My grandfather’s Aunt Myra, his mother’s sister, Hannah Almira Lee Churches, was born 4 December 1864, in Southfield, Michigan. On 26 March 1891, in Pontiac, Michigan, she married Robert Richard Churches. Five and a half years later, her younger sister, Ora, would marry Robert’s younger brother, George. Aunt Myra and Uncle Robert had 6 children: Hazel (1897), Roy Thomas (1901), Raymond Charles (1901) [twin brother of Roy], a baby that died soon after birth in 1902, Ivan Lee (1905), and Esther Harriett (1907). Uncle Robert died 5 May 1952. Aunt Myra died 10 June 1954. Both in Southfield; both buried in the Southfield Cemetery along with the child that died in 1902.
Now, I never met Aunt Myra. But I have a very early memory tied to her. I was only 4 ½ years old when she died. I remember going to my grandparents house and piling into their car with my mother and brother and heading out to the country [Southfield was considered the country in 1954]. We were going to pay our respects to Aunt Myra. She was laid out in the living room of the family home. [This is the memory part]. A coffin in the living room obviously left a lasting impression on a 4 ½ year old! The was still a common practice in the mid 1950s in the country. And the Southfield Cemetery was a small country cemetery even though it is currently surrounded by high rise buildings.