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Jay Orlando Blythe


Jay and Lydia Blythe
Courtesy Carol (Murdock) Scinto

Jay Orlando Blythe was born in April 1857 in or near Henry County, OH, the son of Henry and Isabelle (Van Horn) Blythe.

He and his wife were pioneers of South Dakota and Washington State.

On Oct. 11, 1879, when he was age 21, and she 18, he married Lydia Sarah Hoy (1860-1938).

Together, the couple produced a brood of six daughters and one son -- Lydia May Axford, Susie Holtz, Henry "Ross" Blythe, Cora Howey, Nellie Hall, Sarah Elizabeth "Bessie" Blythe and Florence Murdock. 

The family lived in Ohio early in marriage, where their two eldest children were born. In about 1883 or 1884, they migrated to South Dakota, where they settled in Antelope, Spink County, and where the remaining five children were born. His Hoy in-laws also moved to Antelope -- her presumed parents Samuel and Melinda Hoy, and brother John and Estella Hoy.

He is reputed to have been a "tyrant" who bullied his wife and abused his children despite a public persona as a civic leader. 

The 1900 census shows Jay (written as "J.O."), Lydia and all seven children living in Antelope Township, with Jay working as a farmer. The families of Samuel and John Hoy lived next door.


Jay and Lydia Blythe, seated, and children clockwise from left: May Axford, Susie Holtz, Henry, Cora Howey, Nellie Hall, Elizabeth Wares, Florence Murdock. Courtesy Carol (Murdock) Scinto


Sometime between 1900 and 1910, the Blythes relocated again to Washington State, settling in Seattle, King County. 

When the federal census was taken in 1910, Jay was employed as a teamster in a coal yard, while 26-year-old son Henry worked as a collector for a telephone company, and 24-year-old  daughter Cora taught in a public school. 

By 1920, after all of their children had left home, Jay and Lydia moved to a new home on Beach Road in Mountain View Township, Whatcom County, WA. That year's census shows Jay, age 63, laboring as a farmer on a poultry farm. In a twist of fate, possibly unknown to Jay, his cousin Rebecca (Minerd) Behme Kearns and her adult children also made their homes in Whatcom County during this era.

Jay died in Ferndale, WA in on June 13, 1929.

Lydia lived for another eight-plus years. She is believed to have moved to San Francisco to live with her son Henry Ross and was there with him in 1930.

She passed away in Ferndale on Jan. 4, 1938. Burial was in Enterprise Cemetery in Ferndale, Whatcom County, WA.


May Axford

~ Daughter Lydia "May" (Blythe) Axford ~

Daughter Lydia "May" Blythe (1880-1969) was born in February 1880 in Ohio. 

In about 1906, when she was age 26, she married Morgan Axford (Nov. 27, 1870-1952), a Michigan or Iowa native, and possibly the son of Mariette Axford. Almost immediately, they began living in Michigan.

They had at least three children -- Daniel Ross Axford, Hilton Worth Axford and May "Blythe" Eldridge.

The federal census of 1910 shows the Axford family making its home in Oxford, Oakland County, MI. Morgan was unemployed at that time. 

By 1920, remaining in Oxford, Morgan found an occupation as a bank teller, as shown on the census. That year, they lived on Mechanic Street. He held that position for at least a decade, as listed on the 1930 census of Oxford.


Oxford, Michigan -- note the Jossman's dry goods store on the corner


At the death of her sister Nellie Hall, in 1962, May was named in the newspaper obituary as a resident of Oxford.

Morgan passed away in Oxford on Sept. 18, 1952.

She surrendered to the spectre of death at the age of 88 on Jan. 19, 1969. They sleep for all time in Oxford Cemetery.

Son Daniel Ross Axford (1907-1926) was born on Sept. 23, 1907 in Oxford, Oakland County, MI. When he was about 14 years of age, he was diagnosed with heart disease. He bore the illness for another four years until death. Also afflicted for six years with rheumatism, he passed into eternity on Aug. 11, 1926, at age 18 years, 10 months and 19 days. A doctor wrote that Daniel "died very suddenly."

Son Hilton Worth Axford (1909-1997) was born on Jan. 16, 1909. He served in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II, attaining the rank of first lieutenant. He died four days before Christmas 1997, at the age of 88, and sleeps for all time in Oxford Cemetery.

