Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ethel Rozella Hymers 1910-1986

South St Paul Reporter Booster, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 1965, page 13

"On the Distaff Side -
 These Are Personalities of the Year"
by Lu Jarvis

     There were wails from the bedroom and Ethel (Mrs. Reuben) Glewwe went in and scooped up the five-month-old infant with expert arm.  "She just wants to be fooled with a little," Mrs. Glewwe explained with a smile.  Immediately the baby's cries changed to delighted coos, and she accepted a bottle without a murmur. "It's hard to know how a mother can give up a sweet baby like this." said the foster mother. "This one didn't even have a name when she came."
     Baby Wendy is only the latest in a long series of infants and children the Glewwes have cared for over the years.
     "My mother was really the one who started me on this," explained Mrs. Glewwe.  "She was really a remarkable woman.  She took in welfare children all her life, and raised three of them to adulthood along with her own children."
     The Glewwes themselves have had three-year old Johnny since he was five days old.  Eleven-year-old Edith has been a member of the family since she was six.  There's been a long succession of babies who've had the same kind of tender,loving care Mrs. Glewwe gave and giving her own children--Rollin, married now and living with wife Joan and their four youngsters at 134 McArthur, South St Paul, daughter Elva, Mrs Gerald Miller, who lives at 19 W. Wentworth in West St Paul, and Lois who will be 15 in February, a 9th grader still at home.
     "Everything is against these youngsters who come from the Welfare.  What they need is love and security" said Ethel Glewwe.

     Maybe it's because she's always felt she was blessed with a special abundance of both that this woman her pastor calls "amazing" has been so willing to share her life with those less fortunate.
     "My sister Alice and I were always very close to our parents", she said.  When Ethel Hymers was just a baby of six months her mother made the long trip to the province of Saskatchewan to join her husband who had homestead 500 acres near what is now Kincaid.
     "It was 60 miles from the railroad to their claim", remembers sister Alice (now Mrs. Frank Hanowceck) of 356 13th Ave. No., South St. Paul, but my mother thought the trip was fun.  She made it sitting on top of a pile of lumber in a grain wagon with baby Ethel in her arms. (Alice wasn't born until eight years later.)  The Hymers lived in a sod hut completely isolated from their neighbors, but according to Ethel they had some "wonderful" times.
     "I'll never forget my father," she said.  We were inseparable.  As soon as he came in off the fields at night I was right there with salt water to wipe the horses down."

     When Ethel was eight, her father was killed in a threshing accident.  Two and a half years later her mother remarried (a neighboring widower who had taught her husband to farm) and when Ethel was 14, her sister Alice six, the family came back to West St. Paul to live.  The old family home of nine rooms was at 146 E. Sidney and there Ethel, her sister Alice, and a varying number of foster children lived until Ethel, who worked at West Publishing company after she left school, married Reuben Glewwe.
     "They were the closest family I've ever known" said a friend who knew them well then.  Ethel's mother, Mrs. Joseph Rand, seemed to trust her daughters implicitly and because she had so much trust in them, they fulfilled it."

     The same friend remembers how active both girls were in church - Riverview Baptist, then located at Stryker and George.  "They were always in church," she said.
     "I never had a brother," said Alice Hymers Hanowceck, so when I was a teenager I thought pretty much of my brother-in-law.  Whenever something was going on at church, he took me and brought me home.  I can't ever remember having an argument with him, or with my sister, and any anytime I needed her she came a'running."  "She's always been that way--not only with me, but with everyone else, too."  "She didn't always approve of everything I did, but she never criticized."

     Mrs. Glewwe's interest in the work of her church had continued down to today.  She is chairman this year of the board that directs the work of the "Pioneer Girls," a group of youngsters from eight to fifteen years of age.  She's secretary of the Women's Mission Society.  For many years (until this year) she was coordinator of the church kitchens.  A few years ago she volunteered to serve in the church nursery so that young mothers could take part in the Sunday school teaching program of the church or just sit in on classes.
     "Mrs. Glewwe is a good example of a true Christian" says her Pastor, Harold Weiss.  "She has faith in the Lord and willingness to share that faith and her life with others."  "We recognize her as an amazing woman, and marvel at the way she does everything so gracefully.  She comes in with that big smile and her arms are loaded with those little ones."
     "She's a good cook, too," added his wife.  "We were invited as a family to the Glewwes the week before Thanksgiving for turkey and all the trimmings."

     It was even before daughter Elva, South St. Paul librarian, was old enough to join that Ethel Glewwe got interested in Girl Scout work.  "I helped her start Troop 67 at Central school," said Mrs. Peter Knops of 347 8th Ave. So.  "She made a marvelous leader, and we had some wonderful times together at Day Camp.  She got her 25 year pin two years ago."
     Dayis (Mrs. Ed) Sroder of 975 Caren Court, Mendota Heights, member of Ethel Glewwe's first Scout troop, remembers those days with nostalgia.  "We used to have costume parties at her house," she said. "She had an attic full of stuff we could dress up in."  "And what a ball we had at Camp Lakamaga!  Rollie Glewwe was our mascot.  He used to short sheet the beds and put frogs in them!"

     Rollie himself, produce manager at Glewwe's food market, says his mother is "all heart."
"We always had our home full of children--our own and some who were orphans or retarded," he related.  "Mother used to explain that it was a matter of sharing what we had with them, and encouraged us to make them a part of our lives."
     His wife, Joan, marvels at the ease with which her husband's mother can handle children.
"Lots of times, though she has the three of her own, she'll take Elva's two and our four and watch the whole crew" said the younger Mrs. Glewwe  "They all mind her."  "We always celebrate every birthday in the family, and nine out of ten of the celebrations are at her house."

     It isn't only children who have known Mrs. Glewwe's loving care.  Her step-father lived to be 84 and her mother 73, and both of them were with Ethel and her husband Reuben when they passed away.  "When we saw Dad was failing, we remodeled the house" said Ethel Glewwe.  "I'd come in to it as a new bride on Aug. 17th, 1928, but it was small.  "We added on a few more rooms and finished the upstairs to make it the way you see it now.  Then we took Dad out of the rest home where he'd been for almost a year and moved in twin beds for him and for mother.  That was July 14.  We all had a happy time together until he passed away on Sept. 7.  Mother died of cancer a short while later.  How we miss her!"

     "I don't know how Ethel does it" said her sister Alice.  "She's really got stamina, and she's a pretty wonderful person."

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