Olga Adelia WEMPLE

Female 1897 - 2000  (102 years)


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  • Name Olga Adelia WEMPLE 
    Born 13 Sep 1897  Milford, Lassen County, CA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Died 17 Jul 2000  Sacramento County, CA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried 05 Aug 2000  Old Susanville Cemetery, Susanville, CA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I5  Wemple Family Ancestry
    Last Modified 13 Dec 2017 

    Father J WEMPLE,   b. 31 Mar 1873, Milford, Lassen County, CA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Apr 1940, Susanville, Lassen County, CA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth Adelia DECIOUS,   b. 07 Dec 1874, Lake City, Modoc County, CA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 04 Jun 1960, Susanville, Lassen County, CA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years) 
    Married 17 Feb 1894  Milford, Lassen County, CA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F1  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Ephraim Spencer BURROUGHS,   b. 27 Jun 1894, Susanville, Lassen County, CA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Nov 1948, Susanville, Lassen County, CA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 54 years) 
    Married 29 Jun 1919  Milford, Lassen County, CA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Spencer BURROUGHS,   b. 15 Aug 1920, Susanville, Lassen County, CA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 05 May 1945, Okinawa, Japan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 24 years)
     2. Olga BURROUGHS,   b. 15 Nov 1925, Sacramento, Sacramento County, CA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 04 Aug 2008, Denver, CO Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years)
     3. Trent BURROUGHS,   b. 11 Apr 1930, Sacramento, Sacramento County, CA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 04 Jan 2008, Sacramento, CA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years)
     4. Geoffrey BURROUGHS
    Last Modified 13 Dec 2017 
    Family ID F32  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Obituary from the Sacramento Bee, July 19, 2000, page B5, c2:

      Burroughs, Olga Wemple

      Passing away quietly on July 17, 2000. She was born September 13, 1897, at the family ranch in Milford, Lassen County, California, the third of eleven children born to early pioneers Jay C. and Libby Decious Wemple. Mrs. Burroughs was married for 29 years to Spencer E. Burroughs, a veteran of WW I and the Chief Attorney for the California Department of Water Resource until his death in November 1948. Mrs Burroughs was predeceased by her son Spencer Burroughs who was killed in action in the Pacific in WW II. She is survived by two sons: Trent Burroughs and Geoffrey Burroughs, both of Sacramento, a daughter: Brooke Van Zandt, of Phoenix, Arizona, and five grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister: Margarite Rypkema of Reno, Nevada, and a brother: Neil Wemple of Tucson, Arizona. Mrs. Burroughs attended the University of California at Berkeley, and was a well-known Sacramento artist who had exhibited her award winning oil paintings at the Crocker Art Gallery. She was President of the Kingsley Art Club from 1937 to 1939, and was founder and Past President of the World Affairs Council of Sacramento, and active in many other social events. A private memorial service will be held later in Susanville. Remembrances may be made to the charity the doner's choice, or to the Crocker Art Museum, 216 'O' Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, or to the Kingsley Art Club's Educational Fund, 216 'O' Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. Arrangements by Harry A Nauman and Son.

      Obituary from the Sacramento Bee, July 21, 2000, page B5, c1,2,3:

      (With picture and the following caption)
      She started her own business after her husband died and she had to raise three children.

      AD PIONEER OLGA BURROUGHS

      Her display panels for city trash cans drew praise nationwide
      By Steve Gibson, Bee Staff Writer

      Olga Wemple Burroughs, a member of a pioneer Lassen County family who later settled in Sacramento, reared a family and operated her own outdoor advertising firm, is dead at 102.

      She died in a nursing home Monday of complications from pneumonia, said her son, Geoffrey Burroughs.

      Her firm, Emerson & Burroughs, had a franchise from the city during the late 1940s and early 1950s to display advertising panels on trash containers on downtown street corners.

      Mrs. Burroughs advertising techniques - attaching weatherproof panels covered with color photos on the containers - were considered so innovative that she gained national recognition.

      In 1951, the Advertising Federation of America presented her with the Erma Proetz Award for pioneering a new type of outdoor advertising.

      Trash cans have long been ugly and dirty, Mrs. Burroughs wrote at the time. I have designed a waste unit of almost classic dignity (with) . . . beautiful colored pictures . . . which arouse civic pride and give people a warm feeling toward the advertiser whose name and copy is below the picture.

      But, as Mrs. Burroughs recalled later, to win the franchise she first had to overcome strenuous opposition from the City Council and Sacramento's two daily newspapers, both of which editorialized against the concept.

      Most of the criticism was based on the hypothesis that our waste units would be unsightly, she said later. But once samples were placed on sidewalks, opposition waned.

      Mrs. Burroughs entered the advertising business out of necessity after her husband, Spencer E. Burroughs, a lawyer for the state of California, died in 1948, her son said.

      Her oldest son, a Navy officer, had been killed in action, in the Pacific Theater during World War II, but at the time of her husband's death, she still had three children at home and little insurance money, according to her son Geoffrey.

      We went from being real comfortable to being on a real tight budget, her son said. She had to work to support us.

      Nonetheless, Mrs. Burroughs found time for other interests.

      She was a Democrat, a political liberal who was active during the 1950s and 1960s in the local chapter of the World Affairs Council of Northern California, serving as president of the group.

      In addition, she was an accomplished artist, whose oil paintings were displayed in the Crocker Art Gallery. She was a past president of the Kingsley Art Club.

      Olga Wemple Burroughs was born September 13, 1897, on the family ranch in Milford, Lassen County, the third of 11 children of Libby Decious Wemple and Jay C. Wemple. Her father was a rancher in Milford.

      She was a 1915 graduate of Lassen High School in Susanville, and studied art for one year at the University of California, Berkeley. She returned home the next year after her mother gave birth to her 11th child and needed help caring for the family.

