Appendix #5 –See Note Below
Pat’s Paternal Great Grandparents & Grandparents:
Pat’s great grandfather, Harry Dull, was born and raised in Cold Point, Pennsylvania a small farming community about 10 or 15 miles from Norristown. Up until the 1920s, he was the prosperous owner of one of the biggest and most prominent hotels in Norristown. When prohibition outlawed the sale of alcoholic beverages, Harry Dull sold his hotel and retired to a very nice home in suburban Jeffersonville.
Pat remembers Harry as a nice, old, widowed, recluse who spent his days listening to baseball games and tending his foul-mouthed parrot. He lived only on the first floor of his 3 ½ story single home. He left the second floor exactly as it was when his wife died and no one with the exception of a cleaning woman ever ventured up the winding staircases.
Harry Dull had three children daughters Amy and Gertrude and a son Roy – Pat’s grandfather. Roy Dull was an electrician by trade working mostly on large construction projects. He was first married to Rose Trostle who died during the great flu epidemic of 1918 through 1920. She left behind two very young children a daughter Peggy and Pat’s father – Ronald. Unable as a widowed working man to raise two young children on his own, Roy sought the help of family members to raise his children. Pat’s Great Aunt Gertrude who lived in Philadelphia had married well and she and her husband who were childless were particularly good to Pat’s father when he was growing up.
Pat’s grandfather remarried in the early 1930s. His new wife Julia Crabtree (Jule) was a former model and quite a bit younger than him. Roy and Jule who had no children lived in Ardmore on the prestigious Philadelphia Main Line. Until Jule died in the mid 1970s, Pat was always very close with her and considered Jule her real grandmother as well as her only grandmother. After Jule died Roy continued to live in the family home until he died in the late 1970s. During Roy’s final years, Pat’s mother, by then widowed herself, volunteered to drive to Ardmore at least once a week and take Roy to the store and on his local errands and doctors’ visits.
Pat’s Maternal Grandparents:
Pat’s maternal great grandparents immigrated to Pennsylvania from Ireland via Canada in the late 1800s. They settled in a small mill town called Spring Mill which was about 8 or 10 miles down the river from Norristown. They had a daughter and two sons who both moved to Norristown when they were grown. Pat’s grandfather Issac (Ike) Kehoe was a local politician, magistrate, justice of the Peace and a county office holder. His brother Tom Kehoe was Chief of Police in Norristown for years.
In his early years, Pat’s maternal grandfather married Ellen Farrell with whom he had five
daughters – Helen, Pat’s mother – Margaret, Katherine, Mary and Mercedes. Ellen died about 1912. Thereafter, Ike remarried a widow lady named Annie Blake who had a son Donald Blake whom Ike raised. When his second wife died, he hired his spinster sister Mary Kehoe, who was always called Aunt Mame, to help him raise his family and that she evidently did so with an iron fist. Pat remained in friendly contact with Aunt Mame until she died in 1957. Following his second wife’s death, Ike did not remarry but had several lady friends up until he died in 1951.
Ike Kehoe was evidently a crusty old guy. When he served as a Justice of the Peace and was holding court, he would call people appearing before him demeaning, racial names while cursing them out for breaking some law. In addition to serving as an elected Justice of the Peace, he also held a full-time political job at the Montgomery County Courthouse. Despite being crusty, Ike Kehoe was also very religious and served for years as the President of the church sponsored Norristown Temperance Society whose members pledged to never drink alcohol and staged large anti-drinking campaigns and rallies.
While Pat never knew her maternal grandmother, she was very close with her Grandfather Kehoe who would regularly pick Pat up after school and take her to his office where Pat’s mother was employed. Pat remembers the many after dinner “talks’ that she had with him in his living room and never running out of things to talk about. He also had a great sense oh humor and would often him slip her a dollar or two for spending money while admonishing her not to tell his other grandkids.
