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Fred Rebo and Sister Ida Rebo Wilson

Ida Melwine Bertha Rebo Wilson Wirtanen

On February 10, 1915 Fred's sister, Ida Melwine Bertha Rebo, born on September 8, 1892 in Dunn County, Wisconsin and now 22 years old, married Richard (Dick) M. Wilson, 48 years old,  (October 11, 1867 - September 27, 1934).  According to the Michigan state Marriage Records, they married in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where Dick lived at the time, and where they made their home. Dick's father is listed as John Wilson, his mother as Catherine Godfrey.  Ida was going by the last name "Reibow".

Ida's father is listed as Rudolph Reibow (not Riebow), and her Mother Dora Handorf.

In 1920 Richard and Ida are listed in the census as living in Kalamazoo, with no children.  Richard was a farmer who owned his own farm.  His dad was born in New York and his mother in Michigan.  Ida's parents were born in Germany.

In the 1920 census Richard and Ida continued to farm in Kalamazoo, and Ida's brother, Fred Rebo, was living on an adjacent farm.  In this census both of Richard's parents are listed as being born in Michigan.

Richard died on September 27, 1934 at the age of 66 years old in Kalamazoo, Michigan. On the death record Dick's father is listed as John Wilson, his mother is listed as Catherine Musselman, which conflicts with her given last name on the marriage record..

By 1935 Ida was living in Chicago, Illinois, according to the 1940 census.

The next year, two years after Richard's death, Ida was back living in New Deal, Montana where on November 17, 1936, now 44, she married Charles Wirtanen, ( May 30, 1891 - January 1, 1971) 45, in Glasgow, Valley County, Montana. Charles also lived in New Deal, Montana.  Charles was born in Finland to Victor Wirtanen and Minnie (no last name given). On this certificate Ida's father is listed as Rudolph Rebo.  Her mother as Dorothy Handorf.

In 1920, Charles and his wife had two children; Martha J. - 3, and an infant, not quite 1, whose name is indecipherable.  It starts with LilL and the middle initial looks like G. The indexer believed it to be "Lillian I.".  They were living in Nordin, Hamlin County, South Dakota.  Both Charles and his wife were born in Finland. No occupation is listed.

By the 1930 census, Charles Wirtanen and then wife, Phoebe Hamlin Wirtanen (or Phebe? or Phoebi in 1920 census) had 6 children; Martha J. - 13, Irene L. - 11, Eino (Emo or Eimo?)  O. - 9, Charles E. - 7, Millie M. - 6 and Mamie G. 5 years old.  Charles was a miner and veteran, who's father and mother were born in Finland, and immigrated to the United States in 1908.  Their native language was French. They lived in Williston, Williams County, North Dakota.

What happened to Phebe/Phoebe/Phoebi?  Was Charles divorced or widowed?  She is listed as having died on February 23, 1982 in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan on another family tree, but there is no documentation supporting that.

By 1940, Charles and Ida, now farmers living in Turner, Marion County, Oregon, had the three youngest of Charles' children living at home; Charles E. - 17, Milly - 16 and Mimie - 15.

At some point Ida and Charles moved to Arizona.  In 1968, Ida was featured in a Casa Grande Dispatch newspaper article.  She was an active member of Blue Star Mothers of America, who, according to their website:

...are mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, foster mothers and female legal guardians who have children serving in the military, guard or reserves, or children who are veterans. We support each other and our children while promoting patriotism. Our organization focuses on our mission every single day and will never, ever, forsake our troops, our veterans or the families of our Fallen Heroes.

Ida's brother, Fred and his wife Lucille Rebo had a fundraising cookbook from Ida's chapter of Blue Star Mothers in Coolidge, Arizona in Lucille's cookbook collection.

The newspaper article was published in the Casa Grande Dispatch from Casa Grande, Arizona on December 25, 1968:

Blue Stars Gift Vietnam Troops

Service men in Vietnam and patients in Veterans hospitals received gifts from Coolidge Blue Star Mothers. - Christmas boxes were malted to a large number of service men in Vietnam, some 400 coupons have been mailed to help provide a seeing eye dog for some blind person, packages of cancelled stamps were sent to students in Cook's Indian School in Tempe, and 14 duffel bags were sent to veterans in the Fort Whipple Veterans Hospital. Our "projects and contributions to men overseas and in hospitals are possible only because of friends who .help by contributing materials new and used," Mrs. Ida Wirtanen, Chairman of the work for veterans in hospitals, said. Members of Coolidge Chapter of Blue Star Mothers hold all-day workshops each month to work on articles for patients in veterans hospitals

Ida was very active in Coolidge, Arizona.  Another article published on December 18, 1968, again in the Casa Grande Dispatch from Casa Grande, Arizona speaks of her involvement in another community organization:

Vets of World War 1 Hold Elections

COOLIDGE Election and installation of officers for 1969 marked the December meeting of HoHoKam Barracks World War I Veterans, No. 921 and the Women's Auxiliary Tuesday. Installed by the Barrack were Frank Crandall of Coolidge, commander, Al Dickison, first vice-commander, Charles Barnhart, second vice-commander; Harry Thiel, quartermaster, all of Coolidge, and Harry Osborne of Picacho. Chaplain Charles Barnhart was also installed as historian. Installed by the Auxiliary were Mrs. Thelma Harrington of Twilight Trails, president, Mrs. Lucia Barnhart, first vice-president. Mrs. Floy Osborne, second vice president, Mrs. Ida Wirtanen, chaplain, Mrs. Pearl Goff, conductress, Mrs. Grace Crandall, guard, Mrs. Grace Squires, secretary-treasurer, Mrs. Bertha Singer, historian; Mrs. Mary Hollis, patriotic instructor and Mrs. Mabel Lodder, legislative chairman.

Ida's husband, Charles, died on January 1, 1971 at the age of 79 years old in Coolidge, Pinal County, Arizona.

Ida died on February 23, 1982, at the age of 90, in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan.  She was buried in Coolidge, Arizona.

Click here to see more photos of Ida and family.