We learned a little about Johanna Donahue (Granny “O”) and Edward S Taber who lived in Norwich Connecticut, the parents of Howard S Taber. It’s difficult to touch the lives of people one has never known but fortunately the living can add life to some characters from the past. Such life stories are often missed when in group settings with random conversations dispersed throughout the crowd. One I caught hold of was that of Uncle Eddie, or as the family tree has it Edward R Taber. I’m not sure what type of disability Uncle Eddie had but it prevented him from living on his own. I was told he had childlike features about him throughout his adulthood. He was Johanna and Edward’s son, second to the last born.
It’s been said that Uncle Eddie was always by his mother’s side, yes that would be the loving and spoken dearly of Granny “O.” While the other children in order of birth Florence, Charles, Howard, Mary E, (Eddie) , and youngest Harry J. grew up and eventually left home in their adulthood,Uncle Eddie stayed home. Father Edward S Taber worked as a house painter and it is evident that Uncle Eddie spent most of his time with Granny “O” at 10 Garfield Ave, Norwich, Connecticut off Laurel Hill Road.
The Taber’s lived in this house from 1929 until sometime after Edward S Taber’s death in 1947. Life happened over the years, Florence married Howard Lee, Charles married Helen, wish I knew her maiden name, Howard married Clarissa Fogg, Mary married David Goepfert, Eddie stayed home of course, and Harry J never married but had a live in long term girlfriend, not just rumor, and he joined the military. Granny “O” was a widow by 1947.
The house on Garfield Ave was large and after husband Edward S Taber died, assumingly too much for Granny “O” to manage on her own. Harry J was still living at Garfield with her and Uncle Eddie when he wasn’t off with his new career. He had enlisted in the Army on 16 Feb 1943 in Hartford, Connecticut right around age 19. Granny “O”, Uncle Eddie, and Harry J moved to New London, New London County, Connecticut with Florence, the oldest child, and her husband Howard Lee at 40 Squire Street. Harry J removed to Midway Pass to live with his girlfriend shortly after and Uncle Eddie remained by Granny “O’s” side until her death in 1963.
A neighbor shared her memories of Uncle Eddie living at 40 Squire after Johanna died. Florence and Howard remained at the residence for some years and became Uncle Eddie’s guardians. Uncle Eddie had little side jobs, such as collecting neighbor’s trash and yard work, and left on a bus during the days. He never married nor lived on his own. But he had a great deal of love and likely was comforted by Granny “O” and Florence all his life.
Edward R Taber (Uncle Eddie) born 2 Jan 1922 and died 2 Nov 1984 in Groton, Connecticut at age 62, loved and cared for by the strength of two women who hung in there until the end.