Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Emma Kostal Psota

My grandfather, Edward Kostal, had four step-siblings and three full siblings. He was the only boy among his full siblings. Two of his three sisters grew to adulthood and lived long, long lives. I knew both of them.

While in France with the AEF, my grandfather learned that his third sister, Emma Kostal, contracted Spanish Flu during the great pandemic of 1918. Even though The Great War ended on November 11, 1918, my grandfather was severely wounded and did not return to the states until the following spring. It was too late as Emma succumbed on April 2, 1919. She was 23 years old.

Emma married Fred Psota and they had a daughter together named Jeanette. After Emma’s death, my great grandparents took care of Jeanette. Fred remarried another Emma and moved to Fairbury, Nebraska.

Emma is buried in the Ravenna cemetery. This photo has been in the family for a very long time. Back then, it was common practice to hire a studio photographer and have him/her take photos of the deceased with all of the floral decorations. For a small town like Ravenna, this was a lot of flowers!

I’m unsure if this was photographed at a funeral home or in a private residence. I know that some memorial services were held in the home rather than in church or a funeral home. For example, the service for my great grandmother (Emma’s mother) was held at her home.