Floretta Violet MABLE PALMER

Floretta was born on August 20, 1915 in Mound City, Illinois. She was the oldest of eight (8) children born to William MABLE of Cobb County, Georgia and Essie WILLIAMS of Pulaski County, Illinois. She lived with her family at 210 Pearl Street in Mound City. Pedigree_MABLE_Floretta_V copy

I’ll have to to find information on her elementary education. But, at age 16, she was a member of the first official graduating class (1931) of Roosevelt High School (Link) in Gary, Indiana. (There was one graduate in 1930 who waited to march with the Class of ’31.) After graduating, Momma worked as a Secretary in the School City of Gary and as a Medical Transcriptionist at the University of Chicago and at Gary’s the Methodist Hospital.

In addition to her full-time employment, she volunteered as Secretary of St Timothy Community Church for several years. We had an extra room where she kept her typewriter and memeograph machine. On Thursday evenings she prepared the stencils; and on Saturday evenings, she ran off the copies. Each family member took part in the folding of the programs on Saturday night as we watched Lawrence Welk on TV. Then on Sunday mornings, she took down the names of new members and presented them to the Pastor and the church body. Momma also played piano and sang with the Senior Choir.

She and her husband, William E PALMER, Sr., were well-known and respected throughout the community of Gary. They gave birth to five (5) children: Violet, William, Jr., Charles, Patricia, and Donna Jeanne. (Yes, I’m the only one who was called by first and middle name.) (Link to post)

I hung out with Momma every day because I attended Carver Elementary where she was Head Secretary. After school ended, if I didn’t go to my friend’s Paulette’s house, I stayed in the office with Momma. I truly believe my studying that supply closet is the reason I’m so obsessed with pens and journals. There were shelves and shelves of supplies; and I like hanging around in there so I could bring out what she or one of the other secretaries asked me to.

Momma’s hobbies were crocheting and working word puzzles. She was an avid reader; and she loved a good crime novel. She encouraged me to read to my heart’s content by buying ANY book I asked for. During our adult years, my sister and I received her yearly updates to our Reader’s Digest subscriptions.

For the benefit of my descendants, updates to this page will be made throughout my research.

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Wilhelmina MABLE was born on February 1, 1917

Wilhelmina MABLE
Born: February 1, 1917
Mound City, Pulaski County, IL
Age at Death: 68 Years

Standing:  Wilhelmina MABLE Seated:  Floretta MABLE Gary, IN  (c) 1937

Standing: Wilhelmina MABLE  — Seated: Floretta MABLE  —  Gary, IN (c) 1937

Aintee was my mother’s first sister out of four. She moved from Gary, IN to Cleveland, OH where she was employed as Head Nurse at a local hospital. She and my Aunt Dorothy were the only two out of the five girls who didn’t have children. My mother visited her just about every year; and I accompanied her a couple of times. Even though I’m the spitting image of my mother, a few have said I look like Wilhelmina.

Whenever Aintee and her husband, William SMITH (who called her, “Wilhelm” — with a hard “H”), came to Gary, they brought their humongous albino Boxer, “Duke.” That was their “child”; and we all loved him — just had to jump out of the way when he started doing what boxers do — slobberin’. Momma, Daddy, Aintee, and Uncle William played bridge while us kids munched goodies, played board games, and tried to stay out of Duke’s way. Houses were small then; and he almost took up the whole room.  He would just lay there and let us step on or over him.  Every year, I’d ride with Daddy when he took Momma to the bus station for her trip to Cleveland. One year, we drove her all the way and stayed the night before dropping her off for her two-week visit.

My bond with Aintee grew stronger when my son’s father moved to Cleveland and my son spent a couple of summers there. She made sure to spend time with him and made it her business to get to know his father as well.

My Mother and Aintee were more solemn than their younger sisters. As I advanced through my teen years, our fun conversations continued; but the topics took on a more thoughtful nature; and her tone changed to a more serious one. In retrospect, I can see she was engaging me to think. The five sisters had a very strong bond. But, Wilhelmina’s closest sister was Dorothy. Those two were thick as thieves.  I truly believe Aintee died of a broken heart two months after Aunt Dorothy’s unexpected death.

This photo of  my mother (Floretta) and Wilhelmina appears to have been taken during their early career years. Aren’t they a lovely pair? Grandmomma had two more like them and three boys, too! We called my other aunts, “Aint Dorothy”, “Aint Ella Mae”, and “Aint Bobbie.”   But there was only one, “Aintee.”

She shares her birthday with Harlem Renaissance Poet Langston Hughes, Actor Sherman Hemsley, Princess Stephanie of Monaco, Actor Clark Gable, and Comedian Garrett Morris.