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Marge Penrose Johnson, My Aunt and Uncle Dick Johnson by Tim Corvin

Fond memories of his Aunt Marjorie Penrose and Uncle Richard Johnson by Tim Corvin

Aunt Marge and Uncle Dick

Aunt Marge died on April 21, 1987. Uncle Dick (I guess he never liked the name Inglus) died in 1977. After his death she returned to Utah to live with her sister under the promise that when she died she would be buried next to her husband in Michigan. That didn’t happen and she is buried in Bountiful, Utah. I think this is a real shame. From my early memory, they were inseparable; I never saw one without the other by their side.

From what I understand, my Uncle Dick and Aunt Marge courted for quite a number of years but I guess their religious differences prevented them from marriage (the Johnsons were very devout fundamentalist Baptists). They obviously overcame it, but by the time they married they were too old to produce children of their own.

I was very young and only saw Uncle Dick and Aunt Marge on brief occasions, but I loved them dearly. My parents divorced when I was 8 years old, in 1969, and I was raised by my father from that point on. When my parents were together, every other year we would fly to my mom’s hometown outside of Detroit, Michigan to spend Christmas with my grandparents and various aunts, uncles, and cousins, including Uncle Dick and Aunt Marge. Then every other year my grandparents would fly to California to spend Christmas with us. On a couple of occasions they were accompanied to California by Uncle Dick and Aunt Marge.

I remember that Uncle Dick loved to tell Bible stories. He'd say things like, “Timmy, have you ever heard the story of Sampson and Delilah?” I'd say, “Oh yes, I learned about them in Sunday School” but it wouldn't stop him from telling me anyway, “Well, Sampson and Delilah….”

From what I understand, he and my grandfather Scott were both very skilled carpenters, a family trait that I proudly inherited. In his later years, I heard that Uncle Dick cut off the end of his thumb. Then later on I heard it again, “Uncle Dick cut off his thumb” I replied, “Yeah, I know. He did that about a year ago” but then I was told, “No, he did it again. Now he cut off his other thumb.” The last time I saw he and Aunt Marge was when I was in my early teens and he showed me his severed thumbs.

The neighborhood they lived in was once very nice, but by their later years it had become crime ridden. While they slept somebody broke into their home and stole Aunt Marge’s purse, which was on her nightstand right next to her head. Their car was stolen in the process. Then later, in the middle of the night Uncle Dick heard something at their door and went out to investigate and was beaten down, suffering broken ribs. Aunt Marge picked up the phone to call the police but the robber threatened to kill them both, so she put the phone back down. When I last saw them and heard this story I asked them why they didn't move. They felt that there was nowhere to move to that would be any less dangerous. God rest their souls.

I also remember during that last visit at their home that Aunt Marge had a unique custom made cane which had a picture of a woman laminated onto it that she said was either her mother or grandmother (I don’t remember which).

DateApril 2008
Linked toMarjorie Penrose

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