Daughter May "Blythe" Axford (1911-2004) was born on Aug. 23, 1911 in Oxford, Oakland County, MI. In a wedding ceremony held in Lansing, MI on June 23, 1943, she married Carlton Brady Eldridge (April 4, 1911-1998), a native of Auburn, IN. The couple's marriage endured for a remarkable 55 years until the separation of death. Three children produced by this union were Bonnie Blythe Biagioli Torres, David Eldridge and Daniel Moran Eldridge. Sadness swept over the family at the death of son Daniel at the age of 18 days on Dec. 1, 1944. The family held a membership in SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church. According to the Springfield (IL) State Journal-Register, she also was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Sadly, Carlton died on Aug. 1, 1998. Blythe outlived her husband by five-and-a-half years. She succumbed to death at age 92 on Feb. 2, 2004. Msgr. John R. Ossola oficiated the funeral mass, with interment following in Oxford Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Bonnie Eldridge was married twice. Her first husband was Denny Biagioli ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of Richard Biagioli, Wendy Biagioli and Brittany Biagoli. Later, Bonnie wed Elpido Torres ( ? - ? ). Their home in 2004 was in Villa Park. Son Richard generously has contributed content to this biography.
  • Grandson David Eldridge wedded Suzanne. They bore one known child, Morgan Worth Eldridge. The Eldridges relocated to Naples, FL.


Susie Holtz

~ Daughter Susie V. (Blythe) Holtz ~

Daughter Susie V. Blythe (1882-1954) was born on Feb. 12, 1882 in Ohio. 

In about 1904, when she was age 22, Susie married 25-year-old Mason Carl Holtz (1878-1947), a native of Tomah, Monroe County, WI, whose father was German and mother from Wisconsin.

They had six known children -- Carrie Holtz, Nellie Holtz, Donna Holtz, Herman J. Holtz, Oneda Holtz and Lydia Holtz.

The couple made its first home in Cornwall, Spink County, SD, where their three eldest children were born. Census records for 1910 show the family in this location, with Mason laboring as a farmer. They likely followed Susie's parents and siblings to Washington State, sometime in the 1910s.

When the federal census was taken in 1920, the family made its home in Custer, Whatcom County, WA. Mason's continuing occupation that year was farming.

By 1930, the Holtzes relocated to Mountain View, Whatcom County. That year's census lists Mason's livelihood as a "laborer" in a "lumber mill."

Sadly, at the age of 68, Mason died in Bellingham, WA on Feb. 6, 1947.

Susie passed away in Bellingham at the age of 72 on June 25, 1954. Her remains were lowered under the sod of Woodlawn Cemetery in Ferndale, Whatcom County.

Daughter Carrie Holtz (1906- ? ) was born in about 1906.

Daughter Nellie Holtz (1908- ? ) was born in about 1908.

Daughter Donna Holtz (1910- ? ) was born in about 1910.

Son Herman J. Holtz (1914-1973) was born three days after Christmas 1914 in Spink County, SD. On the Fourth of July 1935, he wedded Anna Grace Evans (July 16, 1916-2007) of Humansville, Polk County, MO. Three offspring born in this family were Richard W. Holtz, Patricia Neumann and Ronald Holtz. Herman earned a living as a coal miner, and the couple made a home wherever he could find work. This included residences in Bellingham, Republic, Holden Village and Wenatchee, WA and Elko, NV. Sadly Herman passed away in Wenatchee, Chelan County, WA at age 58 on Jan. 26, 1973. Anna Grace survived him by 34 years. She married two more times, first in 1974 to Willard Burton Satterly (1914-1982) and again in 1984 to Jay Wilbur McFarland (1923-1997). Death swept her away in Chelan, Chelan County, WA on March 18, 2007. An obituary was printed in the Wenatchee World. The remains sleep for eternity in Evergreen Memorial Park in East Wenatchee, Douglas County, WA.

  • Grandson Richard W. Holtz (1937-2011) was born on April 27, 1937 in Bellingham, Whatcom County, WA. He was a member of the 1955 graduating class of Wenatchee High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in June 1955. His ports of call for the next 11 years included Japan, England and the Mediterranean as well as bases within the United States. After his service concluded circa 1966, he found employment in the apple industry of Wenatchee. He never married but had a passion for dogs, and he was known for taking his pets to nursing homes to provide companionship with the elderly. He died at the age of 73 in East Wenatchee on March 2, 2011. Burial was in Tahoma National Cenetery in Kent, WA.
  • Granddaughter Patricia Holtz wedded (?) Neumann. Her home in 2011 was in East Wenatchee.
  • Grandson Ronald Holtz dwelled in 2011 in Portland.

