Family Stories

Letter remembering Ed and Rita Clarkson

At the time of Rita Galvin Clarkson's death in 1989,her daughter Theresa Clarkson, wrote to family friends, Dorothy and Ed White. She received a very nice return note from them.

Ed and Dorothy White
Western Springs Illinois
1 Jun, 1990

Dear Theresa,

Thank you so much for your note. We of course were saddened by the death of your lovely mother.

Edwin [Clarkson] and I were born in a pioneer-type community where children were borne in their homes. . . My home and Edwin's home had adjoining rear lots. When we were real little Edwin always wore boots - and his older brother Albert [Clarkson], about the same age as my older brother - named Edwin "Boots" and the name stuck for some time.

Shortly after War I, the Clarksons built their home and my parents bought a home on NW 20th Street - just two blocks apart. Our parents played bridge together frequently. Later, Edwin and I played with his parents about once a week.

Mr Clarkson [SE Clarkson Sr] had a box at the Oklahoma City baseball park and I often accompanied them to the ball games. In the summer months we played baseball almost every morning. Other children in the neighborhood, and, sometimes Billy Vick played. If you hit the ball into the alley you were "out" - and had to go and find the ball.

Edwin and I were room-mates for a year at W & L [Washington and Lee]. He then transferred to Cornell, where Albert had gone.

Coincidently, I had a case in Santa Fe, and was given an extra gasoline ration. Edwin had been drafted, and was to report in about two weeks. He went to Santa Fe with me, and we had a nice, enjoyable visit. Life is full of suprises - now you are in Santa Fe.

After War II Edwin brought Rita [Galvin Clarkson] home - and she easily captured our hearts.

The last time I saw Edwin and your mother was when my mother died. We then lived in Chicago area. They were accompanied by Albert. It was customary then for family friends to call. I think this demonstrates the closeness of the Clarksons and the Whites.

Give our regards to your brother and accept our congratulations on your graduate school achievement.

Most sincerely, Ed and Dorothy White

Dear Theresa,

I could not bear to let Ed send his dissertation on Ed Clarkson and his beloved Rita without adding my chapter.

I did not know your Dad well until Ed White and I were married in 1935. Your Dad and two other W and L classmates were ushers at our wedding. I was aware from the very first time I met your Dad that he was one of the finest and most compassionate people to have crossed my path and we became good friends - he was really very shy.

While your Dad was in the service he met your Mother when stationed in Massachusetts with Oklahoma's 45th Division. When on furlough to Oklahoma City I heard all about the beauty and loveliness of Rita and I did my best to lend Ed courage to ask her to marry him. When he brought her to Oklahoma City as his bride I, too fell in love with her. She was a darling.

Ed and I moved to Chicago when you were a very little girl so we did not have the opportunity of sharing in your growing up. I know how proud they were of you and of all you have accomplished. Please remember always that should . . ever bring you to Chicago we would be delighted to have you in our home.

Thank you again for writing. We share your loss.

With Love, Dorothy White