854. Robert William BLESSING
was born on 19 Oct 1934 in 3rd St., Lebanon, Penna.. He has descendant
number 1-9-5-2-5-1-4-2. He was an Assistant Superintendent of Schools for Business/Board
Secretary in North Brunswick Township, Board of Education, North Brunswick, N.
J.. My father's work took the family to Pottsville, Pa. for a year and then
on to Shamokin, Pa. by 1936. While in Shamokin we lived at several locations.
By the time I was in third grade we lived at 22 Eagle Ave.. It was in this
house my father equipped the cellar so neighborhood children could play during
"black outs". This was during World War II when air raids caused everyone
to either turn off all lights or be sure no lights from the
house could be seen from the outside. This was done so if enemy air craft was flying overhead, they could not tell where the town was located. In 1944 we moved to 213 So. Sixth Street, Shamokin, Pa. At age 10 I remember going to the store and buying meat for money plus tokens. Each family received a monthly supply of tokens and rationing coupons. Food could not be purchased without tokens. This procedure limited the amount of food that could be purchased. Food surplus was needed to feed the troops during the war. Shoes and gasoline were also rationed. Gasoline was 16 cents per gallon. The day the war in Europe was over, I was standing at the corner of 6th and Pine Street in Shamokin, Pa. Everyone was yelling, waving flags and jumping up and down. Soldiers in the parade were firing blanks from machine guns.
In November 1951, while in my senior year of high school, my father was transferred to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He was manager of one of a chain of stores popular throughout central Pennsylvania called "Millers Auto Supplies". They sold auto supplies, toys, sport goods, appliances etc. Millers Auto Supplies was joining several other
stores in the area to try a new concept in retail selling called "A Shopping Center". Several stores would maintain their independence but would be housed under one roof. This was the forerunner of the "Malls". I believe this was the first shopping center in the country. My father, James Hatton Blessing, was named manager of Millers Auto
Supplies in Kline Village, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Shopping Center was built at the end of Market Street just beyond John Harris High School. I recall the first year in this position, my father earned $8,000. In those days (1951) that was a very good salary.
I also recall my father making the statement "some day the average salary for a family would be $10,000". Surprisingly today (1985) in New Jersey $10,000 per year would be classified as poverty level. I graduated from Lower Paxton High School in May of 1952. We were then living on Arbys Rd. Colonial Village, Harrisburg, Pa. Approximately 12 miles from where Anthony Blessing, my ggggg grandfatrher settled 201 years before. Sadly at that time I knew nothing of my heritage except for my Lebanon, Pa. roots.
I joined the Army October 2, 1952 while the Korean War (called a police action) was in progress.
When I was in the 6th grade, a friend of mine talked about a blond preacher's daughter he liked. Two years later at age 13 and in the 8th grade, I met and started dating the girl my friend had talked about. That girl (Ruth Jane Hoyes) became my wife after she turned 18, graduated from high school, and we received permission from her father.
We were married June 20, 1953. We were both 18. I was stationed in Augusta, Ga. at Camp Gordon as an instructor in an Army Signal Corp. radio school. I was in the Army Security Agency but on loan to the Signal Corp. to instruct. My main classification was that of a high speed radio operator capable of sending and receiving Morse Code. (thats the dot and dash code). Ruth worked in Greens Department store in Augusta, Ga. In December of 1954 I was transferred to Germany. Ruth and our daughter Lynn Catherine Blessing stayed with her parents Rev. Herbert and Mabel Hoyes in Hatboro, Penna. while I was overseas. While in Germany, I was assigned to the 354 Com ReCom Unit in Heibronn. I was later sent to Stuttgart for the remainder of my 9 month stay in Germany. Surprisingly and unknown to me then, I was approximately 30 miles from where Anthony lived before coming to America. At that time in my life I didn't know of Anthony and in fact I didn't even know that I was of German descent. Except for one of my great grand
mothers who was English, all of my direct ancestors on the Blessing side, back to Anthony were German. A fact I was not aware of until I got involved with the family geneology in 1983. It was during this stay in Germany that my father died while living in Florida. The Army would not permit my return to the United States to attend his funeral.
On August 2, 1955 I was discharged with the rank of Sergeant. This discharge was two months before my regular three year tour of duty was concluded so that I could attend college at Bloomsburg, Penna. I attended Bloomsburg State College with assistance from the Government given to Korean War veterans under an arrangement called the G I Bill. I graduated in August, 1958 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Education. By then our second daughter Leigh Ann was born. I started teaching elementary school in September, 1958 in Montgomery Township, New Jersey. Montgomery Twp. borders Princeton, New Jersey.
