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Lloyd and Maxine Bennett in the 1940’s and 1950’s

Miss Maxine Bailey traveled to the L.D.S. Chapel in McAllen, Texas in 1946. She was there for her mission. She spoke Spanish flawlessly and the Hispanic members of her church were very dear to her. I didn’t realize when Mormon’s went on a mission that they could be sent domestically. I had assumed that it was an over-seas event but Maxine traveled from Salt Lake to Texas.

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Mary B and Maxine

I only knew Maxine as an adult but I do have a good idea of how she must have been as a teenager/young adult. She was such an earnest person. While Maxine wasn’t overtly “touchy/feely”, she was so caring that you could always see how deeply she cared. I’m sure that is what she took on her mission.

What Maxine did on her mission is very well documented. She took hundreds of photographs while in Texas. As you can see, they are all very high quality photographs. Then, on the back of every photograph, is a detailed explanation including names, dates and events. Maxine would continue to identify every photograph that she took. I can assure you, I never had that kind of detail from my mom. Haha, not to disparage my mother but the kind of detail Maxine provided was something that can’t be duplicated.

This first photograph is labeled “Looks like the hen and flock or some of the Madonna pictures” haha. Those little girls are so cute. Maxine looks adorable in the picture, too.

The next is Shirley and LaVina Garrison, Christmas holiday 1946

The Fernandez family, Elvira, Tossie, Mollie, Raul and Senora Fernandez near Keene Street, Houston Texas February 19, 1947.

The next picture says there must have been an error in ordering this picture. That tells me that the photographs were taken by the missionaries of the church and then ordered through the church. I could tell they were a good quality.

The next is a picture of Maxine, wearing a red corsage made of pipe cleaners for Mother’s Day, 1947. She was given the flower for having a mother, lol.

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The next photograph is of small children but uncharacteristic of Maxine, no identification on the back. Such cute kids, though.

The next picture cracks me up. There are three young men but it is the gentleman on the right side of the picture. Maxine said his stomach hung over the picture so she drew it in. She is so funny.

This next picture is very sad. Maxine’s explanation says “This man is a neurotic, shell shocked returnee.”

His face looks like he is remembering a horrific experience and that is so sad. Clearly, he has returned from World War II and experienced a dreadful conflict. Terrible.

The last picture is Maxine. Her note says that maybe the hot sun during tracting was responsible for the idiotic expression. That made me laugh. I don’t consider that an idiotic expression, just the expression of a young lady who has a minute to slip off her shoes and take a quick break.

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She wrote home and also received newsy letters from her family. This one was sent by her father. As you can see, he calls her Tootsie. He tells her that her mother wanted a new electric range and water heater. He was hoping by spring he could put one in.

Lenard told his daughter he just wrote Vaughn a letter. He dreamed Vaughn was ill the other night. It seemed he was knocked out on an operating table with a young army doctor ready to manicure his appendix. Quite real, it was just “a wild life dream”. His son Vaughn was a soldier in World War II and thus clearly he’d been on his father’s mind. His letter goes on, “I swore in front of Christie the other day and she said, “We don’t say Son of a (bitch)” Christie was Aunt Mirian’s daughter who was about three at the time.

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pencil drawing of Lloyd by Maxine

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Maxine returns home to Salt Lake and works for a year at Olympus Junior High as a teacher. That is when she meets Lloyd. If you read the previous Lloyd post, you’ll recall she met him while working on a Roadshow put on by her church. Several churches would work them together and he was in college and living in Salt Lake

August 18, 1956

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She didn’t throw away anything, including gift cards from the showers

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close up of news article
A closer view of the article

Their wedding was very much a family affair. I love that his Jackson grandparents came from England for his wedding. That is very cool. Maxine’s two nieces were their flower girls. This reminds me of my wedding, also a big family affair.

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They took off to Canada for their honeymoon. Here is an article from the newspaper in Canada.

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Their children came fast.

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Grandpa Bailey and baby Carol

Carol was their first born in 1957, Mary Jean in 1959, Anita Maxine in 1961 and finally William Paul in 1963.

