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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Alcaraz

Grammie - Compass Senior Living (Video)

Updated: Dec 2, 2019


In January of 1959 at approximately 4:00 in the morning, a man by the name of Ray Hostetler died from complications of, what at that time, was a pioneering open-heart surgery. He was fun-loving, quick to laugh, and handsome. He was also 37 years old and the father of six children. His wife of 14 years, Susan Irene Mae Good Hostetler, was three months pregnant with their seventh. Irene went on to raise those seven children on little more than faith and became known as “Grammie” to many.

This is but one of her many stories, the first of which began in 1914 when she was born in a log cabin in the countryside of Indiana. Raised an only child, she experienced many things such as learning why a Sears catalog is kept in an outhouse, gypsy neighbors and witnessing one of the largest KKK rallies in America.

When Irene died at the age of 95, she left the legacy of her stories for her family of 7 children, 15 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild. Through her tiny stories her voice lives on for all of them….and those yet to come.


Grammie - Tater Time

Irene: I was born in a log cabin down there in the country. We had the old local doctor, Fred Murray, and he one time told me. He had a real cracky voice, and he said, “I had the choice to make whether you would live or die.” And if my mom had been living now it would have been Caesarean, definitely. But, he said that, and he told me one time I was born in “tater diggin” time. [laughs] He was comical, he was a comical old guy. He had a real cracky voice. [laughs]

Carrie: You were born in what? What did he say?

Irene: Tater digging time! October.

Grammie - Biscuit

Grammie: This isn’t very nice to tell. She taught me how to wipe my butt. Probably on a Sears Roebuck page. I remember that, and it only came to me a short time ago. I was sitting in there on the toilet fixing my paper and it hit me. I know this is true. I would go and stay with her occasionally while my mom had to go to town or something and I would be at her house. And she told me to make it like a biscuit.(laughs) Isn’t that silly? You won’t use this I hope, but that came and I had to say it.

Interviewer: To make the page like a biscuit?

Grammie: Yeah, crush it up you know and make it like a biscuit. Doing that you see with my paper, that hit me. Isn’t that awful funny?

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