Born: 13 AUG 1917 Riverton Twp, Mason County, Michigan, USA

1920 Census: 12 JAN 1920
Place: Riverton Twp, Mason Co, Michigan
Note:  Living with parents, William and Nellie Laude.

Education: ABT 1923
Place: attended West Riverton Country School, Mason Co, Michigan, USA

1930 Census:  29 APR 1930
Place:  Riverton Twp, Mason Co, Michigan
Note:  Living with father and stepmother.

Graduation: 1936
Place: Ludington High School, Ludington, Mason Co, Michigan, USA

Couldn’t find in the 1940 Census

Marriage:12 APR 1941 West Riverton Church Parsonage, Riverton Twp, Mason County, Michigan
Note: Married by Rev. L. A. Ruegsegger.

Birth of Son:  17 DEC 1942
Name:  Gary Francis Laude

Occupation: Worked at the Koch Construction company.
Date: AFT 12 APR 1941
Place: Croydon, Indiana

Occupation: Mason Co, Michigan, USA
Date: AFT 1941
Note: He worked for REA and later farmed in Custer Township. He also sold real estate for several years for North Central Realty.

Military: NOV 1943- MAR 1944
Note: Was in the Army during World War II. Got a medical discharge (4F Status) and didn’t make it through Basic Training. High blood pressure.

Note: After graduating from high school, Earl worked on the car ferry. He used to hitch rides on the car ferry and on boxcars. After that, he worked in a Civilian Conservation Corp camp in the Porcupine Mountains doing forestry, planting trees, etc.

Occupation: Served with the Civilian Conservation Corps in the Upper Peninsula where he was a forest leader.
Date: AFT 1936

Birth of Daughter:  10 MAY 1949
Name:  Carole Lynn Laude

1950 Census:  19 APR 1930
Place:  Pere Marquette Twp, Mason Co, Michigan
Note:  Wife, son, and daughter are also living in household.

1950 Census Francis Laude

Occupation: Press Operator at the Star Watch Case Company
Date: 1950
Place: Mason Co, Michigan

Birth of Daughter:  10 DEC 1950
Name:  Beverly Jean Laude
Place:  Ludington, Mason Co, Michigan

Occupation: Trapper, logger, lumberman, farmer, real estate salesman, overseer of Packing Material Co. Property in Mason’s Lake County.

Death: 12 JAN 1995 4:55pm Memorial Medical Center, Ludington, Mason County, Michigan, USA
Note: Died of cerebral thrombosis (3 day duration). Other contributing factors were hypertension. Cerebral thrombosis = massive stroke.

Obituary: 13 JAN 1995
Place: Mason Co, Michigan, USA
Note: Francis E. Laude, 77, of 1407 E. U.S. 10, died Thursday at Memorial Medical Center.

Burial:  Riverside Cemetery, Custer, Mason County, Michigan

Click here for parents:  William Albert Laude and Nellie Elizabeth Paasch

Pure Gristle – Written in 1989

My grandfather, Francis Earl Laude, is supposed to be a direct descendant of Daniel Boone. This wouldn’t surprise you if you could see him. He used to describe himself as being made of pure gristle. I used to think he was right.

Standing, arms outstretched, Grandpa used to let my brother and I hang on his arms and bounce, testing his strength. Grandpa was also the one who taught me to tighten my abdomen and hit it repeatedly with my fist. “Girls have to have strong stomachs so they can have babies,” he would tell me. It made sense. The breakfast table was always an experience at Grandpa’s house. Grandma would rise with the sun and cook a huge breakfast containing cereal, toast with homemade strawberry jam, eggs, juice, milk, french toast with maple syrup, and Flinstone vitamins. Anyone who ate cereal had to top it with wheat germ.

“It’s good for ya,” Grandpa would say. “Put it on real thick.”

After the food diminished on the table (we were never able to eat it all), Grandpa would give us his opinion of everything that was happening in the world. Grandpa must have been one of the most well-informed men in Ludington – even if he got some of the facts messed up.

If the weather was good, after breakfast Grandpa would take my father, my brother and I into the woods to check his traps. Every time, like a ritual, my brother and I would ask to ride in the bed of my grandfather’s 1975 Ford pickup. Grandma and Mom, who were cleaning up the breakfast dishes, always protested that it was too dangerous. Grandpa always ignored them. “Hold on tight,” he would say as he sped out of the driveway.

If the weather was bad, Grandpa would check the traps himself. When he came back, he would sit in his chair and tell stories about deer riding on elephants so that they could keep dry while crossing the river, and pulling savage bears inside out by grabbing their tails from the inside.

When it was time to drive back to Kalamazoo, Grandma would hug all of us fiercely and make us promise to come back soon. Grandpa always said very gruffly, “Let ’em go. They’ve got a long trip ahead of ’em.” If you were lucky enough to get a hug from Grandpa, it was a bear hug, in which you hoped your ribs would be able to withstand the terrific pressure. He rubbed his Indian-whiskers on your face. Then he shooed us out the door.

The last time I saw my grandpa, things in Ludington were different than I remembered them as a kid. Grandpa sat in his chair all day long and watched TV. Every once in awhile, he would ask one of us a question about ourselves. Grandpa didn’t have an opinion about anything anymore.

Grandpa didn’t check any traps when we were there. He didn’t tell stories, either. His brow was creased and he looked worn. His body, which had been made of gristle, had become smaller – almost softer. His Indian-skin had weathered.

Breakfast was uneventful. Grandma still made mountains of food, but the conversation was minimal. No one talked about trapping, no one talked about their opinion of this or that, and no one talked about Grandpa’s stroke. When it was time to leave, Grandma gave us her usual hugs. Grandpa stood next to her and gave out hugs as well. When he hugged me, his arms felt weak, his chest no longer felt like a rock, and my ribs didn’t feel like they were going to crack.

“Come back and see us real soon,” Grandpa said. A shiver went up my spine as I walked to the car.

When we drove away, I saw Grandpa and Grandma standing in front of their picture window watching us go. I turned around and faced front. Everyone in the car was silent.              – Written by Michelle Caskey (granddaughter)

Gladys Esther Marrison     

Birth: 31 MAY 1921 Eden Twp, Mason County, Michigan
Note: Born at home. Weighed 5 1/2 lbs at birth.

1930 Census:  15 APR 1930
Place:  Eden Twp, Mason Co, Michigan
Note: Living with parents.

1940 Census:  Eden Twp, Mason Co, Michigan
Note: Living with parents.

Note: Quit high school in the 9th grade to stay home and help her mom.

Note: Met Francis at the canning factory, snipping beans. She made 25 cents per hour. He was throwing beans at her from up above.  Their first date was at the Hart fair.

Note: Doesn’t like to go to doctors. Avoids going at all costs.

Death:  21 FEB 2008 Ludington, Mason Co, Michigan

Obituary: 22 FEB 2008

Click here for parents:  Emry Elmer Marrison and Hattie Alice Morse

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