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Memories of My Seven Aunts

Updated on August 30, 2018
Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul was born and grew up in Wisconsin. He is married to a Thai and living in Thailand. He has Swiss, German, and Austrian ancestry.

My Aunt Laura

My mother is on the left and Aunt Laura on the right.  Picture taken in 1993
My mother is on the left and Aunt Laura on the right. Picture taken in 1993 | Source

My Seven Aunts

My mother and father both came from large families, so I was blessed with many aunts - three on my mom's side and four on dad's side. Throughout my life, I have been closer to my aunts than my grandparents whom I infrequently saw when growing up. In this article, I feature each one of my seven aunts and share with my readers what I remember about each one.

My Three Maternal Aunts

My mother who was born and grew up in Marshfield, Wisconsin, was the oldest of six children. She had two brothers - Raymie and Leo - and three sisters - Anna (Sissy,) Donna, and Mary. The following relates how I remember each aunt.

Aunt Anna (Sissy)

Anna is the oldest of my mother's three younger sisters. I first remember Aunt Sissy from the early 1950s when mom and dad used to visit Marshfield each summer. Aunt Anna married a World War II veteran, Lavern, and lived in a small cottage in the countryside outside of Marshfield. Aunt Sissy had five or six kids at the time, and my dad used to joke that she was going to have enough children for a baseball team.

As I got older, I didn't see Aunt Sissy that much until the early 90s when I would drive ma and dad to Marshfield each summer during my visits back at home. Each time we visited, Aunt Sissy extended great hospitality and we always wound up spending the night with her.

Aunt Sissy was also very gracious in letting my sister, Pat, live with her for two weeks in 1985. Pat was in vet school at the time and serving a two-week apprenticeship with a local Marshfield veterinarian.

As of today, my Aunt Sissy is still living in her own home. I have talked with her often recently and find Sissy to be healthy and very alert.

Aunt Donna

Aunt Donna is mom's second youngest sister who is about 15 years younger. I remember Donna as a big sister during the early 50s. How I remember her wedding to Uncle Joe in May of 1956! Mom and dad couldn't attend because they were busy on the farm, so they sent my oldest sister, Beatrice, and me on the train instead. On the way back home, we rode in Uncle Joe's Buick.

I also visited Donna at her big country house once in the late 70s and then a few times in the late 1990s. Once when we visited, Uncle Joe was showing us how he made his dandelion wine. I learned from Aunt Mary that Donna passed away due to a heart attack on April 11, 2015. She will really be missed by me and her loved ones.

Aunt Mary

Aunt Mary is my youngest aunt and 23 years younger than my mother. Whenever my folks visited Marshfield in the early 50s, I have fond memories of playing with my aunt in the field with a brook next to grandma's house. Occasionally I would write letters to Aunt Mary and jokingly say that I was her uncle. My aunt quickly pointed out that I was her nephew.

After moving to the farm, our trips to Marshfield weren't very frequent. I do remember, however, visiting in 1960, and then attending Aunt Mary's and Uncle Jim's wedding reception in 1963. Mary and Jim divorced in 2011 but they are now together again.

My Three Maternal Aunts

From left to right:  Aunt Mary, Aunt Donna, Aunt Sissy, and my mother
From left to right: Aunt Mary, Aunt Donna, Aunt Sissy, and my mother | Source

My Four Paternal Aunts

My father who was also born in Wisconsin had two brothers and four sisters all of whom are now deceased. Dad had one older brother, Uncle Augie, and one younger brother, Uncle Dick. Dad's four sisters all younger than he included: Aunt Marie, the oldest; Aunt Laura, the second oldest; Aunt Helen, the third oldest; and Aunt Florence, the youngest. Although the paternal aunts lived close by when growing up, my maternal aunts seemed much closer. The following is how I remember my paternal aunts.

Aunt Marie

My first remembrances of Aunt Marie come from 1950 when she was living in West Allis not far from our rented apartment. Aunt Marie had recently had brain surgery and was getting ready to get married to Uncle Chuck.

Unfortunately, Uncle Chuck died seven years later and I remember going to the funeral and reception in Marie's home.

All through high school and college, Aunt Marie would often come out to the farm to see dad. I will always remember how she attended my high school graduation and encouraged me to do well.

Three years later in the summer of 1965, she came up to Madison with her daughter (my cousin) Susie to visit me when I was attending summer school at the university.

2. Aunt Laura

Aunt Laura used to often visit my father in the early 50s when we were still living in the city. Actually, throughout her whole life, she visited more than any other aunt. One of the reasons is because she lived in a cottage near a lake about 10 miles away.

