Tombstone Tuesday: Joe and Nealie Loundree

Joseph and Nealie Loundree Tombstone

My great-great-grandparents, Joseph and Nealie Loundree

This is the tombstone of my paternal great-great-grandparents, Joseph Loundree and Nealie (Shafer) Loundree. They, along with several other family members, are buried in Sandy Cemetery, which contains both Fir Hill Cemetery and Scandinavian Cemetery. The cemetery is located on Hwy 26, just west of downtown Sandy, Oregon.

Joseph C Loundree was born 14 Jan 1871 in Balsam Lake, Polk, Wisconsin. He was the youngest of three children born to Joseph and Sophia (unknown) Loundree, and the only son.

Cornelia “Nealie” R Shafer was born on 30 Oct 1875 in Rock Island, Illinois.  She was the second of ten children born to Peter Henry and Anne Elizabeth (Middleham) Shafer. Note her tombstone gives her birth year as 1876, although her death certificate has it as 1875. I’m still working on clarifying this fact.

Somewhere around 1896 near Albion, Wright, Minnesota, Grandpa Joe and Nealie were married.  Their first son, Glenn Cecil, was born in Minnesota on 9 Aug 1900. By the time their second son, Carl Dean, was born on 8 Nov 1904, they were in Oregon. Land records indicate they had arrived in Oregon by 1902. In 1915 they had a son, Merle Joseph, who was born with a congenital heart defect and only lived 23 days. He is buried near his parents.

Nealie passed away from a staph infection in her face and jaw on 27 May 1930. Grandpa Joe followed her on 31 Mar 1938. His official cause of death is listed as Cardiac Failure.

Published in: on August 31, 2010 at 10:54 am  Leave a Comment  

My grandfather

My maternal grandfather, Fred Staunton Greybill, Jr, was born in Charleston, West Virginia, in 1921. He was the oldest of nine children born to Fred Staunton and Helen Gertrude (Hicks) Greybill.  He graduated High School in Charleston, and attended the University of West Virginia. In 1943 he enlisted in the US Marine Corps and served in the Asiatic Pacific Area and China during World War II.  He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in San Diego, California, where he lived with his buddy Phillip Sawin, and Phil’s wife Nellie.

Phil was sent back east, as he was still enlisted in the Marines, and everyone was told that Fred was Nellie’s cousin, as it was inappropriate for a single man to be living with a married woman. Fred and Nellie packed up her two kids (Steve and Phyllis) and drove to the east coast to visit Phil. On the trip, Nellie rolled the car, sending them all flying. They managed to find Steve, who had been thrown clear of the wreckage and was uninjured. The searched frantically for Phyllis, who was only a few months old at the time. They found her, in the makeshift car seat in the backseat of the car, completely oblivious to what had just happened and perfectly fine. On the seat next to her was an old clothes iron that had been on the floor. It’s a miracle she was not hit and killed by it.

At some point along the way, Fred and Nellie fell in love. She obtained a divorce from Phil Sawin, and in 1949 my grandparents were married in Reno, Nevada. They lived in the San Diego area, where my mother and two more uncles were born, then moved to Junction City, Oregon, and finally on to Portland in 1964.

My grandfather, whom I called Papa, and I shared a very close relationship. I was the first of six grandchildren, and am the only girl. He took me everywhere with him when I was a child. The story goes that, when I was born, the floor above the maternity ward was for mental patients. My grandfather stood guard over me the entire time I was in the hospital because he was afraid one of the “crazies” was going to come steal me.

In 2007, Papa passed away from a stroke at the age of 85. He is buried in Willamette National Cemetery, about ten minutes from my house.

Published in: on August 30, 2010 at 5:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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