Family

THE FAMILY

    WELL, WHERE TO START! LET'S GO BACK AND TALK ABOUT THE RELATIVES STARTING WITH MY MOM AND DAD'S GENERATION:

    CHARLES BYRON DILLER MARRIED DOROTHY ELIZABETH DILLER (NEE WILSON) AND HAD TWO  CHILDREN WES AND JOAN. CHARLES HAD A BROTHER, WILLIAM, WHO WAS KILLED IN THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE IN WW2. HE ALSO HAD A SISTER, BETTY, THAT  MARRIED HAROLD GANSMANN IN BELLEVILLE, IL. SHE LIVED IN SOUTH ST. LOUIS  COUNTY & PASSED AWAY IN SEPTEMBER, 2009 AT 88. CHARLES DIED IN 1985  OF HARDENING OF THE ARTERIES AND DOROTHY DIED IN 1971 OF CANCER. DAD  WORKED AT MONSANTO CHEMICAL COMPANY AS A PIPEFITTER/SUPERVISOR. MOM WAS A HOUSEWIFE.¬  A PICTURE OF CHARLES, DOROTHY AND MYSELF FROM 1942 IS SHOWN BELOW ALONG WITH OTHER PICTURES.

    HAROLD AND BETTY GANSMANN HAD TWO CHILDREN, NANCY AND JEANNIE. THEY ARE  MARRIED AND HAVE CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN IN THE ST. LOUIS AREA. SHOWN BELOW ARE PICTURES OF BETTY, NANCY AND JEANNIE.

    DOROTHY DILLER HAD A SISTER, THELMA, AND BROTHERS, TOM AND JOHN. THELMA DAVY  (NEE WILSON) LIVED IN CALIFORNIA. TOM WILSON LIVED IN ROXANA, IL AND  CELEBRATED HIS 94TH BIRTHDAY. HE PASSED AWAY ON JULY 14, 2005 AND I WAS  ABLE TO ATTEND HIS FUNERAL.¬  THE WILSON‚Ä™S ARE PICTURED BELOW CIRCA 1938  (MY BIRTH YEAR).¬  JOHN WILSON LIVED IN ST. LOUIS AND HAD NO CHILDREN.¬   HE IS BURIED IN JEFFERSON BARRACKS NATIONAL CEMETERY.¬  TOM wILSON PASSED AWAY IN JULY 2005.

    TOM WILSON HAD A DAUGHTER, CAROL JEAN, AND A  SON, THOMAS. CAROL MARRIED TOM FRIELDS AND RAISED A FAMILY NEAR ROXANA,  IL. SHE DIED OF CANCER IN 1999. THOMAS DIED AT 48 AND HAD CHILDREN.

THE WILSONS

    THE WILSONS ARE DESCENDED FROM SCOTCH/ENGLISH PEOPLE WHO IMMIGRATED TO  CANADA THEN THE UNITED STATES (MICHIGAN, VIRGINIA, MISSISSIPPI AND  MISSOURI). THEY TENDED TO BE FUN LOVING PEOPLE. I REMEMBER ANNUAL FAMILY REUNIONS WITH RELATIVES FROM MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA COMING BACK TO ST.  LOUIS AND BBQ AT THE EICHMANN‚Ä™S FARM (MY MOTHERS AUNT MABEL).

    I REMEMBER PARTIES AND FOOD AT UNCLE TOM'S AND BUDDIED FOR A WHILE WITH  MY HARD-DRINKING UNCLE JOHN WHO LOVED GUITAR, WON MONEY AT POKER IN FOX  HOLES DURING WWII, RAIDED FRENCH WINE CELLARS IN WWII AND PROMISED ME HE WOULD BRING ME HITLER'S MUSTACHE.

    I VISITED MY AUNT THELMA IN FRESNO, CA., WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER, MY FIRST  TIME AWAY FROM HOME, AND THEN, WHEN I WAS STATIONED AT SACRAMENTO, CA, I SAW HER FREQUENTLY.¬  SHE WAS A FUN PERSON TO BE AROUND.

    MY GRANDMOTHER WILSON DIED OF CANCER BEFORE I WAS BORN SO I DIDN'T KNOW HER.

    MY GRANDFATHER WILSON LIVED TO 93 AND WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITE RELATIVES. HE WOULD TELL ME STORIES LIKE ICE SKATING ON THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER FROM  ALTON, IL TO ST. LOUIS, MO. IN THE EARLY 1900'S. WHEN I WAS OLDER HE  ALWAYS GAVE ME HIS BIRTHDAY SHIRTS AND SOX BECAUSE HE DIDN'T WANT  PRESENTS AND WHEN HE CAME TO DINNER HE WOULD CUT THE CHOCOLATE ICING OFF THE BANANA MUFFINS AND GIVE IT TO ME.I TRAVELED WITH GRANDPA WILSON TO  CALIFORNIA ALONG WITH MY AUNT AND UNCLE DAVY. ON THE WAY HOME HE LET ME  DRIVE AND WE WENT ACROSS NEVADA, UTAH AND WYOMING ABOUT 80 - 90 MPH. I  WAS STOPPED BY THE POLICE IN NEBRASKA FOR GOING 86MPH.¬  GRANDPA PAID THE $26.00 FINE AND TOLD ME TO KEEP PUSHING IT.¬  WHAT A GUY!

