Families come in many different configurations than the normal Mom and Dad. Barbara Nilsson of St. George tells of growing up without her mother and dad: My birth mother died of diabetes and an infection three weeks after I was born in 1937 in St. Petersburg, Florida. My father was in World War 11 and sent overseas. At the age of 3 weeks, my mother's two younger sisters Thelma and Mary Sally took me out of the hospital and raised me as their own. My mother's family lived on a small farm in Adrain, Georgia. The three sisters had moved to Florida to make a better life for themselves. Thelma, who I called "Granny" was a nurse. She married Thurman, who I called "Uncle Sput. They met and married in Georgia. Granny and Uncle Sput worked in the shipyard as welders during World War II They took different shifts so one of them would be home to take care of me when I was very little.
The youngest sister, Mary Sally, was just 21 years old and I called her "Mother"; she met her future husband, Marcel, who was a WW11 airforce pilot at Mac Dill Field in Tampa, Florida. Mary, a beautiful redhead, was driving a jeep for the officers at the military base when she met Marcel. It was love at first sight. At 5 years old, I was in the wedding in 1942, I felt so very special! By 1947, I had a baby sister and we all moved to Hollywood, California where Marcel's family lived. Granny and Uncle Sput soon followed us. Not one day of my life was I treated anything other than their #1 daughter. I had multiple parents and I was loved.
Marlene Perkins of St. George relates the unique way her parents met and it wasn’t at a dance: In January 1931, 21 year old George left home for four years in the Navy then returned to SLC. In January 1931, 18 year old Thelma worked as an elevator operator in Auerbach’s Dept Store in SLC. George went shopping and saw this beautiful elevator operator. It was love at first sight and 3 months later on Mar 5th, George and Thelma obtained a marriage license and were married that day. Their daughter Marlene was born on Dec 5, 1931. George and Thelma celebrated more than 50 years of love together. NEXT TIME: More Family Stories.