When Pat’s father’s mother died, young Ronald Dull was sent to Norristown to be raised by his maternal grandmother who was married to an Austrian baker named Lanz. Consequently, he always called the grandmother who raised him – Mom Lanz. Evidently the Lanz family treated
Pat’s father very well as he progressed through the Norristown public school system. Young Ronald evidently was a very good student. His uncle (his father’s sister Gertrude’s husband) at one point had made arrangements for Ronald to attend and board at the uncle’s expense at the prestigious and expensive Hill School in nearby Pottstown. However, Ronald decided to stay with his grandmother and graduated from Norristown High School in 1930 at the height of the depression. After high school, Ronald who was an excellent baseball player was scheduled to have a tryout with the major league Philadelphia Athletics which could have opened the doors to a professional baseball career, but he broke his leg playing ball before he ever had the tryout. After that he worked a succession of temporary jobs wherever and whenever he could find them until he landed a permanent job at the Alan Wood Steel Company’s plant just outside of Norristown. He worked there until he retired in 1976 but unfortunately passed away a year later on Thanksgiving Day 1978.
Pat’s mother Margaret Kehoe was the second youngest of Ike Kehoe’s five daughters. Since her mother had died shortly after she was born, she was raised by her widowed father and his
semi- tyrannical, spinster sister Aunt Mame in the family’s large home on the corner of Arch and Wood Streets in Norristown. Margaret attended St Patrick’s Grade and High Schools graduating as a certified stenographer. She worked in her father’s magistrate’s office maintaining office records and serving as his court stenographer until he died in 1951. Following that she served as a Probation Officer in the Probation and Domestic Affairs Office at the county courthouse. In that position she responsible for handling and processing large amounts of cash which was collected by her office for alimony and support payments. Additionally, her position made her privy to highly confidential and sometimes seamy personal information about prominent people as well as family friends. Never once did she violate the confidentiality of her job, even when she handled and was aware of the details that led to Pat’s best friend’s very sticky divorce. Margaret worked at the courthouse until she retired in the early 1970s. She remained in Norristown for several years after Pat’s father died. But in order to be near Pat, she relocated to Thousand Oaks, California in 1984. She was quite independent and maintained her own apartment until a series of falls forced her into an assisted living facility in the mid 1990s. She lived there until her final illness and subsequent death in December 2005 at age 93.
Pat’s parents were married in St. Patrick’s Church in Norristown in October 1935. Their only child Patricia Anne Dull (Pat) who was named after professional golfer Patty Berg was born on July 12, 1936 in Norristown’s Riverview Hospital.
In later years Pat’s parents were very good to Pat and Frank and their children. They allowed Pat and Frank to live rent free in their home while our first home was being built, They babysat the grandchildren regularly, frequently for weeks at a time while Pat and Frank traveled on extended business trips. Pop Pop and Nana, as the kids called them, took the grandchildren on frequent extended vacations including individual trips for each to Disneyland in California
Pat’s Immediate Family:
Pat was an only child and no sisters or brothers.
Pat’s Extended Family:
On her paternal side Pat had one aunt:
Aunt Peggy (Thomas) Oakes:
When Pat’s paternal grandfather was widowed about 1919, he was unable as a working man to raise his two young children on his own and sought the help of family members to raise his children. Pat’s father’s sister Peggy was sent to live with relatives by the name of Thomas in the tiny village of Port Kennedy, Pennsylvania adjacent to Valley Forge. The Thomas family eventually legally adopted Peggy and raised her as if she was their natural daughter. Peggy was a graduate of West Chester State College and later married a man named Bob Oakes. They resided in West Chester and had two boys – Bobby and Billy. During World War II, the older Oakes was in a fox hole that received a direct mortar hit. Although he was the only survivor, he was seriously wounded and suffered for the rest of his life from alcoholism and what is now called ‘post traumatic stress syndrome”. As a result, Pat’s Aunt Peggy was forced to raise her two boys on her own while working in a managerial position for the State of Pennsylvania.
