Saturday, October 9, 2010
My first cousin Joan shared this photo with me of the ten Burgus children of Grace and Charles Burgus. I know it isn't in great shape but the character of it is grand. Most of the photos that I have of this group had been taken when they are all adult sized people. This photo helps to show the age differences as the three youngest are really young. At this point I am not going to share ages or dates of death as that isn't the purpose of this post. All of them have passed away with the last three being gone in the last 12 years.
Front row are the two youngest children of the family Donald and Doris, twins. Their older sisters Mary and Amye are next with the silly guy on the end being my dad, Jesse. He was third from youngest. It is a silly picture of him and I really think he is about 9 or 10 years old in the photo.
In the back row I believe is Ralph, Ruby, Carl, Cecil, the oldest, and Eva. I had never really noticed that the young twin boy grew up to look like Carl. Carl went bald early though and Donald the younger one really didn't have the same hair.
Eva in the back row, far right, is the Aunt that I am featuring today. I have only this one photo below of them.
Eva Burgus married and became Eva Dovenspike. Her husband was Dick Dovenspike and they had one child name Charles.
My first memories of them were when we would visit their home for Burgus dinners. I was probably 7 or 8 years old. They lived near Lucas, Iowa an old coal mining town. They owned a home on the side of a hill back in the woods on their farm. They were good people and they had a nice home inside, but Dick wasn't too concerned about image. So their house was a one story home covered with black tar paper for it's siding. The farm house actually sat in a valley where Native American Indians wintered probably 60 years before then. They found so many artifacts in the valley in the cornfields.
Dick couldn't make a living at farming so he became a carpenter and worked most of his life building and renovating homes. His glasses were always covered in splattered paint.
I said earlier that they were good people but I do remember Dick holding his pipe, clenched tight in his mouth and he had a gruff outlook and personality. It was strange to have a grumpy one among all the Burgus clan but he was just that.
Eva and Dick eventually built a very nice home on top of the hill and lived in a very modern home. He did all of his own work as it was his trade. Eva was very good at growing plants and flowers and when you arrived to the door of their home their would be lush plantings of begonias blooming profusely. It was a jungle. It was said that she was a lot like my Grandmother Burgus but I think most of he daughters were in personality.
I don't know too much about the whole life of my cousin Charles. I do remember him at his wedding with his wife to be Helen and they did have three daughters, Kathy, Julie and Becky. Since they lived over in the Lucas and Chariton, Iowa area they were not seen much other than a once every two years at a family dinner. I really think the he was a carpenter also but I don't know that for sure. Charles finished his life much like my brother did with addictions that eventually took his life. He was an extremely bright man and played a guitar. Country music was his style. His wife divorced him at the last of his life but Helen has been so good at keeping track of her kids side of the family. We see her at funerals and visitations.
The last of the memories of this family are of where the three of them are buried. I attended my Aunt Eva's funeral probably 20 years ago and her body was buried next to her husband and son on a hill overlooking a southern Iowa treelined valleys. They tended to live the back woods life style and they chose a place in the cemetery on the edge of a steep hill with trees everywhere in the cemetery.
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