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|A Donlin Family History by Dan Jensen|
| The Children of Gene
Gene and Tilly Donlin had thirteen children over their first 22 years of marriage. During their years in Spring Township (west/southwest of Orient), they had Bert, Al, Joe, Claire, and Betty. They then moved to Howell Township, east of Polo, where they had Vera, Irene, Paul, and Louie. Next, they moved to Wolf Creek, at the present site of Lake Louise, where Mary and Edith were born. Their next child, Mike, was born in Ree Heights, their next residence. Finally, their youngest child, Chuck, was born in Miller.
Four of the Donlin boys served in World War II (Al, Joe, Paul, and Louie), and two served in the Korean War (Mike and Chuck).
Bert left home at age 20, after the Donlins had moved to Miller. This was after the stock market crash, at the onset of the Great Depression. He first went to New York, and stayed there briefly until he found work in Detroit.
We haven’t figured out who among the Donlins was in Detroit first, but we can say that Bert’s Uncle Art Donlin and Aunt Helen (Donlin) also settled in Detroit. Bert’s little brother Chuck and sisters Vera, Irene, and Mary would also settle in Detroit. Claire and her family lived in Detroit for seven years, and Louie lived there briefly. It appears that Detroit was the place to be.
Gene and Tilly’s second child Al has lived his entire life in Hand County, outside of serving in World War II, and a trip or two. He has made a good living as a horse trader, and is still strong, sharp, and mobile in his nineties, though a bit hard of hearing. Gene and Tilly’s other kids who stayed in Hand County were Joe, Louie, and Edith. Joe did not marry until his last fortnight of life, and had no children.
Louie married Bev Fulton, who was born in Texas, and raised in Texas till moving to Miller as a teenager. Louie and Bev were fairly prolific, especially with regard to girls. They started with a son, Mike, then had six girls: Kathy, Mary, Carolyn, Lisa, Maureen, and Pegeen. All these children were born and raised in Miller, graduating from Miller High. Mike and Kathy have settled and had families in the Miller area. Mary, Lisa, and Pegeen married and have settled in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Lisa and Pegeen are parents, and Mary is well occupied as an aunt. Maureen is raising a family in Saint Louis, and Carolyn is doing the same in San José, California.
Edith married Bob Schroeder, and had four sons: Steve, Alan, Pat, and Greg. Steve remained to work as a general practitioner in Miller, and his younger brothers moved to Sioux Falls.
Claire, Gene and Tilly’s first daughter, was age 23 when she married Tom Sweeney in Miller. After several years in Miller, they moved to Mitchell, the Sioux Falls, and then to Minneapolis in 1938, where they lived for 13 years and had their three children: Colleen, Tommy, and Kitty. After Minneapolis, they lived in Detroit for seven years, then finally they moved to Phoenix (1958). They all reside in Arizona, though Colleen and her husband Jim spend the warm half of the year in County Galway, Ireland.
Paul Donlin served in World War II, and married Bette Egan near the end of the war. They settled in Minneapolis–Saint Paul, and have three daughters: Judy, Jane, and Janet. Paul is an attorney. Paul and Bette winter in Phoenix. As mentioned before, three of Louie and Bev’s daughters have settled in the Twin Cities, as well as Chuck and Marge’s son Kevin and his family.
The second youngest, Mike Donlin, married Anne Fountain and settled in Denver, Colorado. They had one child, Eugene, and Anne had a number of children from a previous marriage. Mike served in the Korean War (as did Chuck), and passed away in Colorado at age 64.