J. Smith Photography | Eunice McClellan

Eunice McClellan (Zimmerman)

1976 wedding Gramp Jenny Jim Gram 21976 wedding Gramp Jenny Jim Gram 2

Life History

Eunice, or "Gram" as I knew her, was a great example of a strong woman; a woman who, in her life was visited by great tragedy, but whom I also knew as a loving, kind person, someone who was always giving.

Having been married at the onset of the Great Depression, Gram was always determined to be self-reliant. She had a huge garden and canned like no other. Each time we visited we would return home with canned goods of some kind; her dill pickles and raspberry jam were some of my favorites.

When her two children were grown, another daughter was born, Lannie Sue. Tragically, however, Lannie Sue drowned at the age of 4 in a creek behind their home in Ketchum, Idaho. It was an event that deeply impacted Gram. From what I recall, her daughter (my grandmother) Gloria, left college to return home and care for her mother.

Following the death of her husband, Vern, Gram kept a journal to him for a few months. My wonderful, amazing wife transcribed it and the text of it can be found here. She began the journal on their anniversery, a few months after his death. As I read through it, it caused me to reflect on my own relationship with my wife. For Gram, it was the small things that she missed sharing with Gramp, those routine things that bind people together and I thought (and still think) of the many seemingly small things that bind my wife and I together. Marriage binds two people, not through great acts, but through the merging together of two lives through the daily small intimacies that are shared between two people. Reading Gram's journal is all the more poignent knowing the circumstances that led to it - Gramp taking his own life and, in that instant, leaving Gram behind. 


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