Daughter Oneda Holtz (1917- ? ) was born in about 1917.

Daughter Lydia E. Holtz (1923- ? ) was born in about 1923.


Jay and Lydia's children, circa 1946, their 1st gathering in 40+ years. Back, l-r: Cora, Ross, Susie and May. Seated, l-r: Elizabeth, Florence, Nellie. Courtesy Carol (Murdock) Scinto



~ Son Henry "Ross" Blythe ~


Henry Ross Blythe

Son Henry "Ross" Blythe (1884-1976) was born in May 1884 in South Dakota. He may have been named for an uncle, Henry Ross Blythe, only four years older than Ross.

He migrated to Seattle, WA with his parents and siblings in the early 1900s. At age 26, he lived with his parents in Seattle, and worked as a collector for a telephone company.

He is believed to have been married twice.

The federal census of 1920 shows 35-year-old Ross married to 27-year-old Hazel (1893- ? ), and living in San Francisco, CA. He was employed as a salesman for an "oil station."

Ross and Hazel bore one daughter, Shirley Blythe, born in 1914 in California.

Sometime between 1920 and 1930, the marriage ended.

By 1930, Ross made a home for his widowed mother in San Francisco. When the federal census was enumerated in 1930, Ross, his mother and Shirley resided in San Francisco. His occupation was given as salesman for Ruud Heating Company. William Kusler, a 13-year-old nephew, also lived under their roof that year.


Skyline of San Francisco


The second of Ross's brides was Lauren Rene Johnson (Jan. 30, 1885-1979). They resided in 1940 in Palo Alto, Santa Clara County, CA, and remained together for good. He was employed that year as an oil products salesman.

Ross's place of residence in 1962, at the death of his sister Nellie Hall, was in Medford, OR. At that time, he lived in Rogue Valley Manor and signed a letter to the editor of the Medford Mail Tribune, urging local citizens to vote for a home rule charter.

Ross died on May 5, 1976, at the age of 84, in Jackson County, OR.

Laurene died, also in Jackson County, on Jan. 25, 1979. The couple sleeps aside each other in Siskiyou Memorial Park in Medford.

Daughter Shirley Blythe (1914- ? ) was born in 1914 in California. In 1930, when she was 15 years of age, she lived with her father and stepmother in San Francisco.


Cora Howey

~ Daughter Cora I. (Blythe) Howey ~

Daughter  Cora I. Blythe (1886-1978) was born in August 1886 in South Dakota.

As a teenager, she relocated to Washington State with her parents and siblings, and settled in Seattle. The federal census of 1910 shows her at age 24, living under her parents' roof in Seattle, and employed as a public school teacher. 

Then in 1911, at age 25, she gave up the teaching profession to marry 22-year-old Amsel Pinkney Howey (1880-1964), a native of Missouri. Their nuptials were held in Wallace, ID.

They together produced at least four children -- Wayne P. Howey, Doris A. Howey, Arden Howey and Elaine Howey.

When the census enumeration again was taken, in 1920, the Howeys made their home in Chewelah, Stevens County, WA. Boarding under their roof was Amsel's 22-year-old brother, Ralph L. Howey. Amsel's occupation was as a logger in a saw mill, and Cora's as a housewife.

The couple remained in Chewelah in 1930, with Amsel laboring as a sawmill operator. Some of the other locations were they dwelled over the years were Colville, Rockford and Coulee City, WA.

During the latter half of the 1930s, the couple relocated to Spokane, WA. They are shown in Spokane in the 1940 United States Census. Amsel's work continued in the logging industry, working for a contractor.

The Howeys marked their golden wedding anniversary in July 1961 witn an open house at their residence at N4848 Madison in Spokane. They were pictured in a related story in the Spokane Spokesman-Review.

Sadly, Amsel died in Aug. 1964. A death notice was printed in the Spokesman-Review, which reported that his survivors included nine grandchildren. Rev. Clinton A. Regg led the funeral service.

Cora survived as a widow for 14 years. She was swept away by the spectre of death in Portland on Sept. 2, 1978, at the age of 92. The Spokane Chronicle ran an obituary. Cora and Amsel repose in eternity in Fairmount Memorial Park in Spokane.

