|Birth: ||May 16, 1899|
|Death: ||Apr. 29, 1982|
My great-grandmother. She was the oldest daughter and one of six children of Hugo Wellek and Alice Neiman Wellek. Her younger sister was Annie, and her brothers were Frank, Joe, Hugh, and George. Tragedy struck in January of 1910 when their father, who worked for a local beer company, was killed in a freak accident while out making deliveries to his Russian customers for the upcoming Orthodox Christmas. A train struck the delivery truck, killing both Hugo and his co-worker John Lazarchik at a particularly deadly railroad crossing that had already claimed a number of other lives. The tragedy was front-page news in the local paper and shocked and saddened the whole community. Particularly shocking to the family and community was the fact that her father, the only one of the pair to have survived being thrown out of the wagon, was left partly submerged in a ditch full of water, almost every bone in his body broken, while the people who came upon the scene chose to move all of the beer kegs to a safer location. He was too far gone to be saved by the time a few doctors were summoned. Alice and her family got by with help from friends and relatives after this. Tragedy visited them again when her little sister Annie died in 1913 at only ten years old. In due time she and her remaining siblings got a stepfather, Adolph Herman, though they kept their father's last name.
Alice was married to William Wetmore, who was four years her junior. William and Alice met in 1921 when his family moved next door to her family in Latrobe. The date of their marriage was 16 November 1922, at Holy Family Church. Their first child, William, Jr. (Bill), was born in 1923, followed by their second child, Henry, in 1925. The second half of their four children were girls, Bertha and Mildred. While things at home could be very tough because of her husband's often authoritarian personality and behavior, she managed to keep everything going smoothly in both the good times and the bad. Even though the family sometimes had a hard time making ends meet during the Depression, she never turned away any beggars who came to her doorstep for a meal. Alice and her family lived in the Mechesneytown area of Latrobe, PA, and were parishioners at Holy Family Church. They were faithful observant Catholics and went to church every Sunday, though Alice, like many women of her era, wanted to limit the size of her family in spite of her religion's view on the subject. Since all four of her children had been big, she also didn't want to go through the ordeal of childbirth anymore. She succeeded in getting permission from her priest to have a hysterectomy. Alice, who was a homemaker, sent her four children to Catholic school until they reached junior high school. Both of her sons served during World War II.
Though she passed away when I was not quite two and a half years old and I only have very very vague memories of her, I've been told that my great-grandma Alice had great affection for me in the short time I was able to spend with her because I would often sit beside her on the davenport quietly, instead of running around the house or making a lot of noise like toddlers are wont to do. One of my favorite photographs is of the two of us sitting next to one another on the davenport in my (paternal) grandmother's living room, both of us reading magazines, when I was about two years old. I was her first great-grandchild. My grandmother, her daughter, lovingly remembers her as a very good woman and understanding person who never said a mean cruel word or hurt anybody, someone who taught her to value her faith in God because God had helped them through some very tough times during the Great Depression, and that she was just as wonderful of a grandmother as she was a mother. I wish I could have known her longer and that she could have had more time to be a wonderful great-grandmother.
Saint Vincent Cemetery
Created by: Carrie-Anne
Record added: Jul 02, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14797813