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Parts of letter from Ruth, Chicago, 19 September 1949

written to Ruben Christiansen, provided by Arne-Sten Christiansen)



My sister Valdine now has a little granddaughter who is two years old (and whose name also is Valdine) and she is now the centre of attention. She loves to have me ”Read” her picture books to her and listens very attentively. We have not had a baby in the family (in Chicago) for so many years that it seems quite wonderful and she is a precious child.




Sister Valdine’s son is an engineer at the Telephone company. He has a very nice home of his own only a few minutes away from his mother’s house which is on the northwest side in what I think was called Craigin when your father was here. They have no living children although they have had three, none of them lived more than a day or two, which is a source of much regret to them. Raymon married a polish girl (Helen Weiscz) but a very good housekeeper and a good helpmate to him. She is as dark as Raymon is blonde so they make a handsome couple.


Valdines’s daughter, husband and baby lives with her. The son-in-law (Vaughn Mason) is a parcel post delivery man ….


My brother and his wife are here now on furlough for nine months but will return to South Africa to serve two more years and then my brother will retire and, I expect, return to the United States, probably to do some editorial work.


They had five children, the oldest, June is married to a Norwegian (Eric Dahle) who is third generation in South Africa. He is a bursar at Adams Collage there and they have two children, a little girl Karin Elisabeth who is two and a little boy, Christoffer Eric who is six months old.


Arthur’s second daughter, Beatrice, married a farmer who was a widower with two lovely boys who are now  14 and 16 years old. They are living near Naperville, about 30 miles southwest of Chicago. My brother and his wife is staying with them for the duration of their furlough.


The third daughter, Mabel is teaching home economics in a girls’ academy in South Africa and has not yet married. Their son, Howard Christoffersen, is a doctor and expects to return to Africa to be assistant surgeon in a hospital there in 1950. He has been married almost a year  to a very lovely Danish girl (Ruth Gregorsen).


Brother’s youngest child (Arthur Wilbur) was married in June to a nice English girl (Audry Lamb) who teaches music in the public schools. Arthur Wilbur has one more year at the University of Chicago and then expects to do social service work or go in to the ministry.


Sister May’s son, Paul Kimball, is married to a girl who is extremely proud of her American ancestry and they have two lovely, little girls, the older one Susan May is five and the younger one Sally is two. They live in Jacksonville, Illinois and Paul is a salesman for an automobile accessory company.


May’s daughter Alice Josephine, is married to a fine young man (Mark Spooner) she met while they where both in the Marines and has been going to college ever since he was discharged from service, having just graduated this June. He hopes to teach collage history some day. Alice teaches music in the public schools and is much like my sister May in temperament, - sweet and lovable.


So you see the generations come and go and there are five children in our new generation and dr. Howard and Ruth are expecting in October and Beatrice by Christmas so life goes on and on.


So far the letter. Then Ruth tells about her tragedy in life being divorced after 17 years marriage. If I understand correctly they had no children.


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