My Mother’s Brother Dick


Goshen Man And His Three-Year-Old Son Are Drowning Victims

Dog Pond Scene Of Double Tragedy

Richard Wilson, 33, And His Son, Timothy, Perish When Ice Breaks

An evening of fun and play for a father and his son came to a tragic end last night when the two drowned at Dog Pond, West Goshen, in the state’s first thin ice accident of the season.
Richard A. Wilson, 33, and his son Timothy, three, drowned about 9 o’clock when ice broken beneath them, causing the two, along with Mr. Wilson’s brother, Donald L., of Bantam, to fall into the icy water.
Donald Wilson was able to scramble from the water to safety. When a quick search failed to disclose the whereabouts of either of his companions, Donald Wilson ran to the nearby home of Alton Parker to seek help.
Mr. Parker telephoned to state police and the Goshen fire department for assistance and then with members of the fire department sped to the pond and set out in two boats in an effort to find the man and the boy.
Their efforts were unsuccessful, but State Policeman John Wilcox of the Litchfield barracks, who had set out in another boat, recovered the bodies with the aid of grappling hooks. Mr. Wilson’s body was recovered at 10:10 p.m. and the boy’s was found at 11:45, approximately three hours after the accident occurred.
Det. Sgt. William E. Menser of Canaan barracks reported that the men had been on skates and the boy riding on a sled about 180 feet from the west shore on the pond when the accident occurred.
Dr. W. Bradford Walker, medical examiner, viewed both bodies and gave permission for their removal to the Tompkins-North Funeral Home.
Officer Alden Thompson of Litchfield barracks, Officers Robert Anderson and Charles Sedar of Canaan barracks and Auxiliary State Policemen Donald Spencer and Philip Eichner, as well as officers from the Hartford and Bethany barracks assisted in the search. Emergency equipment from the Hartford and Bethany barracks was also used by the officers. Capt. George Remer, commanding officer of the western division of the state police, was in charge of the search.
Mr. Wilson, born in Douglas, Wyo., March 20, 1919, was a veteran of World War II. The son of Frederick E. and the late Mary Van Divier Wilson, he and his family had lived in West Goshen for about two years.
Survivors, besides his father, include his wife, Jeannette Dressel Wilson; a daughter, Lois C.; four brothers, Harvey G. of Philadelphia, Sidney J. of New York City, Everett P. of Northampton, Mass, and Donald Wilson of Bantam; six sisters, Mrs. Dorothy E. Baccei of Torrington, Mrs. Mildred R. Alstrup of Highland Park, N.J., Mrs. Florence A. Hanson, New Brunswick, N.J., Mrs. Edna T. Thomen and Mrs. Joyce N. Carrozzo, both of Winsted and Mrs. Juanita N. Wilson of Philmont, N.Y.
Timothy W. was born Oct. 17, 1949. Besides his mother and sister, he is survived by his paternal grandfather Frederick E. Wilson and his maternal grandmother, Mrs. Martha Dressel of Holyoke, Mass.
A double funeral will be held Friday afternoon at 2 from the Tompkins-North Funeral home with the Rev. William Penner, pastor of the Goshen Congregational Church officiating. Burial will be in Hillside Cemetery.
Friends may call at the funeral home tomorrow afternoon from 2 to 4 and tomorrow evening from 7 to 9.

The Torrington Register, Wednesday, December 31, 1952, Vol. 79, No. 308, front page, 1st column.




Richard Wilson and Son

A double funeral service for Richard Wilson and his son, Timothy, was held this afternoon at 2 from Tompkins-North Funeral Home with the Rev. William Penner, pastor of the Goshen Congregational Church officiating. Burial was in Hillside Cemetery.

The Torrington Register, January 2, 1953.


Vina Marie Vandivier Johnson

Last night I visited my mother and she got out the boxes of old photos.  She found a photo I never saw before and I learned the identity of the woman below.  This lovely woman is my great-aunt Vina Marie Vandivier.  She married Zenith Johnson 1  January 1924.

Vina Marie Vandivier

This is Vinnie and Zenith’s daughter Waneta Johnson, born about 1925.

Waneta Johnson

Their other children were Bobbie born about 1928, Leroy born about 1935 and Herald born about 1939.


Identities and Surprises

I’ve been able to identify a few people in photos.  This is a photo of the Miller children:

Children of Brownie and Sarah Amnie Miller

Children of Brownie Miller and Sarah Amnie Vandivier

Notice the doll?  Now I know who was pushing the toy baby carriage, although I’m a little confused.  According to census records the youngest child was Charles Ray Miller.  I know at one time male children were dressed the same as girls, but I didn’t know people did it into the 20th century.  Obviously my family did.  Maybe they didn’t want to waste clothing.

Miller Child

Miller Child

The child below might belong to the family too.  She has the same the curly blond hair as the next to youngest child, Martha Miller.

Blond child in chair

Blond child in chair

I just found this photo shown below.  The girl pictured I know now is the second oldest daughter in the group photo, Annette Miller.  She married Tom McLeish and they had 4 children, including Mark, Tom and Janice.

Annette Miller

Annette Miller

I believe the boy in the next photo is her oldest brother James Ivan Miller.

James Ivan Miller

James Ivan Miller

Do you remember this photo with James identified?

James with boys holding puppies

James with boys holding puppies

There were only two little boys named James in the family.  He’s much younger and squinting in the sunshine, but I think this is James Miller.  The jawline and the ears are the same.  The hair color is a little darker, but his hair might be damp or dirty.  I’m not quite sure what happened to James. He may have died 2004 in Alexandria, VA, but I’m not sure and I don’t have the time right now to wade through all the James Millers on  It seems to be a very popular name.