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Mary 'Alice' (Crosby) Fehr

Mary "Alice" (Crosby) Fehr was born on Jan. 19,, 1900 near Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County, PA, the daughter of Lewis and Marietta (Minerd) Crosby.

As a young woman, in 1921, she dwelled in Uniontown, Fayette County, PA. 

Obituary, 1930
On Oct. 10, 1921, at the age of 22, Alice was united in the bonds of matrimony with Gordon Ellingworth Fehr (May 10, 1890-1971) -- also known as "Frank H. Fair" -- the son of George W. "John" and Dorothy (Patton) Fehr of Reading, Berks County, PA. The nuptials were performed in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, PA, by the hand of Rev. Samuel A. Bower. At the time, Gordon was living in Philadelphia at 2121 Cadwallader Street and employed as a salesman. On their marriage license, he gave his middle name as "Ellis" and age as 33, even though he was closer to 30, and she provided the maiden name of her mother as "Myers."

They together produced a brood of three children -- Dorothy Alspach, Sarah Berry Seidel and Charles "Bucky" Fehr.

Early on, they resided in Connellsville and then moved to Gordon's hometown of Reading, where in 1922 he attended the State Police Academy. He went on to serve on the forces of the state police, Reading police and East Cocalico Township police. Then, in October 1929, they relocated to Detroit, and made their residence at 708 West Milwaukee Avenue.

Gordon continued to earn a living as a police officer after the move to Detroit.  

Panorama of Detroit's skyline and Woodward Avenue

In April 1930, Alice became serioiusly ill with "acute pyelonephritis," a bacterial infection causing kidney inflammation, and "interstitial nephritis," a disease lowering a kidney's ability cleanse blood and produce urine. She was admitted to the Women's Hospital in Detroit. Her sister Mattie Bowman traveled from Connellsville, PA to visit. Staying as long as she could, Mattie left when her sister's condition was "slightly improved," reported the Connellsville Daily Courier

Unfortunately, Alice died on April 24, 1930, at the age of 30. The funeral was held in the Fehr home, and her remains were laid to rest in a Detroit cemetery. On the official Michigan certificate of death, Gordon signed his name as "Frank H. Fair" and was unable to name his wife's mother. 

Gordon thereafter appears to have spelled the family name "Fair" for good.  He married again to Grace R. Hatt (Nov. 16, 1918-2005), a native of Reading. The pair produced two more daughters, Judith Anne Patterson Farnstrom and Mary Martha Avery. 

The United States Census of 1950 shows the Fair family in Reading, with him earning a living as a salesman for a rug company. Eventually, for 11 years, he managed the Dutch Land Motel in Denver and for 33 years sold automobiles in Reading. Gordon also belonged to the Reamstown Fire Company.

Motel at Denver, PA, which Gordon managed, midway between Reading and Lancaster at the Reading-Lancaster exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike

Sadly, at the age of 81, Gordon passed away in Ephrata Community Hospital in Lancaster County on Oct. 10, 1971. Interment was in Muddy Creek Cemetery in Denver, Lancaster County. An obituary in the Lancaster New Era said he was survived by 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, with first wife Alice named in his obituary in the Ephrata Review.

Grace outlived her husband by more than three decades and moved to Garden City, MI. She died in Garden City at the age of 86 on April 13, 2005. Her obituary was published in the Detroit Free Press, which said the headcount of her survivors was six grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. Her stepchildren were not named in the obituary. Her remains were transported to Lancaster County for burial next to her husband's.

Gordon and Grace's daughter Judith Anne "Judy" Fair (1940- ? ) was born in about 1940 in Michigan. She grew up in Reading, PA. Judith married (?) Patterson ( ? - ? ). Together, they bore four children -- Larry Patterson, Pamela Crout, Alan Patterson and Tracey Patterson. Later, she wed Donald Irving Farnstrom (June 27, 1935-2011). Donald was a U.S. Air Force veteran of the Korean War, having served from 1952 to 1956. He was the father of Sheryl Farnstrom, Michael Farnstrom and Mitchell Farnstrom. Donald was self-employed for more than three decades. He loved to play golf and fly and was a licensed pilot. In 1996, they dwelled in Westland, MI. Donald passed away on Sept. 13, 2011, with his photograph appearing in his obituary in the Detroit Free Press.

