Early in my married life, I met a precious part of my husband, Bob’s family, in the form of his great grandparents, Edgar and Nellie Knox; his great aunt and uncle, Helen and Frank Knox; and their youngest son, Richard. They were wonderful people, and I loved them right away. I always thought it was awesome of Frank and Helen to bring their parents out to Casper to visit their son, Bob Knox’s family, of which I was a part. At that time, I didn’t really have a lot of time to get to know Frank and Helen, but got to know them on subsequent trip, and found them to be very interesting…but, little did I know, that I had only scratched the surface of who these people were.
After Helen’s passing recently, I found out so much more about her childhood, and the life she and Frank lived. In many ways, it was destiny that they should meet. Helen’s family had moved to California because of her mother’s illness, and after her mother passed away, the three older children were raised by her mother’s sister, while her younger siblings were adopted out. It was a sad time for Helen, but when she grew up, she decided to earn a degree in Social Work. When World War II finally drew the United States into it’s clutches, Helen became active in the USO, and it was then, during a homecoming dance, that she met a handsome young captain, named Richard F (Frank) Knox. They were smitten with each other right away, and married on June 13, 1946.
It was time then for Frank to go to college, so they moved to Pullman, Washington and he attended Washington State College, now Washington State University. When he graduated, Frank and Helen had planned to move to Vanport, Washington for a job he had lined up, with the Clark County PUD in Vancouver, WA, but the Vanport Flood of May 30, 1948 ended that dream. The flood wiped out the up and coming town of Vanport, Oregon, leaving no housing for Frank and Helen. It was then that Frank took an instructor position in Pullman, Washington, and that was where he and Helen lived for the next 40 years, and raised their five sons, Robert, David, Greg, Wesley, and Richard. I find it amazing, how God can have a different plan for us than our plan. I don’t know how things might have worked out had the flood not happened, but Frank and Helen and their sons lived a wonderful life in Pullman, Washington.
With Helen’s passing, comes a new kind of loneliness for Frank, and I am glad that he has his wonderful sons and their families to help him get through this difficult time. Nothing will ever replace the love of his life, and I’m sure that this…the first birthday without he beloved soul mate, Helen, will be a difficult on for Frank, and I will be keeping him in prayer today and always, that the Lord with comfort him all the days of his life. Today is Frank’s 97th birthday. Happy birthday Frank!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
With the recent passing of my husband, Bob Schulenberg’s great aunt, Helen Knox, came a reconnection between our side of the Knox family, and Helen and her husband Frank Knox’s side. We immediately sent condolences out to Helen’s family when we heard of her passing, and just like that, we are reconnected. Through an email with Frank and Helen’s son, Greg Knox, I have connected with his daughter, Katherine “Kate” Knox West, who is their family historian. We are both anxious to explore our connections. But the big story for me was Greg’s recollection of a summer vacation from his youth. When talking about the memories of the person who has passes, you seldom expect a memory from a childhood, involving a cousin to be one that is remembered…after all those years, but that is a favorite memory for Greg.
Greg, who is the middle of five sons of Frank and Helen Knox, was telling me about his childhood in the mid-1960s. One of his fondest memories was of the that of my husband, Bob’s Aunt Margee Kountz and his Aunt Linda Cole taking turns going out to Pullman, Washington to “supervise” Greg and his four brothers, Robert, David, Wesley, and Richard. Now, I’m not sure exactly what that meant to them, or how many fights ensued over the summer, but it must have been lots of fun, because it is something Greg remembers. And he remembers his cousins, Linda and Margee dearly. I think I can understand that, because both of them have always been very sweet. It was interesting to me to think about those two girls going to stay with their aunt and uncle for the summer months. It would have been like a great adventure…spending the summer far from home, but still safe with your aunt and uncle. Getting to know your cousins better as they grew up. And getting to visit a pretty area of the country. Things were different then. People didn’t just hire babysitters. They usually had family take care of the children during the summer months. So, that’s what they did then. And it was a sweet blessing for the boys, and for Linda and Margee. And a sweet memory for me to be able to share on Margee’s birthday.
Margee is and always has been a wonderful person, eager to help out whenever she can. I don’t know what I would have done without her when I had to take my father-in-law, Walt Schulenberg to the doctor. We couldn’t leave my mother-in-law home alone, due to her Alzheimer’s Disease, and Margee came to stay with her. It was such a help to me and to my father-in-law. Today is Margee’s birthday. Happy birthday Margee!! Have a great day!! We love you!!