Rabbit Trail Tales

A Family Lost

A headstone pillar designating the loss of an entire family.
This headstone is that of my husband’s grandfather’s family.

This story became very real for me on my first Memorial Day trip with my husband and his siblings to pay tribute to family members who have passed. 

We would spend all morning being reminded of the lives that went before us and the memories shared made them present with us.

I think the most difficult headstone was that of my husband’s grandfather’s family. In 1891, they lost all of their children to diphtheria…all that is except one, Oscar, my husband’s grandfather. The children were ages 17 through 2.  Oscar was 12 years old.

Most of us cannot imagine the heartache and incredible pain this family endured.  As a 12-year-old boy, I would imagine Oscar carried many thoughts, questions and tears. But in this tragedy, I find I am in awe every time I look at our grandsons.  In some miraculous way, Oscar survived, and the course of this family has been forever changed as evidence of this 2002 family photo.

 I am grateful.

Vintage photo of the Fett family
Family of Oscar and Mary Fett


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Fred Fett-Diphtheria

Article from Feb 8, 1891 The Morning Democrat (Davenport, Iowa)