Genealogy has become a hobby for me over the last 10 years. For me, it's like a puzzle, I love fitting the pieces together. But over the years, I've researched a lot that does not pertain to our family lines. Some for extended family, some for close friends, and some because I was trying to rule out lines to figure out where our line went exactly. I do not want these notes on my Heather's Genealogy Notes blog - because they are not our lines. But I do like to share all of my research, in case it benefits others. That is what this blog is for - research I have done that does not apply to our own family lines, but may be helpful for someone else.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kathleen Lumbard 1901-2007

Anna Kathleen "Kitty" Lumbard
daughter of George Meade & Anna Laura (Keller) Lumbard
Born February 15 1901
Died July 9 2007
Married
1st William Hoffman
Son of John K. & Harriet Hoffman
Born Abt 1893
Died abt 1942
2nd William Dempsey
Son of
Born
Died



(Photo Belonged to Kathleen)


2007
Interviewed for her 106th Birthday:

Kathleen “Kitty” Dempsey, a self-described “old rascal,” has no advice about how to live a long life, though it’s information nearly everyone tries to extract from her. “They always ask me that … [and] I don’t know,” she said in a recent interview. Whatever she’s done seems to work, however, because Dempsey turns 106 years old Thrusday, Feb. 15.
After spending her life in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Florida, the centenarian currently lives at the Susan Bailis Assisted Living Center on Massachusetts Avenue near the border of the South End. In more than a century on this earth she’s had careers as a silk mill worker, a housekeeper and a popular coloratura soprano nightclub singer. Now, the 106-year-old finds herself enjoying her late years in Boston, what she considers the easiest years of her life.
“My earliest memories are not very nice,” Dempsey admitted. She was born on Feb. 15, 1901 in Selinsgrove, Pa. to George and Laura Lumbard, one of nine children (though four of her siblings came from her father’s second marriage). At the early age of six or seven, young Kathleen, who everyone called and continues to call Kitty, was struck with tragedy when her mother died. In the wake of her mother’s death, Kitty’s father “kept his kids together the best he could,” said Dempsey, but for the young girl, life turned hard. One of the oldest among her siblings, Kitty cared for her younger brothers and sisters and was sent to work at an early age. “I went to work before and after school in the silk mill,” she said. “We had a humble home. There was nothing rich about it; it was poor.”
Dempsey never made it to college, though Selinsgrove is home to Susquehanna University. “God, no,” she said, when asked if she attended college. “I didn’t even start high school.” Dempsey stayed in school until about the eighth grade and said, “I’m an old lady and I don’t have too much brain.” In truth, the sharp-tongued 106-year-old may lack formal education, but she isn’t short on brains.
In about 1919, at the young age of 18, Dempsey married her first husband, Marshall Hoffman, and moved with him to New Jersey. The marriage lasted about 23 years, until Hoffman passed away from tuberculosis.
Some of Dempsey’s most vivid memories come from her time in New Jersey, where she worked at a nightclub selling cigarettes and, more impressively, as an attractive coloratura soprano dubbed the “Swedish Nightingale.”
“I had quite a voice,” Dempsey admitted, adding that she had a solid group of fans. “I used to sing to the tables. People wanted me to sing to them, and they tipped me well.
“I had a job, and it was good money,” she said of her stint as a singer, though due to everything getting more expensive over time, “today they’d sneeze on” the $75 a week she made at the nightclub.
After her first husband died, Kitty soon remarried William Dempsey and moved from New Jersey to Florida, where she lived until last year. When her second husband died, after 29 years of marriage, Kitty lived alone in a mobile home, quietly working in the homemaking business and sometimes making headlines.
Elaine and Robin Sheets, who first met Dempsey about 30 years ago in Florida and have remained friends ever since — Robin’s mother lived in a nearby mobile home — note that Dempsey’s feisty attitude sometimes surfaced. About 30 years ago, when Dempsey was in the prime of youth in her mid 70s, she found a stray dog and took the dog into her home, which was against the rules of the mobile home community. After arguments about the dog, management tried to kick Dempsey out of the community, but she didn’t budge. Not surprisingly, the matter became a great story for the local newspapers, and in the end Dempsey prevailed and got to keep her dog. Elaine Sheets noted that Depmsey has always loved animals.
Into old age, Dempsey remained involved in her civic association and her church choir. Only recently — about six or seven years ago — did she stop participating in her local crime watch group.
Living to be so old has its disadvantages, and over time Dempsey’s friends and supporters passed away or moved away. Unable to live in a Florida mobile home alone at the age of 105, Dempsey moved to the Susan Bailis Center last year, where she’s close to Elaine and Robin Sheets (Elaine is a native South Ender).
“She’s very strong willed, very independent,” said Elaine about Dempsey, adding that the centenarian sometimes describes herself as “ornery” and says things like, “I’m so tough a pick axe wouldn’t even kill me.”
“I didn’t have a good life; I had a life that was loving,” Dempsey said recently. Perhaps her tough life — seeing her mother and two husbands die, working hard every day — tempered her, like metal, into something durable that was destined to stick around. Dempsey explains her longevity in more philosophical terms, saying, “God didn’t want me; the Devil didn’t want me, so I just wandered around.”
Asked if the world has changed for the better or the worse, Dempsey responded only about her own life here in Boston, saying, “I think that I’m living better than I ever have. I have an easier life. What I attribute it to, I don’t know.
“Age doesn’t bother me a whole lot,” she said. Asked to provide advice to younger generations she said, “I always say work hard, because I had to work hard all my life.”
Dempsey’s feisty personality has made her a minor celebrity at the Susan Bailis Center where, during her recent interview with South End News, more than one resident asked her to lunch.
Emily Sato, assistant social programs director at the Susan Bailis Center, said all the residents know Dempsey. “She’s a smart aleck,” Sato said. At 106, Dempsey gets around remarkably well with the help of a walker, but, noted Sato, “She’s very feisty. [Sometimes] she’ll throw down her walker and start walking by herself.”
For Dempsey’s 106th birthday party, held Feb. 15, the Susan Bailis Center planned an event for residents and friends that includes food, drinks and a performer. It was supposed to be a surprise party, but it’s difficult to surprise someone who’s been around, both in terms of years and experience, as long as Dempsey. “I don’t think I’m supposed to know it, but I do know it,” she said.

"Recently I came into possession of Kathleen Lumbards family pictures and some correspondence about her family, she is right now 105 years old, 99% blind, and in a retirement facility located in sunrise florida. She is known as Kathleen Dempsey, or "Miss Kitty" to her friends. There is no doubt, after viewing pictures of her father, that he is closely related to Joseph Asher Lumbard, possibly his son. Kathleen was born on Feb 15 1901, and says her younger brother whom I assume would be Robert Lumbard 1907 - 1911 d: 09 Sep 1911 on your family tree, died at 4 years old of consumption." 




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