Sylvia Pearl Sells - Wedding Wednesday

Sylvia Pearl Sells
Sylvia Pear Sells and William Holmes Marriage Certificate

Sylvia Pearl Sells was my grandmother's (Nellie Opal Sells) younger sister. She was born to Columbus Sells and Gertrude W Nichols on February 9, 1902 in Fort Madison, Lee, Iowa.  As the 1910 Missouri Census shows they were in Union, Laclede, Missouri where Sylvia was six years old at the time. Her mother Gertrude W Nichols died in 1919. In the Missouri Census of 1920 it shows that the family now resided in Springfield, Greene, Missouri; Nellie was nineteen and Sylvia was seventeen.


Name: William A Holmes
Birth Date: 21 Dec 1898
Death Date: 22 Jul 1971
Service Start Date: 23 May 1918
Interment Date: 26 Jul 1971
Cemetery: Springfield National Cemetery
Cemetery Address: 1702 East Seminole Street Springfield, MO 65804
Buried At: Section 34 Site 265


Sylvia meant William “Billie” A Holmes after he had served in WW I while she was living in Springfield. Billie was born William Holmes on December 21, 1898 in Missouri. His parents were William A Holmes and Mary A Richards. William and Sylvia were married on March 9, 1920 in Springfield, Greene, Missouri.

In 1920 they started the lives together; William was a meat cutter at the J H Bridger Grocery Store in Springfield and that continued to be his profession at least through 1936.

In 1921 they had their first son, William “Billie” Holmes, Jr. in Springfield, Greene, Missouri and then on November 6, 1923 they welcomed a new daughter, Mary Helen Holmes.

Sylvia died on April 9, 1952 in Nevada, Vernon, Missouri at the young age of fifty years old and Billie died July 22, 1971 at the age of seventy-two years old. Billie is buried at the Springfield National Cemetery in Springfield, Greene, Missouri.

 Sylvia Pearl Sells

Gertrude W Nichols-Sells, Nellie Opal Sells-Brumley, Sylvia Pearl Sells-Holmes

My mother, Nancy Gertrude Brumley Weik never told me much about Sylvia except to say that they were always in competition with one another about various things over their lifetime. 

Winter in Illinois 1960


Seasons change and so do I,  for the first time in my life I will become a snow bird headed south to Arizona. It is something that I have always wondered about and heard the stories of others who have experienced it first hand. Now it will be my turn to experience the difference between a traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas and a new version.

I was born in Davenport, Scott, Iowa on December 11, 1950. I am sure it was cold and probably snowy because this is the Midwest where weather by that time of year could be bitter cold with several inches of snow on the ground. I had two brothers who came after me that was also born in Davenport, Scott, Iowa as well.

My father, Merle Otto Weik accepted a job in Sterling, Whiteside, Illinois in the steel fabrication business. Over the years my father took other steel fabrication jobs in Joliet, Illinois and finally settling in Streator, LaSalle, Illinois. We were still living in the Midwest where when it came to winter time it could be pretty brutal with snow.

John, Diann and Richard Weik

When I graduated from high school I decided to move to Kansas for awhile until I got married and moved to Missouri, once again I was still in the Midwest where the winters are cold and snowy or even icy. I started my family in Missouri and when my daughter was old enough to go out on her own she decided to select Iowa State University to receive her Master's Degree. I felt like I had come full circle back to Iowa, the Midwest and cold and snowy weather!

All of my grandchildren have been born in Iowa and they are now enjoying the cold and snowy weather which they love.

So that brings me to this week -- FINALLY I am going to a place where I will experience a different type of season - Yuma, Arizona! This will be the first time in my young 64 years of life that I will not look out my window and see snow on the ground or shiver when I go outside from the cold. Someone once told me that I would miss the season to season change if I moved out of the Midwest and my response was that I would like to try it at least once.

Seasons change and so do I - I am looking forward to trying it out for a few months this winter as I experience what it will be like to be a snow bird who takes flight for Arizona.  For many years I have watched travelers head south for the winter and always wondered what it would be like, now I will get my chance! Oh, have no fear I will not be staying in Arizona just visiting for the  winter and my blog will follow me.