Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Aunt Chronicles - Part 4 - Austa

I knew Aunt Austa more than my other aunts. She lived a few miles from Jefferson, so we visited often. She was born in 1896, the third child of Lillie Walton Stewart and Rockwell Stewart.

They first named her Fern, according to the family Bible. A few months later she became Austa. She died at 90, living longer than her other siblings.

When I knew her she lived in Austinburg on Route 45. Her house later became the clubhouse for Maple Ridge Golf Course. I lived with Aunt Austa and Uncle Lawrence during large parts of my high school and college summers, because I worked at Maple Ridge.

Aunt Austa taught elementary school for many years. Here you see a picture of a 5th and 6th grade class.

She is in the third row on the very left. Notice how many students towered over the teacher. I am quite sure Austa had excellent discipline despite her size. The Stewarts strongly believed in education, and that is probably why so many family members became teachers.

Austa spent most of her life looking for things - most notably her wedding rings. She hunted for them every day, never losing them, but causing great concern on a daily basis until found.

Austa was a determined person. She decided to learn to drive in her fifties. Austa took lessons and even passed the test before announcing that she had a driver's license. She was resourceful and clever, finding ways to accomplish her goals in life.

She loved to have her nieces and nephews visit during the summers. Austa had ulterior motives concerning these visits. She tutored any and all in areas they might need help. I was able to get to know several second cousins because I was there, too. I studied math quite a bit the summer before I entered Ohio State. That really paid off, because I passed a test that meant I skipped math in college. No one would ever convince me that there are not miracles in this life.

Aunt Austa loved to entertain. She made pies from scratch that were absolutely delicious. People always seemed to drop in unannounced because of the golf course. She was ready to offer hospitality to any and all.

1 comment:

Marie said...

i love that school picture-and oh my there is that stewart chin :)