November 29, 1918 – Rest in peace, grandma

1918.11.29 rinda

On this date one hundred years ago, November 29, 1918 at 9:30 a.m., my grandmother died of pneumonia brought on by Spanish Influenza.  She had been sick with influenza for a week.   She died at the G.W. Crandall farm near Brantford, North Dakota where she had been a cook and housekeeper.  She was 30 years old.

Her father, my great-grandfather John T. Johnson had arrived early that morning from Leroy, Minnesota and was at her bedside when she slipped away.

In a letter to her sister back on October 28, Rinda wrote, “Only hope I don’t get pneumonia for what would become of my little boy?”  Thirty-two days later, she was dead; what would become of Raymond?

His father, Jay, was still in Europe with the American Occupation Force and would be for months.  Two and a half year old Raymond would go to live with his aunt, Rinda’s sister Gertrude Upham in Minneapolis.  Gertie and her husband Orrin embraced Raymond and added him to their family, giving their children Vivian and Vernon a little ‘brother’.

And Jay, where was he when Rinda died?  He and Company A were near the town of Bous, Luxembourg.  They had been under quarantine since November 24 due to a very intense outbreak of…..Spanish Influenza.

Crandall farmhouse
The house where Rinda died on November 29, 1918 at the G.W. Crandall farm near Brantford, ND. Photo taken summer, 2018.

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