Strong and Steadfast in the Spirit, Chapter Fourteen: Candle Lives, Kingsville Presbyterian Church

Psalm 136: 1-26 ESV Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever; …

A real snow storm struck this section a year ago today. 

October 21, 1913. 

This date brings back to mind one of the keenest gales and snowstorms that we had had for years.  Boats were held up, railroads had difficulty to get trains through, and telephone lines were affected.

Rather a contrast to the weather of today, which resembled late July

rather than the anniversary of one of the coldest and fiercest gales seen in the regions of the Great Lakes for many years.

Just a year ago yesterday rain had fallen steadily all day long, changing

at evening to a fierce gale that swept the lakes with frenzy.  In the morning it had changed to a small blizzard, with snow and vivid flashes of lightning and loud crashes of thunder.

Traffic on the C. & E. line was tied up until late in the forenoon, and

the P. & O. got cars through at rather indefinite intervals. But that was a year ago.  Today has been one of the nicest days that

anyone could wish.  Old Sol was at his best.

Conneaut News Herald

October 21, 1913

The Phillips Sisters

Phillips sisters preserved local history

for the next generation of township residents

By Carl E. Feather,

Lifestyle Editor

The names “Altie, Sarah and Alice Phillips” appear with regularity in documents relating to the Kingsville Township Sesquicentennial, held July 2-4, 1955.

The“ Phillips sisters, as they collectively were known to residents, made their marks on the community in many areas. Alice was librarian for both the school and community libraries; Altie a primary-grades teacher, town historian and newspaper correspondent; and Sarah, trained as a nurse, served as her sisters’ assistant in their research.

Their brother, Thomas, was a professor of chemistry at Ohio State University and

headed the Department of Agricultural Chemistry at the University of New Hampshire at Durham.

Their father, the Rev. Jeremiah Phillips, was a pastor in the Free Will Baptist

denomination. He and his wife Altie Wright Phillips served churches from New England west to Wisconsin. Locally, they served South Ridge Baptist in Conneaut.

The sisters’ paternal grandfather was the Rev. Jeremiah Phillips, a pioneer missionary in the India mission field. Their children were born in India.

Altie Wright Phillips had a connection to Kingsville. She was the daughter of Capt.

Marshall Wright, who was commemorated in “The Story of the Thousand,” written by the 19th century author, judge and U.S. Consul to France, Albion W. Tourgee, who spent a portion of his childhood in Kingsville. Marshall Wright was an Ashtabula County sheriff during pre-Civil War days and is credited by some sources as the first man to reach the scene of the Ashtabula bridge disaster.

Altie Phillips wrote the township history sketch for the 1955 Sesquicentennial book with assistance from her sisters, Ruth Tuttle, Ronald Branch, A. Jay Sherman and others.

The sisters lived on Priest Street in a house still stands. A picture of the sisters

hangs in the original section of the library and honors their contributions.


Altie Phillips History of Kingsville, History of Kingsville Presbyterian Church

Presbyterian Church History, July 16, 1950

Altie Phillips

Six years ago in November, we celebrated the centennial of this church. In 1955, we hope to celebrate the sesquicentennial of our town, for it was in 1808 and for several successive years that families mostly from New England, settled in various years that families, mostly from New England, settled in various parts of what is now Kingsville Township.  One group, located on the bank of Conneaut Creek in the bend of the stream just east of this village.  In1810, their need of religious services was met by the coming of Rev. Joseph Badger,  the first missionary to the Western Reserve. He encouraged them to hold prayer meetings in their homes until they could build a church. So in 1810, he organized them into the first church association of Kingsville. It was called a Congregational Church.  In the records of some of their meetings, Joseph Badger’s name is signed as clerk. The original group included six members.

For twelve long years, until 1822, the people waited to build. Their church stood on the site of the town hall and it contained a pipe organ! When the building was 22 y ears old, 22 members were added and in July 11th of 1844, under the leadership of Erastus Williams, the church was organized as Presbyterian.

The year 1847 was a disastrous one for the Presbyterian Church, now 25 years old. In it, fire of an incendiary origin burned it to the ground. In the same year, another fire of the same origin burned the 11 year old Academy, a two story building of four rooms.  After the Academy fire, classes met in the church.

