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Sunday, February 03, 2008

A Tribute to My Mom

Bertha Edith Snyder Tessman
February 4, 1910 - December 17, 2005

Mom was born in South Bend, Indiana to Oliver and Carrie Snyder. The picture here is of Grandma and Grandpa Snyder in probably the 50's. I think that was maybe one of Dudley's children that Grandpa is holding. I know it was during my photo carreer with my Brownie Kodak Camera- probably somewhere in the mid to late 50's.
Anyway, When mom was born, they lived in Breman where Grandpa had a dairy farm. She talked very fondly of her Grandma Snyder- where she would go many days from school with a "sick headache" and spend much time on her couch.
It was here that she was confirmed in the Lutheran Church and came to know Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Later they moved to Fort Wayne where Grandpa delivered milk and eggs. They lived on South Broadway and Grandpa had a little dark room in the garage where he "candeled" eggs. This is the house mom lived in while she attended South Side High School, and later worked at General Electric. She met and married my dad in 1936. They met in Sycamore, Illinois where his Dad was a Lutheran Pastor. They met at a Youth Group meeting and after just a few dates, and after dad's divorce, they were married. He had been in a band and had married a chorus girl but after she had an abortion he ended the marriage in divorce and married mom. Four children were born to them in the first 4 years, one dying in infancy, and with these remaining 3 children, Patty, Jon and Mary Beth, they moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana to a house on 5th Street and dad was employed by Hadley Furniture Company. In 1944, Dad enlisted in the Navy and World War II was in full swing. Dad was stationed in Charleston, South Carolina as a Medical Nurse. He was dry docked due to his poor eye sight. Now the children numbered four with the birth of Carol. Mom boarded the train with all 4 children in tow and headed for Charleston to join Dad there. After the war ended in 1945 we were all loaded in to the 19?? Ford and headed back to Fort Wayne. In 1947 the 5th child, Sandy was born. I think these were probably the happiest days of mom's life...the days when she could take care of her babies and children. She always LOVED babies and I know especially loved her own.
Mom worked in their business which they opened in 1948- A & N Floor Covering, located on South Calhoun in Fort Wayne. They later relocated into Southgate Shopping Center and then to the Rialto Furniture store on the corner of Pontiac and Calhoun.
In 1969 they retired and moved to Florida. This is where mom lived with dad until he died in 1980. This picture of mom shows how "young" she still was in her 70's. No hair dye for her!
Mom continued to live at Top of the World in Florida. Eventually Jon and Carole came to Florida to live with her. Mom had Alzheimer's and was really not able to live alone so it was a blessing for her to have her two children to help her out and keep her company. Jon and Carole both proceeded mom in death.

Mom is here fixing a Fried Chicken Dinner for us...I think it was probably the last time we all visted together in Florida- we were there for Jon's last birthday and mom was so thrilled to cook for us all again.
Mom spent her last days at Peabody Home in North Manchester, Indiana and continued to rock babies until the end.
Mom was a great mom- she introduced us all to Jesus, loved us, cared for us and gave her all. We miss her dearly and are so thankful that she is enjoying eternity with Jesus where we will join her one day.


~Just A Thought Ginger said...

Sounds like your mom had a pretty full life. We are so blessed to have parents that passed their faith down to us. What a peace to know your dear mom sits at Jesus' feet and you will see her again someday.

When we all get to heaven...what a day!

Lisa H said...

Blessings on you as you remember your mom on her birthday! This is a beautiful post honoring your wonderful mom. Love the pictures!

MrHervieux said...

Hi MaryBeth. I'm Claire Hervieux's dad :) It's a blessing to read about your family and the goodness God has showed toward y'all. It's neat to leave behind something of your mother's life for your kids and grandkids, so they can remember where they came from. Perhaps I'll start a tribute to my mom :) My mom is in a skilled nursing facility in CO...near my brother, but far away. My dad is uninvolved in our lives, no matter how we try to invite him in, and my wife's parents are gone. We look forward to someday rebirthing the extended family with our own girls. Hopefully, they won't be too far apart. Right now, 2 are in Garden Valley, TX, but who knows where they'll land???