She was born Katheryn Elizabeth Fredreka Nusbickel on July 25, 1877 in Lyons, Wayne County, New York, United States. She was the first child and eldest daughter of Frederick Nusbickel (Jr.) and his wife, Anna Marie Kletzing. She was also my wife’s second cousin, twice removed.
She preferred to be known as Elizabeth and she was able to enjoy the relative prosperity gained through the family hardware business that was located on the northwest corner of Water and Broad streets in Lyons, New York. Elizabeth attended the Lyons High School, graduating in 1897. The graduation class photo, shown below, includes Elizabeth, seen standing in the back row on the left side of the large pillar. Notably absent from the photo are all the boys from the class. The only men present are school principal, Mr. Worthy Hanks Kinney, on the left in the back row, and teacher, Mr. Francis Gardner, on the right. (The photo is from school files and was re-printed by the Geneva Times newspaper in September 1960).
On June 25, 1902, Elizabeth married Oakley Earl Van Slyke, a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity and Congregational clergyman who had graduated from Syracuse University in 1900. The announcement of their engagement included the note that Oakley was one of four students who won scholarships to continue their education at the Ph.D. level in Boston.
Oakley and Elizabeth were residing in New York state when their daughter Alice was born in 1905 but had moved to California by the time their son, Oakley Earl Van Slyke, known by Earl, was born in 1911. Oakley (Sr.) appears to have followed a path different from his ministerial calling as he worked initially as a nurseryman on a citrus farm in Glendora, California before going into the real estate business, first as an agent and then as a broker in the South Pasadena area.
Elizabeth passed away on July 23, 1952, two days short of her 75th birthday, in Santa Ana, California and was buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California.
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