Thankful Thursday – Grandma Gotcher’s Birthday


I have posted before about how thankful I am for all of my ancestors whether I knew personally them or not.  I believe their experiences helped me be the person I am today.  But today I am especially thankful for my Grandma Mabel Tracy Gotcher because it was her birthday.  I remember her birthday, September 6th,  because when I was 19 my best friend and I took a road trip to go visit my grandma and during that visit we discovered that Grandma and Debi had the same birthday. Now I always think about grandma when I am wishing Debi a Happy Birthday!  Grandma has been gone for over 14 years but I still remember her well.

Grandma Gotcher is the main reason genealogy is such an obsession for me.  She was my bridge to the past.  You see, Grandma was born in 1904 and raised in a large family on a large family farm.  Grandma  lived at home and didn’t get married until she was 34 and she didn’t give birth to my dad (and his twin sister) until she was 45.

She ended up inheriting the family

Mabel with my dad (Dean) and Darlene

homestead house and furniture and pictures.  In my memories she was always this vibrant older grandma surrounded by curious antiques.  She had wonderful stories and pictures and she also loved to play croquet with us.  The house had never been updated – no indoor plumbing for example.  Everything was old and therefore, to me, interesting.  I loved to hear about her adventures with her friends and about all the years she spent as a one room school teacher.  We both loved to read and she introduced me to some wonderful authors; Louisa May Alcott, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Willa Cather, and Bess Streeter Aldrich to name a few.  As kids we spent alot of our time while at her farm outside playing – in the cornfields, in the draw (where I discovered leeches), and in the old barns.  I thought it was a little slice of heaven.  I grew up in the city so for me the farm life looked very romantic.  It’s funny because now my son can’t wait to visit my Aunts and Uncles in Iowa because they live on a farm with tractors and all!  And I totally understand his excitement.

Mabel and her schoolkids

In the past few years as I have been researching grandma’s history, her life seems even more amazing to me.  Imagine being born in 1904 and living through all of the history that she lived through: World Wars I & II, the depression, all the nifty inventions we take for granted today, and so many other things.  She loved to take pictures which was a huge blessing to her grandchildren and she saved everything which was even better for us history buffs.  I treasure the old schoolbooks, papers, letters, and school bell I inherited from her.  But most of all I treasure the time she spent introducing me, through her pictures and stories, to her childhood, her family, and her pioneer history.

Grandma visiting us in Oklahoma

All of her grandchildren remember different things about what we loved about Grandma but we all know she loved each of us and that she was really something special!  Happy Birthday Grandma I know you are having a great time in heaven!


About Rosanna Ward

Rosanna is a devoted mother of four children, two of which are homeschool graduates. She currently homeschools her 11 and 6 year old sons. Rosanna is a homeschool graduate and a graduate of Oral Roberts University: She grew up in Tulsa and has been homeschooling here for the past eleven years. Rosanna has loved family history for as long as she can remember and love genealogy for the stories of her ancestors.
This entry was posted in Gotcher Family Research and Stories, Tracy Family Research and Stories. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Thankful Thursday – Grandma Gotcher’s Birthday

  1. Love this! You were truly blessed to have so much family history passed on to you through your grandma. I am so glad I got to meet her before she went to be with the Lord, even then she was a fabulous storyteller!

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