Monday, June 4, 2012


Nellie Pearl Strigle Berger Braxton was born in 1925 in Gloucester County, Virginia, and was the cutest little baby ever.  Her sisters played with and competed over her, famously fitting her into the family teapot - at the height of their sibling affection - to prove her pixie adorableness.

The Earliest Photo of Little Nell

She recalled how her brother Gene would put her atop their dog "Airedale" and scare him into running with little Nellie hanging on by hair.  It never ended well.  She said she thought she would never learn to love that brother, but she did.

As she grew, little Nellie Pearl began impromptu performances singing and dancing for any occasion that presented itself.  One account had her dancing on a piano, unless I heard her fellow schoolmate incorrectly.  She skated very well at the Old Mill Rink, the only social outlet of its day.

Newspaper Photo of Nellie in a Talent Contest at New Point High School in Late 30's
(Waiting onstage to perform)

Eventually Nellie met and married her first husband, Al.  They were a beautiful couple and had four beautiful children, spending their lives together in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

Nellie and Al

She and her first love, Bill, did not marry.  They led separate lives until losing their spouses; reuniting, they married in the late 90's.  He is 95 and still drives.  He takes good care of our Nellie Pearl and writes books about his long exciting life in his spare time.  She remains the cutest octogenarian, ever, married to the cutest 90-something wheeling around Tampa, Florida.  Life is best lived happy.  (For pictures of Nellie and Bill, go to Friday, November 4, 2011, post of Life in Mathews.)


  1. I recognize those legs of hers even in that 1930s New Point High School photo.

    You and she look a lot alike, I've often thought more like sisters than aunt/niece.

    She and Bill are truly remarkable people, such a joy to be around, always laughing.

  2. I bet they are so interesting to spend time with ..