Today is the 112th anniversary of my Granny’s birthday. Kathleen Matheson (Gooch) was born 14 May 1901 in Parowan, Iron County, Utah. Because of her example, I know I can do hard things.
When Kathleen was 36, her husband of 16 years, Allen Lee Millard (Nig) Gooch, was killed in a flash flood in Clifton, Greenlee County, Arizona. She was now faced with supporting herself and her son Millard Earl Gooch (my father), who was 13 years old at the time. Kathleen had an 8th grade education.
Nig died 21 Sep 1937, and by December Kathleen had paid $90 tuition for cosmetology school in Los Angeles, California.
Her son stayed with his grandparents in Arizona while she studied to be a beautician. She began school 3 Jan 1938, and earned her certificate 14 Sep 1938. She was licensed 20 Jan 1939.
It is my understanding that she then set up a little salon in the back of a barber shop in Safford, Arizona. I admire her great strength at a very difficult time, when it would have been easy to fold. Instead she took action. It must have been hard to leave her son and travel alone to a big city to get the training she needed. It must have been hard to adapt to the new role of breadwinner for her family. I am in awe of her. She was active in civic groups for businesswomen, and later worked in retail after her beautician days were over.
I think the portrait at the top of this post exudes strength and beauty, and great class. I also love her hair—which I inherited, by the way!
Kathleen Matheson Gooch lived independently all her life, was mentally sharp, had very few health problems, and died at age 98 on 19 Jan 2000. Her life spanned the entire 20th century!
Just thinking about my amazing mom and her influence in my life. She passed away 10 years ago but I think about her almost every day. Here are a few pictures to pay tribute to her love for life, her fun personality, and my love for her.
Here she is, staying with me after I had my first baby. She was announcing, “Dinner is served!”:
Today I am posting a newspaper article about my great-grandparents, Joseph Baldwin Tanner and Nora Almeda Foutz, describing the home they built and lived in, in Kirtland, New Mexico.
It appeared in the Farmington Daily Times (Farmington, New Mexico) on 14 Oct 1959, p E5. The article includes photos of the family home and a family portrait, along with wonderful biographical information.