Saturday, April 24, 2010

Florence Ryan Boisseau and FitzPatrick Boisseau

I love the stories -- and boy does Florence Margaret Ryan have one.  Florence, born December 30, 1895, was truly the middle child of James Hugh and Rose Ryan.  She was the fifth of nine children.

Florence married FitzPatrick Boisseau, a Southern Gentleman, who grew up in Richmond, Virginia.  Mr. Boisseau was a Freight Manager for the railroads and came to Cincinnati about 1888.  Much of what I learned about Florence and her husband was told by her granddaughter, Michelle Boisseau, on a youtube video.  Click on the link Virginia in Verse and start playing at about minute 33.

The Boisseau grandchildren never knew their grandfather, as he died at the age of 77 in 1941.  On the video Michelle says that her grandfather, whom she describes as an elderly gentleman, met Florence in a drug store where she worked as a pharmacist.  She speculates that her grandfather, who was 58 years old when he married Florence on October 24, 1925, "was looking for a young wife . . . to take care of him."  As there was a 28 year difference in their ages, I think that is a fair observation.

I'm trying to put myself in Florence's position.  I imagine the years when she was growing up, the family was typical of many at that time, as it is unfair to compare their standard of living with what we consider to be middle class today.  She was 18 years old when her father died, leaving the family in poverty.  She was 30 years old and unmarried when this older gentleman showed an interest and the promise of a comfortable life.  Who wouldn't consider it?

In addition, Florence became the mother of a son, FitzPatrick Boisseau, in 1926.  When "Pat" was just 12 years old, his father died leaving Florence a widow.  Florence doted on her only child and he was provided with every advantage.  He attended Summit, an elite private school in Cincinnati.  He was extremely bright and landed a job in both radio and television in Cincinnati.  Apparently his privileged background did not provide him with the coping skills needed to deal with a wife and nine children.  Their marriage ended in divorce.

The April 1, 1996 obituary published in the Cincinnati Post included this information:
Veteran Cincinnati broadcast newsman Fitz Patrick ''Pat'' Boisseau, 69, died Saturday at Mount Washington Care Center. Mr. Boisseau spent more than 30 years in broadcast news here on both WLW radio and WKRC-TV. Between 1951 and 1952, he worked for the U.S. Information Service as a radio officer in Bangkok, Thailand. He left WKRC-TV in 1963. He joined WLW in 1967, where he remained until 1982.
A more realistic portrayal of the family history was found on a posting re: Michelle.  For the full story, go to
Michelle Boisseau was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1955, into a family that by 1964 grew to baseball-team size: Fitz Patrick (Pat), Jonathan, Michelle, Madeline, Nancy, Robert, Charles, Barbara, Denise. Her parents had long ties with Cincinnati, though Boisseau's paternal grandfather had come from Virginia and was a descendent of Huguenots who fled France in 1685. In the mid 1960's their mother, a commercial artist, returned to work when her husband, a radio and television news broadcaster, had a series of manic episodes. Boisseau's parents separated and were later divorced.
I'm going to deviate from my normal pattern and post some information about the Boisseau family history in the next post.  Michelle made the job easy by publishing a  book.  It is so interesting.  Stay tuned.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Join the conversation. Comments are appreciated and keep me motivated.