Notes for Mary A. DECHANT

Lived at Reading, PA.

Never married.

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Notes for Mary Amanda DECHANT

Mary graduated from Hood College in 1924 and went to the Lancaster Theological Seminary to "please her father". She met her husband there and they were married about the time he graduated from the Seminary in 1927. She was the first female to be accepted at the Seminary. The Lancaster Intelligencer newspaper interviewed her and wrote an article about her in the fall 1924 issue. She was there only a year and did not finish. Because of that, her father felt she was a failure, or at least that was what she thought he thought. Mary was the liberal and reasonable parent and Wilmer was the strict disciplinarian. She encouraged the children to be their own person, while father wanted them to conform. She was a dutiful minister's wife but would rather have been only a housewife. She felt obligated to do the church duties. She also worked with girl scouts and was a good athlete. In talking with her children on 12/5/1990 she talked of the past. She got a very poor 1st report card in the 1st grade. On the way home, she tore it up to "hide the evidence". Only when asked where it was at a later time, did she tell the truth. Her father, Wilmer, received no financial support from his father for his college education. He sold typewriters to make money. When he said he was going to the seminary, his father only said, "There's the door". Once she was expelled from Hood College for 10 days for smoking. She and several classmates had a room with corner ventilation in which they felt they could smoke and not get caught. Mary called her parents and they met her at the train station. The only admonishment she got verbally was that she had to show up in church the next Sunday. Mary also remembered that her father liked to buy quality products. This included the Henderson bicycle (the best after Schwinn). The children had to pay for half the bike ($15?) as a way to share expenses and also get a feel for taking care of the bike. Father also decided to buy a STICKEL red cherry dining room set (table, 4 side chairs, 2 arm chairs, and a hutch). Louise and Jim each had to buy one chair to help pay for the set, which was a huge expense at that time. According to brother David who has possession of the set, it is now worth thousands. Mary Dechant Long was the matriarch at the 1992 Dechant reunion held at Hershey on July 11, 1992. At the evening dinner she agreed to talk about herself and her sister, Alliene. The following is a recap of her very touching, excellent talk about her and her sister's successes over the past 90 years:

Alliene and I had very different personalities. We chose different life styles. She chose a career - as a concert pianist, journalist, newspaper editor, missionary, and world traveler. She went around the world twice by freighter, and was a missionary to China and Japan, and for a short time was in West Africa with Dr. Albert Schweiztzer, all under the Foreign Missions Program of the family church, The Reformed Church. Alliene graduated from Hood College in 1915 with honors and distinction. She wrote 3 books about Pennsylvania Dutch artistry and 2 biographies about local Kutztown celebrities. I am very proud of her and admired her greatly. But was she successful? I chose to be a minister's wife and mother. As a little girl, Alliene, unknowingly, created an inferiority complex in me which has stayed with me all my life. I had to do her chores while she practiced at the piano. I graduated from Hood college without honors nor distinctions. I was always Alliene's little sister! - but with the happy prospect of marrying a minister. The result for me was three children, 10 grandchildren, and 15 great grandchildren. Here at Phoebe Home my life style has changed completely. There are 450 residents in various stages of health and ability. I have my own room, a registered nurse around the clock, and six doctors at my beck and call, and many, many friends - some as active as a rocking chair can be - happy and contented. Have I been successful? If Alliene hadn't practiced while I did her chores, she could not have played Mendelsson's "Spring Song" at our wedding 65 years ago. To each his own - how does one measure success?

Notes for Mary Elizabeth DECHANT

Very artistic - painted on glass.

Notes for Maude Ethel DECHANT

Lived at West Reading, PA.

Notes for Michael W. DECHANT

Baptized by Reverend Jakob Dechant (his father).

Sponsored by his parents.

Notes for Minnie Bell DECHANT

Lived at West Reading, PA.

Notes for Norman J. DECHANT

Lived at Olney, IL.

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