Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Woman Found Dead in Tub

Hazleton Standard Speaker - 26FEB1962, pg18
"Woman, 42, Found Dead in Tub by Husband, Son

Mrs. Florence Tabor, 42, wife of Clarence Tabor, 230 East Broad street, West Hazleton, was found dead in the water-filled bathtub of the family's apartment at 4:45 p.m. yesterday.  About an hour earlier she had told members of the family she was going to take a bath.

Chief County Detective Charles Connelly last night said he is satisfied the death was either from natural causes or was accidental, unless the results of a post-mortem prove otherwise.

Dr. Julius Foldes, local pathologist, performed the post-mortem last night at Hazleton State General Hospital.

Tests today indicated she had fallen asleep and drowned, it was reported.  According to Dr. Foldes, her death was attributed to pulmonary edema.

Lieutenant Edward Waitkus of the West Hazleton police said members of the family told him a telephone call came fro Mrs. Tabor while she was in the bathroom and a son went to the bathroom door and called to his mother that she was wanted on the telephone.  When she did not come out of the bathroom in a few minutes, Waitkus was told, both the father and son went to the bathroom where they found her submerged in the water.  They carried her to a bedroom, began artificial respiration, and called Dr. George B. Dornblaser.  The West hazleton ambulance crew and the physician used a resuscitator on the victim for a half hour but their efforts to revive her were unsuccessful.

Deputy Coroner Louis C. Fierro, who was summoned to the home, notified District Attorney Stephen Teller and Dr. Herman L. Feissner, county coroner, who dispatched the county detective to this city.  Detective Connelly witnessed the post-mortem, and later interviewed members of the family.  Trooper Ralph Cameron, Bureau of Criminal Intelligence operator at the local state police barracks, was also called on the case.

Born in West Hazleton

Mrs. Tabor was born in West Hazleton, a daughter of Mrs. Ceclia (Kozlowski) and the late Anthony Bronsavage Sr.  She resided in this area all her life and was employed at Argo Sportswear.  She was a member of the Second Presbyterian Church.

A sister, Anna, prededed her in death.  Surviving are her husband, Clarence, two sons, Paul and Leonard, at home; and the following brothers and sisters:

Mrs. Vincent (Margaret) Wolchesky, Hazleton; Anthony Bronsavage, West Hazleton; Joseph Bronsavage, Hershey; Adele Bronsavage, Hazleton; Michael Bronsavage, Weatherly; Mrs. George (Martha) Zimmerman, Hazleton.

The funeral will be held Wednesday morning at 11 o'clock from the Bonin Funeral Home, Second street, entrance, with Rev. Dr. Frederick B. Crane, of the First Presbyterian Church, officiating.  Interment will be in Mountain View Cemetery.  Friends may call Tuesday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 10 p.m."

This article most likely came from the Hazleton Standard Speaker.  I'll be looking for the article when I return home this summer so I can find out the publication information.  According to her death certificate, Florence died on February 25, 1962 so finding it shouldn't be difficult.

Florence was my paternal grandmother.  She died 10 years before I was born.  My father was the son that found her in the tub.  What the article does not reflect is that it was believed by my father that Florence intentionally took too many sleeping pills and then took a bath in order to kill herself.  I imagine it's a difficult subject for my father (I no longer communicate with him).  He had commented that she killed herself, and then other times he would merely state that she fell asleep in the tub and died.  I have little doubt that this event affected him enormously.

Paul, Florence (Bronsavage), and Leonard Tabor
I had previously asked my mother why she would have killed herself.  Her response was essentially that my grandfather was a miserable man (that's phrasing it politely).
Whether the death was accidental or intentional, it's sad that Florence died so young and before I could ever have a chance to meet her.

Something I noted from the above transcription that was a bit odd.  The body was found "yesterday" and already the coroner had finished his autopsy (complete with toxicology...really????) and the funeral was set.  Were things really taken care of THAT quickly back then?  I've seen few articles where the death and funeral are announced so quickly together!

I may have to see if I can lay my hands on the coroner's report.  Not to be morbid or anything, but between my father's need to change history every 5 minutes and my need to know the truth, I feel that I must locate as much information as possible on why Florence died much too soon.