Caroline Martha Owens

Caroline was born on this day 18th day of January in 1898. She was the daughter of Welsh immigrants who came to this country seeking a better life. Her mother was from Bangor and her father from the Island of Anglesey. She used to tell me about this when I was a little boy sitting on her lap. She was my grandmother and I can still hear her voice and today I sense her presence even more. She died thirty years ago but her memory lives on with me and and her other grandchildren.

Her father was a share cropper. Neither of her parents spoke English very well. Her dad’s nickname was ‘DickShe.’ He got that moniker because someone who came to the farm looking for him asked my great-grandmother of his whereabouts and she replied, “Dick she’s in the barn.” Her mother was the daughter of a Welsh banker I was told but I don’t know what if any other work she did after coming to America. Caroline was the youngest of seven children. Caroline went to school and made it to the sixth grade. Despite her lack of formal education she read very well up until the time that macular degeneration took away her sight. She married at seventeen and had five children, three of whom lived to adulthood. She used to say rather proudly, “I’ve had all the deadly diseases and five children.” We used to chuckle about how she lumped the children in with the deadly diseases.

She was an accomplished baker and my favorite treat was her fried cakes and filled cookies. I lived with her for four years in my twenties. We had a great time in those years. She lived six years after I married and moved into our own home. She was great grandma to our children. She taught our son how to count in Welsh and say some other Welsh phrases. She taught our daughter some limericks and enjoyed hearing her say, “oh shit.” Happy Birthday Grandma! I love you.