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Baby Mary, Maxine, Lloyd, Carol

 

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Baby Anita
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Baby William Paul

I can only imagine that she was relieved at finally having a son. I feel like she had a lot of pressure from her in-laws to produce a male heir. Silly, right? But I also know how she must have felt. I, too, had a female child first. Truthfully, I wasn’t pressured by my in-laws, but Great-Grandma Beatrice was very, um, excited, when we had Jacques and named him William. I think there was a relief that their name would continue. I, too, am glad that our line of the Bennett name continues. Now it is up to my son. But no pressure!

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Maxine and Lloyd spent their early years living in Holiday, Utah on Ridgedale Lane. However, one day he came home and said they would be moving to California, specifically to Stockton. He’d taken a position at Karl Holt Youth Correctional Facility near Stockton. I don’t think Maxine was thrilled at moving away from her family but she made the best of it. That was how she was. Given lemons, Maxine would make the best lemonade she knew how. However, I do think secretly she must have been a bit relieved to have some space from her in-laws. Lloyd was very close to his parents and I can’t imagine she had an easy time as a new daughter in law. Maybe that is why Maxine made such a good mother in law. She’d had a tough one and perhaps had vowed not to be that type of person. She was a woman who said, “What can I do for you?” and she meant it. Ask anything in the world and she’d do it if she could. That is the one thing to remember about Maxine. She had a heart the size of Texas. When she gave a hug, it was so tight you’d never mistake it for anything other than genuine emotion. So, the early 1960’s find my in-laws living in a new town writing lots of letters to Bea and Bill Bennett.

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Anita, Carol, Paul, Mary
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Jacques family reaches the 2000’s

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The dawn of the new century did not shine bright on the Jacques family. By early January, it was apparent that my mother’s health was in fast decline. By the first week of January, it was clear my mother would not make it to her surprise party. I’d already sent out all of the invitations, so I had to cancel all of our plans and turn around and call everyone, explaining the situation. Instead of coming to her birthday party, they’d be coming to tell her goodbye.  Several of her girlfriends from school came to Stockton to visit her. I believe every single family on my dad’s side of the family arrived. It is difficult to remember everyone as one day slid into the next over the course of the next two weeks. The one person who had been my best friend was preparing to leave us. I don’t have enough time in the day to explain my relationship with my mother, but I spent every possible minute with her that I could, and I won’t ever regret it.

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Of course, it was most difficult on my father. My parents had such a great love for each other. They knew each other as well as one person can know another and loved each other through every up and down imaginable.

Ruby Mae, whose father had nick named her Jubie, returned to her first family on February 1st, 2000. I know my Grandma Flora, my Grandpa Charles and my Aunt Jean were all so happy to have her home again. I was not. But I had two children, one seven and the other just past his second birthday. I would have to push forward.

The day mother passed away, Jackie and I had been sitting at the end of her bed. No one had left mother’s side and we had simply rotated, taking turns to just sit near her. When she stopped breathing, it was the absence of sound that shocked me. I felt as if I were in a magnifying glass that had been scrunched tight then turned upside down. When it was flipped back, my life was no longer felt the same. Mother’s hospice bed was in the dining room and everyone had lined up to kiss her goodbye before they took her out.  I bent over and kissed her forehead, but my tears rolled onto her cheeks. Dad had been standing behind me and said, “See that? Your mother doesn’t want to go. There are tears rolling down her cheeks.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him they were my tears.

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Mother’s funeral was well attended, and she was laid to rest at Cherokee Memorial Park. My dad was already suffering from Parkinson’s disease and thus he had a tough time getting around. He was still driving, just to the store or he’d meet me at church on Sunday morning. Eventually he moved into several different senior apartments.

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The following summer my nephew Eddie got married in North Carolina. We all flew to North Carolina, including Dad. I left Taylor here in California, as she was in my cousin’s wedding and I would be returning in time for that ceremony. Jacques stayed with his Grandma Bennett.

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When I got back to California, summer was ending. I’d taken you kids to the pool when I realized my bathing suit had shrunk. I thought that was so odd.

