Photo of the Day: Oct. 7, 2016 – Helen DeVol and Mary Johnson

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Traverse City Record-Eagle, March 6, 1948

Here are two women I know very well. One’s my mom (Mary Johnson, on the left), and the other is a lifelong neighbor and friend (Helen DeVol).

They’ve both lived in the village of Old Mission for a very long time, and have seen a lot of changes during those years. Mom and Dad were married in 1946, and I believe that Helen and Bob DeVol were married in the 1940s, as well.

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Bob owned the Old Mission store all the time I was growing up (oh, that penny candy box and those orange creme-sicles!), and Helen ran the post office next door. It was a long commute to work – they lived just across the road.

Mom and Helen gladly posed for me at a recent meeting of the Old Mission Women’s Club, where Helen was honored for being in the club for 70 years.

I found this clip from the Traverse City Record-Eagle, dated Saturday, March 6, 1948. The story notes that the club meeting was held at the home of Mrs. Marshall Pratt, with Helen as the co-hostess.

Long-time Old Mission residents will notice a few other familiar names in the Record-Eagle story.

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  1. Oh Jane, I was so touched by this article. First to see your Mom and Helen Devol being honored (I use to work in the store during the 70’s.) I dearly love Helen and her dynasty! ?
    The next thrill was to see my Grandma’s name in print. How cool is that? Thanks so much for keeping alive all the wonderful memories and faces that make up the magical mystery of our beloved peninsula. I salute you in your dedication and endeavor.
    If you ever “dig up” anything on my Grandpa, Marshall Pratt, would you mind emailing me that? I would be sooo grateful.
    [email protected]
    Kind Regards,
    Mary Rokos Stegman
    Give my best to Tim!

    • Hey Mary – Thanks so much for the note! Tim says hi back. 🙂 I guess I’d never made the Rokos-Pratt connection until Tim explained it all to me (along with where Marshall got his name). So your mom was one of the Pratt twins…?

      I’m starting to delve into some of the vintage stories in the Record-Eagle, and the Pratts are mentioned quite regularly. Will definitely keep you posted – and also start posting those vintage stories regularly on here – the OM Gazette website.

      So Tim said you rented the little green house next to Altenburg’s? Is there an Altenburg-Pratt connection?


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