Florence Etta (DeMoss) Wake was born in January 1864 (or 1865) in Van Wert, Van Wert County, OH, the daughter of Charles W. and Eliza (Miner) DeMoss.
When Flora was age three, her father, a Civil War veteran who never truly recovered from his wartime ailments, passed away, leaving her fatherless. Her mother remarried again when Flora was age eight, to William Cornwell.
Shortly afterward, Flora and her mother, stepfather and siblings migrated westward to Nebraska, settling in Columbus, Platte County. When Flora was age 19, in 1883, her mother and stepfather divorced. Her mother later moved again, to Kinsley, Edwards County, KS, but Flora is not thought to have gone with her.
At the age of 17, Etta was a teacher in a school in the Columbus area, and attended the annual teacher's institute. The news was reported in the Columbus Journal.
On March 25, 1885, when Flora was 20, she married 25-year-old Charles William Wake (1859-1932), the son of Charles and Emma (Shefford) Wake, and a native of Omaha. The ceremony was held in Columbus at the home of county judge John J. Sullivan, who officiated. The marriage was announced in the Columbus Journal, which said that "the heartiest congratulations of this young couple are tendered them by their friends."
The Wakes had three children -- Charles Christian Wake, Dora Marguerite Wake and Ethel P. Black.
The Wakes made their home in Schuyler, NE circa 1893. That year, in May, Flora became seriously ill, and her aunt Caroline (Crumrine) Miner traveled from Columbus, NE to provide care, as noted in the gossip columns of the Journal.
When the federal census was taken in 1900, the Wakes lived in the village of Newman Grove, Madison County, NE. Charles was employed that year as a dry goods salesman.
By 1910, the family had migrated to the Beaver Precinct of St. Edward, Boone County, NE. There, Charles continued his longtime work as a salesman in dry goods merchandise. Daughter Dora, age 20, assisted him with sales in the store. Daughter Ethel, age 19, was a teacher in a local school.
The census of 1920 shows the Wakes living on Main Street in St. Edward. Charles' occupation was as manager of general merchandise. Daughter Dora, now age 30 (but stated on the census as 27), was a clerk in the store.
In 1922, residing in St. Edward, Flora wrote to the United States Pension Commissioner in Washington, DC. She said her maiden name had been DeMoss and that she wanted "any information you may have in your dept" about the Civil War service of her father, "Charles Warren DeMoss."
Continuing to move around, Charles and Flora migrated during the 1920s to Fremont, Dodge County, NE. The census of 1930 shows them making their home in West Eighth Street, but with Charles having no occupation. Daughter Dora, now 36 (or 39), was employed by J.C. Penney Company as a sales lady. Photographer L.B. Skoglund, age 45, who ran his own studio, lodged under their roof that year.
Sadly, in 1932, Charles died in Fremont at the age of 73. He was laid to rest in the local Memorial Park Cemetery in Fremont.
Flora outlived her husband by six years. She joined him in death on May 26, 1938. She was age 74 at the time, with an obituary in the St. Edward Advance stating that she was "past 70." Funeral services were conducted by Rev. D.K. Miller of the Presbyterian church of Cedar Bluffs.
~ Son Charles Christian Wake ~
Son Charles Christian Wake (1887-1953) was born on July 22, 1887 in Genoa, Nance County, NE.
As a boy or teen, he migrated with his parents and siblings to St. Edward, Boone County, NE.
He was tall and slender, with blue eyes and brown hair.
In about 1909 or '10, Charles married Cora E. Warner (1889-1963).
They together produced a family of at least four children -- Donald L. Wake, Alan Earl Wake, Robert Warner Wake and Kathryn V. Snetzer.
When the federal census was taken in 1910, the Wakes lived in St. Edward, where Charles worked as a printer.
During World War I, in June 1917, Charles was required to register for the military draft. At the time, he stated that he was a self-employed printer in St. Edward, publishing the St. Edward Advance.
The 1920 census shows the Wake family living on Second Street in St. Edward. Charles reported his occupation as editor of the city newspaper. The paper, the Boone County Advance, was Republican in its orientation and published every Friday. Circulation was about 700.
During the 1920s, Charles left the newspaper and was appointed postmaster in St. Edward, with Cora serving as assistant postmistress.
