Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.


Morning Star, September 24, 2000

This coming Sunday, October 8 is my annual guided tour of Riverside Cemetery. Make plans to attend and bring the whole family for an enjoyable afternoon together. The tour is sponsored by the Community Enrichment Program of the Albion Public Schools, and will begin at 1:30 p.m. on the south side of the cemetery by the grave of Washington Gardner. It will last about 2 hours. The event is free, but follow-along tour programs will be available for a nominal fee of $2.00. For those who for some reason are unable to attend, you can obtain tour programs beginning the day after the tour at the Albion Chamber of Commerce. The event will be video-taped by Larry Brooks of the celebrated Hometown TV. Contact Larry for copies if interested, (517) 629-9683.

One person we will be remembering at the tour will be Mildred (Beilfuss) Duckworth (1899-1976), a long time Dalrymple Elementary School teacher. Mildred was a descendant of the Wochholz family clan which we will be featuring during the tour. Her mother Mary (Wochholz)(Mrs. William) Beilfuss (1866-1949) was the daughter of Ludwig John Wochholz (1828-1903), one of two Wochholz brothers who came to Albion from Pommerania, Germany in the mid-19th century.

Mildred of course was married to the celebrated Air Force Colonel Joseph B. Duckworth (1903-1964), the first person to purposely fly through the eye of a hurricane. But she is most remembered for her many years of teaching here beginning in 1944. Upon her retirement from active teaching in the late 1960s she became the director of the adult education enrichment program for the Albion Public Schools.

Mrs. Duckworth was well known for her cheery disposition, for holding prayer at the beginning of her classes even after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, and for her dedicated involvement in her work. On a personal note, this writer had Mrs. Duckworth as his 5th grade teacher at Dalrymple School (1963-64 school year). It was Mrs. Duckworth who informed our class on that fateful day of November 22, 1963 of the shooting and death of U.S. President John F. Kennedy. That is an event that we will never forget, even the scenerio that occurred in the classroom and in the hallways at Dalrymple School that eerie afternoon as the events unfolded.

From our Historical Notebook we present a photograph of Mrs. Mildred (Beilfuss/Byfuss) Duckworth. How many of our readers remember Mrs. Duckworth? We'll see you this coming Sunday October 8 at my Riverside Cemetery tour.

Mrs. Mildred Duckworth.


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