My Aunt Ellen
Aunt Ellen was my Dad's sister. She was next to the youngest in a family of five children and the only girl. I remember when I was little and we would visit, she loved to pat my legs and tell me that she loved my fat little legs.
When I was little I didn't understand why she loved my fat little legs so much. I hadn't given too much thought to my legs at that time. It was later that I realized why she liked my fat little legs so much. Aunt Ellen was tall, about 5' 5" (taller than my Mom), and thin. She was built up like my Dad. Both of them were tall and thin with thin legs. Of course, I thought her leg were fine. See the photos below of Aunt Ellen in her youth wearing summer clothes and a bathing suit.
|Ellen Jane Johnson with unknown sailor|
|Ellen Jane Johnson|
Now check out those legs! I used to wish I had legs like Aunt Ellen!
Aunt Ellen was one of the most generous people ever born. She was always helping someone out, especially her family, friends, friends of friends, and friends of her children. She would give the shirt off her back to someone even if she didn't have another one. If someone got into trouble, they went to Ellen. If someone needed money, they went to Ellen. If someone needed someplace to live, they went to Ellen. She had a huge heart. Of course she and her family were taken advantage of several times, but that didn't stop her from helping people. Her daughter, Patricia Simao Nicolia is just like her in that respect...always helping people. They were born with the helping gene.
I loved my Aunt Ellen very much and loved staying at her house. This is one of the aunts that I was named after. Her name was Ellen Jane and my name is Helen Jane. She was a real character....she was funny and kooky. She had red hair and wore her lipstick like Lucille Ball.
Aunt Ellen had my cousin Margaret Ellen at a young age. She is shown in the photo below with my cousin Margaret (Marge), and my Grandma Cora Lee Meek Johnson Sinclair.
|Ellen Jane, Margaret Ellen, Cora Lee Meek Johnson|
When Aunt Ellen was about thirty six, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The docs performed surgery, but they couldn't get all of the cancer. She was terminal. It hit everyone in the family hard. Her oldest daughter was grown and out of the house. Her son was about thirteen and her youngest daughter was about eleven.
She lived for about four years after the diagnosis. She had treatment for the cancer, of course. She became paralyzed on one side and wasn't able to walk unless someone supported her. It was painful for us all to see her decline and very scary for her young children.
Aunt Ellen and my Dad, Lawrence, aka John, were very close. Daddy was about two years younger than her. He was devastated by her illness and spent a lot of time with her.
In the photo below, my Dad is laying on the bed with her. Back in those days, everyone smoked in the house. In this photo, Aunt Ellen is about 39 and my Dad is not quite 37.
|Ellen Jane Johnson Simao and Lawrence Gerald Johnson, Jr., aka John or Johnny|
Until we are all together again...