Sunday, December 6, 2015

Life of Lucille

My grandmother Verna Lucille Evans Shanower Cote died a week ago at the age of 99 1/2.  She hated the name Verna and was always known as Lucille. Her laugh was wonderful.

She was born May 31, 1916, in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

Lucille with her father Joseph Edward Evans.

Her father was Joseph Edward Evans, son of Welsh immigrants to the USA.

Lucille with her mother Adella Cecil Grandy Evans Hundhammer.

Her mother was Adella Cecil Grandy, whose early English immigrant ancestors included Mayflower passengers.

Lucille with her grandmother Bertha May Flora Grandy.

Lucille’s parents divorced when she was four years old. Her father mostly vanished from her life. Lucille was raised primarily by her maternal grandmother, Bertha May Flora Grandy.

Anna Belle Stratton, Bertha May Flora Grandy, Dell Grandy Evans Hundhammer, Elma Helene Grandy, Bruce Grandy, Jessica Stratton Grandy, Lucille Evans.

Lucille Evans and Stanley Shanower.

Her mother remarried and the family moved to Mentor, Lake County, Ohio. In school Lucille met Stanley Raymond Shanower.

Lucille and Stanley.

Mentor High School senior portrait, 1934.

Modeling headshot.
Modeling headshot.

After graduating high school Lucille attended modeling school.

Her modeling career stopped when she married Stanley Shanower on April 17, 1938.

Newlyweds, June 1938.

Lucille subsequently worked at the nursery Wayside Gardens in Mentor. She was her husband Stanley’s partner in all of his business ventures, including the Shanower Overnight Farm, a motor hotel; Shanower Electric which serviced refrigeration and air conditioning; and McGarvey’s Beachcomber, a restaurant in Grand River, Ohio. She raised their three sons.

The Shanower Overnight Farm, Mentor, Ohio.

A son's wedding, 1967.

In the 1960s Lucille went back to school and became a librarian. She took a job at Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library in Willoughby, Ohio.

Lucille and Stanley Shanower.

I'm flanked by my grandparents Lucille and Stanley, Winter Haven, Florida, spring 1983.

She and Stanley retired and moved to Winter Haven, Florida.

March 1984.

Lucille and Stanley with their sons, sons' wives, and grandchildren, December 1986.

Stanley died in 1987. Lucille married her second husband Rene Cote in 1990. Rene died in 2002. Lucille spent her winters in Florida and her summers in Ohio.

Lucille at her 90th birthday party, August 2006.

In 2009 she moved into the Residence of Chardon, an assisted living facility in Chardon, Geauga County, Ohio, near one of her sons and his family. The Residence of Chardon was built on land once owned by the Grant relatives of her first husband Stanley.

The Residence of Chardon, Grandma's final home.

I interview Grandma about family matters in August 2012.

Grandma and I discuss a photo of her great-grandmother Elma Conkey Grandy.

Lucille at one of her favorite restaurants, Red Lobster, March 2014.

The week before Thanksgiving of 2015 she came down with bronchitis. It developed into pneumonia. She died at 12:35 AM on Sunday, November 29, 2015. She had been surrounded by family members all day. Her mind was unimpaired to the end.

Grandma and me in December 2013.

Click here for her obituary.

Click here for an earlier post about the secret marriages of Grandma's parents.


  1. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman. Love the pictures.

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