Narration and Info Most of the information gathered here is told from the perspective of Carleen (Bray) Skerston.
List of Gravesites 1. Dodie & Berent Volk 11-111. Baby Peter Bray 4-64 2. Carol Schultheis 11-312. Ramona Bray 4-64 3. Baby Cindy Ball 11-313. Nancy & Patrick Bray 7-18 4. Wayne Ball 11-314. Helen Meyer & Shack 7-18 5. Peg & Al Newman 16-1415. Harriet Starkey 7-18 6. Sadie & Jinx Bray 16-13 16. Doc Cob & Ursula 13-15 7. Granny Waters 7-11 17. Bill Golick 13-15 8. Mary & Sim Bray Sr. 4-52 18. Chuck Golick 13-15 9. Lambs of Babies 4-64 19. Christy & Joe Almy Oak Hill 10. Leo & Anna Bray 4-64 20. Ruth & Dale Almy Oak Hill
Dodie (Josephine Bray) & Berent (Highpockets) Volk location: 11-1 Dode born: August 31, 1920 died: March 29, 1997 Berent born: February 3, 1917 died: March 4, 1989 information: We never knew how we got the nickname Dodie out of Josephine. Dodie and Highpockets were the first of the siblings to achieve their 50 th Wedding Anniversary. Highpockets was from Oklahoma and his father was in the historic land-rush. His parents married when she was in her 20s and he in his 50s to which he said he was still too young to marry.
Carol Schultheis location: 11-3 born: April 22, 1963 died: April 21, 2004 information: Died in the Utica tornado of 2004. She was the daughter of Joanne Fleming and Granddaughter of Berent and Dodie Volk. On the Friday evening before the tornado she was returning from her birthday celebration with her Mom and while passing the cemetery said that she wanted to be buried with her sister Cindy.
Baby Cindy Ball location: 11-3 born: July 8, 1962 died: 9 months information: Daughter of Wayne and Joanne (Volk/Fleming) Ball. She died suddenly of meningitis. She was only 9 months old. This was shortly after Anna Bray passed away and some were comforted in saying that now Gramma had a baby to hold in heaven.
Wayne (Danke) Ball location: 11-3 born: July 3, 1940 died: April 21, 2004 information: Died in the Utica tornado of 2004. He was married to Joanne (Volk/Fleming) and was father to Julie, Carol, Chuck, and Cindy Ball. He was well- known as an auctioneer and a respected member of the Spring Valley Boat Club.
Peggy (Julia Bray) & Al Newman location: 16-14 Peg born: (1896)79 yrs old died: June 14, 1975 Al born: (1901)75 yrs old died: November 26, 1976 information: They were almost parents for Billy. Ma had both Jim and I as babies and Aunt Dude took Billy home so Anna could have a bit of a rest. In their later years, Bill took care of them. Peggy and Al lived on Lincoln Street in Utica in the home now occupied by Don & Sandy Bray. Uncle Al worked in the Defense Plant in Wilmington during WWII. They later moved to the Albany Park area of Chicago where he worked at Douglas Aircraft (now OHare Airport) as a fireman.
Sadie & Jinx (Charles) Bray location: 16-13 Sadie born: September 25, 1904 died: October 9, 1994 Jinx born: January 14, 1894 died: April 16, 1981 information: Jinx is best remembered as the Ice Man in Utica. He had a livery service for hauling coal in the winter and ice in the summer. When iceboxes changed to refrigerators he sought other employment in St. Charles then to Geneva, IL. Sadie and Jinx both worked at the boys school. He was the night superintendent and Sadie tended the switchboard.
Granny (Julia) Waters location: 7-11 born: (1828)86 yrs. old died: August 28, 1918 information: Julia was Leo Brays Mother Nancys mother. She was born in Ireland. Julia Lynch Waters parents were Patrick Lynch and Catherine Harvey born in County Longford, Ireland. They immigrated in about 1850.
Mary & Sim Bray Sr. location: 4-52 Mary born: (1865)71.5 yrs. old died: October 19, 1936 Sim born: (1857)70 yrs. old died: May 12, 1935 (6) information: A baby is buried with them that died at 6 mos old who was born in 1898. Uncle Sim and Aunt Mary lived in the house west of the Utica Baptist Church. Grampa Patty was born there at the time of the Civil War. Today there is a parking lot there. At the Utica Museum going down the stairs on the south wall you will see a plaque from the Utica River Bridge with his name on it as Utica Township Commissioner. Caption reads Helen, Charlotte, Mary & Sim, Mother, Dodie & Ma
Lambs of Babies (Marie and Kathryne Studebaker) Picture location: 4-64 born: 1906 & 1910 died: 1907 & ?? information: Aunt Mayme and Uncle Ira Studebaker. Aunt Mayme was 10 years older than Leo Bray and when he was born, she named her baby brother Leo after the new Pope, Leo XIII. They moved to Belmont, IA and sent money back to tend the graves. They then realized there was more room and gave the plots to Leo.
Leo & Anna (Stremlau) Bray location: 4-64 Anna born: 67 yrs. old died: June 19, 1961 Leo born: 78 yrs. old died: January 21, 1971 information: Pa was a graduate of Browns Business College in 1912. He was Superintendent of the American Silica Sand Company. I always thought that he was the smartest man in the world. I got philosophy, cooking, and patience from my Mother.
