Clarissa Haynes,
My Mother


Merrils Donahe,
My Father
Page 2 
My Mother
Clarissa (Haynes) Donahe

Born October 28, 1912 in Knottsville, KY

Died May 24, 1999 in
Chicago, IL 
  Photo Taken in 1991 in Chicago  

My Mother's first job was at a cigar factory in Owensboro, KY, where she made cigars by rolling them by hand - at age 14. In 1928 she and her family moved from Owensboro to Chicago. Her first job in Chicago was at a Kresge Five and Ten Cents store as a waitress in the lunch counter.

She eventually met my father, Merrils, and were married August 21, 1937 in Chicago, where my sister Pat and I were born. In 1950 our family and my Grandmother Haynes, who had been living with us, moved to Sweet Home, Oregon. We lived there a little less than a year and then moved to St. Paul, Minnesota. At that time my grandmother moved back to Owensboro, KY, where she lived with my Aunt Chelsea until she died in 1956.

We lived in St. Paul until 1957, when my parents and sister moved back to Chicago. (When we moved from Chicago, friends and neighbors told us that once you have lived in Chicago, and move away, you will eventually return. So, I guess they fulfilled that prophecy.) After my father retired in 1976, they went back to Minnesota for a couple years, and then moved to Sebring, Florida where my father died in 1981.

About 3 years after my father's death, my mother moved back to Chicago where she remained until her death in 1999. I recall her saying "My Lord, I hate traveling, and yet I've moved all over the country".




Mom and her sister Alberta
Taken in Owensboro about 1926. 

Mom in Owensboro,
about 1928.

Is that stylish, or what? 

Chuck and Belle, maybe with his new car?


Belle, Chuck and Mom.
The baby is probably Chuck Jr., Chuck's oldest child. 

Mom, right, with friend.
Possibly Irene or Hazel.
She would be one of 3 sisters, Irene,Hazel and Pearl, whom Mom met shortly after moving to Chicago. They remained lifelong friends.


Mom in Chicago.
About 1937 

Above: Alberta, Mom and Dad.

Left: Bell and either son-in-law or future son-in-law.

These photos may have been taken in a Forest Preserve in Chicago about 1937, just before or after they were married. 



Wedding Photos - August 21, 1937

At right - My father, mother, Bobbie (Mabel) and Leslie, dad's sister and brother. 




Mom, Aunt Lou and Belle
Taken at Aunt Lou's home in Kentucky.
About 1940
That beautiful child is Mom's son John (me). 

One of the last photos of Belle.
Taken at Aunt Chelsea's home in Owensboro about 1955.


An "Olde Photo" of Aunt Lou's Home in Kentucky. 



I would appreciate hearing from anyone with
information on the Haynes and Melton families.

Click here to e-mail me.


Return To Page 1  Return To Home Page