Although Pat’s father was not raised with his sister, they were surprisingly close, visiting each other several times each year. During WW II when Peggy’s husband was serving as a US Marine in the South Pacific, young Bobby Oakes lived with Pat and her family for over a year. As a young adult Pat visited on a couple of occasions with her cousin Bobby Oakes and his younger brother Billie. Pat’s Aunt remained close with Pat’s family, especially Pat’s mother, until Peggy died in the early 1990s.
Aunt Helen & Uncle Pete Reilly:
Pat’s mother’s oldest sister was named Helen and was sort of the matriarch of the family. A registered nurse by training, she was married to Pete Reilly an ex Pennsylvania State Trooper who became warden of the Montgomery County Prison in Norristown. Her Aunt Helen was the Prison Matron in charge of a fairly sizable number of female prisoners. Pete and Helen had one daughter Ellen who was about two years older than Pat.
Pat, as were her parents, was particularly close with Helen and Pete. Pat particularly liked to visit the Reillys in their large apartment inside of the jail which was a huge stone, castle like structure with turrets from which until the early 1940s they executed condemned prisoners by public hanging. The prison was used to house prisoners awaiting trial at the courthouse across the street or petty offenders serving 30 to 60 day sentences for drunkenness, prostitution, shop lifting etc. As a result, the inmates ranged from relatively harmless drunks to notorious serial killers. Despite this, Pat was never afraid to visit the jail and even many times staying overnight behind bars. She remembers once dropping an identification bracelet with her name, address and phone number etc. from the second level of the jail into an assembly of inmates below. She was relieved when it was immediately turned in to a guard.
During the early years that she commuted to Philadelphia for high school, she would stop at the jail on her way home from the train station to visit her aunt and uncle. She remembers walking up a long flight of steps to the castle and ringing the door bell. One of the guards, all of whom who knew her by name and sight, would open a small window on the massive door, peer out, identify her and then use a huge key to unlock the massive, heavy twelve-foot wooden doors and let her into the jail. Some nights she would stay at the jail for dinner which was prepared and served by the female inmates who Pat remembers as being very nice and polite especially the incarcerated hookers. . Other times she would play with her cousin Ellen in the castle’s turrets or in the inmates’ exercise yard under the eye of a watchful of a prison guard.
The jail maintained a prison farm out in the country about 15 miles from Norristown where they grew many of the fruits and vegetables for the jail. During the summer, Pat’s uncle Pete would take her and her cousin with him when he visited the prison farm over which he also had jurisdiction. There, they would get to ride horses, tractors, play with the farm animals and experience a small taste of farm life.
Pete and Helen always had the use of a beach home in Wildwood, New Jersey for several weeks during the summers. Pat was always included in their vacations there. It was there, with her Uncle Pete, that Pat learned to fish, catch crabs and clams and prepare them for dinner. Pete also was an avid hunter and Frank always said that if her aunt had not died prematurely, her Uncle Pete would have had Pat out deer hunting before she was 15.
Pat’s Aunt Helen developed a vascular condition in the early 1950s that caused her to develop blood clots in her arteries which would break away and lodge in her heart. In July 1952 she had one her legs amputated in attempt to solve the problem. Unfortunately, it did not work and she died of a massive coronary thrombosis several days later.
After Helen’s death Pete Reilly stayed on as the warden of the prison until he successfully ran for the office of Sheriff of Montgomery County – a position he held for several terms. In the early 1960s he remarried and had a daughter by his second wife. Pete died in the late 1980s.
Cousin Ellen Reilly who was about two years older than Pat was Pete and Helen Reilly’s only child. Ellen who was afflicted with extremely poor eyesight from birth was always an extremely protected and spoiled child. After her mother died while she was still in high school, Ellen became very moody and even more spoiled. She attended Saint Patrick’s School in Norristown for 12 years before graduating from West Chester State Teachers College and embarking on a career as an elementary school teacher. Ellen was married to Harvey Adams, a successful inventor and patent holder, for over forty years. They lived in New Jersey all of their married life.
