Donna LaRue ROGERS

Female 1932 - 2017  (84 years)


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  • Name Donna LaRue ROGERS 
    Born 23 Jun 1932  Manassa, Conejos County, CO Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 14 Jan 2017  Orland, Glenn Country, CA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Orland, Glenn Country, CA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I33  Wemple Family Ancestry
    Last Modified 4 Jul 2018 

    Family David Raymond WEMPLE,   b. 13 Jun 1931, Susanville, Lassen County, CA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Jun 2017, Orland, Glenn Country, CA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years) 
    Married 02 Jan 1951  Justice of the Peace's Office, Carson City, Ormsby County, NV Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Daniel Calvin WEMPLE
     2. Debra Susan WEMPLE
    Last Modified 13 Dec 2017 
    Family ID F8  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • The above photo of David and Donna was taken in 1991.

      This family file is dedicated to the compiler's wife, who unselfishly gave of herself for many years while he confined himself in front of the computer for hours at a time. Thanks millions, Donna. I love you. DRW

      In November of 1938, when Donna was six, Donna, her sister Betty and her mother and father moved from Colorado to Westwood, California. Goldie, Donna's mother, started working at what was called The Club almost immediately. Heber (also called Ricky) apparently couldn't find employment and even tried finding work in Redding at Shasta Dam, which was in its early beginnings of construction. Unable to find employment, and discouraged by summer's end, Ricky returned to Westwood and announced to Goldie that he was going back to Colorado. Goldie and Ricky agreed upon an amiable separation. Ricky went his way taking Donna with him and they returned to Colorado with the understanding that when school took up in the fall, Donna would return to Westwood.

      Ricky soon took up with a second lady and went to Telluride to work in the Silver mines. Donna was placed with her paternal grandmother and grandfather Rogers. She began the second grade in Manassa, while still living with her grandparents. Donna had little or no contact with her father while she was in Colorado, except she did spend one weekend in Telluride. It was not a pleasant experience and, since she was sent to bed before the sun was down, she felt that she was more in the way than wanted.

      When school started, Donna was not returned to Goldie as agreed upon by everyone. Several times Goldie appealed to have Donna returned to her. She could see that her daughter was never going to be returned to her, unless she took matters into her own hands. So Goldie borrowed $50.00 from the local Westwood credit union, $50.00 from her mother, Josephine Hartley and as Goldie was getting ready to leave Westwood for Colorado, a friend gave her another $20.00. So with $120.00 at her disposal, she headed for Colorado to retrieve her daughter.

      Before leaving California, Goldie consulted with a Susanville attorney, named Finn Berry. Finn gave Goldie a signed letter explaining the circumstances and explicit instructions on how to handle the situation and charged her $10.00 for the legal advise.

      A friend drove Goldie to Reno, where she bought train tickets for Alamosa. When she arrived at Alamosa, she stayed with her aunt, Nellie Winters. Early the next morning, Goldie sought out a local attorney and pounded on the door of his house until it was finally answered. After an explanation the attorney signed Finn Berry's letter and charged her another $5.00 for his signature.

      It was early on Sunday morning when Goldie hired a local taxi in Alamosa to drive her to Manassa, with plans to drive onto Santa Fe, New Mexico. When Goldie arrived in Manassa, she went to the local Morman church with the certainty Donna would be there for Sunday school. Disguised with a bandanna and dark glasses, Goldie had the driver pull up to the front of the church and tipped a child .25c and asked her to tell Donna Rogers to come to the car that was waiting. Donna's grandparents, who she was with at church, were upstairs at service, while Donna was downstairs attending Sunday school. Not having the slightest idea of who wanted her, Donna immediately went out and innocently got into the taxi with this strange lady in the bandanna and dark glasses.

      When Donna got in the car, Goldie immediately gave the order to drive away. When they got over the state line into New Mexico, Goldie had the taxi driver stop by a phone and called back to Manassa and told Ella Haynie, Donna's cousin, that she was taking Donna home with her to Westwood. The three of them, Donna, Goldie and the taxi driver arrived in Santa Fe, where Goldie paid the taxi driver $25.00 for the ride. This was in a day when lots of men were working for a dollar a day.

      After arriving an Santa Fe, Goldie immediately got Donna out of her Morman clothes which consisted of silk stockings, with the runs sown up, and a plain, print cotton dress and bought her a pink slack suit for the trip home. Now Donna felt all dressed up for the trip home.

      Donna and Goldie did arrive in Susanville with no further difficulty. Finn Berry was waiting for them. He immediately took Goldie's purse from her and looked into it. He finally found where the money was kept and all that was left was $2.00. Finn commented, Just as I thought. It's not every child who can say that they were kidnapped by their mother.


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