Both of the buildings were rebuilt; the church  on a new site; the land and cemetery adjoining were the gift of George Gillett, the storekeeper. The bell, a prize bell, bought at a Cincinnati fair, was  also given by George Gillett. The gallery was built over the entrance. When the audience rose to sing the hymns, they turned to face the choir above.  It is of interest that a separate organization called “The Presbyterian Society,” was effected on October 21, 1848, to care for the church building, newly erected. The book of the proceedings was faithfully kept until 1911.

As I have gone through the old records I have taken down the names of the pastors in their order beginning with the year 1810. The list is as follows:

Samuel Crocker; Rev. Van Tassel; Urban Palmer; Mr. Kelley; Mr. Latham; Mr. Gregg; Mr. Kenney; Erastus Williams; Horace W. Palmer; Dormer L. Hickock; John M. Davies; Ralph A. Davis; Charles E. Hitchcock; Edwin A. Dibell; A.B. Clark; A.H. Caughey; M.H.Bradley; J.M. Wiley; E.R. North; M.H. Bradley; B.M. Swan; D.O. McKay; P.W. Sinks; E.T. Roney; A.E. S. McMahon; Myron K. Hume; Haines A.Reichel; Howard L. Bethel; Eric S. Tougher; A. H. O’Brien; Samuel T. Harris Jr.; John Eakin; L.F. Bickford;  

The Methodist group was organized somewhat later, and I quote from the arttcle that appeared in the Star Beacon at the time the federation, March 26, 1930.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Kingsville was organized in 1831 with 16 members in a school house located on a site of the old Academy. The organization was effected by Mr. Samuel Ayers, the first pastor. The Society worshipped in the schoolhouse until 1834, when a small brick church was built on the site of the present edifice. That served until 1856, when the present building was erected.

Recent investigation in Jefferson reveals the fact that there must have been an organization of the church, for under date of March  28, 1850, the record states that the first Methodist Church of Kingsville was organized with Harvey Sperry; E.A. Butler; James R. Abbott; Norman Thompson; and S.Y. Curtiss as trustees and with Valentine Tourgee as clerk.  The following have served the church here as ministers, the order of their pastorates as nearly as an be learned:

Samuel Ayers; Rev. Chandler; Jeremiah Hill; Rev. Bagin; John Graham; E.C Lattimer; Rev. Hall; Rev. Burgess; Rev. Reno; Mr. Warner; E.M. Stearns; J.E. Hollister; C.W. Staples; H.M. Hollister; J. Luce; S.L. Binkley; E.F. Edmonds; T.S. Hodgson; C.W. Holmes; M. Houston; M.J. Slutz; J.H. Merchant; J.W. King; F.H. Armstrong; L. Starrett; James A. Ullman; J.M. Keck; R.W. Gardner; W.S. Hollett; S. Nicholsen; C.B. Henthorn; Rev. Ward; James Gray; D.O. Campbell; Glenn C. Cornell.

Following the Federation of the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches, the women’s groups from the two churches united and functioned as The Ladies’ Guild and Missionary Society. The old records of the Guild have not bee available. But their past achievements are well known and currently the organization is doing a fine work in seeking to deepen the spiritual life of the members and to increase the understanding of missionary problems.

In looking through the Presbyterian clerks records of church meetings under date of May 7, 1832, we find this statement:

“Trustees shall circulate subscriptions for the purpose of raising stock and grain, sufficient to pay what is now due to Reverend H.T. Kelley the grain to be paid in January, the stock in March.” Another entry, “voted that each member  furnish ½ cord in wood or pay 50 cents in money.”

A case of discipline:  “voted that in the case of Mr. B, a committee be appointed to visit him and invite him to come to the church at the next meeting and give the reasons why he has for a long time neglected Communion. “

Still another voted that “slips” pews, in this church be rented and the proceeds appropriated to the support of the gospel, and the exercises of divine worship in this place.”

In closing, I thought it would be interesting to review briefly the steps which led to federation and final union of the two churches.

Reverend Glen C. Cornell while pastor of the Methodist Church organized the Inter Church Council in 1927. It held monthly meetings with few exceptions until 1933. It was largely through the leadership of this group consisting in the beginning of the members from each of the three village churches that interest in the union of churches was carried on.

By 1930, sentiment in favor of the merger had grown strong and an agreement on federation was reached. However, by April 1 when the Union was to become effective, the Baptist group had withdrawn and Methodist and Presbyterian Churches became a federated Church.

