Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Patsy- the Early Years

Before I get into my story, I have noticed that if you get email notifications of new postings that the actual post is in the email. I find it much easier to read the post if you click on the blue title in the email. That will take you directly to the post in an easier-to-read format.

My mother was Patricia Marilyn Happekotte. All of the Quincy-born relatives on the Happekotte side always called her Patsy. She was born in Quincy, Illinois on November 12, 1926 to Ralph and Edna Shepherd Happekotte. She passed away on December 17, 2007 at her home in Cedar Falls, Iowa. This picture of her has always reminded us of our great Aunt Irene (Schutte) from Quincy; we
Aunt Irene & Mom
always thought there was a strong resemblance. And when it came to a kind and loving attitude about life, both mom and Aunt Irene definitely shared that. As with dad, we don’t know a lot about her growing-up years in Quincy. She was an only child and she always told us that it was her intention to have thirteen children! Well, she only fell short by five! We do know that she attended Irving and Jackson Elementary schools in Quincy before the family moved to Waterloo, Iowa in 1935. She attended Emerson and Castle Hill Elementary schools. And that would be the old Castle Hill up on Rainbow Dr., the same one that I attended for my first two years of school. She attended Edison Jr. High, which is the same one that all of my siblings and I attended. I actually wound up teaching junior high there for about eighteen years. In 1944, she graduated from West High as did her four oldest children.

In Waterloo, mom always talked about roller skating as being one of her favorite activities. The first outdoor rink was located on the Cattle Congress grounds. One of her best friends was Jeanne Maeder whom she spent a lot of time with at the rink. From her  notes it looks like the rink moved downtown on Jefferson St. and was called the Felix Rollerdrome .They went every weekend and whenever they could. The roller skating tradition continued as many of us skated at the Black Hawk Rollerdrome in Cedar Falls. My brother, Tim, was actually married on skates at the Black Hawk!

One thing we have always tried to find out was how mom and dad met. This may be a story lost to history. So, if anyone out there knows, we’d love to have the story. But mom went back to Quincy during the summers when she was in high school. While there, she lived with her mom’s sister, Aunt Mabel and Uncle Everett Windsor and their family. Our family has been blessed by having a multitude of kind and generous aunts and uncles, and Aunt Mabel was definitely one of those. Mom had moved back to Quincy after graduating to be there when dad got home from naval service in 1946. (His naval service will be a future topic in my Schellseekers blog). When her best friend, Gloria Duschen, moved to Quincy, they got their own place at 22nd and Chestnut. They both worked at S.S. Kresge’s. Gloria would eventually serve as mom’s maid of honor in Quincy.

They were married at St. Francis Catholic Church on May 30, 1947
Engagement Photo
and celebrated with a big reception in Aunt Irene’s backyard which was very near the church. There used to be a film of that reception, but I fear that is, too, lost to history. Although mom spent most of her adult life in Waterloo, Quincy always remained near and dear in her heart.   

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