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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Maria Luise Katharine Vienop - Mary Borchers - My Great Grandma - Part 1

How do you begin to write about someone who you knew, loved and hold so dearly in your heart?  She meant so much to so many people including myself that it is hard to write about her. She is and will always will be my Great-Grandma - Mary Borchers.

Have you ever truly met someone with a heart of gold?  If you have read my blog, you have read about Michael Flanagan and his selfless acts.  I never knew him in person.  He died 66 years before I was born.  I return to my very own Mary Borchers as she was known to the community in Napa, California. She had a heart of gold and that is really a modest compliment for her.

Maria Luise Katharine Vienop, or "Mary" as she was known, was born to John Henry Vienop (Henry Sr.) and Anna Marie Luise Koch in Audrain County, Missouri, on December 25, 1892. She was a true gift on Christmas Day. I can remember always celebrating her birthday at our family Christmas Day get-togethers when I was young. She was the second oldest child and oldest daughter of seven children.
As a teenager, I recall being told that Great-Grandma's mother was an ill woman.  In my years, I only met one of her siblings, Minnie A. Vienop Reidenbach (Anna Christina Minna Vienop was her given name).

When Mary was two years old, the family moved to Daykin, Nebraska. I don't believe that they stayed there very long before moving onto Napa. I have them in Napa by at least May of 1901 when one of Mary's sisters was born. The family moved to Napa because the climate was better for her mother's health.

In looking over the birth and death dates of Mary's siblings, I notice that 3 siblings died either in infancy or before they were even three years old. While she may not have helped care for her brother who died in infancy when she was just four years old, I am almost certain that she helped with her sister, Alma. It is heart wrenching to see that her sister, Alma, who was born in Napa in May 1901, died in February of 1904. Mary would have been 11 years old. What impact did this have on her? As an adult, she was always so awesome with children. I suppose that's because she knew how delicate life can truly be.

To be continued...........

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