THE DILLERS

    MY DILLER RELATIVES WERE GERMAN AND STERNER PEOPLE.  I REMEMBER GET TOGETHERS AT GRANDPA CHARLES' HOUSE AND GRANDMA CLARA WOULD MAKE DINNER. I WOULD WALK WITH GRANDPA TO THE LOCAL TAVERN TO PICK UP A BUCKET OF  BEER AND THE FOLKS WOULD SIT AROUND A PARLOR AND PASS THE BUCKET. MY  AUNT BETTY WOULD WALK ME UP TO THE A&W ROOT BEER STAND FOR A TREAT.

    I REMEMBER THE BASEMENT, DARK AND DANK, AND THE TOOL FOR CAPPING OLD SODA BOTTLES FILLED WITH HOMEMADE CATSUP.

    I REMEMBER GOING UPSTAIRS AND IN A CLOSET WAS A SET OF MARBLES I WOULD  GET OUT AND PLAY WITH.¬  ON MY LATEST VISIT TO ST. LOUIS THE MARBLES WERE STILL THERE WITH JOAN‚Ä™S GRANDCHILDREN, CAMERON AND LORI.

    I REMEMBER UNCLE BUD'S (WILLIAM) REMAINS COMING HOME FROM EUROPE IN 1949  AND HOW ANGRY MY FOLKS WERE THAT HE ENTERED THE ARMY AS A ENGINEERING  SPECIALIST AND THEN WAS GIVEN A GUN AND PUSHED TO HOLD THE LINE AGAINST  THE GERMANS IN THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE.

    I ALSO REMEMBER THAT MY DAD AND HIS SISTER, BETTY, HAD AN ARGUMENT THAT  DROVE OUR FAMILIES APART FOR 20 YEARS. LATER, JOAN AND I FOUND OUT IN  OUR GENEOLOGY THAT THIS HAPPENED WITH MY GRANDMOTHER AND THE DILLER  FAMILY. I CAN ONLY REMEMBER SEEING HENRY DILLER OF THE 1 SISTER AND 6  BROTHERS OF MY GRANDFATHER.

    I REMEMBER THE DINGY TIN SHOP THAT GRANDPA DILLER OPERATED BEHIND THE  HOUSE THAT WAS FILLED WITH METAL AND CUTTING/BENDING EQUIPMENT.

    I REMEMBER THE DOWNTOWN SQUARE WITH THE FOUNTAIN AND COLORED LIGHTING.

    I REMEMBER HOURS ON THEIR FRONT PORCH SWING¬  OBSERVING CAR MAKES AND STATE LICENSE PLATES ON BUSY MAIN STREET.

    I REMEMBER THE TRAIN, BELCHING SMOKE, THAT PASSED BY A BLOCK FROM THEIR HOME.

    I REMEMBER THEIR BLACK COCKER SPANIEL, JOSEPH TIMTU CINDERS III.

    I REMEMBER GRANDPA GETTING ANGRY AT THE NOISE OF SPARROWS IN THE TREE AND FIRING A SHOT GUN INTO THE TREE.

I GUESS WHAT I AM TRYING TO SAY IS THAT I GREW UP IN A TYPICAL ST. LOUIS  WORKING CLASS FAMILY WITH THE TYPICAL ASSORTMENT OF RELATIVES.

MY FAMILY

    I MARRIED CARRA SAUNDERS IN JUN 1963.¬  WE HAD 3 CHILDREN:

      JOSEPH BYRON DILLER; BORN MAY, 1964 AT WRIGHT PATTERSON AFB, DAYTON,OH; DIED  1992.¬  JOSEPH HAS ONE CHILD, CAMARA GARMON; BORN AUGUST 22, 1985.

      THOMAS STEWART DILLER; BORN MAR 24, 1967 AT CHIENG MAI, THAILAND.¬  THOMAS  MARRIED CRISTEN AND HAS A SON, LOGAN, BORN AUGUST 11, 1989.

      JOHN CHRISTOPHER DILLER; BORN MAR 5, 1972 AT ROSEVILLE, CA.

      Currently, Joan and I are both retired. this gives us time to pursue volunteer  work and hobbies. We both have grand children now and we both travel.

Wildlife Map of Diller Ranch

Wildlife Map of Diller Ranch

Charles, Dorothy & Wes Diller, circa 1940

Charles, Dorothy & Wes Diller, circa 1940

Wes about 4 with devilish grin

Wes about 4 with devilish grin

Wes about 6, the "cowboy".

Wes about 6, the "cowboy".

Dorothy, John, Grandpa Tom, Tom, Thelma, circa 1940

Dorothy, John, Grandpa Tom, Tom, Thelma, circa 1940

Aunt Betty & I

Aunt Betty & I

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These are my cousins, Nancy on the left and Jeannie on the right.

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 Aunt Betty on her 85th birthday

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Aunt Betty passed away in September, 2009.

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Joan with our uncle Tom Wilson at his home in Roxana, IL during my visit in Septemer 2001.  My middle name is Tom, my grandfather Wilson was Tom, my cousin Carol married a Tom and the original settler from Scotland was a Tom.  Oh, I named my second child, Tom; go figure.

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Tom Wilson with Joan on his 94th birthday.

Joan_UncleTomBirthday94_Dec_2004

Uncle Tom passed away on July 14th, 2005

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Thomas Wilson Sr

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Wilson homestead in Oswego, KS

ThomasWilsonSr_WilliamWilsonFamily

William Wilson family

ThomasWilsonSr_OswegoKS_CityParkView

This is a picture from a park near the Wilson homestead which looks very much like the bluff in La Grange.  Joan remarked, “It must be in the genes”.

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Joan and I on the La Grange bluff at Monument Hill/Kreische Brewery State Park, November 2000

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Picture of Joan and I taken on my birthday, October 2008

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