We lived in a rented house, for a year, on Crescent Avenue in Rocky Hill, New Jersey, a small town between Montgomery Twp. and Princeton, New Jersey. In November of 1959, we moved into our newly built house at 82 Falmouth Rd., Yardville, N. J. The area where the house was built was once a golf course and there were fields and trees from our house to Yardville-Hamilton Square Rd. That area is now filled with houses. Our next two daughters Lora and Lisa were born in the Princeton N. J. Hospital. By the way in 1959 we paid $13,500 for our 8 room house with a garage on a corner lot 70' by 100'.
January 1967, I left teaching to be the Board Secretary/Business Manager of the Watchung Boro Board of Education, Watchung, N. J. September of 1972 I transferred to the Old Bridge N. J. Board of Education as Business Administrator and in 1973 I was promoted to Assistant Superintendent for Business/Board Secretary for the North
Brunswick Township Board of Education in North Brunswick, New Jersey. From 1972 to 1979 we owned a vacation home at 4 East 16th St.in North Beach Haven, Long Beach Island, N. J. We had cabin boats for fishing and cruising, however, as the children got older, they lost interest, so we sold the shore house and purchased a 37 foot houseboat.
We lived on the houseboat on weekends during the summer and traveled on weekends in the winter for the next two years until we became interested in geneology. 1980 to 1986 vacations were spent in Harrisburg and about looking for Blessing ancestors. February, 1987 we purchased an old house in Shamokin, Pa. and restored it in preparation of retirement. January 1, 1990 Ruth retired, as a supervisor, from the New Jersey - Division of Motor Vehicles and I from the school business in North Brunswick N. J. and we moved to to Shamokin, Pa.
We stayed in Shamokin, Pa. for three years and decided we would move back to New Jersey so we could be closer to our children and grandchildren. January 1993 we moved back to New Jersey, built a new house at the shore in a town called Ocean View. Mailing address of Clermont, N. J. 08210. My son-in-law Joseph King is in the house building business and did an excellent job building our retirement house. We are now within (a maximum of) 90 minutes of our 8 grandchildren. With my computer and a new geneology program I am continuing my search for Blessing ancestory with the intent of preparing a booklet as my legacy to the family. To date (1997) my plans have changed to the point where I am putting my research on the internet through my homepage. I have branched out to include Ruth's ancestors as well as my maternal ancestors. At age 63, Bob is 5'7" tall, 175 pounds, hazel colored eyes, brown hair (gray and thinning)
very active with bowling, boating (19 ft larson boat with a small cabin), woodworking, walking and exercising. Ruth at 62 is 5'3", 125 pounds, blonde hair, blue eyes very active with bowling, boating, painting ceramics, walking, exercising and most of all decorating the house for the Christmas holiday season. Ruth fully decorated 6 full sized christmas trees and 7 smaller ones through out the house. Since recently discovering heart conditions, Ruth and I have changed our eating habits, increased our exercise, and turned to natural food supplement and hopefully will live happily everafter.
He was married to Ruth Jane HOYES (daughter of Herbert
HOYES and Mabel Catherine ROBINSON) on 20 Jun 1953 in Shamokin,
Pa.. The Lackawanna River was the only thing that seperated Herbert, who lived
in Olyphant, and Mabel, who lived in Blakely, Pa.
The parents of Herbert and Mabel saw the need of church and Sunday school. Mabel's
father was a grocery store merchant and Lay-preacher. Both families attended the same Primitive Methodist church in Blakely, Pa.
Herbert and Mabel's Courting led to marriage on September 9, 1925 in the home of Mabel's parents on Lincoln Ave., Blakely, Pa.. The Reverend White was the preacher. John C. Taylor best friend of Herbert's was the best man and Mabel's sister, Irva M. Robinson was the maid of honor. Herbert and Mabel spent their honeymoon in
Philadelphia, Pa. Shortly after their marriage, Herbert attended a church service and felt the call to become a minister. He studied theology for three years while working in the mines. Herbert attended Olyphant public schools and was graduated from Milton
University, Baltimore, Maryland and the Primitive Methodist School of Theology. He also attended Westminister College, Philadelphia, Pa. His first charge in 1930 was at the Primitive Methodist (P.M.) Church in Coaldale, Pa. He was ordained in 1934.
