Friday, March 1, 2013

THE AUNT I NEVER KNEW - Ida Elizabeth "Betty" Craig

Through the years I heard my Dad talking about his sister Betty, who had died at a young age as a result of an accident.  As with most family stories you hear when young, it went in one ear and out the other.  It was not until after my Dad's death and I started getting interested in the family history that I found out the whole story of my Aunt Betty.

Readers of the Lacon, Illinois Home Journal of January 29, 1925 saw the following story:

  Betty Craig Dies Tuesday Morning From Injury Caused by Fall  

Tragedy of death and the attendant grief and anguish has cast its gloom into the lives of Mr. and Mrs. William Craig and family and their numerous friends through the loss of their daughter Betty, aged five years.
Her death was due to an accident incurred on Wednesday evening, January 21, when she sustained a fall caused by her being brushed by a dog on the sidewalk near her home.  Delmas Pettett, noting her fall, picked her up and carried her into her home.
She had apparently suffered only slight injury and no serious development appeared until Friday morning.  Dr. A.W. Bradford was called at that time to attend her.  There seemed to be no cause for alarm and later in the day she recovered almost completely from her mishap.  Within twenty-four hours a critical change had occurred and on Monday, Dr. Cutter, specialist from Peoria, was called.  Accompanied by her mother and aunt, Mrs. Peter Craig, the little girl was taken to Peoria and an operation was performed at the St. Francis hospital at five o’clock p.m. by which it was hoped that a clot on the brain would be removed, relieving her condition.  This operation failed in its desired result and death occurred at eight o’clock Tuesday morning, January 27, 1925.  
Ida Elizabeth Craig was born in Lacon, May 1, 1919, and was the youngest child of Mr. and Mrs. William Craig.  On her was lavished the affection of her older brothers and sisters as well as her parents and her sudden removal from the family circle brings intense sorrow.  Only those who have suffered similar loss can realize the extent of their suffering.
The sympathy of the entire community goes out to the stricken family and a profusion of flowers surrounding the waxen figure of her who had been joy and sunshine in the home evidenced participation in their sorrow.
The family circle which has been broken by the visitation of Death are the parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Craig, brothers and sisters Raphael, Cecil, Donald, Delilah, Marie and Edward.
The funeral was held this morning at the Catholic church.  Friends acting as pall bearers were, William Schwartz, Joe Thiedohr, Paul Wenk Jr., and Morris Dunn.
Relatives from a distance attending the funeral were Raphael Craig - Chicago, Mr. and Mrs. John Speigel and daughters Cleo and Helen - Davenport, Iowa, Mr. and Mrs. Earl Gapen and son Leo - La Salle, Ill., and Frank Stinger - Magnolia.
In the instance of death of this beloved child is emphasized the force of the oft repeated expression, “God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform.”  The stricken family are comforted by their faith in the Omnipotent Father who has taken home a loved one to await their coming.

Betty with her parents, Bill and Ida Craig

Betty is buried along with the other Craigs in the Immaculate Conception Catholic Cemetery in Lacon, Illinois.  Although this blog is called Under Every Tombstone, I can't show you Aunt Betty's tombstone because she doesn't have one.  According to my Aunt Marie who remembered Betty's funeral, Betty is buried by the side of the road next to her parents.

According to Lea Merdian Knoerle, who went to the Lacon High School with my Dad, they postponed the senior class play because it was supposed to be held during the time of Betty's wake and funeral. Here's a photo that Lea gave me from the play:

Lea Merdian Knoerle far left; John C. "Pat" Craig far right

So that's the story of my Aunt Betty Craig, who I never knew but hope to meet someday in a better place.

May Ida Elizabeth "Betty" Craig Rest in Peace.

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