Tuesday, April 23, 2013

On This Day - The Anniversary of the Birth of William Joseph Hork - April 23, 1930

         Today would have been the 83rd birthday of my father, William Joseph Hork, born in 1930 on April 23.[1] According to his birth certificate, he was born in Ontario, San Bernardino County.  He had always said he was born in Cucamonga, California.  Maybe they were living in Cucamonga, or maybe he just like saying the town's name.

      Bill’s parents were William Cyril Hork and Anna Marie Sullivan.[2]  Bill was the fifth and last child born to Cyril and Anna.  He had four older sisters, one who died just days after birth.

      His childhood was tough.  He was born in the early stages of the great depression.  His father was a drinker and couldn’t keep a steady job.  He was but a young fella when his mother took the courage to leave Cyril and raise her four children on her own.

      He did have fond memories of living in Southern California among the orange groves and playing with his cousins, the children of Anna’s sister, Loretta Patterson.  In 1940, the family moved to Napa, California, another rural community, to live with Vir Quigley, the widowed husband of Anna’s sister, Ethel.  In Napa, he was in Boy Scouts and played football on the high school team.  His mother worked in Vir’s café at first, then taught school in one of the one-room schoolhouses.

      After high school, he and his mother lived in Concord, California.  He worked at service stations.  He met and married my mother, Lela “Lea” Nell Johnston, and together they had six children, raising them in Pittsburg and later Walnut Creek, California.

      Lea passed away at the young age of 57 in 1992.  Bill lived out the rest of his life in their home and later in a smaller condo, surrounded by his children and grandchildren, for whom he loved to cook.  He rooted for the 49ers and Giants, dabbled in the stock marked, and gardened.  Bill passed away 13 Oct 2007[3] at the age of 77.

      Happy Birthday, Dad!

[1] State of California, Department of Health Services, Certification of Vital Record, Standard Certificate of Birth, San Bernardino County, California, William Joseph Hork, 1930.
[2] ibid
[3] State of California, Department of Health Services, Certification of Vital Record, Death Certificate, Contra Costa County, California, William Joseph Hork, 2007.

Copyright © 2013 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past