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A Little Bit of Nana’s Story

A little family history today: Today is Nana’s birthday. She was born on May 17, 1911. The oldest of 7.

Agnes (after her paternal grandmother) Mildred Moller. Her father: John Conrad Moller, Her mother: Elizabeth Frances Dugan Moller. Nana contracted polio at the age of 5. She was paralyzed from the waist down. It began with a stomach ache. Had several operations (and loved sliding down the banisters in St. Vincent Hospital) She was an avid reader, graduated high school at the age of 16 when most especially girls didn’t go to high school. She worked in a factory, and once met Eleanor Roosevelt when touring the factory. After marrying Grandpa she had 6 children, only 3 lived. She had a daughter that she named Mary who was born with the cord around her neck. 2 sons. One who lived for 2 weeks, and was said to be allergic to the formula that the doctor told Nana to feed him. ( the doctor was said to cry and cry when Gerard died) Then a change of life baby boy. The doctor didn’t believe she was pregnant, said it was a tumor. Opened her up, and the little guy didn’t make it. In spite of polio, she swam, and drove a car ( and loved to drive fast). She would often drive to New Jersey to visit her Aunt May( her father’s sister, who lived until the late 60’s. ) After she got a motorized wheel chair she would ride it to the stores. Kids would follow behind her on their bikes. Smoked pot at least once. Had a great singing voice: Best known for singing Who’s Sorry Now. Didn’t care for alcohol. Was deeply devoted to, and dearly loved her family. Often cried alone. ( I came home from school early once when living with her, and found her sitting at the kitchen table, her head laying on her arms on the table. She was crying for us. I held her, and promised her that we would be OK. Carol’s children would be OK. It may not have seemed so, but she loved to laugh. Would dance with Grandpa by someone placing her feet on his. She was a very good listener. She Came off very stern, but in reality was very tender-hearted. Very accepting. She supported WWII, but was glad for the draft dodgers during the Vietnam War. She loved getting dressed every day including earrings, and managing her home. She loved making dinner which always included dessert. She passed away on November 4, 1981 from a stroke that she suffered from for 2 years. I remember how Grandpa cried. I’m grateful to have gotten to know her, and that Greg who had no Grandparents around him, had Great Grandparents around the block. He like me felt loved and taught by them.

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