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 Ida <I>Szommer</I> Quella Harding Anderson Moore

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Ida Szommer Quella Harding Anderson Moore

Birth
Vas, Hungary
Death 23 Apr 1983 (aged 101)
California, USA
Burial Appleton, Outagamie County, Wisconsin, USA
Memorial ID 104975866 View Source
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Ida was born in Szentgotthard, Hungary, in 1881. Her father was a jeweler and watchmaker, with a family home above the jewelry shop in the town square of Szentgotthard and a country home in Olaszfalu in present day Burgenland. Ida emigated to America before her family in about 1900 under the name of a girlfriend whose ticket she was given, because her girlfriend decided at the last moment to remain in Hungary with her beloved. Ida taught herself English by working at St. John's Academy in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She met her future husband, John Joseph Quella, a waiter in the Schlitz Palm Garden in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and married him in 1901. Ida gave birth to three children: Ida (Edith) Francis, Daniel Victor, and Clement Vincent. Surviving members of Ida's family emigrated to America in 1903, including her father, Ferencz, mother, Marie, brother, Ferencz, and niece, Marie Theresia Eggli. All of her four siblings died young, including sisters Maria, Terez, and Ernesztin, and brother, Ferencz. Ida divorced John Joseph Quella when he gambled away the jewelry given to her by her father, which had been smuggled into America sewn into the hem of her dress. Ida subsequently lost custody of her children to her ex-husband's family. Ida later married Frank H. Harding, who made a fortune as a monument maker during the flu epidemic, in 1910. They adopted Paul Sommer Harding, who had been abandoned on the steps of Grinnell (Iowa) college. Paul tragically died at age 10 after contracting a pulmonary condition. Ida moved to Roswell, New Mexico, with Mr. Harding, who was grief-stricken at the loss of their son, Paul. Ida suddenly found herself boarding a train to California with nothing but the clothes on her back after Mr. Harding attempted to gamble away their automobile in a poker game across the border in Mexico. Once in Hollywood, Ida became a friend to Charlie Chaplin and Mae West; kept house for Noah Berry, Sr.; sewed costumes for the Gabor Sisters; and enjoyed the company of many other carefree, artistic souls. Ida married Maro Potter "Ted" Anderson in 1925. Mr. Anderson, the son of a Mississippi Riverboat Captain, passed away. Ida married James A. Moore, whom she met while working in a laundry, in 1944. It was later discovered that Mr. Moore was also married to someone else at the time. Ida divorced Mr. Moore. Ida lived with Mike Diaz in Temecula for several years, meeting many Native American friends who honored her as an elder. After breaking her hip, Ida lived contentedly single for the rest of her life in a small, humble cottage in Manhattan Beach, California, on the same property as her daughter's house. She enjoyed many years visiting with her sons and daughter; traveling in a 1963 "wee dubba you" (VW) with her granddaughter, daughter, and great grandchildren; riding the bus alone for shopping trips to Santa Monica; sitting on a picnic bench in the sunshine of her yard, lovingly embroidering "fancy work" for relatives back in Wisconsin, crocheting beautiful tablecloths, and making hand hooked rugs; and adding a patient presence to weekly pork roast and sauerkraut dinners which were always accompanied with a glass of "Green Hungarian" wine. Her life was lived- every single moment- with an attitude of acceptance. She never had an ill word to say about anyone, including those who made choices which forever altered her life. Ida enjoyed telling stories of "the old country," as well as her life in Hollywood, to anyone who had the kindness to listen one more time to her heavily accented words. She could recite the instructions for making homemade sauerkraut in a big crock "vit a heawy brick" and describe the custom of burying root crops in a trench "vit lee-til bit uf strrraw in betveen." And she always made sure to repeat the words of her parents: "Ve arr Magyar," because no self-respecting person from that part of the Old Country would want to forget that historic distinction. In the tradition of her homeland, she often would use sayings to comment on events. One of her favorites was "Vell, let da vorld vag its tail da vay it vants too!" followed by a big chuckle. During rare moments of sadness, she would say, "Life ist juhst a bowl full uf cherries!" When she was really in disagreement with something a young or overly opinionated person would say, she uttered her famous phrase, "Vell, youh dohn't say!" Nearly everytime we parted, she would wave and say, "See youh in da funny papers!"Ida died at age 101 in 1983, wearing jewelry, as she did every day of her life, perhaps in honor of her father's stolen legacy. Although she was clothed for her burial in bright pink, her favorite color was poppy red. Ida is buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery in Appleton, Wisconsin, next to Madeline Wettengel, sister-in-law of Ida's daughter, Edith Quella Peterson. This is a fitting resting place, as Madeline was an actress (and sometime Burlesque dancer) who lived in New York City. I am sure they have a lot to talk about...


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