Pat and Ellen were close as children but had an on again – off again relationship in their adult life. Pat and her mother also, would go through a period of time when they would see and hear from Ellen on a frequent and regular basis. Then, with no provocation, they would go for months if not years without hearing a word from her – save for an occasional Christmas card.
During one of the periods when Pat and her cousin were close, Ellen and a group of her friends were going to Europe to celebrate their college graduations in 1957 or 1958. Their passage to and from Europe was on the newly christened S.S. United States. At that time, this ship was the fastest and most luxurious ocean liner afloat. Pat and Frank were invited to go to New York City to see her and friends off which they did. After enjoying Bon Voyage champagne in Ellen’s stateroom, the “All Ashore Who Are Going Ashore” announcement came across the speakers. Pat and Frank disembarked and stood on the dock watching as this great white vessel was pulled by tug boats out into the Hudson River to begin its five-day journey to England. It was quite a spectacle as bands played, fog horns blasted, fireboats squirted red, white and blue streams of water into the air and people on the ship waved back and forth to their friends and family on the dock. Frank still has a souvenir from that trip – a S.S. United States ashtray that he pocketed on his short visit aboard that great ship.
Post note – The most recent time that Frank & Pat saw and probably the last time that they will ever see Ellen was in 2006 when Pat’s mother was buried in Norristown. It was quite ironic that as Pat and Frank drove through Philadelphia on their way to Norristown, they could very clearly see the once proud and majestic S.S. United States sitting alongside of a Philadelphia dock – visibly rusting away while it awaited its final voyage to a scrap yard. De Je Vous!
SS United States rusting at Philadelphia dock in 2006
Aunt Kitty & Uncle “Doe” O’Keefe:
Pat’s mother’s sister Katherine was slightly younger than her. After attending Saint Patrick’s School in Norristown for her elementary education, she was sent off to boarding school at Saint Mary’s Academy in rural Leonardtown, Maryland. After graduating from there, she attended school in Philadelphia to become a registered nurse.
Kitty or Kate, as she was frequently called, married Pat’s uncle Joseph O’Keefe in the late 1930s. Because one his brother’s kids had a speech impediment and couldn’t say “Joe”, the little boy called Joe “Uncle Doe”. The name stuck and Joe O’Keefe was always called “Uncle Doe” by both his immediate family and Pat’s family.
Aunt Kitty worked all her life as a private duty nurse often attending well to do or famous patients on the famous Philadelphia Main Line. Joe who served in the U.S. Army during World War II worked until his retirement as a postal clerk at the main Philadelphia Post Office adjacent to that city’s 30th Street Station. Kitty and Doe lived all of their married life in the Springfield area of Delaware County Pennsylvania. They had one son Joseph who was at least 15 years younger than Pat and who after graduating from Villanova University followed his father’s footsteps with a career as a professional manager for the US Postal Service.
Pat was very close to her Aunt Kitty who was also her godmother. When she was a young girl Pat suffered from severe asthma which caused her to have frequent, prolonged attacks of bronchospasms during which she had great difficulty breathing. Frequently, when these attacks occurred, Pat’s Aunt Kitty, after working a regular nursing shift, would drive to Norristown to sit with and nurse Pat overnight so that her parents could get some sleep before going to work.
Pat was also close with her Uncle Doe. When she commuted to school and work in Philadelphia, Pat would often bump into and visit with him on the el (elevated train) on his way to work. If they bumped into each other at the 69th Street station which they both passed through, Doe would always buy Pat a cup of coffee and donut for the rest of their commutes. When Pat was in college, she dated a lot of guys from Delaware County. Her Aunt kitty and Uncle Doe always insisted that she stay overnight with them after these dates so that her dates did not have to make the long ride to and from Norristown.
Frank always got along very well with Pat’s Aunt Kitty who always enjoyed a drink or two. He remembers that when Pat graduated from college, her parents had a very nice post graduation reception at their home for Pat’s friends and family. The affair was very proper and formal – petit fours, tea sandwiches and punch sans alcohol. Frank and Aunt Kitty secretly decided to liven up the party by getting a couple of bottles of vodka and spiking the fruit punch. No one knows until this day whether Pat’s parents ever knew.
