1-24  The First Twenty-Four
25-48  The Second Twenty-Four
49-72  The Third Twenty-Four
73-96  The Fourth Twenty-Four
97-120  The Fifth Twenty-Four
121-144  The Sixth Twenty-Four
145-168  The Seventh Twenty-Four
169-on  The Eighth Twenty-Four

73  Wunderkammer II
74  Wunderkammer III
75  Wunderkammer IV
76  Wunderkammer V
77  Wunderkammer VI
78  What Is Teaching?
79  A Gathering
80  Wunderkammer VII
81  Wunderkammer VIII
82  My Gluten-Free Test
83  Grandpa and FDR
84  Atomic Energy by a 12yo
85  Genealogy Quilts
86  Per Nilsson Västgöte
87  Hawaiiana 7
88  Wunderkammer IX
89  Maui First Class
90  Genealogy Kicks
91  Glass Art
92  Hawaiiana 8
93  Outlines of Paradise
94  Wunderkammer X
95  Aunt Rubie
96  A Family Visit, part 1




Aunt Rubie, my mother Mamie’s baby sister, was without a doubt the most altruistic person I have ever known.  She never married, but spent years of her life in care-giving and watching over loved ones.  She deserves so much more, but this is a brief memorial to her.


 Rubie with her dog

 Rubie with brother Myron


Rubie with her tiny puppy

Rubie with brother Myron



This is the earliest picture that I have of Rubie taken in about 1915.  The writing on the picture is not entirely clear, but it identifies Rubie and “Bas” or maybe “Dog”.  I think she is on the back porch of the Tillner house in Anvil Location, MI.

The one on the right is Rubie and her beloved younger brother Myron in about 1917 at the same place, but of course a different season.


 1925 Confirmation Class, Sharon Lutheran Church

Confirmation Class of Sharon Lutheran Church, Bessemer, Michigan about 1925



This is Rubie with her confirmation class at the Sharon Lutheran Church in Bessemer, Michigan.  It would be the class of 1925 or so.  Rubie is the second from the right in the middle row.  Her classmate, second from the left in the top row, seems to have thrown caution to the wind with a hairdo that looks like “666”, the so-called number of the beast, on her forehead.  Close inspection shows an additional “6” over her temple.  Good looking bunch of kids, eh?  Rubie was prone to use the Canadian “eh” quite often.


   1928 Rubie and swim team

Rubie with friends at Tillner cottage on Lake Gogebic about 1928



Rubie was very athletic.  She swam, bowled, ice-skated, skied and played softball.  This group, who may be have been a swim team at that time, spent some time at the Tillner cottage on Lake Gogebic in about 1928.  Rubie is next to the right.



1941 Rubie 1943 Rubie with friend

Rubie in about 1941

Rubie with friend in 1943



Left is one of my favorite pics of Rubie – taken in about 1941.

Rubie was hard working and spent lots of time serving others, but she did have time for a few boyfriends.  Right is one of them – unfortunately the friend is not identified.  Check the wheels – maybe Grandpa Tillner’s.


USPO, Anvil Location, MI Last day of issue, Anvil Location, MI PO

USPO, Anvil Location, MI

Last day of Anvil Location, MI Post Office



The Tillner family lived in Anvil Location, Michigan from the turn of the century.  In the early ‘30s, Rubie worked at the Anvil store, in which the US Post Office was housed.  In 1934, Rubie became the postmistress.  Many years later the store was razed, but Rubie and her younger brother Myron, who shared the old Tillner house, built an addition to their house for the PO and a small pick-up store.

When Rubie retired in 1971, she planned to close the store, and the USPS elected to close the post office as well.  Anvil Location became a rural route of Bessemer, MI.  The picture shows a rare and treasured “last day of issue” from the Anvil Location, Michigan, US Post Office.



Grandpa Tillner started ailing in about 1938.  In about 1941 he became bedridden.  Grandma Tillner and Rubie were caregivers during those five years until his death in 1943.

Grandma did very well until about 1956.  Then, after ailing for several months, she fell, broke her hip, and became bedridden.  Rubie was her caregiver until her death in 1957.

The Tillners had nine children who lived to adulthood, and all of them had long lives.  The birth order was Beyda 1895, Mamie 1896, John 1898, Carl 1901, Edna 1904, Marge 1907, Viola 1909, Rubie 1911, and Myron 1914.

In 1963, Marge’s husband Pete died.  Marge didn’t know what to do with herself, but ended up moving to “the Anvil” (as locals used to call it) and taking up residence with Rubie.  The two sisters bought a house just a few doors from the Tillner house.  Both of them were characters and enjoyed a little cocktail in the evening.  They had a good time together.

I remember Marge’s move to Anvil.  I came home from California to visit my parents that Christmas.  Pete’s car was parked in the snow by the Tillner house.  Although Marge didn’t drive, the car had followed her to Anvil.  I bought that car and drove it back to California.

After Rubie retired in 1971, she and Marge sold the Anvil house and moved to a house they bought in Ironwood, MI.

Rubie with sister Marge Rubie with sister Mamie

Rubie with sister Marge

Rubie with sister Mamie



Viola, the first of the nine Tillner siblings to pass, died in Wisconsin in 1981.  Beyda died in the Chicago area in 1983.  Marge, with Rubie watching over her, died in 1983.

John in Chicago, and Carl in Wisconsin, died in 1987.  Edna, visited regularly by Rubie, died in 1992. 

My father, Clarence, died in 1990.  Mom and Dad had shared a room in a nursing home for just a few months when Dad died.  My brother Bud retired in 1991 and moved to the UP.  Bud and Rubie both visited Mom nearly every day until her death in 1993.  Bud and Rubie each did the daily crossword puzzles in Mom’s room and then would compare results.

With all but her younger brother Myron gone, Rubie died in 1994.  Bud visited her the day before her death.  Rubie couldn’t speak due to a tube in her throat, but communicated with pencil and pad.  Bud said the last thing she wrote as he was leaving was “No weigh”.  He and I speculated on whether this was the drugs or a final joke – we preferred to think the latter.

Rubie and Marge, the only two siblings who had no children, were buried beside their parents in Hillcrest Cemetery, Bessemer, Michigan.

The last of the Tillner clan – Myron – died in 1997.  Rubie could never have tolerated seeing his death.




Rubie was the life of the party when the Tillners got together.  She was the one who would wear a costume or put a lampshade on her head or do a dance or sing or otherwise entertain the group.  Living in the Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan just a few miles from the Tillner cottage at Lake Gogebic, she was the one who was always there, while others had to travel to spend short stays there.

No one will ever know, of course, whether Rubie felt an obligation as the youngest girl to watch over her parents and her siblings, or whether she just chose to play that role.  However, she did forgo marriage and a life apart to watch over them all and she did a wonderful job of it!