The Federation was so successful that at the end of five years, in the spring of 1935, many felt there should be organized unity, either as a community church or under some denomination. At a congregational meeting held on October 3, 1935, a vote was taken on four propositions: viz; to become Methodist, Presbyterian, Congregational, or to continue the federation. The vote was almost unanimous in favor of a Congregational Church if the consent of the Presbytery and the Methodist Conference could be secured. The Cleveland Presbytery appointed a commission to deal with the matter. The Commission called a Congregational meeting here. At that time there was a unanimous vote to agree to the proposition when and if the Methodist Conference did. Bishop Smith of Cincinnati felt it was unwise to destroy two loyalties and start a new one. He, therefore, urged that the Methodists should transfer their property and umbers to the Presbyterians, which action was taken. The solution has proved a happy one.

Altie Phillips concluded:

“As individual members of this church, we have in our lifetime made many mistakes and doubtless some mistakes have been made in the early history of the church. The path has not always been easy; sacrifices have been made many times. However, I think we can emulate the broad-minded writer who said of a dear friend, ‘His heart was as great as the heart of the world, but there was no room in it for the memory of a wrong.’

“In these troublesome times (1944), if seems that a portion of Reverend Maltbie Babcock’s hymn would be fitting to remember:

‘Be strong! We are not here to play, to dream, to drift,

We have hard work to do and loads to lift,

Shun not the struggle, face it,

‘Tis God’s gift.

Be strong! Be Strong!’”[1] Maltbie D. Babcock

April 17, 1999

Ashtabula Star Beacon

January 7, 2005

Ashtabula Star Beacon

September 26, 2009

March 15, 2010

 

March 9, 2013

August 29, 2015

Jan Volk

I was baptized at Harbor Methodist Church in Ashtabula, but since we lived uptown and didn’t have a car, we walked to Harris Memorial Presbyterian Church.  I sang in choir and played the organ in teen years.  When folks got a car, Mom whisked us off to First Methodist Church, Elm St. where I was soloist in choir and active in the S.S and church Women’s group.  My first marriage in 1954 was a beautiful ceremony in the church with reception of cake and ice-cream only, not an elaborate sit-down dinner like they have today.

   Moved to Kingsville in 1957 and did not want to drive boys all way to Ashtabula to Sunday School.  Norma and Keith Flack lived just down the road, so they invited us to Kingsville Presbyterian Church, where I joined the choir and met wonderful lifelong friends like Ginny Simmons, Ev Robishaw, Janet Brown and Diana Theiss.  I became involved in Woman’s Group, was Clerk of Session under Rev. Phil Gittings, and led Church services in between Pastors, I have been Moderator of Deacons for years, and preferred serving on Deacons instead of Session, for Deacons have more one-on-one contact with the people.  I was Church Secretary in between permanent ones.  I also filled in for short while as Church organist. 

I married Ralph in 1971 in a small wedding in our Church with small reception at the Theiss home. After I retired, Marilyn Lynch asked me to take over monthly Soup Lun0ch and that was 20+ years ago and still going strong but slowing down a bit.  I will be 87.  

I love the people and consider all of them my friends.  That is what I like about a small church.  I consider my church like my home and when I see something that must be done, I do it.  I wallpapered the small bathroom off choir room and Carolyn Herl did the painting.  That was 20 years ago.  I touched up the white railings on outside, dumped vinegar in cracks in driveway where weeds were coming thru, planted daffodils that Kray Feed gave me.  Ev Robishaw and I pulled tons of weeds along walkway to F.H. every year and when she died, I kept it up.  I believe in actively serving my church where I can, but it is getting harder the older I get.

In past years, whole families supported the church faithfully, but it seems today, most children move away, mostly job related, or many other interests take them, sports for instance.  I always thought the area churches should band together and somehow make a demand No Sports on Sunday morning.  What is wrong with Sunday afternoon?  This affects our young people and it is not only our church, but many all over.  We have very few young families so we must minister to the devoted ones we enjoy.  Do not know what the future holds, but I do know, we must have Faith and just keep plugging along the best we can.  The bigger churches have a youth band and it seems to draw the younger people.  I do not know where we could draw musicians, but I do think that is the way to go.  Do you remember the movie Whoopy Goldberg was in where she was a choir director and her upbeat music drew in many who filled up the church? 

