Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bessie Pauline, 1887-1990

Allow me to present Bessie Pauline (Quien) Pasternacki.


Today, I acquired Bessie's beautiful photograph. What great fortune--for I found it along with another wonderful photograph of her sister Ragnhild in a local antiques shop. Isn't that something? Do you have any ideas, clues, about the date of this photo (taking clues from her fur and splendid hat and veil? Do you think it could be 1915 or so?

Bessie is the daughter of Thomas and Maren Quien (pronounced Ka-veen). The Quiens bought (our) the old 1893 Queen Anne Victorian December 1917.

Bessie married Leon Pasternacki of Stevens Point, WI in 1923. Leon was the youngest mayor of Stevens Point. He was a very charismatic person according to family members. The photo below is Leon taken in 1914 when he was mayor of Stevens Point, WI.


On their honeymoon they visited Youngstown, Ohio. They liked it so much they moved there in 1925, and lived there for 42 years. Leon retired from his dental practive in 1960, and on his 75th birthday in 1967 they moved back to Scandinavia WI.

Leon died in 1972, and Bessie lived on to be 102 years old, passing in 1990. They had no children.

According to Bessie's great nephew, Bessie was at a retirement place in Waupaca after her brother Peter Quien died in 1979. Family members visited her there and listened to stories of the old times with her beloved Leon.


  1. What a stunning woman, and how lucky you are to have found her photo. It does look to be in the 1915-1920 range. I wish there were more to go by (hair, dress length). Very cool!


  2. I think you are in the right period as well, beautiful picture. Amazing the odds of finding this photograph!