First of all, I should mention that I lost an aunt last month. She was married to my father's brother, Burton, and she was also my mother's first cousin. She was 89 when she passed away. She had battled Parkinson's disease for many years, but only in the past few had she been unable to live on her own. Recently she developed some heart problems, and that is what finally took her.
Here she is as a young woman with her husband, my Uncle Burton.
She was probably in her 70s in the picture above.
Now my Mom and my Aunt Rita (widow of my father's brother Coleman) are the last two Dowell Widows still living; I think I'd rather think of them as the last two Dowell Brides still living. Here is Aunt Rita with Uncle Coleman as a young couple.
My mother, Eler, (left) and her only sister Elnora (known as Noni) when they were young knock-outs. (Aunt Noni was also married to one of my father's brothers, James, and she died back in the mid nineties.)
My maternal grand-mother, Iva Myrtle Roberts, nee Hook. I'm not sure when this was taken. She died in 1964, so I never knew her. She is holding a bouquet of roses from her own big rose bush.
My paternal grand-mother, Lucy Myrtle Dowell, nee Williams. I was four years old when she died and I have some special memories of her. I'm not sure how old she was when this was taken.
And here are the three Elers: In the first picture is my great-grandmother Eler Elijah Hook, the lady sitting (my maternal grandmother is the little girl standing in the center). The second picture is my mother, Eler Frances Roberts Dowell; she and my father are holding their first five great-grandchildren, 1996. (My mother was named after both of her grandmothers, just as Eler Beth is named after both of hers. But I don't have a picture of my great-grandmother Frances "Frankie".)
The third picture is, of course, me and my own little Eler Elizabeth, also from 1996.
And now here's my Eler Beth, grown into a pretty young lady.