Jan Volk Remembers Church Friends

jan volk remembers church friends

Eula Jane Keller Allen

Eula Jane Keller Allen, born June 8, 1925 and passed away 2018. She was Nadine Moroski’s sister plus a sister of Bob Keller. Eula Jane was a beautiful, beautiful lady and I do mean lady. She was a lady through and through with a very quiet disposition, quiet voice and I never heard a bad word spoken. She and her hubby had a little girl who passed away when she was almost two y ears old, from complications. They adopted a little girl, Carol, married named Davis.

She and Nadine seemed inseparable after her hubby, Kenny, passed away. He was the Bank Manager at the local bank in Orlando Plaza, Rte. 193, North Kingsville. He was a funny guy. One Sunday when it was my turn as Deacon to make the coffee and serve refreshments, he got my attention and told me this was the weakest coffee he had ever had. I had forgotten to put the coffee in the filter!!!! I was never so embarrassed in my life, but he was drinking it with a twinkle in his eye and never let me forget it.

Eula Jane worked every day with Nadine at her Laundromat in Ashtabula. She always helped Nadine with her annual garage sales. I recall one day after Eula stayed overnight with Nadine and slept on the couch, she rolled over and fell off, hitting her face on the coffee table. She came to church with her whole face black and blue. Poor kid.

She was also a devoted Red Hat Lady of The King’s Queens, always dressing beautifully in purple and red. Her red hats were gorgeous. She never missed the gathering with the Church Candy Makers, nor Louise Smith’s weekly bible Study. She was also a faithful member of the church choir. Eula Jane is missed.

Carolyn Herl

Carolyn Herl, born in 1930, passed away January 5, 2013. We lost a truly special person. She was very devoted to her church being the organist for 35 years, plus a choir director for many years. As an accomplished organist/piano player, she was self-taught, plus she had a deformed little finger, but that didn’t stop her from playing. She played for many weddings and funeral services.

She also accompanied the Star Lighters, a women’s ensemble directed by Kathy Milford, the Director of Music at lakeside Schools. The group was begun by Genevieve McCausland, who also directed the church choir for many years. I was proud to be a member of that singing group for well over 20 years. I, as most of the members, was a working mother of young children and this was a fun group I could attend every week that did not cost me money, which most of us did not have. We performed at Kingsville Church along with other churches, Eastern Star, masonic Temple, and ay schools. I cannot describe the camaraderie and silly laughter that took place.

We practiced at Genevieve’s house and one time we were going over the song “Why Me Lord?’ several times. Carolyn finally turned around on her piano bench and said, “because thou pisseth me off!” Naturally, that produced a room full of uncontrollable laughter and that was the end of that practice for the day but will always be remembered.

The church choir was invited to Doug and Carolyn’s beautifully decorated home many times for a wonderful Christmas party where we enjoyed great food, exchanged little gifts and infectious laugher.

Carolyn was an avid bowler and golfer, a 50-year member of Eastern Star, achieving their highest honor. Also a zany Red Hat lady, plus a challenging bridge player. She, along with her hubby Doug, raised three children. A great cook and baker. She had a wonderful sense of humor. After Doug retired, they reluctantly moved to North Carolina to be nearer their kids, but she remained a Kingsville gal.

One of many fun bus trips we took, we attended a musical show where an actor picked Carolyn out of the audience to come up for a little skit. Carolyn ended up taking over with her piano playing and really showed up the performers, who were amazed and actually had a hard time getting her off the stage.  They did not realize they had picked a professional.  What fun.

A truer lady is hard to find. A truer friend is harder to find. Farewell, dear one.

Donna Kray

Joe and Donna Kray were staunch supporters of Kingsville Presbyterian Church. They owned and operated Kray Feed Company which goes on today, run by their kids. They would do anything for the good of the church. Joe supported the church in many officers. I do not remember Donna serving on any boards, but I bet she did.

I just remember her and Joe always in church and Donna a member of Louis Smith’s Bible Study group, which was a run group meeting at Louise’s home every week. The church also had a large ongoing yearly candy making group of dedicated people who made the most delicious hard tac candy. They invited me to join the group upon my retirement. I have never had so much run. They were a hilarious group, always going out for supper before candy making. That was a big money-making project for the church, plus a fun time with the ministers at the time joining in.

Donna was also a devoted member of the King’s Queens, a local Red Hat group. She never missed a gathering which produced another way to have fun. I remember her having the most beautiful facial skin I have ever seen on an older person. So smooth and clear. Always smiling.