In May of 1936 he moved to the Plymouth First P.M. Church, in Plymouth, Pa. By May of 1942 he accepted an invitation to the Shamokin, Pa. P.M. Church. In May of 1954 he felt the need for a change and accepted the challenge of starting a new ministry and building a new P.M. Church in Hatboro, Pennsylvania. This area had just been developed with new homes. Once that challenge was met and he was in the new church, he decided to put in print some of the experiences he encountered. The name of his book is "Spiritial Suburbia" published by Vantage Press of New York, N.Y. In 1959 Herbert accepted an invitation to the P.M. Church in Lowell Massachusetts where he spent six years. During his ministry he had served as president and secretary of the Primitive Methodist Conference and was district secretary. He was secretary of the conference trustee board and secretary of the minister's pension fund of the general conference. He was a member of Ancient York Lodge, Accepted Free and Ancient Masons, Lowell, Mass., and a member of the Primitive Methodist Church of Blakely, Pa.
In preparation of retirement he moved from Massachusetts to Wilkes Barre, Pa. where he served the Messiah P.M. Church. After serving two years in Wilkes Barre, he retired in 1967 to a house at 912 Lincoln Ave., Blakely, Pa. This house was once the property of Herberts sister-in-law Irva Robinson (daughter of F.W. Robinson) who then willed it upon her death to her sister Mabel Robinson Hoyes. Herbert was an avid deer hunter. While living in Pennsylvania, Thanksgiving brought all available children, grandchildren and friends to "Pa's" to join in the hunt.
He was also quite the handyman, fixing those little things when visiting his children and remodeling just about every house he lived in. Shortly before his death of cancer, he made his way to his favorite hunting spot in Thornhurst, Pennsylvania in the Poconos and
carved "DAD" in a tree to remind his sons of him. He was 5' 9" tall and weighed 165 lbs.
Herbert's obit in the Primitive Methodist Journal Volume 76 March,1968 Number 3:
"Brother Hoyes was a native of Olyphant, Penna., the son of the late Elijah and Lillie Hoyes. He Attended Olyphant public schools and graduated from Milton University, Baltimore, Md., and the Primitive Methodist School of Theology, and also attended Westminister Seminary in Philadelphia, Pa. During the years of his ministry he was
President and Secretary of The Pennsylvania Conference, and also served a term as District Secretary. For quite a few years he was Secretary of the Conference Trustee Board and of the minister's Pension Fund of the General Conference. Because of his keen interest in and devotion to these last two organizations, they are what they
are today. His understanding of the disciplinary rules of his denomination made his contributions in this field a real benefit to the entire denomination. He was a member of the Ancient York Lodge of the Free and Accepted Masons, Lowell, Mass., and upon retirement placed his church membership in the Blakely Primitive Methodist Church.
Besides his wife, the former Mabel Robinson, he is survived by two sons, Harold of Lowell, Mass.; Charles of Washington, Pa., a daughter, Mrs. Ruth Blessing of Trenton, N. J., and 12 grandchildren."
Mabel was a very religious person and assisted her husband well in his ministry.
Upon the death of Herbert, Mabel stayed on in her house and served her church until 1989 when her health forced her to move in with her daughter Ruth in Yardville, N. J.
Mabel died in Pittsburg, Pa. Hospital. She was visiting with her son Charles Hoyes who was living in Washington, Pennsylvania. Mabel was laid to rest beside her husband in the Union Cemetery in Peckville Pennsylvania. Ruth Jane HOYES was born on 9 May 1935 in Coaldale, Pa.. She was a Supervisor in New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles, Trenton, N. J.. As a minister for the Primitive Methodist Church, Ruth's father took the family from Coaldale, to Plymouth, to Shamokin, all hard coal towns in Pennsylvania. While in school Ruth worked as a clerk for the Woolworth's 5 and 10 cent store. After high school, she gave up a nursing career to marry and raise a family. After the children were in school, Ruth became a buyer for G C Murphy department store in the Trenton, N. J. area for five years before joining the State of New Jersey, Division of Motor Vehicles. After 17 years, she retired in 1990 as a supervisor.
Robert William BLESSING and Ruth Jane HOYES had the following children:
+1064 i. Lynn Catherine BLESSING.
+1065 ii. Leigh Ann BLESSING.
+1066 iii. Lora Rae BLESSING.
+1067 iv. Lisa Jo BLESSING.
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