|Blessing day: Patricia Lucille Wessman and Grandmother Lucile Green Glade.|
On March 13, 1957 my mother had another baby – a girl and I was thrilled to finally have a sister after 4 brothers. We named her Patricia Lucille and called her Patty Lou. That summer my mother started looking for a new house since we had a 2 bedroom house with 1 bath, living room and kitchen and a basement. It was cramped with 8 people. She found a house closer to her mother on the east side of the valley. We moved in August a week or two before school started.
In 1957 two months after our family moved to 1839 Bryan Avenue, near 17th South and 19th East in Salt Lake City, Patty (Patricia Lucille Wessman), my little 7 month old sister became very sick. I remember holding her part of the night Saturday/Sunday night because my mother was exhausted as she had been caring for her for some time. Patty just cried and cried. Finally I got too tired and couldn’t calm her so I took Patty in to mother and said I was too tired to keep holding her. The next day was Sunday, October 20, and mother couldn’t get hold of Dr. Feinauer (he was on the golf course). Finally in the afternoon he came, checked Patty, and said to take her to the Primary Children’s Hospital. Mother and Dad and Grandmother Lucile bundled her up and left. About an hour or two later they came home with her yellow blanket folded up and told us she died. There was the flu going around. She got that, but had a congenital heart problem we didn’t know about and her heart had enlarged trying to keep her alive. Her liver also to try to help the heart and was enlarged. My parents described how the doctor gave her a shot of digitalis in her heart to try to keep her alive, but nothing could save her. It was a very sad time for me to loose my long-desired sister, even if she was 12 years younger than I. Since we didn’t know very many people in our new ward, Mountain View 2nd Ward, we had the funeral at our former Rose Park Ward 3rd Ward. She was buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery next to Grandpa William Lester Glade’s grave.
I remember my dad making lots of phone calls to let people know and they started showing up almost immediately. I remember one friend, Dale Wilcox, came and he talked to me and told me how sorry he was. I always remembered that kindness. I remember going to the funeral home and seeing her in her tiny coffin lined with a plush material. I remember my Grandmother Lucile taking my mother to buy a black dress to wear and to find a white one for Patty. I remember the sadness, but I don’t recall talking about it. I remember being taken to our pediatrician because I kept hearing Patty crying, but of course she wasn’t. I think that must have gone away a short time later. I remember having her crib in my room for a while after she died, but my parents must have taken that down after a little while. I remember people bringing food.
My dad called up friends to participate in the funeral and they graciously accepted. Our family, my parents, John (40) and Beverly (33) Wessman, me (12), Roger (10), Rick (8), Dave (5), Craig (3) rode in the Russon Brother’s limousine to the cemetery and the casket was in the car with us.
Those are my memories of a very sad time. I am even sadder now thinking of my mother. Who supported and helped her? And what about my dad? It’s been a lot of years since all of that happened.
|Beverly, Patricia, and John Wessman, 1957.|
When [Beverly] took her to the doctor Patty was so sick that she couldn't sit up in the car, she just would fall over. This really concerned Beverly. (In those days you could just put your baby on the seat.)
Also, after Patty died Roger told Beverly that the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh. Beverly said she received such comfort from this sweet advice from her little son.
From Aunt Norinne:
I only recall seeing her (Patty) a couple of times before she died.
Beverly was worried about her (Patty's) lungs and they had the doctor come up and he said we have to get her to the hospital. Beverly said are her lungs that bad and the doctor said its not her lungs I am worried about its her heart. (John and Beverly told Norinne this after Patty died, but Norinne said she can remember this as if she was there watching it all happen.)
I can still see her lying in that casket, her head was facing east. She looked just like a little baby doll you could pick up and cuddle.
Many thanks to those who shared memories and to Emily for sending the pictures.