Thelma Donnally, a misfit in 1940 West Virginia

Thelma Donnally, age 18

Thelma Donnally, age 18

I love this picture of Thelma. Her smile looks so genuine and sweet. I hope Thelma’s story is happier than it appears. She was not quite a peer among the 1940 Jr. High class in Barboursville, West Virginia. Born in 1921, Thelma was several years older than her classmates. She wasn’t sporting the high maintenance curls that all the other girls wore to school that day, or the necklaces and pressed collars with dainty scarves. She looked like she just came in from the field – and maybe she did.

The only child of older parents, Thelma as born to Harry A. Donnally when he was 50 and wife Laura was 38. Harry was born in 1872 in Ohio and had a 6th grade education. When he did work he was a machinist helper at a steam RR shop. In 1940, close to when this picture would have been taken, he was out of work. Maybe Thelma had to leave school occasionally to make money to help her family. Laura, 12 years her husband’s junior, was born in 1884 in West Virginia.

I know little else, other than Harry Donnally died in 1944, Laura in 1963 and Thelma in 2003. To my knowledge Thelma never married. She is buried next to her mother in Hillcrest Cemetery in Okfuskee County, Oklahoma. I would love to know more about Thelma and her family, but that’s not likely. Given she appeared to have no children or siblings, there is no one in the online tree world searching for her.

1940 Jr. High class of Barboursville, West Virginia

1940 Jr. High class of Barboursville, West Virginia

Sybil Ann Dunaway a.k.a “mom” (1944-2011)

While she doesn’t count as “unclaimed” by any means. I wanted to post a few lovely photos of my mom, who passed away a year ago today. Love you mom!

By the way, the young school picture with her in braids was a few days before she had them chopped off for a shorter coiffe – I still have the braids. I was absolutely forbidden to get rid of them before she died, and now, of course, I can’t ;)

Elnora J. Sackett from Plymouth

Elnora J. Sackett, 1931 Plymouth, Michigan High School

Ms. Elnora Sackett has such an interesting face. She was a classmate of Viola’s (from the previous post) but a few years older than her peer. Born in 1910, Elnora J. Sackett was almost 20 when this high school picture was taken. She was born on October 13, 1910 – luckily for her that was a Thursday, not a Friday. Her parents were Jay and Mary Sackett. Jay lived from 1889 to 1945. Mary lived from 1883 to 1873, almost outliving Elnora, who died in Livonia, Michigan in 1978. I wonder how Elnora died, at a relatively young age of 68, when her mother lived to 90? All three are buried in Riverside Cemetery in Plymouth, Michigan.

Elnora appears to have never married. She and sister Margaret still lived at home in 1940 (in Plymouth) and worked as press operators for a air rifle manufacturing company – Rosie the Riveters! The family lived in Plymouth all her youth from 1920-1940 and probably longer. Father Jay didn’t live with the family in 1940 but doesn’t die until 1945. He’s likely too old to have been at war though. I wonder if she and Viola were friends?

Georgia May of West Virginia

Georgia May, Class of 1940 Barboursville Jr. HS

Georgia May is quite a popular lady on ancestry. There are already LOTS of great pictures of her in online family trees. Hopefully, this will be one more to add to the photo books. I won’t go into too much detail as so much seems to already be known. Georgia was born in West Virginia in 1925 and lived with her family in Cabell County, West Virginia (where this class picture was taken) for her youth. She was the youngest child to E. C. and Mollie May with older siblings Susie, Steve, Doug, Frank, Ruth, and Clint. Her father was a fireman for the Railroad yard and sister Ruth worked in a bicycle factory in 1940. According to the many family trees, Georgia passed away in 2006. She was a 15 year old in the 1940 Jr. High class of Barboursville, West Virginia in this great picture.