Dorothy Olive Cary
My mother, Dorothy Olive Cary, was born 29 Jan 1918 in Ottumwa, Wapello County Iowa. Her parents were, Ralph Orion Cary and Hazel Belle Windle Cary. She was born near the end of World War I and near the end of a special era in our country. At the time she was born women still wore long skirts, long sleeved blouses. The mode of transportation was the Model A and Model T Ford and the speed of travel was probably forty miles per hour. People still had an alternative for transportation in the streetcar and the train.
As I look at the photographs of that time, I see people that had to handle life's problems the same as we do in the 1990's. But I see a slower pace and a simpler way of life. I'm sure that at the time it seemed "plenty fast enough". I am mentioning this simply to illustrate the large span of change that my mother has seen in her lifetime.
She married my father, Gerald Vuhr Craig when she was sixteen years old. She had me when she was seventeen years old.
Her life with my father was definitely not a stable or serene one. The constant moving during World War II could not have been easy, especially for a girl that came from a stable and normal family. Finally, in 1946 we moved to western Nebraska, and that is where their marriage ended. My father went on, to live his life elsewhere, and the three of us, Mom, David and I, stayed in that community.
There were many hard times for the three of us. I never had the slightest doubt that my mother would take care of things. Now I know there were plenty of times that SHE doubted it, but for me, I always had complete confidence in my mother. It was a heavy burden for a young woman, not quite thirty years old.
Her life in western Nebraska has been a good one. She met and married Laurel Lyndon Evelyn on 21 December 1950. This was our first taste of what stability and permanence can mean. Laurel loved me and David as much as his own son, Ronald Evelyn. He bought a house and we felt like normal people. There is no greater gift to a child than to love their mother. It allows so much room for the child to grow. This was the gift Laurel gave to me and David.
To paint a picture that my mother lived "happily ever after" would be erroneous. Life continued to have problems for her, just as it does for everyone. Laurel died in 1967 and she continued on alone until 1981. This is when she married Lee Potter Johnston. He and my mother have continued together. He, like my mom, comes from a special time. They work hard, are very independent, and are involved in many community activities. I am fortunate to have had the best stepfathers a person could ever have!
My mother has been involved in many organizations in her life. Business and Professional Women; Eastern Star; The National Society Of The Daughters Of American Revolution; Toastmistress Club; and of course her church, The Church Of Christ Scientist. In all of these she has not settled for being "just a member". She has been a leader in all of them. I think she inherited this trait from her Cary and Sanford ancestors. Most of them were the type of people that get involved in their state and local community affairs.
My mother has so many good characteristics that I would be hard pressed to pick one that I admire the most. I would like to mention her great perseverance. Even in the most trying times she has that great ability to "not give up". By living a long life she has had many burdens to endure. The greatest of these was when my brother, David Vinson Craig, died at the age of forty.
This tragedy tested her faith in God, however, I am happy to report that her faith endured and she persevered. She is from a special time and she is a special person. I consider myself most fortunate to have her for my mother. I couldn't have picked a BETTER mother!
I will sum it all by saying I am so proud and grateful that I am her daughter!
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