52 Ancestors: Closest to Your Birthday

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This weeks 52 Ancestors prompt is Closest to Your Birthday. I was born on Memorial Day, May 31, and the closest event to my birthday would be the death of my paternal great-grandma Myrtle Edith Sanford Crowe. She died on May 29, 1978, four years and two days before I was born.

 

Myrtle Edith Sanford, circa 1918
Myrtle Edith Sanford, c. 1918. Myrtle would have been around 18.

 

The date of her death being so close to my birthday is something I heard about many times growing up. I was actually due on May 29, something that displeased my grandma.

As a history buff from a young age, I remember reading the book “If You Lived at the Time of the Great San Francisco Earthquake,” and my grandma telling me that to a matter of luck, her mother survived the earthquake, with a chimney crashing down at the end of the bed. If her bed would have been situated differently, she may not have survived.

 

Sanfords @ Sunnyvale CA
Walter (her father), John (uncle), Myrtle, Mabel (her mom), Eldon, Grace, Eva, and Lester Sanford in Sunnyvale, California, before the earthquake.

 

The Sanford’s moved back to Oregon by 1908, where Myrtle met my great-grandfather, Chester Crowe. They married in 1918 and had two kids: their son Merle and daughter Veva, my grandma.

 

Merle and Myrtle Crowe, 1944
Myrtle and her son Merle, 1944.

She died of a heart attack on May 29, 1978. She loved pansies, and as I got older, I accompanied my grandma to visit the graves of her parents and my grandfather. We always placed a tray of pansies on her grave.

 

Myrtle and Chester Crowe, Carol and Vickie Comstock
Myrtle, her husband Chester, along with my cousins Vickie and Carol Comstock, c. 1972.

Thanks for reading, as always you can find all my 52 ancestors posts by clicking the tag! There is also a new, handy-dandy search bar to help find posts.

Until next time,

Meredith

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