Saturday, January 25, 2014

52 Ancestors #3 Ida Faye Houston Ulicnik Kotrla Schutz

This week's post honors someone without whom (besides my parents obviously) I would not exist. This someone was my paternal great aunt Faye who was my paternal grandmother's younger sister. She & my cousin Betty (her daughter) are responsible for introducing my father to my mother & getting the ball rolling on a love affair that has lasted for forty-eight years in February.

Faye was born in Buckholts, Milam Co., Texas on 4 May 1927 to Luther Henderson & Della Green Houston, the third of four daughters & the eighth of nine children. She grew up on the family farm & grew up to be (atleast from my perspective) a forward thinking woman. She married James Bennett Ulicnik on 8 July 1943 in Milam County, Texas & had one daughter, Frances, before divorcing him in January 1948.

Daughters of Luther Henderson Houston & Della Green Houston Schostag in 1944-1945. Left to right are Ida Faye Houston Ulicnik, Asalee Ola "Baby" Houston Ulicnik & my paternal grandmother, Beulah Mae Houston Russell. 
One tale I heard from my Aunt Baby when I was younger was that my grandmother & my Aunt Faye had married each other's beaus for fun (meaning my Aunt Faye married my grandmother's first husband Lambert Russell after they divorced & my grandmother married Lambert's brother Robert who was going around with Aunt Faye at the time). I had never really put a whole lot of credence in Aunt Baby's tale until one day I ran across a marriage record in Rockwall County, Texas between Faye & Lambert. Sure enough, just like Aunt Baby said, I found they were married there on 30 Apr 1947 (I am assuming that the marriage was either annulled or they divorced sometime in 1948).

My father, Ralph Ray Quinteros, with his cousins Betty Kotrla Prentice & "Bubba" Kotrla in Cameron, Milam County, Texas in October 1962. Dad & Betty were very close growing up.
Aunt Faye was married next to Lester Eugene Kotrla on 11 Sept 1948. They had two more children; a daughter Betty & a son Lester who was nicknamed "Bubba". They eventually divorced & she married Collie Lawrence Schutz about 1964.

Ida Faye Houston Ulicnik Kotrla Schutz with husband Collie.
It was about this time that Aunt Faye & Uncle Collie ran a boarding house with rooms to rent at 700 Glendale Drive & Junius in Dallas, Texas. My dad had just been discharged from his two year hitch in the USAF & returned to his home town of Temple, Texas looking for work. He had been trained as a key punch operator in the military, but was unable to find work in that field because the majority of key punch operators then were female, so Dad came on up to Dallas looking for work there where he already had family. He finally found work on the packing & meat processing line at Circle J Meats. After staying with his aunt for a couple of weeks, he was able to get his own apartment at 5101 Tremont Street in East Dallas. He would regularly stop by his Aunt Faye's house after work to visit from then on.

Corner of 700 Glendale & Junius in Dallas, Texas where my Aunt Faye & her husband Collie let out rooms for rent. My mother rented a room on the second floor that could be accessed by an outside staircase.
During the summer of 1965, my mother, Sue Turnipseed, who was out on her own & working for the first time in her life, rented a room from none other than my Aunt Faye. She graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School as part of the Class of 1964 & found a job.  Dad had often seen her at a distance walking down Glendale from the bus stop, but paid her no mind. On one particularly fateful day in September 1965, he stopped by his Aunt Faye's after work as he so often did. His cousin Betty, then fourteen, was in her room listening to records & passing the time with my mother whom Dad had not officially been introduced to yet. Betty & her younger brother Bubba asked Dad to take them to the Dairy Queen for a treat. Dad said he would wait in the car while they got ready & left the room. In a minute, Betty came out & said the words Dad has said he will always remember of my parents' first meeting: "Can 'Turnipseed' (meaning my mother) go too?"

My parents at my maternal grandparents' 
home in Avinger, Texas  just after their
engagement during Thanksgiving 1965.
My parents while on their honeymoon at
Horse Tail Falls in Monterrey, Mexico in
February 1966.
Dad said he didn't mind one way or the other whether she rode along with them or not & finally, Betty, Bubba & "Turnipseed" were ready to go. He remembers that when they got to the Dairy Queen, his cousins had their own money to purchase whatever they wanted, but "Turnipseed" seemed to have no money of her own.
Even though he did not know Mom, he thought she might feel left out & offered to buy her something which she refused (Mom said that since the invitation to go to the Dairy Queen did not come from Dad, she felt it would not be proper to accept his offer to buy her a treat). This small incident changed both their lives forever. At the time, they were both somewhat lonely people & their ages of 19 & 20 limited what they could do & where they could go. Mom & Dad began hanging out together. Up until then, Dad had made regular visits to see his mother in Temple, Texas where she lived, but once they started dating, all visits to his mother abruptly stopped as they spent more & more time together. This precipitated a call from my grandmother to her sister Faye who said "He's met the girl upstairs". At the end of October 1965, Dad asked "Turnipseed" to marry him. The rest they say is history. 

Aunt Faye lost her husband Collie to a heart attack in February 1972. They were no longer running the boarding house & her children were grown & out on their own by then. She was forward thinking for the times in that she did not consider living with someone prior to marriage or instead or marrying them wrong. She had a few relationships after Collie's death, but never officially remarried.  I remember her as a good cook & very straight forward & forthright person. She developed complications of diabetes & died on 19 December 1982 in Dallas, Texas & was buried at Grove Hill Cemetery.

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