Then in the fall of 1931, they moved from to Omaha, where they remained for a dozen years. Their son Alan remained behind in St. Edward to complete his senior year in high school, "with all indication that he would be chosen valedictorian of the next spring," said the Advance. But senseless tragedy intervened in November 1931 when their son died after suffering a football injury.
Their address in 1940 was 2514 Spencer. In 1947, he and Cora relocated again, to Phoenix AZ.
Charles died at the age of 66 in Phoenix on Dec. 15, 1953. His remains were returned to Nebraska for interment in his wife's family plot in Herman, Washington County. Obituaries were printed in the Omaha World-Herald and St. Edward Advance.
Cora survived him by a decade. She passed away in 1963.
Son Donald Lloyd Wake (1912-1965) was born on Oct. 17, 1912 in St. Edward, Boone County, NE. He was a graduate of the University of Nebraska. Donald's first bride was Jayne Jarjorie Blomberg (1915-1997). They were the parents of Patricia Smith and Carl Kingsley Wake. Their marriage ended in divorce. Donald then entered into marriage with Katherine Marie (Bosler) Gogel (July 12, 1907-1976), who went by the nicknames "Tootsie" and "Tootie." She had been married before to Aloys Anthony Gogel (1902-1960) and brought two stepsons into the second union -- Aloys Francis "Al" Gogel and Anthony Gogel. He followed in his father's footsteps and became a newspaperman. His early assignments were in Nebraska and Texas followed by the St. Louis Star-Times. He joined the staff of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1941. But with World War II aflame, he joined the U.S. Office of War Information in 1943 and remained for the duration of the conflict. He returned to the Post-Dispatch in 1946. In time he was named copy editor of the paper's Everyday Magazine. The family dwelling in the mid-1960s was at 2490 North Waterford Drive in the Florisant section of the city. The Wakes traveled to Texas and Florida on vacation in November 1965, But sadly, en route home, while in Chattanooga, TN, he suffered a heart attack and died instantly at the age of 53 on Nov. 4, 1965. The body was brought back to St. Louis for funeral rites at St. Dismas Catholic Church and interment in Calvary Cemetery. Katherine spent her widowed years at 305 South Florissant Road in Ferguson, MO. She maintained a membership in the Goff-Moll post of the American Legion. She passed away on Dec. 6, 1976 at the age of 69. Former wife Jayne married again to Col. Lloyd Lowndes "L.L." Brown (1898-1965), a career Army officer who had received the Croix de Guerre from France during World War I. At her death on Oct. 25, 1997, she was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.
Son Alan Earl Wake (1914-1931) was born on Dec. 21, 1914 in St. Edward, Boone County, NE. His nearly 17 years of life were spent in the town. As a Boy Scout in May 1929, he and friends took a 14-mile hike to Boone, NE to fulfill a bdge requirement. He also was active with the local 4-H Club. Tragically, Alan suffered an injury on Oct. 16, 1931 while playing football. It was "diagnosed as an abscess on the bone below the hip," reported the St. Edward Advance. He was admitted to the University Hospital in Omaha, where he underwent several surgeries before developing pneumonia. Friends donated blood on his behalf. The Advance said on Nov. 19 that "the transfusion given Alan ... did not help him as much as the doctors had hoped and that his father, Chas. Wake, had given him another transufusion since the St. Edward boys visited there... The boy is making a game fight for life and all St. Edward and community are anxiously awaiting news from his bedside." He reputedly said that "I'll be back in St. Edward for the big gam eon Thanksgiving." A recovery was not to be. A little more than a month after being hurt, he succumbed to the spectre of death at the age of 16 years, 11 months and one day on Nov. 22, 1931. Rev. Dr. P.M. Simms, assisted by local pastor and Boy Scouts leader Rev. Jackson, jointly conducted the funeral service in Blair Methodist Church. Performing vocals in a quartet were Ray Meyer, Lester Schafer, Carroll Nygren and Allen Bennett. One obituary said he was "the second member of the St. Edward high school football team to die of injuries incurred on the gridiron this season," after fellow player Willie Weed died from a hard fall. In response, the high school canceled the annual Thanksgiving football game, and the Advance opined, "The music of boyish laughter has been stilled, cold icy winds sweep over two fresh mounds in cemeteries far from each other, many, many hearts are aching." The Advanceprovided additional details of his life.
