March 20, 2002 letter from Jeannie House to Father Tom for the funeral of Lorraine Davidson.
Dear Father Tom,
I don’t know what you need for a bio of our Mother, but I will try.
Mom was born in Kansas City, Missouri, November 26, 1921 & named Lorraine Mildred Lewis. At age of one year she moved with her mother & 3 year old brother, in a horse drawn wagon to Sacramento, Calif. When she was about 4 years old she was living in an orphanage for a while, because her mother had to work & couldn’t take care of her or her brother. This must have made a big impression on her because years later she would tell this story over & over. They were very strict & Mom was taught to fold clothes carefully & to put her shoes just so under her bed, if not she would be in trouble.
She moved to Grass Valley Calif. when her mother remarried on Oct. 1926. She went to school at St. Mary’s where after the 8th grade she had to quit school to help her mother with her siblings, work in the family business of running an Auto Court (Motel), she had to clean cabins, wash & iron linens for guests.
She did how ever learn to tap and play the piano. She loved music, and when she retired she bought an organ & took lessons.
At 16 she met & married our Dad. I would not have thought our mother as the adventurous type but being married to Dad, she had a lot of new experiences. Mom used to laugh about the time she was teasing Dad by spraying him with the hose, He garbed the hose, & she ran into their house thinking she was safe, but Dad followed her in the house anyway. It was probably lucky at the time they didn’t have much to ruin.
Because of Dads job as a logger they moved every few months, She said she kept all the old moving boxes so she would be ready at moments notice to repack. She new how each thing fit in each box. Dad took her places most people couldn’t or wouldn’t be able to survive. Places with no water or electricity. She had to wash our clothes on a rub board. Carry water that came around once a day in a water truck. She learned to bake bread when it was rationed. Mom always loved her garden. She grew the best tomatoes, & zucchini. One Year she won a blue ribbon at the county Fair for he zucchini, how proud she was. At one time we lived on a small farm. She canned jars & jars & jars of all the vegetables & pears we grew there. We even had green & red pears for Xmas. All this was done on a wood stove. In the spring she would have baby chicks next to the same stove. Later when grown the chicken follow her all around the farm. I think this was the happiest my mother ever was. Dad would come home & play solitaire while Mom got dinner on the table telling each other of how their day had gone. This routine would last a life time for them.
Dad was very proud of Mom & over the years on there anniversary he would sent her a dozen red roses. Dad was very romantic & thought Mom was very beautiful (witch she was).
In later years Mom & Dad settled in Mentone where again Mom had her garden.
She still kept in touch with friends she had when she was younger, while still making new ones. She had great holiday dinners for family & friends. Mom was always there for her friends & neighbors, when they were sick she would bring them food & visit.
Sewing & needle work were also an art with Mom. Somehow she could make a hole in a pair of Dad’s work pants not just look mended but solid, strong & respectful. And Dad tore up a lot of pants. She could do work like this then turn around and make school clothes for us, prom dresses & later make a baptism outfit for her grandson, everything perfect down to the last stitch.
When we were kids our friends were always welcome at our house. Sometimes letting them take trips with us. She will be missed by us all, but we will remember her in our thoughts & prayers.
I hope this is of some help. There is so much more I could write, but I think you will be able to get some insight into who our mother was. Feel free to use or not use any of this. Thank you so much for being there for us.
Mom’s girls, Carol & Jeannie