Dora May Wightman

Dora May Wightman DORA MAY WIGHTMAN was born on 12 September 1890 -- the youngest child in the family of Joseph Wightman and Emily Johnson Wightman. She had dark curly hair, and was said to be a very pretty girl.
She married Dave Shuler in 1909.

They had three sons:

      who was born 15 July 1910,
      married IRMA LANT,
      died 27 July 1977 at age 67,
      had 5 children:
         Patsy Rae Shuler, (b. 1932)
         Sandra Shuler, (b. 1934)
         John David Shuler, (b. 1937)
         Michael Howard Shuler, (b. 1939)
         Craig Lant Shuler, (b. 1951)
      born 5 Dec. 1911 and 
      died 1 June 1921 at age 9,
      after being hit by a car;
     KEITH JACK ("Bish") SHULER, 
      born 3 Sept. 1916, 
      married Maxine WILSON,
      died in 1999 at age 82, had one son,
         Dennis Dave Shuler, (b. 1936)


Dora May died in the flu epidemic in Nov. 1918 at the age of only 28, when Howard was eight years old, his brother Marvel was six, and "Bish" was only two. For a while Dave's sister Mary and her children moved in with Dave's family so that "Aunt Mary" could take care of the three little boys. Mary's husband Henry Fairbanks had also died -- the same day as Dora May. At this time, Mary's daughter Jenny was 19, Madge was 16, and Byron was 13, but Jenny and Madge became more like aunts or big sisters to the Shuler boys instead of cousins, and they always stayed very close.

Later, to the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, these two ladies were like aunts. They were on the Shuler side of the family, and were not related at all to the Wightman side. But they were very close friends to all of the Wightmans, and seemed to be part of the same large extended family.

In later years, Dora May's youngest son Bish rented a bedroom in Madge's house. This was after Jenny had died. Bish's only son, Dennis Dave ("Denny") Shuler, lived just a few houses away with his wife Colette and their two daughters Susie and Michelle. Denny had no sons, and his two daughters have no children.

Dave remarried about a year after Dora May's death, to Erma Nell Wightman. She was the daughter of Dora May's brother Philo. She was 21 and Dave was 31 when they married. Her first husband, Wayne Gardner, had also died in the flu epidemic. Erma had two daughters:

    HELEN GARDNER (b. 1914, 
       married Milo Christensen (div) 
           and Joseph McNabb);
    GERALDINE GARDNER (b. 1916, 
       married Paul Archibald Wittwer).

Since Dave Shuler's second wife Erma was his first wife's niece, this made for an unusual family relationship, because even though Erma was the boys' step-mother, she was also their first cousin; they sometimes called her "Cousin Erma." Howard's older children called her "Aunt Erma"; Helen's and Gerry's kids called her "Mammy".

All of Howard's children had dark hair like their grandmother Dora May. Both John and Craig had hazel eyes, olive skin, and hair that was almost black. Sandra and Mike had blue eyes, fair skin, and brown hair. When Sandra was little her hair was light, but it turned dark as she grew up. It was also quite curly. People who remembered Dora May before she died, thought that Sandra resembled her.

Dora May had 3 sons, 6 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and currently (in year 2000) -- 26 great great grandchildren.

Information Compiled
by Karen Bray Keeley

INTERNET Adaptation
by Sandra S. Bray