Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Happy 73rd Anniversary to Grandpa John and Grandma Donna Bartram!

Mr. and Mrs. John Bartram
March 26, 1938
Reno, Washoe County, Nevada
This Saturday, March 26, would have been the 73rd anniversary for my maternal grandparents, John Bartram (1911-1987) and Donna Marie Madsen (1919-1966). In honor of this momentous day, here are some of their wedding photos and their marriage record.

Grandma and Grandpa met at the Livermore Rodeo in 1936 when Grandpa was an exciting rodeo performer and Grandma was a 16-year-old rodeo queen. They were married on March 26, 1938, in Reno, Nevada. They didn't live in Reno, but it seemed to be the fashion in those days for many Northern California couples to trek over the Sierra Nevada mountains to get hitched. Not only did my grandparents get married in Reno, but so did my parents and a couple of sets of aunts and uncles.

They raised four children together: Clinton James (Jim), Brenda Rae, Rebecca Elizabeth (Becky - my mom) and Clay John. From all accounts, they were a lively couple. Grandpa was a handful (to put it mildly!), and Grandma did her best to wrangle him and the four kids. They lived around the Tri-Valley area (Livermore, Dublin, Pleasanton).

John and Donna, with their friends, Doug and Marie Kennedy
Grandma and Grandpa were married until Grandma Donna passed away in 1966, mainly from complications from a terrible car accident in 1959 (which left her brain damaged) as well as diabetes, leaving my Grandpa John heartbroken. He never remarried, and he often confided to my sister and me how much he missed his Donna. I love looking at these photos of them in happier times.
Marriage record from Washoe County, Nevada

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like the poor man's heart was broken. How lucky you are to have these photos and the marriage record.