Of all the ancestors in my tree whom I have never met, these are the two people who have had a profound influence on my life. My mom’s parents, they died a few months before I was born and I love the stories I've heard about them and their love for each other.
35 years ago today, they died tragically, in an accident that also claimed the life of their infant granddaughter Jessica. Even after all these years, I still run into people who remember them. Some remember their deaths, still saddened by it, but others remember their lives. I remember seeing an elderly gentleman, with tears in his eyes, telling my mom what Marion, his Sunday School teacher, had meant to him. Some may argue that you can’t miss something that you never knew, but it is in moments like those, that I do miss my grandparents.
Their faith and belief in God that they taught and shared with their daughters has continued, and sad as it was, their deaths were a deciding factor for my dad becoming a pastor, sending our family along a path, that although my siblings and I may have groaned and joked about being “pastor’s kids,” I can imagine my life any differently.
Charles Lloyd Walters was born on June 29, 1923 in Clear Lake, Iowa to Cecil Lloyd and Lillian Emma (Ransom) Walters. Chuck moved around a lot in his young life. He father was a preacher and the family was often moving from one place to another. Eventually the family settled on a farm near Annandale, Minnesota. Chuck farmed along his father and then on his own. It was here he raised his own family until the time of his death.
Marion Elisabeth Lundeen was born on February 20, 1925 to Edward and Agnes (Lindberg) Lundeen, of Albion, Minnesota (near Annandale). She attended college in St. Cloud and then taught at Annandale. My mom says she had a variety of different colored shoes she would wear to school to keep the attention of her first graders. She also considered herself "half-dressed" if she didn't have her earrings on.
Chuck and Marion were married on July 12, 1952 at the Albion Free Church, the same church where many Lundeens and Walters worshiped, were married and buried. The bride “wore an ice blue gown of nylon tulle and lace, an ice-blue veil caught at the temples with blue forget-me-nots. Her bouquet was of pink camellias, pink and white carnations. Her pearl necklace and earrings were a gift from the groom. For ‘something old’, the bride wore her grandmother’s ring of Swedish gold.”