Friday, February 6th, is my Mom's 78th birthday! Here are a few photos of her through the years, full of memories and love.
Born Donna Lee Hanneld to Alice Hanneld and Adolph Aaro, Mom was boarded in Sioux Falls until being adopted in October of 1933, by Adolph & Cecelia (Barnes) Wettestad. (The adoption was final 10/15/1935) The Wettestads changed her name to Darlene Evelyn and welcomed her to their home with love. The Wettestad family lived in Colton, SD, where Adolph was manager of the Farmers Coop Elev. He was transferred to elevators at Faulkton, SD, 1 year and Primghar, IA, 6 months, before moving to Brookings, SD, in 1935.
Darlene started school in Brookings. Her Dad passed away from a heart attack on March 8, 1939. Darlene and her Mom moved to Sioux Falls for 18 months in 1940-41. They returned to Brookings the fall of 1941 and remained there until moving to Glasgow, MT, in October of 1946. Grandma Wettestad remained there 9 yrs. until back trouble forced her retirement from her job of cooking at the Deaconers Hospital in Glasgow. Darlene attended H.S. one year in Glasgow and returned to Brookings where she graduated from H.S. in May of 1949. She enrolled at Nettleton Commercial College in Sioux Falls in June of 1949, leaving school for a job in February of 1950 at E.J. Gustafson Company, a Philco Distributor.
On February 15, 1950, she went on a blind date and met Dad/Calvin and they were married on December 10, 1950. Four children followed and the rest is family history.
Mom was reunited with her birth Mother on her birthday in 1993, when she received a phone call from her. I had started a search in trying to find information on her birth families the month before. Growing up as an only child, Mom now finds herself a sister to three brothers, as in the past few years, she has met her brothers on both of her birth parents sides. Her birth Father and two sisters passed away before she met them.
Mom is known for her dedication to get the job done. A hard worker, she has found jobs of bookkeeper, gardener, chauffeur, newsletter editor, hospice worker, historical society work, tour guide, and church work to name a few titles. She cared for and allowed all kind of animals into our lives, cats and dogs are her favorites. She collects and is quite knowledgeable of antique glassware and loves dolls, having her Mother's (Celia) collection along with her own to treasure. She even made a porcelain doll herself. She has shared Dad's love of antiques and antique automobiles and has washed and polished her fair share of cars through the years, as they've traveled with the old cars. In 2001, Mom and I accompanied my aunt and cousin on a trip to Sweden and England, a wonderful experience. Mom loves to travel.
Special memories I have include when my first grade class visited the farm to see our antiques. I was so proud to drive up in our school bus to see my Mom standing at the door, waving to our group of excited classmates. She was always there for our school events and encouragement in whatever we did or do. Of course there are the aromas of cooking and baking and how she always makes sure our favorites are there for special occasions. There are many more memories and more photos to scan... maybe they'll get done for next years' birthday Mama.
Happy Birthday, Love, Hugs and Kisses, Diane