According to Audrey Mae’s artistic cemetery map diagram and Audrey Mae’s gravestone numbering system, Anna Lucia Evarone’s gravestone is Gravestone Number Thirty-Eight. She shares this stone with her infant brother Frank Evarone, Jr.’s who was born three years after her death. Using her Smith-Corona typewriter in the 1980s, Audrey Mae typed the following mini-biography of the child Anna Lucia, an eleventh-generation Spencers in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, through her mother, Edith Anna (née Spencer) Evarone.
Anna Lucia, born in 1921 is the first daughter of Edith Anna (née Spencer) Evarone and Frank Evarone.
Bruce MacGunnigle – 42
When Edith Anna was in her 80s, she showed her niece a pocketbook (purse) that belonged to Anna Lucia. The child died in 1923 and Edith Anna had moved 3000 miles away from her life in Rhode Island, but keeping Anna Lucia’s purse was Edith Anna’s way of keeping Anna Lucia with her forever.
When Audrey Mae was in her 90s, she told one of her daughters that the saddest day of her life was when her niece, Anna Lucia (pronounced Anna Seal), died. Audrey Mae had just turned twelve years and Anna Lucia was only two and had been living in the Spencer household along with Audrey Mae, her aunt. One of Audrey Mae’s granddaughters, Amber Joy, to this day–November 2012– displays a framed photo of Audrey at age twelve standing by her little niece, Anna Lucia, shortly before the child died.
Photos of Audrey Mae and Anna Lucia on the front steps of 742 Washington Street, Anthony Section of Coventry, Rhode Island. Anna Lucia was the first grandchild of William J.B. Spencer and Mary Jane (née Vaughn) Spencer. William J.B. is the second son of Anna Maria (pronounce Mar-eye-ah) and John Johnson Spencer.
The Rhode Island family continues to refer to Anna Lucia as Anna Seal as that is how the two year old child pronounced her own name. She did not live long enough to outgrow that early speech pattern or her childhood pronunciation attempts. The name continues today in Rhode Island as a term of endearment. “Lu” is a more advanced form of speech than “cia” and the Rhode Island family never went beyond that either. When Edith Anna visited her Rhode Island family, she would refer to Anna Lucia as Anna Seal and it was only when talking with the Anna Lucia’s California siblings that one realizes the name change was only internalized in the Rhode Island psyche. The California siblings had no awareness of the Rhode Island relatives referring to Anna Lucia as Anna Seal.
Edith Anna is the first daughter of William J. B. Spencer who is the second son of John Johnson Spencer and Anna Maria (pronounce Mar-eye-ah) Spencer (shared gravestone No. 8). Anna Maria is the daughter of Richard Anthony Spencer (gravestone No. 7) who is the first son of Richard Anthony (“Deacon”) Spencer(gravestone No. 5). “Deacon” Richard, as he was called, was the sixth child of Huldah (gravestone No. 1) and Patriot John Spencer (gravestone No.2).
Edith Anna (6-12-1898–12-8-1991), the first daughter of William J.B. and Mary Jane (née Vaughn) Spencer was the first Spencer in Rhode Island since the 1600s to marry outside of the Yankee tradition. Frank, the children’s father was born in Italy and came to America when he was seven years old. He did not speak English when he arrived. His parents and he settled in Providence, R.I. He met Edith at a dance in Providence, Rhode Island. Frank and Edith lived with Frank’s parents in Providence when they were first married. Their first child Anna Lucia–named after both grandmothers–died of spinal meningitis when she was two years old. Anna Lucia died at Rhode Island Hospital on April 6, 1923 as there was no medicine for that illness at that time in history. In 1926 Edith and Frank’s first son, Frank, Jr., was born and lived only two days.
Edith and Frank, along with their second daughter, and Frank’s family started for California on September 28th, a Tuesday at 2 PM in 1926.
Anna Lucia and her brother Frank, Jr.’s maternal great-grandparents, great,great-grandfather, great great, great- grandparents and great, great, great,great grandparents are buried in this Spencer Family Cemetery. Their maternal grandparents are buried in a neighboring town of Coventry, Rhode Island. However, Anna Lucia and Frank, Jr.’s parents and paternal grandparents are not buried in Rhode Island. Their parents and paternal grandparents are buried in California.
Edith and Frank and Frank’s parents and cousins lived their lives in California never returning to Rhode Island to live. Both Edith and Frank are buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California, but their first daughter and first son are buried in the Spencer Family Cemetery in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. This web site and the Rhode Island historical cemeteries keeps the attachment alive between the east coast Spencers and the west coast Spencers. “History never dies.” “We give our children roots before we give them wings.”
The loss of an infant or child can never be over exaggerated. For that reason the author of this web site has a separate page for each person in this Spencer Family Cemetery. Whether a person lives only two or three days or two years or longer, the loss as well as the presence of the child stays with the family of origin forever. Therefore, whether a person lives to age ninety-one as Richard Anthony (“Deacon”), the children’s great,great,great-grandfather did or only three days as Anna Lucia’s brother Frank, Jr. did ,each person is worthy of a page on this web site for their contribution to this family. Memories do not die; memories live on with descendants.
Edith Anna lived her adult life in California, but she was always torn between her early life as a Rhode Island Yankee and her “adopted” California’s family life. Relatives on the east and west coast noted that when she was visiting Rhode Island, she would always talk about California and when she was in California, she would always talk about Rhode Island. Edith Anna had always planned to be buried in Rhode Island with her ancestors. When Frank was dying and planning his burial place, he said to Edith, “Where do you want to be buried?” She responded, “I want to be buried with you, Frank.” Frank lovingly responded, “That a girl.” Frank died 12-29-1986 and Edith died 12-8-1991.
Over time moss or mold is damaging the finish on the Evarone headstone. The photography of the gravestones below show the spread of the corrosion on the gravestones from 2000 to 2002. The gravestone photo above shows the advanced corrosion by year 2012.
(If any web site reader knows how to clean this headstone, please add a comment to this website. Descendants get mixed messages. Some “experts” say cleaning the stone with harsh chemicals will only make it worse. Other “experts” say safe headstone cleaners are out there. The corrosion really bothered Audrey Mae, so please respond if anyone knows how to solve this problem. Remember, this gravestone lives in the extreme New England weather.)Photos of baby and child’s gravestone taken at different times of the year and taken @2000 & 2002 & 2012 show the advancement of this corrosion.)
“Spencer, Johnson, Goff, Tarbox, Vaughn and Evarone descendants, if you have any additional information on Anna Lucia Evarone, please add a comment to this web site and the web site editor will add this to the site. Thanks.”