Son Wayne P. Howey (1914- ? ) was born in about 1914. He established a home in San Mateo, CA and was there in 1964-1978. He married Viola ( ? - ? ). He was deceased by 2003.

Daughter Doris A. Howey (1915- ? ) was born in about 1915. She was joined in wedlock with (?) Bradshaw ( ? - ? ). Her residence circa 1964 was in Vancouver, WA.


Invasion of Saipan, World War II


Son Arden Howey (1921-2007) was born on Aug. 5, 1921 in Chewelah, Stevens County, WA. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II and was deployed to the Pacific Theatre. There, he took part in landings in Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan and Tinian. For his role in saving lives, he was awarded a Silver Star. After returning home, he was employed for many years as a wholesake milkman for Behm's Valley Creamery. Then after retirement, he earned additional income by working for Toys for Tots. He was a singer in the Fowler Methodist Church choir, something he had begun as a teen. In about 1962, he was joined in marriage with Doris Walters ( ? - ? ). Their union endured for 45 years. She brought two young stepchildren into the union -- Vicki Myers and James Walters. They dwelled for years in Spokane. He surrendered to the angel of death in the Veterans Hospital in Spokane on Sept. 13, 2007. An obituary and his photograph portrait were printed in the Spokane Spokesman-Review.

  • Step-granddaughter Vicki Myers made her home in 2007 in Post Falls, WA.
  • Step-grandson James Walters married Lindi. Their residence has been in Liberty Lake, WA.

Daughter Elaine Joy Howey (1929-2003) was born on Sept. 18, 1929 in or near Chewelah, Stevens County, WA. On Aug. 30, 1947, she was united in matrimony with Joseph Arthur Reznicsek ( ? - ? ), son of Joseph Reznicsek. The couple's four offspring were Virgil Lynn Reznicsek, Gladys D. Reznicsek, Cheryl A. Reznicsek and Marcia Lee Buchanan. The family lived in Portland, OR and belonged to the Wings of Healing Portland Temple Church. Elaine was employed for 15 years by Jantzen, first as a seamstress and then advancing to auditor. She retired in 1985. She was an active volunteer for 15 years with the Girl Scouts. Talented in sewing, she fashioned wedding gowns for all three of their daughters. She also loved to raise her garden. Said the Dalles Chronicle, "Upon retirement she traveled the world visiting India several times and Hong Kong, Nepal, Europe, Africa and Egypt. She expressed her concern for the mission school started by her father-in-law in India by supporting them financially as well as embracing them as family." Sadly, she died in her daughter's residence in Stevenson, Skamania County, WA on April 19, 2003, at the age of 73. Burial was in Portland's Lincoln Memorial Park. According to an obituary in the Chronicle, she was survived by eight children and nine great-grandchildren. The family requested that any memorial donations be made to the Hospice of the Gorge.

  • Grandson Virgil Lynn Reznicsek (1949-1967) was born on Christmas Day 1949 in Portland. He belonged to the Wings of Healing Portland Temple Church and was in his senior year at Centennial High School, working at the Carnation Icecreamland in a local shopping center. On the tragic day of Nov. 14, 1967, he was asphyxiated to death while in Tolovana Park, Clatsop County, OR. Details are not known. His obituary was printed in the Portland Oregonian.
  • Granddaughter Gladys D. Reznicsek married William Cady. They lived in The Dalles, a city on a bend of the Columbia River in Wasco County.
  • Granddaughter Cheryl A. Reznicsek wedded Mark Walker. The couple put down roots in Stevenson, WA.
  • Granddaughter Marcia Lee Reznicsek ( ? - ? ) wedded (?) Buchanan ( ? - ? ). She was deceased by 2003.


~ Daughter Nellie J. (Blythe) Hall ~


Nellie Hall

Daughter Nellie J. Blythe (1890-1963) was born in September 1890 in LaDelle, Spink County, SD.

As a girl, she relocated to Washington State with her parents and siblings, settling in Seattle. 

At some point, however, she is believed to have returned to her parents' native Henry County, OH, and in about 1909 married Arkie Hall (1882-1953), the son of Lyman and Emma (Hoy) Hall. He may have been a cousin of hers' on her mother's side of the family.

They were the parents of three known children -- Lyman R. Hall, Norma A. Hall and Kenneth A. Hall.

When the U.S. census was enumerated in 1910, newlyweds Nellie and Arkie resided with his parents in Harrison Township, Henry County. Arkie's occupation was farm laborer.

