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Feb. 3, 1895 Lewis County Missouri, USA
Mar. 12, 1976 Quincy Adams County Illinois, USA
What do you say about a very special grandma? There are not enough words in the English language to tell how loved and special she was to everyone who knew her. She truly lived to serve others.
Grandma was born February 3, 1895 to Andrew Gruber and his wife Tresa Ellen Tuley Gruber. She was their third child and their oldest daughter. Though she and her father were close, it seemed that her mother never really liked her much but favored her boys. Grandma was fifteen years old when her younger sister was born. By this time, her mother had had her fill of teenage boys, and Aunt Virginia was the apple of her mother’s eye, while Grandma always seemed to take the back seat, first to her brothers and then to her baby sister.
One story the grandkids never tired of hearing concerned the time in 1898 when Grandma was three years old and wandered off after the older children one Sunday when they were visiting her aunt and uncle. She was lost overnight, but she never realized that she was lost. She was just having an adventure. To her dying day, she remembered her adventures and even the dream she had while out alone on the farm. This was like our grandma—she was always very self-sufficient.
She attended a one-room schoolhouse, as all children did in those days. At that time, there were really no grades, but Grandma estimated that she had about a fifth-grade education, yet she was the wisest person I ever knew. We loved to hear her sing the songs and recite the poems she had learned as a young girl.
When Grandma was seventeen years old, she married my grandpa. She wore a gray wedding dress because there was a saying that if you were married in gray, you’d live far away. Grandma would really like to have lived far away, I guess. She never showed it, though, as she always seemed content right where she was. The saying certainly didn’t come true for her, as she and Grandpa settled down within two miles of both families and lived their entire lives there.
Grandma was a good wife to Grandpa and a good mother to her children. She excelled in all the arts that were considered essential for a housewife of that time. In addition to cooking and cleaning, laundry and ironing, and the other needful things, she also helped with the farm work and raised poultry. She canned fruits, vegetables, and meat and made dill pickles and cured hams. She was proficient in all stages of these crafts besides making quilts and comforters, embroidery and dressmaking.
She probably met Grandpa at church. They lived in adjoining townships, but they were both Baptist and may have attended the same church since they lived in such close proximity to one another. She knew all the family legends and was able to relate them in such a way as to make them interesting to a grandchild.
Gradually Grandma had become dissatisfied with the Baptist Church and was seeking another church home which would better serve her. After Mom had started dating a Catholic, my daddy was such a good man that my grandma thought there must be something in his religion that would suit her, so she and Mother started taking instructions together and were both received into the Catholic Church in Canton in 1939. Grandma was to remain a good and faithful Catholic the rest of her life, sometimes at a high cost to herself.
After the grandkids starting coming along, Grandma delighted in us and usually had grandkids spending the days or nights at her house. She was always comforting to us and always seemed to know exactly what to say or do to satisfy a child. She was more than a second mother to us.
Grandma loved to work in the yard, and she cultivated almost every flower known to man. Some of the flowers she had were sweet peas, roses, moss roses, tiger lilies, lemon lilies, peonies, crocuses, grape hyacinths, dahlias, tulips, gladiola, nasturtiums, marigolds, petunias, pansies, honeysuckle, narcissi, daffodils, and sweet Williams, She often took her beautiful flowers to the cemetery to put on the graves of loved ones or to adorn the altar at church.
While Grandpa probably suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome—while he always managed to get his farm work done, he spent a lot of time resting, as he was tired all the time--Grandma was a trouper and a go-getter. The only time she rested was when she sat in her easy chair to say her prayers. Once when she was sick in the hospital, she had promised God that if He would cure her, she’d spend an hour in prayer every day for the rest of her life. I don’t think she every failed to keep that promise.
Probably the longest time we spent at Grandma’s was when Mom and Daddy went to San Antonio, Texas, with plans to relocate there. Daddy was always in poor health, and the doctor had said he needed to move to a drier climate. Mother was so homesick that they were unable to stay, so they came back to live at the old farm.
I don’t know how Mom would ever have got us all raised if Grandma had not been there to help. She was fair to everyone and never played favorites. She’s the one who taught me how to read at the age of four. Since I also suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome even as a child, I usually didn’t feel like playing outside but would spend most of my time indoors with Grandma where I loved to look at her pictures of the “old folks” and listen to her stories of bygone days. After Grandpa died in 1956, Grandma was never really alone, as she always had her Jesus, but in 1959, she remarried and was to outlive another husband. Grandma lived on for ten more years. Finally in the 1960’s, Grandma stopped raising chickens. By that time, she was getting old enough that she was afraid she might fall down in the chicken yard and not be found for a long time.