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A month later, I was laying on my back in bed on a Sunday morning when I felt Hailey kicking inside of me. I was so shocked. Truthfully, it was the best thing that could have happened to Dad. He was so pleased with that new baby. I was in a quandary. I wanted to name Hailey after my mother, but I also knew Momma wasn’t fond of her name Ruby and I didn’t know if I could put the name Jubie on a little baby. I settled on Hailey J. Marie Bennett.

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Dad, Taylor and Baby Hailey visiting Grandma Jubie’s cemetery

I finally gave Hailey just the letter J for her Grandmother. Papa was so damn happy and loved spending every minute with her he could. He would also say Hailey was stubborn. Boy, he exactly right. But Dad’s health problems progressed. I moved him into our home while he waited for another apartment to open up, one where he could have increased care.

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In 2001, my brother Tim took Dad on a cruise with Aunt Fran and Uncle Don. His health had declined but my brother was certain he could handle taking dad and he did. He did such a great job taking care of Dad. I can’t even tell you how close Tim became to Dad and my mother would have been so proud of my brother. Dad had a great trip. Tim would push Dad up to the casino and he’d play black jack for as long as he liked. Dad won a ton of money, too. It was a memorable trip.

 

Dad’s first great-grandchild, Kylee Marie O’Shea had been born and Dad was so pleased with that baby too. Those new little lives put a spark back in Dad. Also having Dad live with me really gave me an opportunity to learn how to cook chili. I had watched him do it a million times but now, he’d sit on a stool in the kitchen, next to the stove and show me step by step. I am so fortunate. Although I’d lost my best friend, I turned that role over to Dad. Jackie and I would never have gotten to know him so well with Momma here and that was a great silver lining.

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Dad and Great-Granddaughter Kylee

When my Dad turned 75, I had a birthday party for him. He loved his children and grandchildren and we took lots of pictures together.

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Jim Kosich, Jackie, Laurie, Tim, Me, Cammie, John Kosich and Dad
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Papa holding Hailey, Taylor, Tara and Kylee

 

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Dad had booked another cruise for 2003 but by February, the doctor decided Dad was too ill to go on the cruise. Dad had already paid for the trip and wanted me to take the cruise with Tim. First of all, I would be leaving Dad and all three of my kids. That was tough. I was worried Dad wouldn’t make it until I returned. But he assured me he would be here when I got home. So glad Jackie would visit him while I was gone too. It was a great cruise but very difficult to relax.

My husband did a great job. He took care of the kids, with his parents’ help, but he also took the kids to see their Papa while I was gone. It was one of the nicest things anyone had ever done for me.

I returned home to find that dad’s decline was real. It was time for him to go into a rest home. We had him moved and it wasn’t long before Dad’s time was small. By the last week of his life, I called my relatives to come and say goodbye to him. But his humor didn’t leave him, not even at the end. Toward the last days, we were sitting around his bed and he asked for a coke. Paul went off to get a soda from the machine and when he returned with a Pepsi can, my Dad joked, “I said Coke.” Daddy had a fun sense of humor. Dad left us on June 30, 2003.

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Me, Dad and Mom in the 1980’s

Both of my parents were gone. So many great things happened for our family over so many years and the sadness will continue, but my parents go on. They really do. When I see Hailey’s eyes light up at gossip, I think, lord, my mother continues.

My parents surely must have been watching the World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014. My Mom would have jumped ten feet off the ground. Damn, she loved her Giants. That continues through each of us.

Where do we go from here? We go forward. We can’t go back. Every once in a while, I’ll have chili and beans and think, damn, Dad would have appreciated that meal. Or I see a Twinkie and laugh, cause Momma loved Twinkies. Our life wasn’t perfect. My parents weren’t perfect. But we had the best parents for us. We came from a great love. That continues. You children will continue. My parents would have been very pleased, indeed.

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Our Family through the years

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Jacques kids at easter

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The original three haha
When they met
Young, and in love

 

William Lloyd Bennett

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Bill holding Lloyd

William Lloyd (always went by Lloyd) was born on August 21, 1929 in Cardston, Alberta, Canada. I never think of my father in law as a Canadian. When Lloyd was born, his mother Beatrice said that the doctor said, “You can’t deny this one, Bill”. Lloyd looked just like his daddy. He was raised as an only child until he was ten years old. Lloyd was born just as the depression was getting under way and his father had a very difficult time finding work.