The 1920 and 1930 censuses of Harrison Township, Henry County, shows the Halls living there, with Arkie laboring as a farmer. They were members of Sharon Methodist Church, with Nellie teaching Sunday School and belonging to the Women's Society of Christian Service.

Sadly, Arkie died of apoplexy and a fractured left hip in Heller Memorial Hospital in Napoleon, Henry County, at age 70, on Feb. 25, 1953. He was laid to rest in Shunk Cemetery in the local area. 

Nellie outlived her husband by a decade. She was still in rural Napoleon in October 1962 at the tragic death of her grandson Wendell Hall.

Death swept her into eternity at the age of 72 on Aug. 28, 1963. Her son Kenneth found her dead in bed. She was survived by a dozen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Her pastor Rev. Max Donahue presided over the funeral service, with interment in Hoy Cemetery.

Son Lyman R. Hall (1914-1988) was born on July 1, 1914. On Feb. 23, 1934, he was joined in marriage with Verena Ward (Feb. 11, 1917-2013), daughter of Dale and Ola Ward of Napoleon/Liberty Center. Together, they bore a brood of children including Kenneth Hall, Carl Hall, Wendell Hall and Sally Yeager Askins. For years, Verena was employed as a secretary for a carpentry business and then joined the Henry County Agricultural Stabilization Conservation agency, retiring in 1974. At one time she served as treasurer and Sunday School teacher for Sharon United Methodist Church in Napoleon. Sadly, Lyman died on July 27, 1988. After a move to Texas to join her married daughter in the town of Pharr, Verena became a member of Pharr United Methodist Church and volunteered with the Pharr Food Pantry. At the age of 96, she passed away on March 14, 2013. She was survived by 11 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren. Her remains were brought to Napoleon for funeral services in her former church, led by Rev. Lindy Maurice-Saum, followed by burial in Hoy Cemetery.

  • Grandson Kenneth D. Hall lived in Napoleon circa 1962. He married Jackie and has resided in Cookville, TN.
  • Grandson Carl Hall made a home in 1962 in Napoleon. He wedded Rosalie. They have dwelled in Napoleon. She was deceased by 2013.
  • Grandson Wendell Hall (1941-1962) was born on March 7, 1941 in Harrison Township, Henry County. He was a member of the 1959 graduating class of Napoleon High School, where he played scholastic football. He joined the Sharon Methodist Church. At the age of 21, engaged to be married, Wendell was employed by Zeller Corporation at its facility on Fort Wayne Road in nearby Defiance, OH. Zeller manufactured and supplied universal joints for repair of transport and construction vehicles. Tragically, he was horribly burned in a work-related accident on Oct. 16, 1962. A news article said that he "fell into a solution of hot soap while at work. He was rushed by the fire rescue squad to Defiance City Hospital and transferred to St. Vincent's Hospital after receiving emergency treatment. He received third degree burns on 50 to 60 per cent of his body." After suffering for five days, he died on Oct. 21, 1962. Funeral services were held in the family church, led by Rev. B.c. Krugh. His remains rest for all time in Hoy Cemetery.
  • Granddaughter Sally Hall appears to have been twice-wed. Her first spouse was Gary Yeager ( ? - ? ). They established a home in Defiance, OH. Later, she was joined in wedlock with David Askins. The couple established a residence in Pharr, TX.

Daughter Norma A. Hall (1920- ? ) was born in about 1920. She wedded Donald Wensink ( ? - ? ). The couple's home in 1962 was in Deshler.

Son Kenneth A. Hall (1921- ? )


~ Daughter Sarah Elizabeth "Betty" (Blythe) Engstrom Wares ~


Betty Wares

Daughter Sarah Elizabeth "Betty" Blythe (1894- ? ) was born in May 1894 in South Dakota. 

She was married twice. Her first husband was David B. Engstrom (1891- ? ), a native of Sweden, who had emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1907.

The federal census of 1920 shows Betty and David making their residence in Seattle, with David's occupation given as proprietor of an acetylene welding firm. Elizabeth's 21-year-old unmarried sister, Florence E. Blythe, lived under their roof that year. 

The marriage ended sometime during the decade of the 1920s.

At the age of 34, in 1929, she married 39-year-old Ernest G. Wares (July 17, 1891-1983). He was born in Massachusetts, and the son of Florence Wares. He may have had a twin brother Harry Wares.