Son Robert Warner Wake (1917-1976) was born on Jan. 7, 1917 in St. Edward, Boone County, NE. His employer in 1940 was Gibbs and Company of Omaha. He was married and divorced but without reproducing by 1941. He joined the U.S. Army in 1941, the year our nation entered World War II. He trained as a bomber pilot and served in the Asia-Pacific Theatre during the war. After the war ended, he moved into the field of military intelligence and was an early professional in the very young field of U.S. Air Force computing and data processing. He was joined in wedlock with his first bride, Dorothy Louise Norton ( ? - ? ). The nuptials were held in Papillion on May 5, 1934. One daughter of the couple was Barbara Louise Wake. The pair divorced,. Robert's second spouse was Betty Jane Wehr (1918-1971). They tied the knot in Dallas, TX on Sept. 4, 1943. An only son of this union was Richard Hampden Wake Buckley. The second marriage also terminated in divorce, citing indignities, in Sheridan County, WY on Sept. 2, 1947. While in the Panama Canal Zone in 1949, at Albrook Air Force Base, Robert met and married his third wife, Esther Jeannette Schreiber (1921-1998). They had two sons. Esther was a 1938 graduate of East Detroit High School and a 1943 alumna of Western State Teachers College, today known as Western Michigan University. He re-enlisted on the Air Force on Nov. 18, 1950. Their postings over the years include stints in Honolulu (1950), Maryland/Washington, DC (1953) and the Philippine Islands. While in Hawaii, at Wheeler Field Air Force Base, Esther earned income as a secretary with the Justice Department. In 1962, he retired from the Air Force and the brood moved to California, with him working in the aerospace industry. Esther enjoyed duplicate bridge and was a member of the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL). Their final home together was in Escondido near San Diego, CA. He died on Sept. 5, 1976. His remains were buried at sea, although a marker stands in his memory in Herman (NE) Cemetery. Esther joined him in eternity in Escondido on Oct. 16, 1998. In all, from two marriages, Robert had three sons and a daughter.
Daughter Kathryn V. "Kay" Wake (1918-1996) was born on July 15, 1918 in Nebraska. She married Robert E. Snetzer (Jan. 1, 1917-1981). They made a home in Omaha in the mid-1930s. The pair's only child was Virginia "Gini" Terpening. Both Kay and Robert served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Kay served as a first lieutenant in the Army Air Forces, while Robert rose to become a lieutenant colonel, commanding the 2nd Engineer Battalion. His service record included World War II, from Jan. 17, 1945 to Sept. 8, 1945, and later the Korean War and Vietnam War. Grief blanketed the family when Robert passed away at the age of 64 on March 7, 1981. She died at the age of 77, on May 28, 1996. Burial was in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.
~ Daughter Dora Marguerite Wake ~
Daughter Dora Marguerite Wake (1889- ? ) was born in August 1889 in Columbus, NE.
By 1910, at the age of 19, Dora lived with her parents in the Beaver Precinct of St. Edward, Boone County, NE. There, she assisted her father in a dry goods merchandise store.
Dora remained in her parents' household during the 1910s. The census of 1920 shows the home to be on Main Street in St. Edward. Dora continued her work as a clerk in the store managed by her father.
Dora appears not to have married. She moved with her parents during the 1920s to Fremont, Dodge County, NE. There, she was employed as a sales lady by the local J.C. Penney Company. She continued to make a home with her widowed mother to the end.
Circa 1947, now on her own, she continued to make her residence in Fremont. At the death of her brother Charles in 1953, Dora was in Omaha and named in the obituary in the St. Edward (NE) Advance.
She eventually moved to Denver. In about 1963, she came to Iowa when admitted to reside in Davenport's Royal Neighbors of America Home. She died in the city's Mercy Hospital on July 8, 1969 at the age of 79. Burial was in the local Fairmount Cemetery, with an obituary appearing in the Davenport Quad-City Times.
~ Daughter Ethel P. (Wake) Black ~
Daughter Ethel P. Wake (1891-1974) was born on Jan. 11, 1891 in Schuyler, NE.
When she was 21 years of age, in about 1912, she entered into marriage with 20-year-old Harris Delbert "Harry" Black (April 10, 1890-1969), a Nebraska native.
Together, the pair produced two known children -- Jean Petersen and H. Duane Black.