      In 1919 she married Spencer E. Burroughs, a Lassen County lawyer who served in the Navy during World War I.

      According to her family, she was 13 when became interested in art and painting, an interest that continued into her 90s.

      In addition to her son Geoffrey, who resides in Sacramento, survivors include a daughter, Brooke Van Zandt of Phoenix; another son, Trent Burroughs of Sacramento; sister Marguerite Rypkema of Reno; brother, Neil Wemple of Tucson; five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

      The family is planning a memorial service in Lassen County.


      The following are excerpts from Olga's daughter, Brooke (Olga)'s, letter which was available at the reception following Olga's memorial service in Susanville:

      (Elegance) was truly Mother on those evenings when she would descend the stairs, dressed in brilliance for a party; her eyes shining with excitement, her hair and gown lovely, looking like a girl on her first date.

      She entertained often in her home, and had many elegant friends who invited her to their homes.

      Mother understood sophisticated hospitality. She knew what the menu should be - and what it should not be - and was never ruffled or ill at ease.

      Her parties were lovely; her guests those of the art world and those of politics. Her home was charming; her husband, dynamic, and she had a gracious manner of enjoying people.

      For years, no liquor was served at her home, and yet a society, who customarily enjoyed cocktails and wine, appeared and stayed the evening.

      Even after Dad died, at a much too early age, Mother continued to entertain, both the same collection of friends, and new ones she met in outside activities.

      Although a widow, Mother never seemed interested in finding a second husband. In fact, she discouraged any would-be suitors. Either she found Spencer Senior too difficult on act to supplant, or she enjoyed her personal freedom. Mother was a very independent person.

      Ten words describe Mother to me: Elegant, Mercurial, Hospitable, Arbitrary, Aspiring, Admiring, Artistic, Undecided, Emotional, Determined.

      Amidst these ten words are a lot of contradictions!

      Mother had a wacky sense of humor, yet she was a most prim and traditional lady. For example: she thought it VERY FUNNY when a longtime male-friend of the family, who lived in the southern part of the State, arrived, unannounced, in the middle of the night - climbed through an unlocked downstairs window and went upstairs to an extra bedroom to sleep - showing up suddenly at the breakfast table the next morning.

      Mother liked kookie antics in her friends, thus gathering a number on the Avant-Garde around her, although her own behavior was strictly conventional, and she preferred that her own children's behavior be conventional also.

      As a matter of fact, she had a sense of possession about her own children, and even a sense of possession about their possessions. Mother was very much a matriarch.

      Yet, as a mother, she did not enter into her children's activities. She never looked at a report card, or entered a school a child her hers attended, or sought a teacher's advice, or helped with homework. Her expectations for scholarship and behavior were high, and that was that.

      She had many too many outside activities in her life to be bothered with such details.

      She had two main interests in her life: art and politics. Art was an outstanding talent given her as a gift from Above. Her special talent was in the oil painting of portraits. With very little training, her portraits were truly exquisite and exact images of her subject. She spent some years in painting family members and friends, generally, anyone she could get to pose for her. Mother never thought in terms of business or making money.

      She was really a lady of the old school, and felt that women should be allowed to stay out of the grubby world of making a living.

      Her other great interest was politics. From the moment she rode all the way home from Cal, Berkeley, on the train with Spencer Burroughs, who was going all the way home from Stanford University, and Spencer astounded her by talking nothing but politics the whole trip, Mother was captivated by politics.

      She learned all her politics from Spencer, and was a rabid Democrat. I often though that, as he grew older, and the world changed, Dad might have mellowed in his politics. But, not so, for Mother. She stood by the family point of view, and only progressed past Dad to becoming, on many issues, absolutely radical.

      Her intense interest in art and politics brought her some Awards in both fields. Among other things, she was President of the elite Kingsley Art Club of Sacramento, and Founder and President of the World Affairs Council of Sacramento, which, as I am sure you know, is a Rockefeller gift to the world.

      In 1945, I recall, she dragged me to the first meeting of the United Nations, which was held in San Francisco. It was a gathering of several days and very potent with power. I recall being quite blase' about the event, but now I am quite impressed.

      Mother also introduced me, at a luncheon, to the Moral ReArmament, Oxford Group, whom I later visited in Los Angeles, and some of whom I corresponded with for years.

      This was the sort of atmosphere in which I grew up, and, of course, when Dad was alive, it was multiplied by Dad, who was, indeed, a unique life in himself.

      But, mother, took a long pause after Spencer Jr.'s death, and three years later, after Dad's death, disconnecting the telephone for some time. But when she recovered, she took up her activities with even more determination.

      Mother wanted to BE everything, and to KNOW everything, and she did value her own acumen.

      Therefore, not so very long ago, she was disappointed when she received a form in the mail from Who's Who in America, and discovered that she could not fill in a single requirement!

      Well, what I say is, She RECEIVED the FORM, didn't she? That is better than most of us do.

      HOWEVER, if Who's Who had a form for Eccentricity in a Restrained Lady-like Manner . . . or Ratings For The Top Tea-Pourer In America . . . or Ratings For The Woman Who Presented The Same Salad At Dinner For Well Over Umpteen-Years In A Row . . . or, Ratings For Someone Who Tried To Be Everything To Everybody And Always, In Her Opinion, Was Right, SURELY, Mother could have filled THAT form to overloading and more!

      I remember Mother mentioning once, in the early days, that someone should write a book just about the daily life of an ordinary person. I got the impression that the someone she was thinking about was herself.

      NEVER! NEVER could she have done it!

      ANYONE who knew Mother well, knew that she could not have done it! She could NEVER have become an ORDINARY person. . . .


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