Strong Women

This weeks topic for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is strong women.  I could not come up with one that I haven’t already written about. So I have decided to do a review of the strong female ancestors.  


The first person to pop into my head when I think of strong women is my Aunt Fran.  Aunt Fran was born in 1900.  She is my grandmother’s sister.  I knew Aunt Fran and adored her.  She was divorced and raised her daughter alone.  She worked sewing in sweat shops.  My grandmother said she was a tomboy.  She liked to go hunting and fishing with the boys.  She seemed to have an abundant of energy and worked until her death in 1971.  I consider her strong for being a single mother when it was frowned upon to be divorced.  I think she was strong because she had to work all the time and still she raised a fine daughter.  Click here to read more Memories of Aunt Fran.

Eva Bowers

Eva Bowers

The next person is Aunt Fran and my grandmother’s mother, Eva Bowers.  I think she was a strong person because she also raised her children without help from their father.  She worked all her life too. Click here to read more Great-Grandmother Eva.

Emma, Mom, Liz 1943

Aunt Emma, my mom, Aunt Liz 1943

Another strong person is Eva sister, Emma.  I picked Emma because she was married twice to two strong men and I think she had to be strong to cope with them, especially the first one.   Click here to read more Aunt Emma’s Two Lives.

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I think that my grandmother, Helen Desens, was a strong woman.  I think she was strong because in 1933 she had a son born with a mental disability.  There was not a lot of help in those days for those with mental disabilities.  She kept him at home and took care of him herself.  During this time the Great Depression was going on and my grandfather lost his business and they lost their home.  Then around 1940 my grandmother started suffering from kidney disease and finally succumbed to it in 1946.  I heard she had a great sense of humor and kept it during the tough times.  I never knew her, but picture her as a strong woman. Click here to read more Dear Grandma

I sure there are many more strong women in the family.  I think the women had to be strong to leave their country of origin to come to America leaving behind their parents, siblings, and friends.  Most had large families and took care of the children and house while their husbands worked.  Some lost children in childbirth or as infants and young children.  They had to be strong to survive it all.  I admire all of them and wish I knew more about them to tell their stories too. 

Copyright © 2018 Gail Grunst

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