Ernest apparently brought a daughter to the second marriage, Betty Wares. The couple went on to bear a son of their own, Robert L. Wares.

They appear as a family in the 1930 census of National, Pierce County, WA. Ernest's occupation was as a welder in a local lumber mill. 

Federal census enumeration records for 1940 show the Wares remaining in National, with Ernest earning a living as a master mechanic at a sawmill.

Betty's home in 1962 was in Philo, CA.

Ernest's final years were spent in Lynnwood, Snohomish County, WA. He passed away in June 1983.

Stepdaughter Betty Wares (1923- ? ) was born in 1923 in Washington State.

Son Robert L. Wares (1931- ? ) was born in about 1931 in Washington State.


Florence Murdock

~ Daughter Florence E. (Blythe) Murdock ~

Daughter Florence E. Blythe (1898-1990) was born on March 31, 1898 in South Dakota. 

As a young woman, she secured employment operating an adding machine with a department store in Seattle. She boarded in the home of her married sister and brother in law, Elizabeth and David Engstrom, on Shelby Street.

On Dec. 18, 1920, when she was age 22, Florence married 24-year-old Glen E. Murdock (1897- ? ), a native of Willapa Precinct, Pacific County, Washington, and the son of N.E. and Arepta Murdock. Their wedding was held in Seattle at 722 11th Avenue North..

The year before marriage, Glen lived at home with his parents, and worked as a radio operator.

They had seven children -- Kenneth David Murdock, Florence Gael Willingham, Carole Blythe Scinto, William Glen Murdock, June Arepta Cummins, Ross McClain Murdock and Alan Nelson Murdock. 

When the family appeared on the 1930 census of Seattle, King County, Glen's occupation was listed as "Salesman" of "Bakery goods." Their four eldest children lived under their roof that year. 


Circa 1945, single mother Florence Murdock with children, clockwise from upper left: Kenneth, Carol Scinto, Gael Willingham, June Cummins, William, Ross and Alan. Courtesy Carol (Murdock) Scinto.



Florence as a
single mother

By 1940, the Murdocks relocated to Oregon, making a home in Astoria, Clatsop County. Glen earned a living at that time as a log scaler for a logging company, and son Kenneth as a laborer in a fish cannery. The couple divorced in about 1941. At the marriage of son William in 1949, Florence's primary source of income was as a cook, while Glen worked as a "timber cruiser."

Wrote their daughter Carol:

My mother, a farm girl from South Dakota, dreamed of traveling -- to Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, everywhere, especially places with high mountains. She married instead, and bore eight children (one died at birth). When her marriage came apart after twenty years, she went to work to support her family, using the only marketable skills at her command. She scrubbed floors: in other people's houses, in a store after closing hours, at a hospital. Then she cooked: at the hospital, in an all-night cafe, at a unviersity dining hall, for a Seattle chain of home-style cafeterias.

Florence in retirement once traveled on a bus to Canada to tour Montreal and Quebec. But having lost her stamina for travel, she spent the balance of her life closer to home in Seattle.

She died in Lynnwood, Snohomish County, WA on Dec. 4, 1990 at the age of 92. Her ashes were scattered on Cascade Peak of Mt. Rainier, released from an airplane at sunset.


Kenneth D. Murdock

Son Kenneth David Murdock (1922-2017) was born on Feb. 4, 1922 in Willapa, Pacific County, WA. During the 1930s, he moved with his parents to Oregon. The federal census enumeration of 1940 shows him as a bachelor at age 18, earning his wages as a laborer in a fish cannery in or near Astoria, Clatsop County, OR. He graduated from Astoria High School and, as the nation was in the midst of World War II, joined the U.S. Navy. His specialty in the Navy was as a radioman. On Dec. 22, 1946, at the age of 24, he was united in holy wedlock with Wanda Nepean ( ? - ? ). Their marriage undured for more than seven decades until the separation of death. The couple settled in Seattle and produced a brood of four offspring -- Linda Murdock, Susie Murdock, Bonnie Murdock and David Murdock. Kenneth was trained as a plumber and for more than 30 years was self-employed, ownign and operating M&R Mechanical. He retired from his labors in 1980. After retirement, he and Wanda traveled extensively, visiting Australia and England among other global destinations. They are known to have hosted their children and grandchildren every year on the Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. He had a knack for wordsmithing and authored witty, thoughtful poems which "had a way of reducing even the toughest to tears," wrote the family in the Seattle Times. All of the roles he played in his family "culminated into what we like to call "being the best human possible. Independent, thoughtful, smart, and incredibly loving, he was the true patriarch of our family. With his infectious smile and kind heart, he made an impact on every life he was a part of." Kenneth taught his grandchildren to play cards and was known for a special barbecue salad with a specially made Ranch dressing. Sadly, he died at home on Feb. 26, 2017, with his family later saying in the Times that he "was 95 years old and full speed ahead until his last 48 hours."

