Sunday, September 18, 2011

The John Rodenberger Heritage by Lucy Beamer

Maud Lucy Dunbar, who strongly preferred to be called Lucy, was the daughter of David and Emma (Thomas) Dunbar.  Lucy was born on 3 February 1893 in Leon, Butler Co, Kansas.  She married Raymond Hill Beamer, son of John Archibold and Elsie Maud (Rodenberger) Beamer, on 19 September 1914 in Lola Twp, Cherokee Co, Kansas.  She died 1 March 1992 in Lenexa, Johnson Co, Kansas.

Lucy left a wonderful legacy to her extended family with a large number of essays.

"The essays are writings of our grandmother, Lucy Beamer, in her effort to ensure that her memories of people and events in her life would not just disappear when she died.I've sorted them into three groups:
  • Individual and family historys
  • Memories, observations & opinions (and Grandmother had some powerful opinions)
  • Reports of the annual entomological field trips that she and Grandfather made around the country with two to four graduate students each summer"

The Lucy Beamer Memoirs
I have only one mental picture of Grandmother Elizabeth Spring Rodenberger. I often heard
Mother Beamer's sisters speak of Mother's great need to spend some time with her mother. She would try to do two days work in one day so she could go to visit her mother the next day. She would walk across fields leading one toddler and carrying a baby- no effort was too great. Stories were told of her ironing most of the night after doing the washing during the day; of her taking a sick child even though she had to give it laudanum to keep it quiet. So I have a feeling that Grandmother Rodenberger was a comfortable person to be around. Of course, going was a basic need with Mother Beamer. "To go" was better medicine than any the doctors could give her. So perhaps this love of going was part of the picture I have. Still I like to think she found her mother helpful.
Grandfather Rodenberger (John) continued to be an influence on Mother all her life. She would quote him as an authority on Medications- even to the absurd. Was it from him that we see the predominance in an interest in medicine as a profession in succeeding generations? Two of the Dawson grandsons were MDs, Dixie Dawson was a nurse. And several of the great grandsons and granddaughters are following suit. Mother Beamer often trusted her own judgment in medicine before the doctor's.
I believe there is a heritage here of accurate observation of changes in symptoms, color,
behavior, etc. Is this the reason my husband was such an outstanding taxonomist? Does this heritage give him the skill in physical games he was noted for? Perhaps this enabled him to watch wrestlers practicing and know what they were doing, when they were failing why they were succeeding.
I think Mother B. inherited much of her drive, of her urge to dictate to others- in small things as well as large. She had the keenest eye I've ever worked under. If a garment I made passed her scrutiny, I felt I had succeeded. I've heard my husband say, "All I am I owe to my mother." In this instance it seems to me it was Grandfather John, rather than Grandmother Elizabeth, who passed on the dominant traits.
[Source:   Ray Beamer dot com]

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