VINCENT JOSEPH PELTIER was born in 1918 in Grosse Pointe Farms in Michigan and died in 1984 in Detroit after a prolonged illness. Son of Noah Joseph Peltier and Martha Mary Furton, Vincent married DOROTHY ANN BRASPENNINCKX on June 10,1942.
Vincent grew up on the Lothrup and Scherr Estates in Grosse Pointe Farms, where his father, Noah Peltier, was the head estate gardner.
As a teen and young man, Vince enjoyed music, playing the guitar, skiing, baseball, golf and fast cars.
Vince worked for the DSR as a bus driver and when he stopped for breakfast at a local diner in 1941, Vince met his future bride, Dorothy Braspenninckx. Dorothy and Vince begin to date and in 1942, they married and begin their lives together.
DOROTHY ANN BRASPENNINCKX was born in 1925, in Detroit, Michigan and died in 2001. Dorothy's parents were Louis Henry Braspenninckx and Olive Elaine Elegeert, Belgian immigrants that came to the United States in the early 1900's.
Soon after Dorothy's birth, the family moved up to Ironwood, Michigan where they would stay for approximately 5-6 years.
Dorothy attended grade school at St. Margaret's Catholic School and then later on, attended public intermediate and high schools. Dorothy loved to sing, dance, swim and have a good time with her friends. At age 13, Dorothy met her lifetime best friends, Dolly and Millie Clark
As a young teen, Dorothy would spend many weekends dancing with her girlfriends, dating and being a lifeguard. At age 15, Dorothy met Vince Peltier as she waitressed at the front counter at Daniel's Diner, located acrosss from the DSR Administration building in Detroit. Each time Vince would come into the diner, he would play the song, "I Will Always Love You", on the juke box and as Grandnma Dorothy would often remark, her boss would say..."Ok, we'll get no work out of Dorothy now that Vince is here!" : )
Vince and Dorothy dated and then got married in 1942. Early on in their marriage, they lived with Dorothy's parents and then after a few months, they lived with Vince's parents, Noah and Martha Peltier. Dorothy and Vince would live with his parents for seven years in Detroit before they move out to Royal Oak in 1950.
Three short months into their marriage, Vince received his induction papers into the U.S. Army and by October of 1942, Vince would leave for three long years to fight in WW2.
The WW2 years were ones of big changes for Dorothy and Vince. They married, Vince went into the Army, Dorothy had the first of three children, and Dorothy grews from a young married girl of 16 into a woman of 20 when Vince returns from Europe at the end of the war. Dorothy faithfully wrote Vince every day while he was in the Army and spent three years waiting for his letters and praying that he would come home safely. Dorothy kept all of Vince's letters that he had written home and through the years, would read and treasure them.
In January of 1943, Dorothy gave birth to her first child, Mary Jane. Vince was furloughed from his basic training camp, (Camp Shelby in Mississippi), and came to Detroit and see his new daughter.
For the remainder of 1943, Vince trained at Camp Shelby and then onto Camp Pickett in Virginia. Vince was then sent overseas with the 214th Military Police Unit of the U.S. Army in Novemeber of 1943.
The years of 1944 and 1945, Dorothy lived with her in-laws, and spent every day waiting for letters from Vince. In her letters to Vince, Dorothy told stories of Mary Jane growing up and sent pictures, handprints and footprints of his daughter, whom he called his Lady Jane. The extended family along with Dorothy spent many hours writing Vince and sending him various goodies that he mentions throughout his letters. Grandma Dorothy often told the family about those war years and how she always sent over candy, "new" Lipton instant soup, wool socks (when she could find them) and cigarettes.
Vince served in Europe until the end of 1945, seeing action in five major battles. He helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp and served as an M.P. and interpreter in both France and Belgium. He was also wounded on guard duty while in Belgium.
Vince called his family in November of 1945, saying he was on his way home. Dorothy prepared to pick Vince up at the Detroit train station and instead, Vince surprised the family by ringing the door bell on November 11, 1945, a day early. Grandma Dorothy fondly told the story of how she was in her housecoat with curlers in her hair, when the doorbell rang on November 11th. From the upstairs bedroom all she heard was her mother-in-law Martha exclaim, "My boy is home!" Dorothy ran down to the stairway landing and there Vince was, hugging his mother and looking up at Dorothy and saying, "You look lovelier than anything I can think of".
