It’s been a challenge to find accurate information. For Grandpa, he was born 8/1/1881 and passed 2/17/1961, so just shy of living 80 years. He and Grandma married in 1912, Feb. 3rd. So they were married for 49 years. Which means he did not marry until he was 30 years old. Grandma was 5 years younger. They drove their 4 boys, age 5 and younger, from Michigan to Southern California in 1918, when my dad, Dick Smith, was just 5 years old. It was another 10 years before building in Laguna Beach. The “Treasure Map” tracking Grandpa’s career hung in the Liquor Store. At some point, I will attempt to capture it. His achievements are very impressive to me.
Another interesting find is his Death certificate states he was born in England but a search was initiated in 1940 as to if his birth place was New York. Then in 1943, a notarized statement from his parents in Bangor, Michigan, states Pappy was born in West Walworth, which is near Rochester, New York. His dad was named Edgar – I always wondered why my dad’s middle name was Edgar.
Grandpa wasn’t baptized until July 31, 1911 and he married Caroline about 6 months later. He must have converted to Catholic because he wanted to marry her. Growing up, I wondered why he didn’t go to church with us, but Grandma made sure everyone was raised Catholic, often going to the best in Catholic schools. I wasn’t close to Pappy like I was my grandma but I so respected him. He didn’t converse much with us children, but I felt his kindness. I felt safe and well cared for even at a bit of a distance.