Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Uncle Carl, Aunt Pauline, and son Keith.......


Uncle Carl Owen Burgus born December 29, 1904 in Murray, Iowa.  He is my dad's second to the oldest brother who was 15 years older than my dad.  Carl had many different careers from farming, to business owner of an implement store.  He and his wife took a trek out to Colorado to find a future, but ended up back at Murray, Iowa, where he owned  a large building on main street. A larger part of the building had been a dealership for Ford Model T's.  When he bought it he lived in a part of it and rented the rest out to different businesses.  His last endeavor was to open a laundry mat on main street.


Carl was married to Pauline Combs and they had one son.  She was from the Des Moines area. I think her parents died when she was young, and she had relatives who lived in Murray.  I believe that couple was all she claimed to have.  Pauline spent the large part of her life battling arthritis. She spent her last years in a wheel chair.  I can't date the above photo but it is at the big Burgus family reunion of my Great Grandfather Charles Burgus and his brothers and sisters families.  None of the 14 were still alive at that time but the different families would fill the park and bring lots of food to fill long tables.



There only son was born in 1928.  His name was Keith Burgus.  He is our one noted tragic story in our family as he drowned in a lake, near Thayer, Iowa.  He tried to swim across the lake from side to side and did not make it. One of the sad things about Keith's death was that he rode his bike to Thayer Lake with some friends that day and his parents didn't know that he had gone there.

He died on July 20, 1944 at the age of 16.  I was not born until six years later so all that I knew was the casual comments made by my parents about the time he drowned.  I understand that his being an only child and 16 made him a little bit head strong and that he may not have taken warnings or direction about the things he would be doing in life.

I found this photo among my parents things and was surprised to see it. I actually thought there was only one single picture of him. The only picture that I had ever remembered taken of  him was one that Carl and Pauline had sitting on their bookcase in their apartment.  He is wearing a leather jacket and is standing and holding onto his bicycle.  It was a little bit haunting to see it there, not ever to have known him and to know the circumstances behind his death.  I would love to have a copy of that photo but all relatives on that side of the family are now gone.  I will have to ask the cousins to see if it is out there.


Check out all the other Sepia Saturday posts by my friends all over the world by clicking here.

10 comments:

Nana Jo said...

How sad that your Aunt and Uncle lost their only child. They didn't just lose him but also any potential grandchildren, and thus their link to continuity. The rest of their lives must have been haunted by this profound tragedy. Keith looks like a lively young man. Your telling his story here now gives him a voice long forgotten. Thank you for sharing.

Mildred said...

I know you treasure these photos Larry. Such a sad story.

Peg @ Bloomfield Farm said...

An interesting and sad story. He looks like a happy-go-lucky teenage boy in the photo, proud of the car perhaps. Knowing of his sad ending makes the photo haunting and poignant.

Martin H. said...

So sad to hear of Keith's untimely end. His parents must have been devastated. Here's hoping you track down the photograph you remember.

Betsy said...

Yes, sad story...especially with the family helplessly watching. But 16 year old boys can be a little headstrong, can't they...even to a fault. It is a great picture of him. Your uncle sounds like he was a very resourceful and talented man!

Actually, my favorite pic is you in 2nd grade on the sidebar! :)

Pat transplanted to MN said...

Very good clear photo of your Uncle Carl, I have an Uncle Carl too who is 92 and now in assisted living in PA. Sad that they lost their son, and so young. You are doing a great job with this blog and all the memories that are building here to share. Keep up the good work.

Barbara and Nancy said...

Such a sad story! In his picture he looks like he's just eager to get on with his life. He must have died soon after this because he looks like he's about 16.
Barbara

Alan Burnett said...

Our Sepia posts do reflect life : that mixture of the ordinary and the extraordinary : the happy life and the sad life. Great post.

willow said...

What a tragic loss. Keith looks so happy in the photo, so full of life.

(I enjoyed browsing all your new sidebar pics!)

John Hayes said...

That must have been so difficult for his parents. On a happier note, you're creating a great chronicle of your extended family's life.