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2012-08-24 08:34 pm

Sympathy Saturday: St Joe Cemetery, outside Atkins, Pope County AR

August 10, 1969 was a horrific day for Charles R and Geneva L Ketcherside.

They lost their home in a fire, and with it, 6 children.


Randy L Duvall, b 27 Sep 1958 (son of Geneva and her first husband, Lee Duvall)
Connie L Ketcherside, b 20 Mar 1962, and her siblings
Aaron R, b 13 Nov 1963
Sheila K, b 20 Jun 1965
Dennis R, b 18 Oct 1966; and
Michael R, b 29 Oct 1967
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2012-08-04 08:49 am

Sympathy Saturday: I was on a roll...

I found another leg of my Parrish family last night.

My Parrish family made its way from Virginia to Kentucky, where some of them hunkered down for several generations.

But many more continued to move - on to Indiana and then to Missouri, where my g-g-grandfather, Fred Chapin, met and married Eada Belle Parrish in Vernon County on Christmas Eve in 1885.
Eada's second cousin, William Henry Parrish, was six years older than she was.

His family had lived in Knox County since at least the early 1850s. William was born in Knox County on 2 Mar 1853.


As far as I can tell, William and his wife, Cordelia Anna Davis, lived and worked in Knox County all their lives, raising five children together.

William and Cordelia's life together ended on 24 Jun 1924, when a tornado ripped through Knox County. Their death certificates say they died of the injuries they suffered in a cyclone. Their gravestone also notes the manner of their deaths.

I don't know if Eada got word of the tornado, or of her cousin's death. I can't find news coverage of the event, but for a while last night, I sat very thoughtfully at my computer, trying to imagine what it must have been like for my 71 year old cousin and his 67 year old wife as a funnel cloud exploded their world, and took them into the next one.
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2012-01-07 08:16 am

Sympathy Saturday: Victor Claude Balding, 1874-1945

This is the obituary for my great grandfather, who got a patent for a toy he made.
V C Balding, Retired Telegrapher, Dies.

Victor C Balding, aged 70, retired telegrapher for the Missouri Pacific Lines, died at his home at 217 Denison street at 8 Tuesday night. He had been employed by the railroad for 38 years and retired three years ago. He was a member of the Second Presbyterian church and Albert Pike Lodge No. 714 Masons. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Hattie C Balding of Little Rock; three sons, Lt. Eugene V Balding of Camp Maxey, Tex.; R Ellington Balding of Alice, Tex., and Sgt. Marvin P Balding of Fort Leonard Wood, MO; four daughters, Mrs. W N Brandon, Mrs. Joe D Williams and Mrs. John H Fox of Little Rock and Miss Vera Balding of Spokane, Wash., and four grandchildren. Funeral arrangements will be announced by Ruebel & Company.

Published on Wednesday, 10 Jan 1945, in the Arkansas Gazette
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2011-12-31 08:39 am

Sympathy Saturday: Eada B Parrish and Fred Chapin

These are the obituaries for my great-great grandparents, Eada Belle Parrish (1859-1944) and Fred Chapin (1858-1938).
Fred Chapin

Fred Chapin, 80, of 913 North Valmar street, died at a Little Rock hospital at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. He is survived by his wife, a daughter, Mrs. V C Balding of Little Rock; a sister, Mrs. Essie Finn of Altoona, Pa.; seven grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. Funeral services will be held at the P H Ruebel & Co. chapel at 4:30 p.m. Friday in the charge of the Rev. Hay Watson Smith. Burial will be in Oakland cemetery. Pallbearers will be Joe D Williams, E V Balding, R Ellington Balding, and Marvin Balding.
Published on Friday, 30 Dec 1938, in the Arkansas Gazette
Mrs. Eada B Chapin
Octogenarian Dies.