The Blacks made a living as farmers in 1920 in Creston, Platte County, NE.
Their residence in 1930-1953 was in Cedar Bluffs, Saunders County, NE, and they held a membership in the local Presbyterian church. Harris was employed there as manager of the Farmers Union Elevator. He continued this occupation into 1940, also handling grain, coal and lumber.
By 1969, the Blacks migrated to Lakewood, Jefferson County, CO.
Sadly, at the age of 78, Harris died in Lakewood in March 1969. His remains were lowered into the soil of Fremont Memorial Cemetery in Dodge County, NE.
Ethel survived her husband by five years and moved to Fremont. Toward the end she entered a nursing home in Fremont. Death carried her away on Jan. 14, 1974. Rev. John Swearingin led the funeral service, with an obituary published in the Fremont Tribune. Her pallbearers included Donald Gaeth, Robert Gaeth, Donald J. Launer, Henry Lubker, Harold Pearson and Robert L. Williams.
Son H. Duane Black (1914-1993) was born on Jan. 19, 1914 in Creston, Platte County, NE. He was an alumnus of Cedar Bluffs High School and a 1931 graduate of Midland Lutheran College in Fremont with a business degree. On June 12, 1935, he was united in matrimony with Doris Searl (Dec. 3, 1916-1994), a native of Morse Bluff, NE, and the daughter of Thomas A. and Nora (Denney) Searl and stepdaughter of Ina L. (Girten) Searl. Their nuptails were held in Papillion, NE. Two children borne by the couple were Adrian Black and Judith Wilson. For two decades, from about 1935 to 1955, he was employed by Omaha's Cargill Grain Company. The young family initially dwelled in Cedar Bluffs, where in 1936 Duane was appointed village treasurer following the resignation of C.E. Beebe. They moved from Cedar Bluffs to Omaha in June 1937 and were named in a "Newcomers to Omaha" column in the city's World-Herald newspaper. Then in 1955 they relocated to Denver, with Duane hired as an auditor by the United Bank of Denver. He was promoted to assistant auditor of the bank in 1963, then known as Denver United States National Bank, and pictured in the Fremont Tribune. He was a member of the American Institute of Banking and attended the Colorado School of Banking. Duane was active with the Benson Presbyterian Church of Omaha and in about 1950 was ordained as a lifetime deacon of the congregation, a role in which he served for the remaining 42 years of his life. The family also kept a summer cottage at Kings Lake where they held summertime reunions. Circa 1974, they made their residence at Grand Lake, CO, and Duane retired in 1976. The Blacks' spent their retirement years in Loveland, CO. They celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1985 with a family reunion and were pictured in a story in the Tribune. Duane died at McKee Medical Center in Loveland on Jan. 15, 1993, at the age of 78. His obituary appeared in the Tribune, which said that the headcount of his survivors was five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. His remains were lowered into repose in Resthaven Memory Gardens in Loveland. Doris lived for another year-and-a-half as a widow. Death swept her away at age 77, at home, on Aug. 20, 1994.
Daughter Jean Black (1918-2007) was born on Feb. 16, 1918 in Dodge, Dodge County, NE. She grew up in Nickerson, Fremont and Cedar Bluffs. She was a graduate of Cedar Bluffs High School. On Aug. 1, 1937, in Cedar Bluffs, NE, she married Louis J. Petersen (1912-2000), son of P.H. Peterson. Rev. Miller presided at the wedding. They became the parents of a daughter, Dixie Pearson. At the time of marriage, Louis earned a living in Cedar Bluffs, NE with Loudon Oil Company. He is known to have served in the U.S. Army during World War II. The Petersens moved to Fremont, NE in 1945, at the end of the war, and stayed for good. He worked there for three decades with the U.S. Postal Service as a clerk and letter deliveryman. Jean earned a living as a young woman as a beautician. The family belonged to the Presbyterian Church. For over 25 years, the pair were active with the Fremont Rough Riders, an organization which Louis co-founded. Sadly, Louis died in Fremont at the age of 88 on Oct. 24, 2000. Jean survived him by nearly seven years. She died at the age of 89, in Fremont Medical Center on July 28, 2007. Rev. William Lewis officiated the funeral rites, held in the family church, with an obituary published in the Fremont Tribune. Their remains sleep for the ages in Fremont's Memorial Cemetery.