Evelyn Lancour McNamaraX

Born: 1924

I was born in 1924 in Osier in the Upper Peninsula of Mihcigan I was the third child of Edward Lancour and Eva Morin. My parents did many things over the years to earn a living and raise their family. My parents sometimes worked at lumber camps during the winter and we would live there. I was a bit of a tomboy and I remember helping Dad build a general store on US41 and it was attached to our house. The store carried all of the staples and we also had a gas pump out front. Many aunts and uncles and cousins on both the Lancour and Morin sides of the family lived near us. I was the only kindergartner in the one room schoolhouse that we went to, so I spent more time on the teacher's lap than doing school work. On the way home from school we would go through the front door of my aunt's house, say a quick hello then head out the back door grabbing an apple out of the apple barrel there. As a young woman just before WWII, I married a neighbor boy and childhood sweetheart, Kenneth Rabideau, who was going off to war. I travelled to California alone by train to set up housekeeping near the army base while he was shipped out. There was a terrible mix-up in train schedules when I arrived in California and it was a couple of days before Ken and I were able to find each other. Our marriage was short-lived as he, an army medic, was killed in action in France before the birth of our son, Gary. Grieving and alone, I came back to the UP to my family. I hoped to start a rooming house for college students in Marquette, but at the time it was very difficult for a single woman to get financing for such a deal. After the war, I met Martin McNamara of Kiva, a cousin of a good friend of mine, and it was an automatic match for both of us. We soon married and moved to Eaton Rapids, near Lansing, Michigan, where I gave birth to 16 more children whilm we raised during the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and into the 1980s. I died at the age of 84 surrounded by my loving husband Marty and my caring family.

Contributed by: Kathleen (Kitty) McNamara