in celebration of her 39th+ Birthday by Sheryl (Nelda’s daughter) My Aunt SiS
Cecelia Lois Richter, my Aunt Sis, is the third daughter born to Reuben and Stella Richter, a young hardworking couple in eastern Pennsylvania, on December 30th, 1929. “Sis” showed musical talent and interest early in life. I heard that she wanted a piano or organ so badly that she created a toy one for herself by painting keys on a cardboard box.
Stella and Reuben were active in their local churches. Cecelia became a lifelong active member of her churches. I heard that she wanted a piano or organ so badly that she created a toy one for herself by painting keys on a cardboard box.
Stella smiles under the brim of her jaunty hat; Reuben’s white shirt and tie visible. Nelda and little Cecelia seem to have seen the same hairdresser; just the parts are different sides. Stella C Reuben C Nelda C Cecelia C
Stella C Reuben C Elm Grove – The home that Reuben built for his family. It had a store on the first floor and a coal mine across the road. Nelda C Cecelia C
The children loved their pets; Nelda is standing in the back with a very comfortable kitty in her arms.Young Cecelia sits directly in front of her. I swear Sis hasa chicken in another print of this photo…
Her family was VERY involved in church events ... And Cecelia was always dressed and coiffed beautifully.Her banana curls out-Shirleyed Shirley Temple’s.
She grew up in the shadow of her big sisters ... Note the penchant Nelda hadeven then for animals …
And she had fun with their friends … and family …
And, as little girls do, Cecelia grew up into a lovely young woman and she set off for Bob Jones University to pursue her musical career ...(Here should be the photo of her with ruffled dress at one of her recitals.) Enter Jimmy Meena … a very musical guy … • (Here should be a shot of Uncle Jimmy with her in the early days.)
And, they settled in Ann Arbor, Michigan … both of them teaching school (she taught kindergarten; he continued with that music thing) … and soon their family started to grow.Here’s where photos of little Roxanne and Billy should be. And this would be so cool if my cat hadn’t broken my scanner a few days ago …
I have many memories of my Aunt Sis from the time period 1956-1962 mainly from our Grandma and Grandpa Richter’s farm in Pennsylvania.When our family would get together, Lila would already be at the farm with her children, Bonnie and Randy. We (Nelda, my mom, and myself and brother Timmy) would arrive sometimes by train in Connellsville, or by car … Aunt Sis and Uncle Jimmy and their children, Roxanne and Billy, would arrive in the wee morning hours after driving all night. I would wake up to see Roxanne’s big grin and hear our parents talking in the big kitchen downstairs … our Grandma would be busy fixing our favorite dishes (apple dumplings!). whaever.
Uncle Jimmy would entertain us kids with sleight of hand tricks … Aunt Sis was a fashion plate. Dressing was an art form with her. She was always on the forefront of a movement.She had her dresses from Vogue patterns so she had couture type clothing but money to raise her children and send her grateful nephew and niece birthday and Christmas gifts.One time they drove in to the farm and she was celebrating Uncle Jimmy’s speeding ticket … it meant she would get three new dresses.. whaever.
She raised two wonderful children, now grown with children of their own ..,and here I should have a photo of the family together …After teaching kindergarteners for many years, singing professionally, and playing the piano and organ for her church and helping her husband’s musical ministry, Cecelia led their retirement to beautiful , sunny Florida. She continued being an active contributor to the church … playing the organ and singing for special occasions, a leader in the Christian women’s associations.
Children begat children, and their family has grown to include seven grandchildren, and two granddaughters have added two husbands to the mix.This is where I should be inserting a photograph of their family but I can’t locate the disk right now with the photos Aunt Sis sent to us …
We have unfortunately not been able to visit Aunt Sis and her family as much as we would like, but when we have, Aunt Sis and Uncle Jimmy outdo the Southern hospitality people at their own game, too.
From her home-baked zucchini bread, sponsored trips to Mote Marine Laboratory, dining treats at great restaurants … just some of the many gifts of my Aunt Sis and Uncle Jimmy.
We have had wonderful evenings in their beautiful home, swam in their swimming pool, but most of all we enjoy seeing the three sisters together.
When she and Aunt Lila visited Saint Louis in 2006,we had a great time … when we went to hear the Symphony you can see she “got the memo” about the perfect color to wear.
My guy, Rick, and I enjoyed eating out with the sisters at a Thai restaurant in Clayton -- a town where Lila and Nelda each worked – Nelda for many years.
Melissa and Danny and Zakwith the sisters … smiling for the camera ...
So our family has the great treasure ...that is my Aunt Sis.
Happy Birthday to a woman who adds newmeaning to the word ‘beautiful’. Happy Birthday to my ever-young Aunt Sis!