Thursday, October 21, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: John Peter Pemberton's Obituary

We continue in the Treasure Chest Thursday series on John Peter Pemberton (my maternal grandfather) with his obituary. I found this obituary in a box of my mom's keepsakes in the spare bedroom closet at my parent's house when I first started digging around for family history info. This was in the early 1990's when I was about 12. This is a memorial copy of the obituary that was originally published in the Port Huron (Michigan) Times Herald on 15 Oct 1970.

John P. Pemberton

John Peter Pemberton, 41, of 1828 Stone Street, died Monday in Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, after a short illness.

Born Nov. 18, 1928, Mr. Pemberton lived in Port Huron all his life. He married the former Violet Currie on Sept. 9, 1949.

He attended Port Huron schools and was employed as an engineer for the Grand Trunk Western Railroad for the last 20 years.

A veteran of the U.S. Air Force during World War II, he was a member of Charles Schoor Post No. 796, V.F.W. He was a member of the United Transportation Union.

He is survived by his widow; five sons, John M., George A., Stephen A., Brian J., and Mark A. Pemberton, all of Port Huron; three daughters, Miss Pamela S. Pemberton, Miss Gloria Pemberton, and Mrs. Deborah Chamberlain, all of Port Huron; his mother, Mrs. Mabel Beedon of Port Huron; three brothers, Frank M. Pemberton and Daniel R. Beedon, both of Port Huron, and William H. Pemberton, Flint; four sisters, Mrs. Nancy L. Jackson and Mrs. Barbara L. Post, both of Port Huron, Mrs. Betty J. Hackett, Madison Heights, and Mrs. Eva M. Hofeling, Bloomington, Calif.; and several nieces and nephews.

The remains are in Pollock-Jowett Funeral Home where services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Rev. M.V. Scutt, pastor of the First Church of the Nazarene, will officiate.

Burial will be in Caswell Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Ted French, Tom Hering, Bill Hering, Dave Stocker, Howard Wollen, Gordon Bailey and John McQue.

Memorials may be made to the Cancer Society.

This is one of the more informative obituaries that I've seen in my years as a genealogist. It talks about military service, education, occupation, and memberships, in addition to the family information.

One thing that caught my eye when I analyzed this for the first time about two years ago was that it stated he served in the air force during WWII. However, when WWII ended in 1945, he was only 16. I will post his military records in a future post for Treasure Chest Thursday, but I did find that he actually served in Japan in the years after WWII, which was considered the occupation period. I also have a copy of his VFW membership card.

Another interesting thing is that I don't recognize any of the names of the pallbearers, so they must have been co-workers or friends.

I did send off to the social security administration for his SS-5, but I'm still waiting to hear back from them. In the meantime, stay tuned for more Treasure Chest Thursday posts on John Peter Pemberton.


  1. I have a couple of these, but none with photos. Photos...they are a GOOD thing.

  2. Jennifer, what would you receive/find in the SS-5 from the Social Security office?

  3. Holly,
    I mentioned in an earlier Treasure Chest Thursday post that his social security number was left off his death certificate and was handwritten in the corner by my grandmother. Using the handwritten social security number, and by using his name, I couldn't find him in the SSDI, which I thought was rather odd, since my grandmother probably would have applied for dependent benefits for their six minor children. I decided to send off for the SS-5 to see if his death was reported. It's possible he was just accidentally left out of the SSDI. We'll see.