“Close to Home” is this week’s theme for the 52 Ancestors challenge: Who has a story that hits “close to home”?
My mom had been trying to locate copies of my grandparents’ high school yearbooks for years. Even though we grew up in the same town they had lived in, it was still difficult to find copies of yearbooks from the 1920s. So, when Ancestry.com released their U.S. School yearbook collection, I hoped that they would have yearbooks from their alma mater (and mine), Lehighton Area High School.
I was hoping to find the yearbook of my grandmother, Florence Anna Hettig. She was born August 25, 1909 in Lehighton, PA to Stephen and Ida Mae (Hahn) Hettig. I didn’t get to see my grandmother very much when I was growing up. She was living in Boulder, Colorado and then later lived in Warrenton, Virginia with my aunt. I would see her when she traveled back to Lehighton to visit with family. But, she always remembered our birthdays and send gifts for Christmas. She had always loved to draw and paint, and I specifically remembered her gift of a Jon Gnagy “Learn to Draw” Art Set. I loved to draw and paint myself, and I remembering spending hours drawing with those pencils and pastels and producing many little drawings, that my Mom stills has buried away somewhere.
I was pleased to find that the 1927 edition of the Gatchin Bambil, was included in Ancestry’s collection. My grandmother was a junior at Lehighton High School during that time. And on page 13, I found her. What astonished me was that she was on the yearbook staff as an artist! I had never known that fact, and it immediately made me feel even closer to her, because I too had been on the Gatchin Bambil yearbook staff when I attended Lehighton High School.
My grandmother passed away on November 8, 1977 in Warrenton, Virginia. She is buried in the Gnaden Huetten Cemetery in Lehighton alongside her parents.