REMEMBERING HELEN DOYLE WHO WOULD BECOME MY BROTHER’S WIFE — 1940   8 comments

I am thrilled every time I get concrete data to enrich the writing of “My Father’s House.” Here’s more, starting with the graduation photo of Helen Doyle.

Helen graduated from Upsala college in 1940, as did my brother. If Harvey was a busy man on campus, Helen’s record certainly equaled his. Among other things, she was Campus Queen in her junior year, and she was also active in a number of organizations. So many that I’m taking the lazy way out and posting a copy taken from the yearbook. It’s not as legible as I would like, but then, the point is just to show how long the list was.

Notice that her plan was to go on the Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School. As best I can find from reading about it, the goal was to provide a dignified and profitable occupation for women who were discouraged at the time from going on to higher education. Some doctors even warned that too much education would shrink the uterus. It also led to the kind of jobs where women wore white gloves at work.

In later years it went through a number of changes, finally closing, I believe, in 2011. (Upsala closed its doors in 1995)

Thanks go to Lisa Huntsha, Archivist/Librarian, Swenson Swedish immigration Research Center, Augustana College, Rock Island, Il

8 responses to “REMEMBERING HELEN DOYLE WHO WOULD BECOME MY BROTHER’S WIFE — 1940

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  1. was she married your brother, Mona?

  2. Yes, they married during the war, after Harvey was inducted (I think — I have to check the records.)

  3. Thank you! I was touched to see this recollection of the young woman she once was leading me to recall those seeds she attempted to sow in my early years. Always a book near her hands, my friends often commented on the pleasure she brought them when they came upon her singing and dancing (“as if no one was watching”). The consumate hostess, excellent creative cook . . . So much of those years to remember fondly.

    • Indeed, Nancy. So much promise. So poor a time for women of her verve and energy against the restrictions of society. I remember Doug’s fourth birthday party. How she did enjoy dancing to Uncle what’s-his-name’s accordion.

  4. Helen is adorable and so accomplished! Can’t wait to read “My Father’s House”. Is it near completion?

    Marilyn

    On Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 1:31 PM, monagustafsonaffinito wrote:

    > Mona Gustafson Affinito posted: “I am thrilled every time I get concrete > data to enrich the writing of “My Father’s House.” Here’s more, starting > with the graduation photo of Helen Doyle. Helen graduated from Upsala > college in 1940, as did my brother. If Harvey was a busy man on campu” >

    • Oh, Marilyn. I wish it were near completion. Then I’d be able to work on my photos from my last trip, read some of the stacks of materials I’ve accumulated, and discover what it feels like to be retired. But I have to — and want to — stay with it. No one else can do it. I think maybe it’s taking more time and concentration that my Ph.D. dissertation did way back when my little kids were playing thesis on the living room floor.

  5. I’m happy to meet Helen T. Doyle.

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