My mom used to tell me about how her father’s brother, Dewey, died. She said he was robbed in Mexico and killed. I always felt so bad that this could happen to someone in my family, and I wondered why he was in Mexico and the circumstances surrounding his death. I was pretty sure Mom got something mixed up because she had never talked of Dewey except for his death, I knew that she wasn’t close with this uncle as other stories about him were never shared. Mom was 29 when Dewey died so she was old enough to get the facts but her memory was not always the best. I decided a while back to try to investigate what had happened to Dewey. Dewey never married and didn’t have children so I asked a cousin the late 1990’s about Dewey. She told me she thought he died in New Mexico…hmmmmm, that is close to Mexico…so mom couldn’t be too wrong could she?
When I first started my quest not much was available on-line…..nobody seemed to know any more so I sort of shelved my search until last year. Every so often I run across a picture of Dewey in my mother’s old photos and my curiosity gets peaked again so now that so much is on line, I started looking again.
First place I looked was “Find a Grave”, I typed in Ledger just to see what I could come up with and in New Mexico there was a grave for George D. Ledger in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Albuquerque, New Mexico….ah ha! I was pretty sure that George was his official first name, they just called him Dewey which is what the D stood for I assumed. There was a picture of his headstone and information I didn’t know, such as he was in the service….interesting…..
Wow….now I went to the publication website and emailed them and asked for a copy of the obituary….that was funny…the guy on the other end of the email asked me “what year??? 1944????” we don’t have those! So I tried the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library system and look what I got, they were so very helpful, no charge but I did make a donation to the library fund because this type of information is priceless!
Then the plot thickens because there is an article about the bus driver….let him off the bus? in the middle of nowhere??? no water, no food….poor Uncle Dewey. We will never know what really happened.
The article spelled Dewey’s brother’s name wrong, it was Robert Ledger…he lived in North Hollywood, CA and must have traveled to New Mexico to arrange for Dewey’s funeral.
Dewey must have been visiting his mother in Worcester, Mass., although I never knew she lived there until recently. The young man in the picture with Dewey above is still living and he told his son that they lived in Massachusetts for 14 years. I had no clue. I also didn’t know Dewey served in WWI, so I did a little digging and he was a mechanic. He was very short, like 5’1″, so he would have had to serve in a support capacity.
Rest in peace Uncle Dewey