Mary passed away July 29, 1962 at 80 years old. Her death certificate lists cardiovascular disease as the cause of death; however, it also lists “Status Post CVA, old, with Left Hemiparesis.” Medical terminology is not common knowledge, so it’s always a good idea to get definitions, and in this case looking up that term provides some new information that helps us better know Mary. Hemiparesis is a slight weakening, loss of strength, or paralysis, which could be a side affect of a stroke or several other medical conditions. The abbreviation “CVA” means cerebrovascular accident and is the medical term for stroke. The death certificate lists the condition was known for 10+ years, so it’s possible she had a stroke some time before her death that caused her left side to be weakened.
Aldus passed away in 1964, in July, just two years after Mary (almost to the day) and a month after his son Earl. Aldus also had cardiovascular disease. In addition, pulmonary emphysema and brain syndrome were listed as significant conditions at the time of his death. Brain syndrome could be a variety of things related to loss of brain function, from memory loss to loss of motion. Pulmonary emphysema is primarily caused from smoking; however, it is also caused from occupational exposure. Since Aldus was an auto mechanic, it’s likely the fumes and chemicals he was exposed to were a contributing factor. Nevertheless, he lived to be 83 years old, a good age considering the average life expectancy in 1960 was 66.6 years old (Source).
Mary and Aldus’ granddaughter remembers that Aldus fixed cars and Mary was super concerned with keeping things clean. She remembers visiting her grandparents on Christmas Eve–likely a time much enjoyed and looked forward to by Mary and Aldus.