Thursday, October 29, 2009

Do you know Erlene Purdum?

Do you know Erlene Purdum?

She was our grandmother's friend in the 1930s. And based on the photos, we would say they were schoolmates during the 1930-1931 school year in Mullen, Nebraska.

During our research, we were able to find out more about her. Erlene was born November 30, 1914 in Arkansas. But the saddest news came when we discovered her obituary. She passed on July 11, 2007 in Idaho, barely two years ago. The most touching of all was the paragraph in her obituary that reads:

Erlene spent a majority of her life cooking for others. During high school and the early years of her marriage, she cooked on ranches. The ranch hands she cooked for had 3 hot meals everyday that weren’t complete without a homemade pastry. After Erlene and Gerald moved with their family to Idaho in 1950, she continued cooking for others in various cafeteria kitchens. Of all the meals that she prepared, the ones that will be most cherished are the ones that she shared with her family. No one could fry up a chicken like grandma and her homemade cookies were something we all looked forward to.

This further confirms that Erlene and our grandmother were likely close friends during childhood. Our grandmother would later go on to do similar things in her life like cooking for ranch hands.

Also while doing research on Erlene, we discovered various references to other family members that grew up or lived in the same areas of Nebraska. So while we missed a prime opportunity to find out more about Erlene and her early years, we were still able to gather new information about our own family tree.


- "Erlene Hattenbach." Draucker Funeral Home. Web. 22 Oct. 2009.
- "NEGenWeb Project ~ a proud part of the USGenWeb Project." Home Page. Web. 22 Oct. 2009.
- Numerous facts were gathered from the private Richard Family Estate collection. These facts span numerous sources of information and contain genealogical data, photos, and newspaper articles.

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