|Company A, West High School (March 1923)|
It would be another three decades before we would get to know and love this house across the street from West High School on Humboldt Avenue in South Minneapolis.
On September 11, 1952, Connie Stoep, the first wife of my dad (Richard Byron Lohman), died suddenly during the polio epidemic of a rare form of the disease called bulbar polio. My dad was left with three small children - Jeanne, Doug, and Paul.
On the day of her funeral, Dad's sister and brother-in-law, Priscilla and Raymond Jensen, approached him with an idea.
"Richard, we know you're not ready to think about this now, but we want to tell you now so that when you are ready, you'll remember this. If you are willing to sell your small house and buy a larger one, we'll move in with you and help take care of the children." My Uncle Ray, who wrote a moving account of this period in his memoir, Threads of Love, wrote, "I don't remember that Richard responded in words... nor did we expect him to. His hug and tears of gratitude said all that was needed."
At first Dad tried to make thing work by hiring a string of housekeepers, but it was soon clear that this wasn't going to be a long-term solution.
After some searching, Dad found 2812 Humboldt Avenue South, and on December 31, 1952, they moved in. Two families with nine children under the age of nine all under one roof!
When my dad later married my mom, Charlotte Pauline Hovick Thompson, the Jensen's moved back to their own home. This new Lohman family formed and came together under this roof, and here the family grew, adding Jeffrey in 1955 and me, David, in 1961. We remained here until 1965 when Dad finished seminary, was ordained, and received his first call to a pair of churches in Butterfield, Minnesota.
Life at 2812... on the Front Steps
|Paul, Charles, Jeanne, Jeffrey, Douglas|
|Paul, Charles, Jeffrey, Douglas|
|Paul, Douglas, Jeffrey, Jeanne, David, Charles|
The Front Yard
|Paul, Charles, unknown, David|
|Douglas, Paul, Charles, Jeffrey|
Richard's Ordination Celebration on June 20, 1965: