Last June I read about a Challenge, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, and I was intrigued. I decided to take up the challenge. Some Ancestors may take more than one week, but I still intend to write about 52 Ancestors. I hope you enjoy reading about My Ancestors as much as I am looking forward to researching and writing about them.
(1) Marian Dunlap (Irwin) Guion; (2) Judith Anne Guion
Marian Edith Rider was born 15 Oct 1888 at Santa Cruz, CA
She married Mowry Addison Irwin on 28 July 1914 in Watsonville, CA
Mowry Addison Irwin was born in Erie, PA on 16 Oct 1888
They had the following children:
1. Marian Dunlap Irwin, born 11 Nov 1915 in Sacramento, CA
2. Homer Addison Irwin, born 24 April 1917 in Marysville, CA
3. Margaret Edith Irwin, born 28 May 1920 in Oakland, CA
4. Donald Mowry Irwin, born 3 July 1925 in Albuquerque,NM
Marian Dunlap Irwin and her great-grandmother, Edith May (Lewis) Rider
Marian Dunlap Irwin in a satchel – 1 1/2 months old
Marian Dunlap Irwin, my mother, was born in Sacramento, California on November 11, 1915. Three other children joined the family. She had a happy childhood surrounded by a large extended family of siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles.
Homer Addison Irwin and Marian Dunlap Irwin
Marian graduated from Berkeley high school and continued her education at San Francisco State University, graduating in 1937 with a degree in Elementary Education.
Marian, Don, Margaret and Homer Irwin – 1938
Marian Dunlap Irwin – SFSU – 1937
Marian Irwin’s first teaching job – Arvin, CA – 4th, 5th and 6th grades
She exhibited her adventurous spirit by driving with a friend from Oakland to New York City during the summer of 1939 to visit the World’s Fair.
Later, he was hired by the Camp Fire Girls Organization and became the Director of the South Pasadena area, a position she held until she married.
While living in South Pasadena in 1942 and 43, Marian served as a hostess at the South Pasadena Hospitality Center, where servicemen came to relax when they were off duty. In January, 1943, Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) arrived at Camp Santa Anita to begin training automobile and truck mechanics for the Army. At some point he met Marian Irwin.
On April 8th, Lad writes home with some news:
“Again too many days have gone by, but they have all been full. Even Apr. 3rd. I got a letter from you on the eventful day – thanks. It went by as usual, but the bunch of us were invited to a party in my honor at the home of 1 of the girls I have met here. In fact, she is so much like Babe that I have difficulty now and then and calling her Marian.”
Things progressed predictably and very quickly, Lad and Marian were married on November 14, 1943. For about the next year, as lad was transferred from base to base, Marian followed him. When the time came for his battalion to be sent overseas, Marian decided that she would drive to Trumbull and stay with Grandpa, so that she would be closer to Lad when he came home.
The marriage of his younger brother Dan, to Paulette, in Calais, France, created a situation where Lad was away from his battalion when they shipped out for Okinawa. When Lad shipped out after gathering all the equipment left behind, again Fate intervened, the U.S. bombed Hiroshima, Japan surrendered and Lad’s ship returned to New York City instead of going on to Okinawa. Lad was stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey, but they really did not need an instructor of auto and truck mechanics. He was able to go home to Trumbull every weekend and was discharged in the fall of 1945. Marion was thrilled.
By December, Lad and Marian were expecting their 1st child – which turned out to be twins – Douglas Alfred and Judith Anne, born June 28, 1946. They were quickly followed by Gregory Alan in August 1947 and Marion Lynn in December, 1948. when it was time to register Doug and Judy for kindergarten, Marian was shocked to learn that Trumbull did not provide kindergarten classes for their youth. She and her best friend, Jeanne (Hughes) Hayden, decided to start a kindergarten and use the Trumbull Congregational Church Sunday School Building as their location. They began operations in September, 1953. They continue to grow, adding more students and teachers until the town of Trumbull decided to include kindergarten classes in their elementary schools.
While stationed in California, Lad fell in love with the state and Marian was all too happy to move back to the San Francisco Bay area where she had grown up. They made the move in the summer of 1966, after their youngest graduated from high school.
Marian continued her career in education, 1st by teaching kindergarten, and after retiring, training other young teachers in the ins and outs of managing a successful classroom. She and Lad joined the Marin Power Squadron, a national organization focusing on safe boating, and the Marin Amblers, an RV group that traveled to outings throughout California and Oregon once a month. Although Marion’s health issues sometimes limited what they could do, both Lad and Marian relished their Golden Years.
Their family grew as grandchildren and then great-grandchildren arrived.. Marian had a knack for decorating and their home was always filled with a festive air, no matter the season. She also possessed strong organizational skills which were put to use by the Power Squadron, the Gamblers and also there condo association. Marian was an avid reader and regular swimmer. She loved doing things that were fun for everyone. Even after a couple of strokes, her bright outlook continued I never heard her raise her voice in anger when she passed away in 2004 it became evident that she would be missed by hundreds of friends.
Next Sunday, more of My Ancestors. Tomorrow, I will begin a week of letters written in 1943.