In later years, I would always visit Aunt Laura with my folks while home on vacation. I was surprised that she was a Burt Reynolds fan, and had a risqué pinup of him in her basement!

Aunt Laura would also often go on overnight gambling trips with my mother and father to different casinos in Wisconsin.

3. Aunt Helen

I probably knew and saw Aunt Helen less than Aunts Marie and Laura. She really wasn't that close to my dad because she was quite a bit younger.

Helen worked for the telephone company. I remember seeing her sometimes in the mid-50s when Aunt Helen still lived at home with grandpa and grandma. It was fun playing with her golf clubs and balls, and how can I not forget scaring her half to death when I jumped out of a cemetery as we were walking home from a Milwaukee Braves game in 1955.

I only saw Helen a few more times after that. Helen, however, thought of all her nephews and nieces, and she was the only aunt who left me a small inheritance after her death.

4. Aunt Florence

Personally, I hardly knew Aunt Florence when I was growing up. I suspect that is because my dad and she weren't that close due to the great age gap. Florence eventually married, but like Aunt Helen she didn't have any children.

One thing I do remember is that for Christmas of 1954 both Aunt Helen and Florence presented me with a beautiful baseball autographed by all of the 1954 Milwaukee Braves players.

From left to right: Chuck Hyland, husband of my aunt Marie and uncle Dick
From left to right: Chuck Hyland, husband of my aunt Marie and uncle Dick | Source
aunt Helen.  Photo taken probably in late 40s.
aunt Helen. Photo taken probably in late 40s. | Source

My Father's Family

In back from left to right:  dad, aunt Marie, uncle Augie, aunt Laura, uncle Dick,  middle, grandma and grandpa Kuehn, seated in front, aunt Florence and aunt Helen.  Photo taken about 1938.
In back from left to right: dad, aunt Marie, uncle Augie, aunt Laura, uncle Dick, middle, grandma and grandpa Kuehn, seated in front, aunt Florence and aunt Helen. Photo taken about 1938. | Source

Summary

Each one of my aunts did something for me during my life which I will always remember. I miss the aunts who have already passed away, and I look forward to seeing my living maternal aunts again as soon as possible. Fortunately, I still have contact with my youngest aunt, Mary, on Facebook. I also periodically call Aunt Sissy.

Remembering Aunts

Which aunts do you remember the most?

See results

© 2015 Paul Richard Kuehn

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    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Peggy, Thanks for your interesting comments. Yes, I was lucky to have a lot of aunts and uncles growing up. I do remember a maternal great-aunt and three second cousins that I saw a few times when I was very young. I'm happy you liked this hub.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      You are lucky to have had so many aunts and uncles in your life. It was interesting hearing a bit about each one of them.

      I have one maternal aunt who is now in a nursing home up in Iowa and had one paternal aunt who is now gone. I also got to know some of my great aunts on my mother's side of the family.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Mary, I am happy you liked this hub and that it brought back memories of your own aunts and uncles. In the future, I will definitely have a hub about my uncles. Thanks for voting this hub up and finding it interesting.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Au fait, Thanks for reading my hub and I really appreciate your comments and am happy you enjoyed reading this article. In the future, I will be preparing a hub about my uncles. Thank you also for sharing this hub with followers!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      3 years ago from New York

      We all have memories of aunts and uncles. Reading this lovely hub brought back many memories for me. Thanks so much for sharing.

      Voted up and interesting.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      3 years ago from North Texas

      I have an Aunt Florence too, and she's the only aunt (or uncle) related by blood who is still living. I had 8 maternal aunts and 7 paternal aunts, and a few more due to divorce and remarriage. I believe I still have 4 living aunts through marriage.

      I will always remember the great stories both my aunts and my uncles told when I was growing up. Things were very different in their time and I always love hearing about the way things were from people who lived them rather than from a book.

      A nice tribute to your aunts, Paul, and I enjoyed reading it. Voting this up and interesting, and sharing with followers.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      &bonda Yes, I have been fortunate to have mostly good caring aunts. Having lived in Thailand and Taiwan, I do know that aunts are closer to people than they are in the West.

    • bonda profile image

      Nonqaba waka Msimang 

      3 years ago from Canada

      There was a time when children were loved by many people, not just their parents. You are fortunate to have been nurtured by so many women. In some cultures, aunts are called 'little mother' or 'elder mother' depending on whether they are older or younger to your mother.

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