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Bertha Marie Riley Criss
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Birth: Jun. 27, 1897
Montgomery County
Indiana, USA
Death: Feb. 19, 1979
Clarks Hill
Tippecanoe County
Indiana, USA

Bertha Marie Riley Criss was the fourth of eight children of Moses and Laura Hampton Riley. She was born near what was Bowers Station, Indiana and was able to complete the eighth grade before having to quit to help her family. When Bertha was about 12 her oldest sister died, leaving a year-old child, and Bertha helped care for her nephew. When she was 16, her other two older sisters died, both leaving small children, and Bertha helped with the care of these children also.
When she was 21, Bertha married Elsworth Criss, Sr., in Darlington, Indiana, and they moved to an 80-acre farm near Clarks Hill. They lived there all of their married life (55 years), and Bertha died there in February of 1979 at age 81. The family was so glad they never had to put her (or her husband) in a 'home'.
Bertha and Elsworth had 3 children: Mary Lorraine, Margaret Ann (always called Ann), and their son Elsworth, Jr., usually called Criss. They had 11 grandchildren, many great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.
Bertha was an excellent cook, especially famous for her homemade bread and molasses cookies.
She could kill a chicken with the grace of a ballerina, coax flowers to grow almost anywhere and her strawberry patch was beyond compare.
She cooked for the local 4-H Leadership Camp for 10 years, and cooked at the State Fair in Indianapolis for 15 years. Early in her marriage she operated a booth at the Farmer's Market in Lafayette for 15 years. She also cooked for students at Purdue University in Lafayette. She always said she preferred cooking for the fraternaties because "Boys aren't always on diets and will eat anything, and girls are too picky about their food."
Bertha was a long-time member of the Clarks Hill Christian Church.
Bertha Marie Riley Criss was my Grandma, and she is greatly missed. 
Family links: 
  Moses Edward Riley (1862 - 1947)
  Laura Ann Hampton Riley (1869 - 1930)
  Elsworth Albert Criss (1881 - 1972)
  Elsworth Criss (1927 - 2005)*
  Jennetta Pearl Riley Cain (1889 - 1910)*
  Edna Riley Cornett (1891 - 1914)*
  Flora Edith Riley Carr (1894 - 1914)*
  Bertha Marie Riley Criss (1897 - 1979)
  Fairy Mae Riley Moore (1899 - 1972)*
  Flossie Fern (Belle) Riley Timmons (1902 - 1988)*
  Ernest Lee Riley (1908 - 1988)*
  Herman Lynn Riley (1910 - 1979)*
*Calculated relationship
Linden Cemetery
Montgomery County
Indiana, USA
Created by: Margaret
Record added: Oct 12, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 16152295
Bertha Marie <i>Riley</i> Criss
Added by: Kara Edie
Bertha Marie <i>Riley</i> Criss
Added by: Kara Edie
Bertha Marie <i>Riley</i> Criss
Cemetery Photo
Added by: M & K Fine
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

I never got to meet my grandmother, but from what I've read about her, she was a remarkable woman. I am deeply grateful for this wonderful write up about her. What a joy it was to find this site. Grandma, I'm living in Indiana now and I plan to come for a...(Read more)
- Annette
 Added: Sep. 24, 2015

- Kara Edie
 Added: Oct. 13, 2006
This woman was a truly wonderful Grandma. She's been gone nearly 30 years...I miss her so much!
- Knothead
 Added: Oct. 12, 2006

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