Clarence, Helen May Rickard’s father (my great grandfather) lived a short life, much of which is a mystery to me. He fought in World War I and after returning, married Bertha Rau.
Helen was their only child. I’ve found one record of them living together as late as 1923 (three years after Helen’s birth). In 1926 and 1927 his sister received postcards from him, one from Cuba. I am not sure whether he and Bertha were still married at this time. They were separated by the time Helen wrote her first diary entry in 1932.
I don’t know the circumstances of their separation or whether they were ever legally divorced. Helen does mention meeting a woman he was planning to marry, but I’ve found no record of his having a second wife.
Helen rarely saw him during the last couple years of his life, but he would occasionally drop by her school or their apartment unexpectedly, often making Bertha very angry.
Helen lost touch with him and his family for a period of time when she moved to Detroit with her mother.
Clarence died of colon cancer at the age of 32, and Helen found out a few months later when she received a letter from his sister, her aunt Ellen “Helen”Stoddard.