if I wanted to. But I could write chapters about these families. There would be a chapter about how Peg and Walter and their children were missionaries in the Philippines during WWII, and were held in Japanese internment camps for three years. A chapter would have to be written about Aunt Dot and Uncle Eric's passion for health, exercise, fun, outdoor exploration, and great resourcefulness as parents and providers. I could write about Aunt Frances' and Uncle Whit's artistry and craftsmanship, as painters, chair caners, etc. I could write about Uncle Dick and Aunt Janet's jewelry business in Attleboro, Mass., the laughter and humor in their home, and the subsequent tragic struggle with Aunt Janet's Huntington's disease. But I'll leave those stories to their families for now, and try to put down what I remember about our own family, my parents Tom and Alice, and our lives growing up in New Jersey and beyond. More soon!

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