  • Granddaughter Linda Murdock
  • Granddaughter Susie Murdock
  • Granddaughter Bonnie Murdock
  • Grandson David Murdock


Gael Willingham

Daughter Florence "Gael" Murdock (1923- ? ) was born on Aug. 19, 1923 in Washington State. In young womanhood she supported herself through work at a hospital in Astoria, OR. At the age of 18, on April 12, 1942, she entered into the bonds of marriage with Victor Eugene Ebbert (April 4, 1921- ? ). Their wedding ceremony was held in Clatsop, OR. Later, she wedded (?) Willingham ( ? - ? ). Of Gael, her sister Carol Scinto once wrote: "my sister, my first best friend, who literally kept my head above water when I was in over my depth." Nothing more about Gael's story is known.

Daughter Carol Blythe Murdock (1925-2011) was born on Dec. 16, 1925 in or near Pacific County, WA. She was trained in young womanhood as a journalist. She was joined in matrimony with Joseph Scinto ( ? - ? ), son of Josephine (Gentilesca) Scinto. The couple's marriage endured for 52 years until cleaved apart by death. The Scintos established a home in Rockville, MD in the outskirts of Washington, DC and together bore four daughters -- Catherine "Cathy" Marple, Blaise Scinto, Maria Francesca Scinto and Tania McClain Scinto. For more than 16 years, Carole was an active volunteer with the Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual in Rockville. In this role, she edited the organization's WATERwheel newsletter and processed books which had been received for review. Today WATER's resource center is named in her memory -- Carol Blythe Murdock Scinto Library. She and Joe also endowed a "Mother's Fund" to help women with small financial grants which have included books, computers, conference fees and travel for women in developing nations. The Scintos attended our "Pittsburgh 250" national family reunion in 2008, held at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. Sadly, Carol passed away on Nov. 29, 2011. Joseph has outlived his bride by many years. In 2017 and again in 2020, on the anniversary of her death, he published notices in the Washington Post, saying she was a wonderful woman, a charming fascinating person, whose spirit held him together.


Carol in young womanhood, and with Joe at our Pittsburgh 250 reunion


  • Granddaughter Catherine "Cathy" Scinto ( ? - ? ) wedded (?) Marple.
  • The Scinto family - Courtesy Carol (Murdock) Scinto

    Granddaughter Blaise Scinto ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She received a bachelor of arts degree in history and a law degree, both from the University of Virginia. She first was employed as an associate with the Washington, DC office of law firm giant Winston & Strawn. She then joined the Federal Communications Commission in 1995 as an attorney in the FCC's Common Carrier Bureau's Policy and Program Planning Division. From there she was tapped to be legal counsel to the Chief of the Common Carrier Bureau. On Sept. 4, 1999, she was joined in marriage with Morton Posner ( ? - ? ), son of David and Marilyn (Ackerman) Posner of East Washington, Washington County, PA. The couple has made a home in Arlington, VA and are the parents of Eve Adrian Posner and Eli Aaron Posner. She then accepted a position with the FCC as Deputy Chief of the Network Services Division, Common Carrier Bureau, where she focused on numbering administration issues. In January 2000, Blaise was appointed as Deputy Division Chief and Acting Division Chief in the Policy Division of the FCC’s Wireless Bureau, overseeing policy and rulemakings on myriad issues, including spectrum policy, enhanced 911 (E911), consumer and accessibility matters and common carrier issues. She was promoted in November 2003 to be Special Counsel for Spectrum Policy in the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau’s Office of the Bureau Chief. In this new role, she oversaw implementation of the Spectrum Policy Task Force’s recommendations and other policy initiatives and served as Deputy Director of the FCC’s Spectrum Policy Task Force. Then in 2008, she was named Chief of the Broadband Division in the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. Her work in this position has been to develop policy and rules to facilitate rapid, widespread deployment of wireless broadband services and oversee licensing and administration. In the early 2000s, she manageed development of service rules for several AWS bands and the 600 MHz band, modernized rules governing wireless backhaul services and began to examine use of higher frequency bands to support mobile services. She is known to have presented at the 4th Annual Americas Spectrum Management Conference in Washington in November 2014.
  • Granddaughter Maria Francesca Scinto ( ? - ? )
  • Granddaughter Tania McClain Scinto ( ? - ? )