Gordon and Grace's daughter Mary Martha Fair (1941- ? ) was born in about 1941 in Michigan. She also spent her childhood in Reading, PA. Mary wed Duane Avery. The Averys lived in Midland, MI in the mid-1990s.  

~ Daughter Dorothy (Fehr) Alspach ~

Daughter Dorothy Fehr (1922-1983) was born on Valentine's Day 1922.

She was a girl when the family moved to Detroit and age 8 when her mother died.

Dorothy and her siblings were sent back to their father's hometown of Reading where in 1935-1940, she and her sister and brother lived with their grandfather George Fehr as lodgers in the household of Matthew Anderson.

On Oct. 11, 1940, at the age of 18, she and Charles I. Alspach Jr. (Aug. 16, 1916-1999) slipped into Wilmington, DE to become man and wife. Rev. Charles C. Harris officiated, and Thelma Alspach was a witness. He is believed to have been the son of Charles I. and Cora May (Longacre) Alspach of Reading. At the time, Charles earned a living as a silk worker in Reading.

It's doubtful that the couple reproduced, although this needs to be confirmed. 

The Alspachs lived in Reading, Berks County in 1950 and in nearby Reiffton in 1971. The 1950 federal census enumeration shows Charles working as a turbine operator for a public utility company. 

Evidence suggests that the pair spent their final years together in Florida. Dorothy died on July 7, 1983. Burial was in Craig-Flagler Palms Memorial Gardens in Flagler Beach. 

Charles outlived his bride by 16 years. The angel of death cleaved him away on July 29, 1999. Musical notes decorate his flat bronze grave marker at Craig-Flagler Palms. 

~ Daughter Sarah (Fehr) Berry Seidel ~

Daughter Sarah Fehr (1924- ? ) was born in about 1924.

She relocated to Detroit with her family and then suffered the death of her mother in 1930, when Sarah was about 6 years of age. She came back to Berks County and resided with her grandfather George Fehr for a number of years.

Sarah entered into marriage with (?) Berry ( ? - ? ). The marriage appears to have been over by 1971.

Later, she wed Luther Seidel ( ? - ? ).

Circa 1996, the Seidels lived in Reading, Berks County, PA. 

Research is underway to determine if Luther died at the age of 92, on Jan. 30, 2013, leaving behind five children -- Larry L. Seidel, Dale R. Seidel, Beverly L. Seidel, Donna K. Haggerty and Karen L. Woolworth. 

~ Son Charles W. "Bucky" Fehr ~

Son Charles W. "Bucky" Fehr (1925-1996) was born on Aug. 21, 1925 in Berks County, PA, the home region of his great-great-great-great grandparents, Friedrich and Eva Maria (Weber) Meinert Sr. of the Oley Valley.

He moved with his parents to Detroit and was 5 years old when his mother died. He came back to Berks County and in 1935-1940 made his residence with his sisters and grandfather George Fehr as lodgers of Matthew Anderson.

Charles wed Rose Wakefield ( ? -1991). The pair did not reproduce.

Circa 1971, the Fehrs made a home in El Centro, CA. Later, after returning to Pennsylvania, Charles was employed as a truck driver for Yellow Freight of Lancaster, PA. 

They lived at one time at 2017 Columbia Avenue in Lancaster, PA. Then in 1974, Charles and perhaps Rose became residents of St. Anne's Home of Columbia, PA. 

Rose passed away in 1991. 

Charles lived as a widower for another five years. He succumbed to the spectre of death at the age of 71 on Nov. 20, 1996. Burial was in Reading.

Copyright 2001, 2008, 2022, 2023 Mark A. Miner