Pete & Grace

Pete & Grace Brinkman, my parents, were married on this day in 1938 in Worthington, Nobles County, Minnesota. Peter turned 24 that April, and Grace would turn 19 the following January. They were married in Grace’s parents’ home by a minister from the Church of Christ at about 2:20 in the the afternoon. Grace’s sister Dorothy was matron of honor, and Dorothy’s husband Melvin stood as Pete’s best man.

Newspaper clippings describing the ceremony, saved in my mother’s scrapbook, referred to the groom as Peter Ennenga, not Peter Brinkman. (Ennenga was the surname of Dad’s step-father.) However, he is recorded by his birth name on their marriage certificate and in the Nobles County marriage record book. They were still living in Worthington, Minnesota, at the time of the 1940 census, listed as Pete and Grace Ennenga once again. They moved to California by 1942, when their first daughter was born, leaving behind family and friends to make a new life for themselves. They would have two more daughters over the next ten years.

Together, they worked to bring up their three daughters in a stable and loving home–Dad an expert mechanic, Mom a proficient homemaker. Life was full of ups and downs, but they stayed together through it all, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health. Pete and Grace lived together in this life for over 64 years, until my mother passed away in July, 2003, at the age of 83. He would follow her in death almost a year later, almost to the day. He was 90 years old.

Photocopy of a page from Grace Brinkman’s scrapbook. The original scrapbook is currently in my possession.