Baby Peter Bray location: 4-64 born: December 29, 1960 died: December 31, 1960 information: Son of Bill & Ramona Bray. He passed while Bill & Mona lived on Montrose Avenue in Chicago. Pa (Leo) was often called Pete by his friends, thus many of the Grandchildren carry this name.
Ramona Bray location: 4-64 born: August 12, 1934 died: June 1, 2003 information: Wife of Patrick (Bill) Bray. She graduated Valedictorian of her LP high school class of 1952. She played piano and was a nurse. She and her husband moved from Lowell, IL to Estes Park, CO in 1980s. She also was very active in hospice.
Nancy (Anna) & Patrick Bray location: 7-18 Nancy born: died: Patrick born: died: September 18, 1944 information: Gramma Nancy was a midwife helping Dr. Geen and she took care of many people. Grampa Patty was called the Old Captain by his sons because he was a policeman. He worked at The Chemical which is now the Philadelphia Quartz Company in Utica. He used to sit on the swing on the front porch and would tell the grandchildren stories of when he was little and played with the Indian children in the woods.
Helen Meyer & Shack (Edward Simon) Bray Picture location: 7-18 Helen born: March 20, 1916 died: November 11, 1992 Shack born: January 29, 1900 (60) died: March 16, 1960 information: Helen and Shack were rumored to be engaged but never had married (there is a ring). Helens mother was a sister to Anna Stremlau. Shack was a brother to Leo Bray. He was a guard at the Seneca Shipyards. He was godparent to Joanne Fleming. Helen worked as a housekeeper for Grampa Patty and the 2 bachelor sons (Shack and Jinx). Then Jinx got married and moved away. Then, Grampa Patty died. Helen stayed on.
Harriet (Bray) Starkey location: 7-18 born: August 2, 1916 died: July 5, 1995 information: She was married at 15. She got her college degree at age 65 from Governors State University. She moved into Uncle Howards house in Spring Valley after his death and was proud to own a house of her own. She loved to dance and was well-known for sharing her opinion even if not asked for.
Doc Cob (William) & Ursula (Carver) OBrien location: 13-15 Ursula born: (1894)58 yrs old died: November 27, 1947 Doc Cob born: June 29, 1891 (53) died: July 15, 1950 information: Doc Cob was Gramma Nancys sisters son. The sister had died during childbirth and so was raised by Gramma Nancy and was a baby at the same time as Leo Bray and thus they were raised like twins. He was the Utica Town Policeman. Ursulas mother lived in Wilmington. She would often ride to work with Uncle Al to visit her mother for a few days.
Bill Golick location: 13-15 born: April 28, 1935(26) died: October 19, 1961 information: He was the husband of Carleen (Bray) Skerston. He worked at Marquette Cement Company (now Lonestar). He is father to Dave, Chuck, and Rich Golick. He died in a car accident by the golf course curve in Utica, IL. The first time he came to church while dating Carleen, people were commenting on why he remained standing while others knelt. In actuality, he too was kneeling with his 66 height. He was a graduate of St. Bede Academy.
Chuck Golick location: 13-15 born: June 27, 1956 (25) died: December 24, 1981 information: He was the son of Carleen (Bray/Golick) Skerston. He died of cancer. He was an iron worker and had participated in the building of St. Margarets Hospital, the Seneca Grade school, the Ottawa River Bridge, and projects in Las Vegas and beyond. He was known for having a jovial personality and was very charming.
Christy & Joe Almy location: Oak Hill Cemetery Christy born: December 16, died: Joe born: August 26, 1901 died: information: Joseph William Almy was the youngest son of Katherine (Barnhart) Almy and Joseph Almy. He was the father of Lois Marie Almy who married Edward Charles Bray. He was a member of the Operating Engineers Local 150 and operated a crane for major construction in the area. He served with the Navy during World War I. He died in 1975. His wife Christina Olena Samson. They were married in Dixon, Illinois on July 30th, 1923. Together they raised two children. Side note: Christina Samson Almy was the Aunt to Berent Volk and Great Aunt to the children he and Dodie Bray beget. Christina's sister Marie was Berent's mother. He was named after his Grandfather Berent Samson. Berent Samson was born in Stavanger, Norway. He died in January, 1913 leaving his wife Julia (nee Hanson- born in Bergen, Norway in 1863.) to raise their four children. Julia died September 5, 1927. In addition to Christina and Marie, there was another sister named Nellie who married Archie Shelton. They lived in Minnesota. And a son named Sam Samson. This is the Uncle Sam we knew as kids who lived across the street from the Volk's and Shack's home on Lincoln Street in the old railroad car. At the time of his death, Sam was a very large man weighing well over 300 pounds. This is a little of the background on how Dodie's and Ed's kids are double cousins. Ed and Dodie were siblings while Lois and Berent were first cousins. The people mentioned above are also buried at Oak Hill Cemetery.
Ruth & Dale Almy location: Oak Hill Cemetery Ruth born: died: 2004 Dale born: May 23, 1924 died: November 9, 1967 information: Lois and Joseph Dale Almy, her older brother. He served in the Army Air Force during World War II. He married Ruth Sroka of Streator on December 28, 1946. Ruth lived and worked in the Illinois Valley Area until her death in 2004.