By JOE DERVIN
---- — My mother, Irmy, was born June 1915 in Chicago. Her mom and dad were both workers. She had an older sister named Rose. They grew up in a small home on the Near South Side and attended Fenger High School. While mom and Rose were in high school their mom died. Six months later their dad passed away.
Mom and Rose hired an attorney to sell the home, which he did. However, he also cheated both of them by keeping most of the money. They were forced to live with aunts and uncles in Chicago while finishing high school. Mom graduated, went to beauty school and got a job at the early start of the Great Depression. With her income she helped those family members who had been taking care of her.
Mom later met my father, Walter Dervin, who went by the name of Bud. They fell in love and married.
My uncle, Harold Hodgson, had moved to Goshen after buying a hardware store, naming it Hodgson Hardware Store on Main Street. Mom and dad moved here to work at the store. Those were hard times.
They bought a small home on South Seventh Street, south of Purl. My brother Tom was born in 1940 and I was the war baby born in July 1944.
Dad enlisted in the Army, trained and left for the war, ending up in the Philippines. He returned with a disability from the service. Mom took care of him while raising her two sons with the help of my uncle. Dad recovered partially and returned to work. He would become sick again in the 1950s. By then they had moved to 814 S. Seventh St.
Dad was real sick one evening and mom called Dr. Turner to the home for help. Tom and I were downstairs while mom and the doctor were with dad. He died that night, Nov. 21, 1952. Mom would lose her sister, Rose, a few years later.
Irmy had such great support during that time. There she was with no income and two young kids. All our friends helped.
Mom went to work, filed for Social Security for my brother and I. Tom and I received $60 a month until we were 18 years old.
My brother was a troubled person. Mom kept trying to help him move on. Unfortunately he chose to end his life on Sept. 3, 1968, four weeks before Patty and I were to be married. I told mom that we would postpone the wedding, but she declined.
Life again went on for Irmy as she showed her love for everybody. Patty and I gave her two grandchildren who she loved and was an influencing force in their lives. We had the opportunity to purchase a home next to us for mom to live in. However, two weeks before we were to move in, mom had a stroke and moved to College Green nursing home. She passed away 23 months later.
I have been blessed with the strength, love and integrity of my mom who lived and led by example, leaving me a great legacy as so many of that Great Generation have done.
Happy Mother’s Day, Irmy.
— Joe Dervin resides in Goshen.