Wilcox, Ethel Matilda

Janice Penfield Lawrence Lange has many fond memories of her grandmother Ethel Matilda Wilcox.

Ethel Matilda Wilcox,daughter of Fredrich E. Wilcox and Jenness M. was born on January 4, 1879.  She married Charles Franklin Dike, Jr. in July 1909.  She died in 1977.

Janis Penfield Lawrence Lange (Jan) refers to her as her beloved Grandma Dike.  Ethel lived with her daughter Miriam Jennette and her family from the time Jan was three and died just short of her ninety-ninth birthday.

Ethel and her one sister were born and raised in New England, where her grandmother Sara Wilcox had emigrated from England on the ship that followed the Mayflower in 1621.  Ethel grew up in Norwalk, Connecticut, where she met Charles Franklin Dike (called Frank) shortly after he came east from Missouri to live with his uncle.

Ethel (still Wilcox) completed her teacher’s college degree in what was then called “normal school” and was teaching in a little one-room school house several miles walk from her home.

Jan’s Grandma Dike is very, very precious in her memory and in her life.  Her love and faith ran strong and deep.  She kept her desk drawer full f the pencils and erasers and little things Hal and I needed for school projects, literally and figuratively kissed our bruises, praised our accomplishments, and gently chastised certain behaviors.  Even as an admonished adolescent, She remembers secretly loving her wise proverbs and old-fashioned phrases…her caring. Grandma Dike’s gentle kindness and quiet influence remain for her as profound and well preserved today as the linens and sweet memories the family treasures.


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