I remember her telling me when she was growing up in the country, they never had a bathroom or a toilet. I can’t imagine, for I grew up in the city and we always had a toilet. Joe and Donna had four children, one who is now operating Kray Feed.

Katherine Nadine Keller Moroski

Katherine Nadine Keller Moroski. Born 10-12;1926, passed away 9;15;2017. She always wanted to live to be 100 and she almost made it. She was a very unique person. Married Gene Moroski in 1847 and had two boys. Larry born 3/13/47 and Tim born 11-8-49. Tim passed away 6/23/2001 at age 51. Too young. Larry was born with Down Syndrome, but Nadine spent her whole life making his life wonderful. She and Gene started up a very successful school for special children called Happy Hearts, located on South Ridge Road, Kingsville, where children came from all over the country. She dedicated many hours to the school. She was a very faithful church goer all her life, but we noticed she never held an office. Quite unusual, but she was involved in many areas. She was a Sunday School teacher for the young, a dedicated choir member with a very soft voice. I stood beside her for years.

Nadine held a huge garage sale a couple times of the year for many years. She depended on church members to help out and they always shoed. She really enjoyed meting and greeting people who came to her sale. Her sister, Eula Jane, always helped her out. I believe she donated all her earnings to the church.

She enjoyed going to the Harbor Theatre when she was growing up and worked at Eastmans Drug Store in Kingsville. She also owned and operated a laundromat in Ashtabula. She was a very zany and fun member of King’s Queens, a local Red Hat organization. She always dressed in outlandish red outfits, but very acceptable. One day while I was driving her to a destination as I did man times, she would point out areas where she said so and so lived there. I was born and raised in Ashtabula so I did not know these people, but Nadine remembered them all. She and her sister took several bus trips to many points of interest.

On several evenings while my hubby was at work, I would call Nadine and ask if she wanted to go to North Kingsville for ice-creams and she said “Yes, but I am in my pajamas.” I said that didn’t matter because we would not get out of the car,

One evening I received a call asking me if I could come up and get her out of her chair. She had purchased a new recliner an when she reclined, she could not get out She did not have the strength to work the controls nor lift herself out. I, of course, went right up and thank goodness she had not locked her door for the night. We laughed and laughed for she headed directly for the bathroom.

We used to go dancing a lot and one times when we were at The Grotto on Rte. 20 in North Kingsville, I noticed Nadine. She danced very dance.  If her partner did not want to go out, she would snag anyone else she wanted to dance.

What a fun fun loving lady.  God Bless.

Phyllis Shinault

Phyllis Shinault was born December 13, 1930, and as of February 2021, living at the Villa at the Lake in Conneaut, Ohio. Phyllis was one of many who greeted me warmly when I moved to Kingsville from Ashtabula I 1957. She and her hubby, Jim, adopted two children I remember when her daughter Debbie, arrived she invited me over to show her off. She was a darling baby and Phyllis was so proud.  In a couple of years they adopted a son, Scott, who lives in Oregon where he moved after graduation.  He and Phyllis’s hubby played baseball on our Church team. Debbie passed away suddenly at the age of 63.  Too young and so sad.

Phyllie, she told me I was the only one who was allowed to call her Phyllie, had the most beautiful soprano voice and she sang in our Kingsville Presbyterian Church choir for many, many years doing numerous solo performances. Her sister Beverly, who attended another church, joined Phyllis to sing several duets in our church. So talented. She was also a long time member of the Starlighter’s singing group begun by her neighbor Genevieve McCausland.

She held numerous part-time jobs, one at Orlando’s Grocery in Kingsville and at the food court in Ashtabula Mall.

She was always smiling and never had a bad word for anyone. She was a long tie member of the Eastern Star where she held may offices and helped out with church Sou p Lunches ad anywhere she was needed. She always worked the annual Kingsville Library Lawn sale and was a devoted member of The King’s Queens, a local Red Hat group.  She was also devoted to her kitty cats.

What a fine lady and friend.

Virginia Simmons

Virginia Wakefield Simmons, Ginny, was born in 1930. Along with Norma Flack, Ginny was the next one to welcome me to Kingsville Presbyterian Church when we moved to Kingsville in 1957. I have so many wonderful memories of fun times we had for many years until she passed away in1994. She was taken to the hospital and her girls called me to come down where I found the whole family gathered around her bed to say Goodbye. Ginny was very alert and hugged me and since she was in charge of organizing the dinners after a funeral, she said she was sorry, but would I take over her job?  Of course, how could I refuse and I did it for several years. She had a wonderful sense of humor right up till the end. She passed shortly after I left the hospital. I was so pleased her girls had notified me to come to the hospital. I miss her terribly today.