Mrs. Eada B Chapin, aged 85, died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. V C Balding of 217 Denison street, at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. She had been a resident of Little Rock for 50 years. Also surviving are seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Funeral services will be held at the Ruebel Funeral Home at 10 a.m. Monday by the Rev. Marion A Boggs. Burial will be in Oakland cemetery. Pallbearers will be W L Terry, L C Gring, J S Holtzman, W M Brandon, J D Williams and Lt. Eugene Balding.
Published on Sunday, 3 Dec 1944, in the Arkansas Gazette
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2011-09-16 05:48 pm

Sympathy Saturday: Horace Hanby Rutherford, Jr. - 1928-2011

I attended the funeral of one of my uncles today - Horace H Rutherford, Jr.

He was the husband of my father's oldest sister, and had been seriously ill for quite a while.

His death was anticipated, and I know his family is glad he is no longer in pain.

Both the service in the funeral home chapel and the graveside service were quite nice, and well-attended. Uncle Horace was a World War II Navy veteran, as well as a Mason. The graveside service included rites from both the Navy and the Masons. It was the first time I witnessed a Masonic funeral ritual.

His remains were laid to rest in Pinecrest Cemetery, in Saline County. My son was responsible for the opening and closing of his grand-uncle's grave.
Not a lot of people know where Uncle Horace's middle name originated.

Until I started shakin' the family tree, I didn't know what the second H stood for, either.

Uncle Horace (and his father before him), carried his great-grandmother's maiden name.

She was Sally Hanby, and was born in January 1836 in Alabama. She died in 1918 and is buried in Rock Springs Cemetery, in Sparkman, Dallas Co., AR.

Uncle Horace was born in Fairview in Dallas County, on 9 May 1928, to Horace Hanby Rutherford, Sr., and Maybelle Gilliam.
We have a saying here in the south - the height of tacky.

As in, it is (or used to be) the height of tacky for southern ladies to wear white after Labor Day.

Or, it's the height of tacky to fail to send handwritten thank you notes in a timely fashion after receiving a gift or gesture of thoughtfulness from family, friends or acquaintances.

This week, we can add another thing to those things which are the height of tacky.

Like carrying a grudge for so many years against your husband's sister that you refuse to note her among his survivors in his obituary, or hug her when she comes to his funeral anyway, or even have a moment of shame that causes you to make sure the pastor preaching the funeral knows that the deceased's 91 year-old, only surviving sibling is sitting on the front row with the rest of the immediate family, but only because she introduced herself as his sister to a funeral home usher.

So in the interest of trying in some small measure to rectify that thing which was *beyond* the height of tacky, I say here for the record...

Horace H Rutherford, Jr. was also survived by his older sister, Marion Rutherford Hillman, of Dallas Co., AR.
And for any of my immediate family who decide to get their knickers in a bunch about this, thinking I have pissed in their coffee (that's another southern saying)...

Get over yourself.
See you on the other side, Uncle Horace.
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2011-09-10 10:35 am

Sympathy Saturday: Chapin

DIED, last night about 12 o'clock, MISS LOUISA CHAPIN, daughter of Nathan Chapin, aged 23 years, of consumption.
Source: [Pennsylvania]National Gazette, 29 May 1823, retrieved from on 10 Sep 2011]

Louisa was the daughter of Nathan Chapin and Elizabeth Castner.
Fatal Accident - Mr. Seth Chapin, of Chickopee Parish, Springfield (Mass.) was burnt to death on the evening of the 13th inst. He was endeavoring to extinguish a fire that had communicated to a brush fence, and it is supposed he got entangled with the brush, and was unable to extricate himself; his body was found about 9 o'clock very badly burned - and it is supposed he perished almost instantly. His age was about 73.
Source: [Pennsylvania]National Gazette, 26 Apr 1832, retrieved from on 10 Sep 2011]

Seth Chapin was the son of Seth Chapin and Hannah Sikes, and was married to Sibyl Lombard on 1 Jan 1800 in Springfield, Hampden Co., MA.