Saturday, June 7, 2008

TwigTale: Della Mae Alexander/Jaynes

Della Mae Alexander Jaynes was my favorite grandmother. She died 12 years ago yesterday, and she is much missed everyday. She was born to William Hays Alexander and Olive Ellen Martin on September 4, 1904 in Jackson County, Indiana. The oldest of 7 children, and she was the longest lived of all of them.
In the above photo she was 14 years old.
She married James Jaynes in 1920, and in 1928 her father died.
She and 'Jim' had 4 children. They managed to get through the Depression together, mourned the loss of their only son and build a business after that. He built a plumbing business out of their home and she was the one that took care of the phone. In the early days they were often paid with food or furniture. No one was ever turned away when they needed a plumber. They did fine all their lives and were very happy. They celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary 2 weeks before he died.
She loved birds, particularly canaries, and once she raised them, from egg to adult. The house was full of joyful noise. She was an avid gardener. Her thumb was so green she could grow anything. She loved to read and crochet. She admired Eleanor Roosevelt, and called Eleanor her hero. Her favorite poet was James Whitcomb Riley, and she often read "Little Orphan Annie" and "The Raggedy Man" to me, and just as they were written. She also sewed and taught me when I was barely big enough to have a needle.

Above is a doll quilt she made me 50 years ago.
She loved her family, her church and life. She died quietly on June 6, 1996 in Jackson County, Indiana where she had spent her life.
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