Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sentimental Sunday: Fearless Female Elizabeth Massmann Pape, ABT March 1962

The photo at right is of my paternal grandmother, Elizabeth "Betty" Florence Massmann Pape (1902-2000).  On the back it is stamped "March 1962," so it was likely taken on or slightly before that date.  I recognize the location; it's their triplex townhome at 2547 Hastings in Evanston, Illinois, at the corner of Central Avenue and across the street from Bent Park, where they lived from 1956 to 1971.  Perhaps my dad, Frederick Henry Pape, took this photo on one of his business trips - maybe even one where he brought me along, as I remember flying with him to Chicago and visiting Nana and Grandpa when I was about the age when this photo was taken.

Elizabeth Florence Massmann was born on December 23, 1902, the second and last child of Frederick Henry Massmann (1875-1948) and Elizabeth Camilla Dienes (1876-1946)  The 1901 Chicago city directory shows the family living at 311 (2047 after 1909) Cuyler Avenue in Chicago, so she might have been born there.  She was baptized at the nearby St. Benedict Catholic Church on January 4, 1903. with her uncle George Hermann Massmann (1877-1963) as her godfather.

Elizabeth had one older brother, Alfred John Massmann (1901-1964).  She was listed as in school on the 1910 Census (age 7) and the 1920 Census (age 17), when her family lived at 1938 Morse and 1833 Morse respectively, both in the Rogers Park area of north Chicago.

In a December 1996 article in her retirement home's monthly newsletter, Elizabeth (later known as Betty) said,

As a child, Betty was very bashful.  But to her friends, she was called the "Chicago Flapper" because she loved to have so much fun!!!  Betty graduated from DePaul High School for girls, then went one year to business school to learn typing and clerical work.  At the age of 16, Betty took her most memorable trip with her parents, traveling six weeks by train through the Grand Canyon, California, and the Canadian Rockies. 
When Betty was 18, she met Paul Pape through a friend and the two started dating. One of her most wonderful dates was when they took a romantic canoe ride on Lake Michigan and he sang "Indian Love [Call]" song to her. [Links to original and later lyrics; 1925 instrumental, 1936 movie, and later recorded versions.]
Four years later, Betty and Paul were married on September 3, 1924, at St. Jerome Catholic Church in Rogers Park where they had a beautiful large wedding and reception. They honeymooned in Woodruff, Wisconsin, where, unfortunately, it poured rain the whole time! So they returned to Chicago and enjoyed the shows and dinners out, "but not fishing!" Betty said. 
Growing up, Betty enjoyed golfing, acting, and being on stage. She and Paul loved to fish and travel often to [Dairymen's County Club in] Wisconsin.

Paul and Betty lived for a while in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, while Paul was involved in a business venture there, and their oldest child, Paul Robert Pape Jr., was born there in January 1926.  By October 1927, they were back in the Chicago area, where second child Elizabeth "Betty" Mary Pape Streff was born.  The 1930 and 1940 Censuses show them at the home my father grew up in, at 2093 W. Lunt Avenue in north Chicago.  Two more daughters, Rose Mary Pape Dietz and Marilyn Electa Pape Hedger, were born while they lived in this home.

Sometime around 1955, after all their children were married, Betty and Paul moved to a duplex townhouse at 2027 Lake Avenue in nearby Wilmette.  The triplex townhouse on Hastings in Evanston was built in 1956, so I think they moved into it either that year or the next.  They continued to live there through Grandpa Paul's death in April 1970, and Nana (Betty) was there for at least a few months afterward, as I remember visiting her there in the summer of 1970.

Nana then moved in with her daughter Rose Mary and her family at their home at 305 Bel Air in Glenview, Illinois.  They were there through at least 1980, but by 1986, they had moved to Largo, Florida.  On March 12, 1994, Nana moved into the Royal Palms retirement community in Largo,  She was a member of their "kitchen band," and enjoyed knitting and playing bingo, bridge, and pinochle. I remember visiting her there in December 1999, shortly before she died, on January 13, 2000.

At the time of her death, Nana had 28 grandchildren, 77 (of a total of 78) great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter, with a great-great-grandson on the way.  (Now, there are so many great-great-grandchildren, I can't keep track of them all.)  In her interview, Nana said, "Writing to all of them keeps me very busy too!"  She is buried next to her husband Paul in All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Illinois.

© Amanda Pape - 2015 - click here to e-mail me.

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