Bernie lived in Williamstown, Missouri, just about twelve miles from Grandma, and after Mom and I had both moved to Springfield, Illinois, Bernie continued to take good care of Grandma, taking her into town for grocery shopping and just generally being available if Grandma needed anything. On March 12, 1976, Bernie came by Grandma’s house and took her into Canton for groceries. When they returned back to Grandma’s, Bernie and her youngest daughter Debbie helped Grandma carry her groceries in the house, and while they were still there, Grandma sat down on the couch and died. This was an enormous loss to all who knew and loved her, but we are consoled by the fact that she has simply gone on before us.
****** Funeral services for Mrs. Bea McDaniel Chancellor, 81, of Canton were held Monday morning in the Shrine of St. Patrick Catholic church in St. Patrick. The Rev. Fred Yehle officiated. Music was furnished by the St. Patrick Men's Choir accompanied by Mrs. Thomas Brennan at the organ.
Pall bearers were Kenneth Bross, Gary George, Dennis Willis, Bob Gibbons, Bernard Uhlmeyer and George Uhlmeyer, Jr. Burial was in Zion Hill cemetery. Mrs. Chancellor was pronounced dead on arrival Friday, March 12, at Blessing hospital in Quincy, after suffering an apparent heart attack in her home. She was taken to the hospital by Lewis County ambulance. She had been in ill health. Mrs. Chancellor was born Feb. 3, 1895, in Lewis County a daughter of Andrew L. and Tresa Tuley Gruber. She was a member of the Shrine of St. Patrick Catholic church in St. Patrick and the Grange. She first married William Knight McDaniel, Nov. 27, 1912, in LaGrange. He died March 27, 1956. She later married John Chancellor in St. Patrick, who also preceded her in death. Surviving are two daughters, Mrs. Dorothy Tompkins of Kansas City and Mrs. Leta Gibbons of Ashland, Ill.; a sister, Mrs. Ferdie Fishback of Canton; nine step children; 11 grandchildren; 28 great grandchildren; seven step grandchildren; and other relatives. She was preceded in death by a daughter and two brothers.
Molly Weeds A "Molly Weed" I suppose, Is something new to you. but it's my special memory, this story's really true. My grandma had a friend, you see and Molly was her name. she gave Grandma a flower that Grandma thought was tame but when she planted it outside, it overtook the place. So Grandma vowed to kill it off – every little trace. Now Grandma was a cunning one so she devised a plan, to pay each grandchild a reward, it was much easier than – any other way she knew to be very sure, that every plant was found and pulled, that was the only cure to rid the farm of "Molly Weeds" we all would hunt so well, and make sure we had the roots so dear grandma could tell that we were doing a good job, for we were all well paid. A penny a plant was to us, the fortune that we made.
Grandma's Attic My Grandma had an attic that surely must have been, the dream world of most any child - it was to me back then. For I was just a little thing and holding Grandma's hand, I was allowed to climb the stairs that lead to another land. It was the land of make-believe with so many things to see, that were used once in days gone by, it was so much fun for me. We'd play "Dress-up" with those old clothes, and jump on that old bed, And dig thru' boxes stored away, but no one ever said one cross word, because they knew, that nothing mattered more than all the fun the grand kids had, as we played "General Store," with things that many people thought, should have been thrown away, But memories made in Grandma's attic, I still enjoy today.
Grandma's Flowers Today I made a garden, with flowers of every kind. I got them from my grandma's house I know she wouldn't mind before she died, she'd always share the pretty things she grew with anyone who admired them because somehow she knew that nothing is so cheerful and nothing can compare to the joy of giving lovely flowers, their beauty is to share
Grandma Mc As I was growing up I was as lucky as can be I had a special grandma she was so dear to me For no one can give so much love and yet be so much fun as a very special Grandma I hope that you had one she always seemed to understand the problems that we had and she could make you change your ways whenever you were bad She never had to raise her voice ‘cause we knew from the start the way it was with Grandma she had goodness in her heart
All poems were written and provided by granddaughter Jean Tompkins Gardner.