Ellsworth’s Cousins: Ray & Grace Randall

Randall family_0002

Ray and his sister Clara

As a kid, the concept of a “second-cousin” was difficult to comprehend.  Ray & Grace Randall were of the same generation as our parent’s. They came to the same family gatherings as Uncle Goodenow and Aunt Hazel, but they had a different last name and called our grandparents “Uncle Walter and Aunt Blanche.”

Later I learned that “Uncle Ray” was the son of Grandpa Walter’s older sister Claudia who had died a long time ago. I was their “second cousin.”

Family whispers said that they were “Christian Scientists” and didn’t believe in doctor’s. Some of my first inquiries into religious beliefs centered around Christian Scientists and Mary Baker Eddy.

Uncle Ray was a plumber by vocation.  He and Aunt Grace had no children.  They lived on the West side of Detroit in a suburb called Dearborn. Aunt Grace was a big woman with a big laugh.  Uncle Ray was smaller with a laugh made without opening his mouth.  Both were kind souls to their “second cousins.”

Uncle Ray helped my Dad install a new furnace in our home in October of 1947. Brother Douglas arrived on October 21, 1947, a few days before our new furnace installation was completed.  I remember Uncle Ray staying late every night until the new beautiful furnace was up and running, and the old ugly one was smashed to pieces and carried out of our basement. Our house was heated with coal in those days, but with the new furnace, a stoker carried the coal from a container into the fire pit of the furnace. No longer did we have to shovel coal into the firepit. Everyone was happy to welcome the new furnace as well as our new brother into our home on Coplin Avenue in Detroit, Michigan. Douglas was given the middle name Ray, and Uncle Ray and Aunt Grace were chosen as his Godparents.

Uncle Ray died when he was 75 years of age.  After his death Aunt Grace said that on the day he died, he came home tired, lay on the couch with his head in her lap, and passed away.

This trove of photographs which I now share with you, contain several photo’s of Uncle Ray Randall and his family.


Randall family_0001

The Randall Family, Claudia, Clara, Raymond and Herbert

Randall Clara

Clara “Besse” Randall

Randall Clara2

Clara Randall

Randall christmas

Christmas at the Randalls: Grandpa Walter, Clara, Claudia, Aunt Hazel, Ellsworth and “Bert” Randall.

Randall christmas back side

Back of the Christmas photo

Randall clara letter

Letter from Clara to Aunt Hazel

Randall Grace

Aunt Grace Randall

Randall Ray&Grace

Aunt Grace and Uncle Ray as I knew them

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