Dad’s mother died from a heart attack when he was 11. She was nursing Clyde, her 6th child one morning when she collapsed out of the rocker on top of the baby. A neighbor heard him crying as she walked by on the way to the store and still crying when she walked back so she found her there on the floor. When Grandpa was told and came to the front door he was so overwhelmed he collapsed through the front screen door. Not sure if that is when he started drinking and gambling but that is how Dad remembered his childhood.
Grandpa made Dad drop out of school in the 4th grade to take care of his siblings even though he wasn’t the oldest. Troy, the eldest had suffered the effects of polio as a child and was partially paralyzed as a results. At the age of 4 Dad had had to go with Troy to kindergarten to take care of him but the next year when Troy was promoted to 1st grade Dad was made to repeat kindergarten which he never understood why and was very hurt by it.
Grandpa remarried a year later to a woman older than he essentially to care for him and the kids but when Dad thought he was going to get to go back to school Grandpa made him go out and get a job to help the family finances. Every payday Dad had to turn it over to Grandpa and Grandpa would give him a nickel or at the most a quarter that he could spend however he wanted. Dad would generally go to the movies when he could get in for a double feature or more and escape the harshness of his life.
Grandma Sue and Grandpa never had children but she loved and cared for them all as though they were her own. For the most part as far as I am able to ascertain she was illiterate during her life but a very kind and gentle woman, wife, mother and grandmother.