Ginny knew I had divorced and one day while she and Diana Theiss were up at the local bowling alley, King’s Lanes, they ran into this man, Ralph, who Ginny went to school with and she had not seen him for years. During their conversation, she found out he was divorced, and a light went off in her head. She told him about me and my availability and blew my attributes way out of proportion I am sure. He did agree to give me a call. Diana also remembered him, for she dated him once or twice way back when they were growing up in Conneaut. Well, they could not wait to get home and call me up and tell me all about him. I was interested, especially all the accolades coming from my two dear friends. Well, it was a whole year before he called me??

He explained later that his construction on the Lakes jobs took him to different areas for long periods and he happened to be working in Kentucky and he thought that would be a long haul to court a gal in Kingsville. His parents lived in North Kingsville so that is why he was at the Bowling Alley. Well, we continued dating and we ended up getting married 1 ½ years later, much to the delight of Ginny and Diana. Plus, I was forever indebted to these gals for we have been married close to 50 years now. I had also prayed to our Lord for this meeting and He, once again, answered my prayers.

Virginia got me involved in church. I recall one first meetings where someone asked for volunteers and I raised my hand. Ginny looked at me and told me, “You NEVER volunteer.”  We laughed and I thought that was a funny thing to say, but learned later, that was Ginny.  She held many offices during her church years. She was involved in the financial section for many years. She also was a devoted member of our famous church choir. She always had a wonderful sense of humor and always a smile on her face. One day, during choir practice, when she sat down in the old wooden folding chair, the chair collapsed, and she landed on the floor. She was not hurt. Chip Barker made the statement, “Did you notice how gracefully ginny made that fall?”  She was a big girl, not overweight, just tall and big and she did everything gracefully.

My friend, Alice Shiflet, and I drove to Florida and stayed for a month in a beautiful home owned by Lynne and Jan Silva. Ginny flew down to visit us and one day she laid across her bed and the bed collapsed. We, of course, came running into her bedroom to find Ginny sprawled on the floor. Alice and I began to laugh hysterically with Ginny joining in. The neighbor across the road came over and had the bed fixed in no time, but that was a source of laughter for years to come.

Ginny and her hubby, Ray, lived on South Ridge Road, halfway between Ashtabula and Kingsville. They raised three wonderful children, but none of them had the charm and humor of their mother. Ginny and Ray and we and several church couples belong to a group of eight couples who went square dancing once a month. We also had many wonderful fun gatherings at their home. She was one of the five original Red Hat ladies when I first began the organization, and she remained a faithful member till the end. In fact, she was the one who came up with the name King’s Queens. She always dressed beautifully in her red hat, red lace shawl, bright red lipstick, red gloves and large red purse. She always carried a large purse no matter where she went.

I was very lucky, for Ginny and Ray made several trips to Arizona where their son, daughter-in-law and grand children lived, and many times I was invited to go along. We also visited our good friend, Jim and Diana Theiss out there. Ginny and her family also invited me to go along on their cruise ship to the Caribbean. We had a blast! Ginny was having trouble walking, so I pushed her many times in her wheelchair. One time I had to get a chair over a little hump in the walkway so I gave it all the push I had and it stopped at the walkway, nearly catapulting Ginny out of the chair Needless to say, we dissolved into a hysterical laugh,, the memory which was ongoing for years.

Ginny was a good Christian person and devoted church member. Her mother-in-law was Laura Simmons, cousin to Lauretta Simmons. Laura always sat in a pew on the east side of the church, close to the choir. She sat with her sister, Stella Simmons, who was Lauretta Lutes mother. One Sunday during the sermon, Ginny was relating a statement to me- I always sat beside her in choir – when I happened to look down at Laura who was frowning, her finger to her lips and shaking her head side to side, indicating to Ginny to be quiet. I was sort of embarrassed, but I guess Ginny was used to it.


[1] Reverend Maltbie D. Babcock, talented poet, musician, and orator was the pastor of Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church and Baltimore, Maryland, and the Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City. He wrote several beautiful hymns including “This is My Father’s World,” and “Be Strong!”