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Grandma Bennett (Jane Powell, step-mother to Bill and treated him very well) holding baby Lloyd

Bea was at home with Lloyd and Bill searched week after week to find a job. One day he returned home to find Bea and Lloyd sitting in the dark, as their electricity had been shut off.  His parents lost their home in July of 1933 and Bea was pregnant with Lloyd’s baby brother.  His mother had the baby, but he died just after birth. Bea said he’d looked just like Lloyd.

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Lloyd
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Lloyd and Bea

 

The Depression forced his family to move to England, as well as Bea’s longing for home. They were able to both find jobs and moved to a home on Bushland Road, Northampton.  They would go to the market on Saturday afternoons. Bea, Lloyd, and Bill would get away and have fish and chips together. That was a meal Lloyd would continue to treasure his whole life.  Both of his parents had positions in the Mormon Church.  Bea was working in a shoe factory. She had to be at work by 7:30 a.m., worked until 5:30 p.m. and got home from work after 6:30 p.m.. She paid a Mrs. Frost to watch Lloyd, as he was just going to school. Lloyd remembered waiting on the corner, wearing his mother’s wrist watch. She’d given it to him to hold so he would know when she would return from work. His missed his mother.

 

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Bea’s sister Eve’s family, Bill, Bea and Lloyd, Grandma and Grandpa Jackson (Bea’s parents) and her sister Eileen and brother Bert

Eventually, his parents moved back to Canada in the fear that war was on the horizon. It was. Lloyd’s father was very homesick for Canada and was happy to return. This was September of 1939 and Lloyd was ten years old. They finally, after many travails, arrived in Cardston, where they were met by Bill’s family.

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Bill and Lloyd

They lived with Lloyd’s Uncle Marlin Bennett. Lloyd didn’t like being in Canada, as he wanted to go home to England. He was very popular in school because he was a proper English student and all the children wanted to hear him talk. Lloyd got a baby sister when Darlene was adopted in February of 1940.  His sister Miriam, also adopted, joined the family in 1942 and their family was complete.

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Bill, Lloyd, Darlene and Bea

 

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Lloyd went to school in Cardston, then graduated and went to the University of Utah. Lloyd enjoyed the Boy Scouts program and achieved the rank of Canadian Eagle Scout

news article for lloyd

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Bill and Lloyd when Bill joined the RMCA

 

Lloyd graduated from high school then took off to Salt Lake City to go to college. He attended the University of Utah. As he was raised a Mormon, he stayed active in the church. Lloyd had a lovely tenor voice and played the piano.

The Mormon Church is split into geographic locations. These levels include a Branch which is their home church, a Ward which is a number of churches in a larger geographic area, and then a Stake. The Stake house is a larger territory where they oversee Wards and  activities such as genealogy research. One of the activities that the Stake would perform was (and as recently up to the 2000’s) was called a Road Show. Here is an explanation of the Mormon Roadshow: “Roadshows, 15-minute skits acted by members of an LDS ward were performed over and over in all the wards in an LDS stake in a single night. Performers travelled between church buildings in a caravan of cars on a tight time schedule. They began as entertainment for weary pioneers and blossomed into a full-blown theatrical tradition in the 1950s and 1960s. At the roadshows’ pinnacle, the LDS Church sponsored an all-church competition, bringing regional winners to Salt Lake City for the final competition.” The Roadshow was said to have started with Brigham Young, to encourage the Pioneers to entertain each other.

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Lloyd

Lloyd met Maxine Bailey at a Roadshow. She was an excellent piano player and they both were very involved in their church. They worked together, built a friendship and then more. Lloyd and Maxine married on August 17, 1954. Lloyd was 24 and Maxine 28 years old. I, for one, am grateful for their meeting.

 

 

 

**Quote was taken from “Mormon Matters”, from an Article entitled, Roadshows, Are They Gone Forever?, http://www.mormonmatters.org/2008/04/07/roadshows-are-they-gone-forever/