Vince returned to his job as a DSR bus driver and in November of 1949, they have their second child, a son. The following year, Dorothy and Vince bought their first home in the far away suburbs of Royal Oak, Michigan.
In 1954, a second daughter is born, Dorothy and Vince's third child, Patricia. While living in Royal Oak, Vince's parents leave Detroit and move in with Dorothy and Vince. Previous to daughter Patricia being born, Dorothy began to work outside of the home at various local deli shops. In 1960 Vince had the first of two serious heart attacks. Dorothy began to work full time as a waitress, first at Howard Johnson's and then at Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit where she was a banquet and convention waitress. While she worked at Cobo Hall, Dorothy was voted in frequently as the Shop Steward which represented the Waitresses and Bartenders of Union Local 24. Dorothy was also the head waitress at Cobo Hall, supervising banquets and having the privilege of meeting and serving six presidents who came to Detroit....JFK to Ronald Reagan. Dorothy stayed at Cobo Hall until 1984 when she retired from waitressing.
After Vince's heart attacks, life was hard for the family. Vince was told by his doctor he had about six months to live. Vince proved the doctors wrong and begin his first of two ventures, owning two garage/gas stations in Detroit. Both ventures failed and by the time the second gas station folded, he was eligible for social security benefits. In 1964, Vince began receiving social security benefits and Dorothy began working at Cobo Hall. The family was secure now and Vince would occassionally help out a good friend Dave at his automotive parts shop.
Dorothy and Vince enjoyed the next stage of their life as their children grew and married. They traveled up-north frequently, enjoyed friends and family and greatly enjoyed the grandchildren. In the 1970's, Vince's U.S. Army Unit, the 214th Miitary Police Company, began to have reunions all over the United States. Both Dorothy and Vince looked forward to attending each reunion. Two of their most memorable reunions were ones that took place in Colorado and in South Carolina....satifying Dorothy's great interest in American Indians and the Civil War era.
Near the end of 1983, Vince became ill and was diagnosed with histoplasmosis. This illness had a cure but it was a higly toxic to his body. After months in the hospital, Vince finally died from a massive heart attack in 1984 and ending 41 wonderful married years with Dorothy.
Dorothy was devastated by Vince's death and due to some health problems of her own, she retired from Cobo Hall. Dorothy then worked for the automotive parts building company that her husband and son started in the early 1980's. Dorothy worked there for about five years and finally retired from work altogether in 1989.
1989 was a big year for Dorothy, she retired from work, sold her house where she lived for 40 years and moved into a senior housing complex in Royal Oak called Barton Towers. For the next 11 years, Dorothy resumed her childhood friendships with her good friends Dolly and Millie ,(who also moved to Royal Oak from Detroit in the 1950's). She also greatly enjoyed her family, especially the great-grandchildren that came along. Dorothy enjoyed many trips she made to places like Ohio, Massachusetts, to mid-Michigan (where her brother has a cottage), to the Upper- Penninsula to visit extended family and a trip out west in 1990 with her granddaughter and new son-in-law. Dorothy also enjoyed the Saturday morning ritual of having her family come over for coffee where everyone would chat, solve the world's problems and just be "family
The 1990's would bring a new dimention to Dorothy's life. Her great-grandchildren would be born and she greatly delighted in getting to know them and love them. She was especially excited to see that each great-grandchild had the Braspenninckx chin that she had.
The last year of Dorothy's life was filled with great family sorrow and mounting medical problems. Sadly, Dorothy passed away at the end of May 2001 after a prolonged stay in the ICU unit at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.
Dorothy Braspenninckx-Peltier was my grandmother and I feel very blessed to have known her. She was not only my grandmother, she was my best friend. Through my passion for genealogy and family history over the past 14 years, Grandma Dorothy was always willing to share a story. Through these rememberances, I got to know Dorothy not only as my grandmother, but as a young girl, a teenager in love, a young mother with a baby, a husband away at war, a struggling woman to keep her family fed and as a woman who loved her family very deeply and unconditionally. I will forever have many wonderful memories of my grandmother in my heart. It is my hope that through this family history story and the others on my web pages, you will catch a glimpse of the wonderful people I have known and will always love.
Forever remembered in my heart, but living on in written word and through future generations