Clabe and Leora Wilson drove, just the two of them, to Omaha the first Mother’s Day after the war. Those three boys were never coming home and, in spite of the memories and the anguish, they needed to get on with their lives.
Standing: A friend of Collis Jordan (Laura Goff’s younger brother), Merl Goff (Laura’s oldest son), Clabe Wilson, Laura (Jordan) Goff, Collis Jordan, Clarence Goff (Laura’s youngest son), Jennings Goff (another son).
Seated: Maxine (Goff) Allgood with Donna Allgood, Greta Goff (wife of Merl) with Phyllis Goff, Leora (Goff) Wilson (Laura’s oldest child), Jean Goff (first wife of Merrill Goff) with Michael Goff, Mrs. Foss (Jean Goff’s mother) with Gail Allgood, Bernadine Goff (second wife of Jennings) with Ronnie Goff.
The photographer was Merrill Jennings Goff, son of Jennings and brother of Maxine. He’d become a photographer in the Marines after serving aboard the USS Pensacola during WWII. It became his career.
Guthrie County, Iowa
Jennings Goff’s young first wife Tessie died of the mumps a few days after Merrill was born in 1924. Maxine was just a toddler. Jennings moved in with his parents, Sherd and Laura Goff, who then lived in a Victorian home in Guthrie Center, along with other adult children. Maxine and Merrill lived there, too, but also stayed with Tessie’s parents at Wichita, Iowa.
After Clabe and Leora Wilson moved to Dexter with their brood of children, Sherd and Laura moved there too, along with Jennings and his children. During the summers, Maxine and Merrill stayed with their Wichita grandparents, but during the school year, they lived with their Goff grandparents. Both Maxine and Merrill were in the same classes as two of their Wilson cousins so were very close.
During the Great Depression, Uncle Clarence Goff offered their father Jennings a job in Omaha in his heating and cooling business. Grandmother Laura Goff went with them. The first Mother’s Day after the war, several family members were able to get together. What a good sport she was to dress up for the only nice photograph taken of the reunion.