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 Wenonah (Pickell) Ditzler  (1873 - 1911)

About: Wenonah (Pickell) Ditzler


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Lived/Active: Illinois/Kansas      Known for: painting and teaching

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following information is submitted by Debbie Baker, who found the obituary of the artist written byWenonah Ditzler's aunt, Hannah Ditzler Alspaugh.

Aug. 5, 1911
Wenonah Agnes, daughter of Eli H. and Celia A. Ditzler, was born in Naperville, Illinois, on October 27th, 1873, where her childhood and early youth were spent.  In 1888 her parents moved to Hinsdale, Ill., where her father was engaged in business. In July of 1894 Wenonah and her sister Ione went to Europe, where their brother Hugh had preceded them. They settled in Munich, Bavaria, and remained four years. Wenonah studied art, and Ione studied music.

After their return to America in 1898, Wenonah held the position of art teacher in two colleges in Kansas for several years.  It was there where she met her future husband. In the fall of 1902 she sailed to Europe for the second time, and spent about a year in Antwerp.  Returning to her home in Hinsdale she was married to Ralph E. Pickell, on November 4th, 1903, and for about two years they lived in Humboldt, Kas., when they returned to Hinsdale where they lived in the home of her parents to the present time. One child, now a girl of nearly seven years of age, was sent to sanctify their home. Her life was blessed with all the care and affection that fond parents, loving sisters, and a devoted husband could bestow upon her, but her body was frail, and the feeble, fluttering heart was overtaxed.

Her disposition was bright and hopeful, and altho, at times her suffering was great, she bore it calmly and hid her pain under a cheerful smile, rather than sadden others by alluding to it. She was very zealous in church work and never slighted a duty when bodily strength permitted. On Saturday afternoon, Aug. 5, 1911, she laid down on a couch to read and rest, when gently God's finger touched her and she fell asleep, to awaken where "Angels of Jesus, Angels of Light, Are singing to welcome, The pilgrims of the night." It was a severe blow - not cruel, for God never sends a cruel blow - but for her it was in kindness dealt. She was spared the struggle for life, the agony of pain, the sad breaking of earthly ties, but with her gaze turned toward the light, with her "Pilot face to face, she crossed the bar."

A deeply sorrowing husband, a daughter, father, mother, two sisters and two brothers, and hosts of relatives and friends are left to mourn her early departure. On last Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 9th, the funeral services were conducted at the home of her parents, by Rev. Merriman of the Episcopal church, and the remains were placed in the vault of the Oak Ridge cemetery. Her many friends will miss her, and in her sweet, pure home-life fraught with so much joy and happiness, there will ever remain, like the lingering fragrance of a rare blossom, the beautiful memory of Wenonah. "We will be patient, and assuage the feeling, We may not wholly stay; By silence sanctifying, not concealing, The grief that must have away." H. D. A. (Hannah Ditzler Alspaugh)

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