Bezoek van tante Truke, augustus 1931
Visit of aunt Truke, August 1931

Paula, papa, mama, tante Truke, tante Anna, Elly, Mientje van tante Anna, Maria
Treesje, Gerda, Thea, Harry, Jozef

(papa, mama,) Thea, Jozef, Treesje, Harrie

Papa Handrie Gerards (1880) was a carpenter's son from Venlo. He became a building inspector and architect and helped building many houses in the Dutch provinces of Limburg and Brabant.
Mama Catharina Driessen (1889) was a gardener's daughter from Venlo. The couple grew up in very Catholic families.
Their eldest daughter Maria (1911) had to help the expanding family in a time of worldwide economic downfall. She ran a shop, selling religious articles and office appliances. She married an officer with the police when she was too old to get children.
Their second daughter Anny (1912) had a very resolute nature. She had to leave secondary school to take up the care for her aged parents. Later on, she also helped Maria run the shop.

Zilveren bruiloft 1935 (gevierd in 1936)
Silver wedding 1935 (celebrated in 1936)

Thea, Elly, Jacques, Gerda, papa, Anny
Paula, Jozef, mama, Harry, Maria

The third daughter Paula (1914) was still one of the elder ones, so she had to help at home for a long time. She married a widower who brought two daughters. The couple got one more daughter.
The fourth daughter Elly (1916) was the first to get married. This happened in 1946, when she married a baker from Well. They got four daughters and three sons.
The fifth daughter Gerda (1918) was a teacher to primary school children for fifteen years. Then she became a Carmelite nun. She was firm, joyful and helpful.
The first son Jacques (1920) was a real boy and a hardworking adult. He was the second to get married. The couple lived eventually next the parental home. They got one daughter and three sons.

Picnic ongeveer 1935
Picnic about 1935

Jacques, Paula, Elly, To van ome Jacques, Mia of Fien van ome Jacques, Anny, Maria
Harry, Treesje, Gerda

The sixth daughter Thea (1921) did secondary school in the pre-war years and some jobs during the war. She was the third to get married. The fortunate one was a functionary with the PTT. They lived in Maastricht and got five sons and two daughters.
The second son Jozef (1924) had asthma. He stayed at home and helped in the shop. He loved to play music and to do games with the children of his brothers and sisters.
The seventh daughter Willemientje (1925) died as a baby.
The eighth and last daughter Treesje (1926) was a scouting leader when she suddenly died of hectic fever, an acute form of tuberculosis. She was only twenty-one when she died.
The third son and eleventh child Harry (1928) also became a hardworking adult. He was the fourth to get married. The couple lived in Brunssum and Sittard and got one son and three daughters.

Hereniging rond het eind van de oorlog in 1945
Reunion about the end of the war in 1945

Anny, Jozef, Maria, Paula, Treesje, Harry, Elly
Gerda, Thea, mama, papa, Jacques

The family came to Brunssum about 1926. Before, they had been living in Spekholzerheide, Voerendaal, Merkelbeek and Oirschot.
At the golden wedding in 1960, almost all grandchildren were already present. Mama died in 1962, papa in 1965. Gerda was the last of their children who died (Boxmeer, 2008).
In the school season 1963-1964, I stayed in Merkelbeek at the Carmelites College. I brought my laundry to aunt Anny every week. I can still see my grandfather, papa Gerards, contentedly sitting in the sun with my youngest sister playing at his feet.
Jos and Anny kept living in the parental home in Brunssum until they died. When Anny deceased in 1987, the stay of the family Gerards-Driessen in Brunssum-Julianastraat was over.

Robijnen bruiloft, gevierd in 1951
Ruby wedding, celebrated in 1951

Jozef, Anny, To X Jacques, Theo X Thea, Maria
Annie x Harry, Francien van Fons, Paula x Fons, Gerda, Elly X Wim met Jacques, Marie-Louise van Fons
tante Nella, papa, mama, Ineke van Jacques, Mieke van Elly
Theo van Thea, Karel van Elly, Jacques van Jacques, Toos van Elly, Henk van Jacques

Zie ook een verjaardagsfeest en the parents of my mother