Until she moved to California, Pat’s mother remained very close to Katherine having long lunches with her and some of her friends at least once a month. Katherine died in the late 1980s. Thereafter, Doe stayed in touch with Pat’s mother by phone until he died in the mid 1990s.
Sister Mary Issac:
Like Pat’s Aunt Kitty, Pat’s mother’s younger sister Mary was educated at Saint Patrick’s School in Norristown and at Saint Mary’s Academy in Leonardtown, Maryland. While at St. Mary’s she decided to enter the convent and become a Sister of Nazareth nun taking the religious name of Sister Mary Issac.
Sister Mary spent most of her religious life as a grade school teacher in Boston, Kentucky and Virginia. Pat, her mother, and her grandfather would visit Sister Mary at these places regularly until Pat’s grandfather took ill. During her pre-teen and early teen years, Pat became pen pals with several of Mary’s students. In 1951, Pat spent a month in southern Virginia visiting with and being entertained royally some of these pen pals and their families. One of them, Roselle Stolz whom Pat remained in contact with through college, visited Pat and her family the following summer.
During many summers, Sister Mary was a counselor at her religious order’s summer camp in rural Maryland. Pat and her cousin Ellen attended that camp during several summers. Pat and Frank and their children also visited Sister Mary at the camp in the late 1960s. Every five or six years, Sister Mary would get home leave to visit her family. On the last of these, she visited Pat’s mother in California. Pat and Frank along with entertaining her at a big family dinner took her sightseeing all over Southern California. She was a great and appreciative tourist. Neither will ever forget her in her nun’s habit jumping up and down with excitement and screaming like a grade school girl when she first saw the famous Hollywood sign. Mary died at her religious order’s old nun facility in Kentucky in the mid to late 1990s.
Aunt Mercedes and Uncle Bob Straub:
Pat’s youngest aunt was named Mercedes and was about ten years younger than Pat’s mother. A very nice, fun-loving person, Mercedes evidently was the black sheep of the family who like her sisters Helen and Kate attended grade school at Saint Patrick’s in Norristown and was shipped off to St. Mary’s Academy in Maryland. Evidently Mercedes had difficulty with the nuns at the school and their strict discipline and was rumored to have frequent mandatory session with the school disciplinarian.
Shortly before World War II, Mercedes married Bob Straub. Bob, like most young men during the depression, was having difficulty obtaining good, steady employment. As a result, when the war started Bob almost immediately enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Mercedes stayed in Norristown, living in a small home owned by her father and raising she and Bob’s young daughter Kathy. Mercedes worked a series of wartime jobs while Bob served in the Pacific based out of Bremerton, Washington. After the war, Mercedes, who worked at night as a waitress, and Bob had two more children – Bob Junior who they called Robby and a girl who was called Muffin.
Pat’s family and Mercedes’ were n’ot particularly close with Mercedes and her family. Although Pat and Frank always delivered Christmas gifts to Mercedes’ family for Pat’s mother, Pat just about knew the two younger children. Although she knew Kathy better, because of a six-year age difference they were not very close. Kathy, who became a registered nurse, married Dover Wilmoth a Philadelphia Electric employee (now retired). They had three sons who are all doctors or skilled medical technicians. Kathy attended Pat’s mothers burial in 2006 and she and Pat had very nice time visiting and sharing memories over lunch after the ceremony.
In later years, after both Pat’s mother and Mercedes were widowed, they became closer seeing each other frequently for lunch and dinner. The night before Pat’s mother moved to California Pat, her mother and Mercedes had a very nice farewell dinner. Mercedes died in the very late 1990s.
(L to R) Frank, Pat’s Cousins Kathy Wilmouth & Ellen Adams
with Pat following her mother’s burial in 2006
Pat & Frank Fleming
List of appendices
Appendix 5 – Pat’s Family
(Click on underlined subject above to follow links)
Dear Reader .
Please Note, This Appendix is provided for reference. only .