|Birth: ||Sep. 19, 1897|
|Death: ||Dec. 25, 1918|
"She was a lovely girl, ever striving to do good in the world and for others," reads the obituary of Lansing Business University co-ed Ivah Verne Acre. "She was a good student and had perfect marks in all her work in the business college."
Ivah was born September 19, 1897 in tiny Elsie, Michigan, a village barely over a square mile in size. It's located within the township of Duplain, an unincorporated community on the Maple River. Elsie rests within the palm of the glove shape which makes up most of the Great Lakes State.
The third of five children born to Edward and Grace Acre, Ivah attended local schools, graduated from St. Johns High in Elsie in 1918 and then entered Lansing Business University. After four months there (about 15 weeks), Ivah was close to graduation when, in early December, she caught the flu – along with some 500 million other people all over the world.
It was a pandemic described as "the greatest medical holocaust in history." Between June 1918 and December 1919, about three percent of the world's population (about 27% of those infected) died as a result of the dreaded Spanish Flu. It killed more people in 24 weeks than AIDS killed in 24 years – and more in a year than The Black Death killed in a century.
The Spanish Flu was a virus which created cytokine storm – a dramatic overreaction of the body's immune system. The symptoms seemed so unusual in 1918 that initially the illness was misdiagnosed as dengue, cholera or typhoid. One observer wrote, "One of the most striking of the complications was hemorrhage from mucous membranes, especially from the nose, stomach, and intestine. Bleeding from the ears and petechial hemorrhages in the skin also occurred."
The majority of deaths were from bacterial pneumonia, a secondary infection caused by the influenza. The virus also killed people directly, causing massive hemorrhages and edema in the lung. Remarkably, the weaker immune systems of children and middle-aged adults resulted in relatively few fatalities. The bulk of the victims were young adults whose strong immune systems triggered the most massive, body ravaging attacks. One of those young adults was Ivah, who celebrated her 21st birthday barely three months before her passing.
Ivah became ill shortly before she was due to graduate. After several days of her symptoms growing worse, she left campus and checked into the hospital in Lansing. Two weeks later, at 20 minutes past 2 in the afternoon, she was gone. It was Christmas Day, 1918.
"Sweet Young Life Victim Of Pneumonia," read the headline on page 1 of the January 2, 1919 edition of The Clinton County Republican. "Her loss was keenly felt by her teachers and associates and a crushing blow to her parents and brothers and sisters. She was a faithful member of Disciple Church at the Colony. Besides her parents, she leaves two brothers nd two sisters – Ella, Orrin, Muriel and Ward -- besides other relatives and a host of friends. A short service was held on the arrival of the remains from Lansing Friday morning. Reverend Fisher of the Disciple Church at the Colony, officiating." The obituary ends with these words: "Mr. and Mrs. Acre have the sympathy of the entire community."
It would not be the last time that tragedy would strike the Edward Acre family – particularly Ivah's mother, Grace, and sister, Ella.
Name: Iva Verne Acre
Birth Date: 19 Sep 1897
Birthplace: Duplain Township, Michigan
Father's Name: Edward A. Acre
Mother's Name: Grace Acre
Collection: Michigan Births and Christenings, 1775-1995
Ivah's obituary was posted in the Clinton Republican newspaper on Jan 2, 1919 on page 1, column 2.
NOTE: As a tribute to Ivah Verne Acre, her brother, Orin, named one of his daughters after her. The findagrave page for that Ivah -- who was born in 1930 and whose married name was Ivah Risley -- can be found here at findagrave.com at #15164970.
We are still seeking a photo of IVAH VERNE ACRE
Edward A Acre (1862 - 1944)
Grace Jeffery Acre (1863 - 1926)
Ella Fern Acre Withrow (1894 - 1939)*
Orin R Acre (1895 - 1976)*
Ivah Ferne Acre (1897 - 1918)
Ward Acre (1904 - ____)*
Lyle W Acre (1921 - 1999)*
Maintained by: Gary Theroux
Originally Created by: Glenn Geirland
Record added: Oct 12, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 22135599
Ivah, you were my great grandmother Ella's sister and remain beloved in the heart of your family. For your passing -- struck down at the dawn of your highly promising adulthood -- you will always be remembered, as your newspaper story put it, as a lovely ...(Read more)|
Added: Mar. 7, 2012
Added: Feb. 12, 2011