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Born 31 Oct. 1888 at Valles Mines, MO
Died 1 Dec. 1977 at Masonic Home

Ethel was the 4th child of James Love and Lucy Ann Robert Outman. When she was twelve years old, her mother died leaving 8 children. In 1904 the family moved to DeSoto, MO where James found work at the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Ethel, being the oldest at home, was left with raising her younger sisters and brothers, the youngest being 4 at the time.

Since Ethel had never married she accepted the responsibility of raising her brother Frank's daughter, Martha Lee. Frank's wife Lettie had died in Dec. 1924. In January 1925 this quiet house, in DeSoto, became very lively upon the arrival of a foun and a half year old girl and her father. This changed Ethel's and James life quite a lot, with Frank gone a lot because of his job with the railroad. There were lots of good times taking trips, family gatherings and activities in the Methodist Church.

In 1933 Martha Lee, Ethel, Frank and their father moved to St. Louis because of Frank's health. In 1936 Frank remarried and not long after that James and Ethel went to live with Nellie. In 1938 James died and that left Ethel free to do what she wanted.

In 1943 Ethel's other brother Leonard's wife Irene died. She had been taking care of her daughters child Nancy, who had died shortly before that. Again Ethel was called upon to help out until Nancy's father was able to take over. Ethel held down several jobs after that, one being housemother for a Fraternity at St. Louis University. Needless to say she was popular with the boys and she was a very good cook. Pies were one of her specialities.

At 51 Ethel married William Duker, March 2, 1949. One of Ethel's friends knew Bill back in Indiana and they began a correspondence. He came to St. Louis to meet Ethel and it was love at first sight. Ethel and Bill had a very happy life, he was always concerned about her welfare. They went on trips to Arizona to see his children, several trips to Colorado to see Martha Lee, and others just to see the sights. Bill died of a heart attack and this was a sad time for Ethel after waiting so long to marry, she found a wonderful man.

Later Ethel moved to Nellie's flat and the two enjoyed life together. One of the highlights was her 80th birthday Oct. 1968. Martha Lee came from Colorado and surprised her. Several members of the family gathered for this happy occasion.

In 1975 Nellie died and Ethel was left alone. She remained living at the flat until spring of 1977. Ethel's health began to fail and she moved to the Masonic Home, St. Louis, MO, where she died December 1, 1977 at the age of 89. Funeral services were held at Lafayette Park Methodist Church. Burial was in Parklawn Cemetery, St. Louis county, MO. She was survived by her sister Lela, several nephews and nieces including Martha Lee whom she raised. Ethel was a devout christian and spent many hours doing things for her church. She was an exceptionally good cook and a very devoted substitute mother.

- Written by Martha Lee Gruenewald -- Aurora, CO; April 1988

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