My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fearless Females Blog Post: March 11 — Tragic or Unexpected Deaths

Lisa Alzo has challenges for the month of March, all pertaining to the "fearless females" in our family trees.  March is National Women's History Month and she has come up with 31 blogging ideas for celebrating and honoring our female ancestors.  For March 11, the topic is, "Did you have any female ancestors who died young or from tragic or unexpected circumstances? Describe and how did this affect the family?"

All deaths are tragic, some expected, but none more surprising than a physically fit 70 yr. old woman dying on her bike. She was on a bike trip, but one which began hours before, with her leading a group of riders 12 miles to see the Lexington, MA parade in honor of Patriot's Day on April 16, 1990. On their return trip, she had a massive heart attack. From what I recall, there were about 10 in the group, of which she was the president and tour leader.

She didn't drive until I was out of high school, so she biked or walked everywhere. Speaking of biking, for fun, she took long trips; for instance, many 100 mile a day trips and her goal was 5,000 miles a year.  There were bike tour trips to Russia, China, Scandinavia, the Netherlands and she was due to do a bike tour in France just six weeks after her death. Along with biking, she enjoyed swimming, cross country skiing and in my early years there was ice skating and tennis.

She was a widow, my non-athletic father died the year before. She lived alone, and never wasted a minute between the sports and six to eight volunteering fields she participated in.  I never got the chance to discuss her parents and grandparents or other older family members, as I had just begun doing genealogy. She had given me a lot of DAR papers in December 1989, and four months later she was dead.

Note:  The photo was taken by a good friend,  and it was included in a large newspaper article about her, four years before her death.