William G. Murdock

Son William Glen Murdock (1928- ? ) was born on Jan. 31, 1928 in South Bend, Pacific County, WA. He served in the U.S. Navy, believed to have been during the World War II era. On March 5, 1949, in nuptials held in Astoria, OR, the 21-year-old William entered into marriage with 22-year-old Frances Jeanette Larson (Jan. 11, 1927-2007), an Astoria resident whose father was an immigrant from Finland. At the time of their wedding, Frances earned a living as a bookkeeper with a dairy business. Circa 1993, the couple is believed to have resided in Olympia, Thurston County, WA. Frances passed away at the age of 80 on Dec. 16, 2007.


June Cummins

Daughter June Arepta Murdock (1934- ? ) was born in about 1934 in Seattle. On July 10, 1954, when she was 20 years of age, she was united in holy matrimony with Titus Shelton Cummins Jr. (July 11, 1931-2005), a native of Port Townsend, Jefferson County, WA and the son of Titus Shelton and Rebecca "Bessie" (Hewie) Cummins Sr. The nuptials were held at the Bethany Presbyterian Church on Queene Anne Avenue in Seattle, by the hand of Rev. Lawrence J. Mitchell. The couple's marriage endured the ups and downs of 51 years. During the Korean War, Titus had served in the U.S. Army and attained the rank of sergeant. The Cumminses went on to become the parents of three children -- Carol Lynne Hopkins, Frances "Francy" Sims and Michael Cummins. The couple lived in Seattle and Bothell, Snohomish County, WA. Titus liked to fish and shop in his free time. Sadly, when he was 74 years of age, Titus passed away in Lynnewood, WA on Sept. 16, 2005. He was survived by three known grandchildren. Interment of his remains was with honor in Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, King County, WA. Inscribed on the face of his standard-issue military grave marker is the phrase: "At peace and with God." June survived her spouse by many years. In 2019, she endured the heartbreak of the untimely death of her married daughter Carol.

  • Granddaughter Carol Cummins (1955-2019) was born on Valentine's Day 1955 in Seattle. At the age of 19, on April 7, 1974, she married William G. "Will" Hopkins ( ? - ? ). The couple's marriage lasted for 45 years. They put down roots in Petaluma, Sonoma County, CA and were the parents of two -- Jennifer "Jenny" Cummins and Shawn Cummins. With a passion for arts and creativity, which she is said to have woven into all aspects of her life, she liked to cook, share food and teach. In 2005, at the age of 50, she opened her own business, Heaven Scent Cafe. Her later life was filled with baking, making jewelry and friends. Sadness cascaded over the family when, at the age of 64, Carol died at home on Sept. 3, 2019. An obituary said that her "ashes will be spread along the pacific coast in a private ceremony..."
  • Granddaughter Frances "Francy" Cummins wedded Greg Sims. The couple was in Malo, WA in 2005.
  • Grandson Michael Cummins entered into marriage with Rose. They dwelled in Silverdale, WA.
  • Grandson Alan Cummins made his residence in Bothell, WA.

Son Ross McClain Murdock (1935-1999) was born on Sept. 16, 1935 in Seattle. Evidence suggests that in 1986, he received a master of business administration degree from Seattle University. His final home was in Marysville, Snohomish County, WA. Sadly, he died on Feb. 16, 1999, at the age of 63. His sister Carol Scinto wrote that he was her "little brother with a big, feminist heart whose death has broken the circle of the Murdock Magnificent Seven. Volunteer firefighter, gifted tutor, contentious, tempestuous, generous, staunch and true, rest easy now on the slopes of your beloved Mount Rainier."

Son Alan Nelson Murdock (1939- ? ) was born in about 1939 in or near Astoria, Clatsop County, OR. He is believed to dwell in Kenmore, WA.

Copyright 2003-2005, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2021 Mark A. Miner
Minerd.com extends its gratitude to Richard Bagioli and the late Carol Blythe (Murdock) Scinto for their contributions of content for this biography.