village memories

Stories, Stories, and more Stories...

This is the place to sort out and pick through all the memories of our village life.
Would you like to tell your story?  Submit them  here  to be included on this page.
After all...even little rocks help build a village.

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Remembering Mrs. Stokes

Deb Lawson Knapp  - "I am wondering if anyone remembers my Grandma. Everyone called her Mrs. Stokes and she held Bible club in the village. I asked my Aunt Joy about it and she had lots of info. She wrote to me that Grandma started bible club there on Norfolk before my aunt was a teenager. I am guessing about 1952 or so. She had it for... many years even after she moved from the village. She says she thinks Mrs. Currey introduced Grandma to Mrs. Bragg, who was in charge of the region's bible club movement and that's how it all got started. She said "we had bible memorization challenges and won certificates, I think. I haven't thought about that in years. I'm sure a lot of people will remember those clubs - it was held once a week". Thanks Aunt Joy! ♥ U"

Sheila K. Stanley - "I remember your grandmother she was such a sweet lady."

Diane Stokes - We were all blessed indeed..Such sweet wonderful memories..I remember walking with her house to house gathering children to come to her home and learn about Jesus and soon we were many at times..Thank you for the site Sheila. Thanks for the pics. Grandma Stokes always looked the same over the years.

Sheila K. Stanley - I Thank God that she touched my life, I am sure that if it weren't for people like her in my life as a child I would not be the person that I am today she help to mold me for the child of God that Ii am today. Another fine lady was my Sunday school teacher at the First Freewill Baptist Church on Holmes rd. Ruby DeRosset. Thank you Jesus for these two ladies ..I am truly blessed!

Deb Lawson Knapp -"I am so glad you remember her! She was sweet and loved kids. Were you ever in her Sunday School class? She lived to be a nearly a 100! Only missed it by about 6 months. She died in 2002 and was born in 1902.

Michael Felty - "Yes i do. I went to a lot of her bible classes . She was such a sweet lady.She would read us stories from the Bible and then after she always had a treat for us. She later moved and lived on the corner of Lexington Parkway. Do you remember old foster elementary. I think most of the kids who lived on Norfolk Court went there."

Deb Lawson Knapp - "I am so glad you remember her. She loved teaching children about the Lord and worked very hard at it. She had a great energy level! People used to tell her that the kids were coming for the treats and she said she did not care cause they would learn anyway. She was a good cook too. One thing she did often was peanut butter fudge. You are correct my Grandparents moved from the village to Lexington Pkwy. Good memory! In fact after my Grandfather passed away in 62 my family moved in with her. I went to Holmes Elementary and was too young to go to school in the village so I don't remember Foster. I bet my Aunt Joyce does though."

Margaret A. Kuhn - "I have a photo of being in her Sunday School Class at Calvary Baptist Church. My siblings and I went to her home for Bible Study on Lexington Parkway I believe was where she lived. I loved her like no other.......wanted her to be my grandmother!!!"

Deb Lawson Knapp - "Margaret you need to put that picture on here! I think I know which one you are talking about. She was a sweet sweet woman and truly loved all the kids. Remember the flannel board? That was my favorite! ha ha. Yes, she lived on Lexington. My parents bought her house after my Grandpa passed and we lived together for a time. She never tired of reading to us. She was a wonderful Grandma. She passed away in 2002 about 6 months shy of a 100 years I miss her. Glad to find you here and glad you remember her!"

Margaret A. Kuhn - "I LOVED the flannel board!! I thought Mrs.Stokes was part magician she was so great with that!! Yes, I will try and figure how to put that photo on here. I remember coming over and playing with you guys too at her house. Do you remember when we would use the stairs to bump on our butts all the way down to the bottom??!!! LOL It was noisy when we did that and I think we were asked to play outside instead. lol Kids, that we were!!!!"

Barbara Cell - 
I went to Mrs. Stokes bible study. We lived on Rutland, right in back of the Stokes. (Chumley family) I went to school with Joyce.

The Tunnels - The Bomber Plant - Coal Bins Out Front

Barbara Robertson-Malek"thank you for starting this site. My little sister and i used to play where the baseball fields are now and we found underground tunnels lined in brick and old tombstones. It was very exciting going on our adventures there."

Pamela Sherock - "Tunnels? I had no clue.....did they lead to Bomb Shelters?"

Sue Millage Davis - "I grew up on Dakota St right by then Thurston Elem now its (ECDC)I know the tunnels under Hydramatics/GM Powertrain my last name was Millage."

Vicky Godfrey Stewart  - "We moved to Ypsi and to Willow Run Village when I was barely over 1 year old. I wished I had some pictures to put here. I can remember it some.  My father worked at General Motors in Wayne then.  Met a few families that I am sure a few of you may know.  Darlene & Terri Slavnen's  mom and dad and Darlene, Terri wasn't born yet.  And Debbie Monhollen and her parents and sister Sherry. My mom is still friends with both Knoxene(Slaven) & Dolly(Monhollen) to this day."
Susan  Guck - "
My family (Bud & Marilyn Guck) lived on Row Court after WWII when the housing was rented to returned vets going to school at EMU & U of M.
Lived there until '56."

Michael Felty  - "I remember that all of the house had a coal bin out in front of them we had milk left out front on the steps. My brother David McCoy and his friend Ricky Harlow used Jump from the roof of the house to the coal bin until my dad caught them. Lots of Memories. My mother was a war bride and there were a lot of English wives there. Mary and Harold Knapp were close friends of my parents along with Ralph and Dorthy Hendricks."

Linda Hill  - "my mom and grandmother worked at the bomber plant and i think but not real sure my grandfather but i know for a fact my mom and grandmother did. Man this is great reliving all this . I bet some one that lived there has pictures of my mom and dad and maybe me i was born while they lived there."

Janet Brown-Smith  - "MY parents moved to the Willow Run Village before I was born but I remember the stories and pictures of my older sister and brother. The pictures of course were black and white but you could tell there wasn't any grass they had dirt lawns if any at all."

The Milkmen / Fruit,Veg,Eggs Door to Door

Glenna Cummings  - "I remember so many stories that my grams told me about the village and yes she was the butt of a lot of "rosie" jokes .......... my grandfather was the milkman at one time in the village he was a one armed man."

Deb Lawson Knapp - "My Dad was a milkman in the village too around '53-'57 or so. He had a Sealtest route. What is your Grandparent's name?"

Glenna DeAngelis - "My family moved to Willow Run Village in 1955 on Sudbury Ct. We were the Fleming family. My father drove a truck and sold fruits, vegetables and eggs door to door during part of our time there."

Larry Fleming - "and I helped! I was the door knocker/ salesman."

Pamela Sherock - "What a great site! Brings back so many memories, the back stoops, the kitchen, even your 'groovy pad'! Wonderful job at putting this together!!"

  links -

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May 4,1946-"Physically the village is a community in the close-knit sense of the definition." (Owosso Argus Press)

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There was such an influx of people from the south to work building bombers Willow Run Village was built. This village provided ....(read more)

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  Mrs. Stokes was our own personal neighborhood angel...I will always remember....
 (stories from Village People)

willow run village street photo
picture taken from the book - WILLOW RUN, A study of Industrialization and Cultural Inadequacy 1952

Who remembers what street they lived on?

The Squires lived at 1510 Metcalf

The Lawson's lived on Sudbury Ct. "I do have a 1956 phone book that I can look you up if you don't know."

Allen Evans - Debbie. What street did you find Charles J. Evans? I wish I had someone to ask.
Mom went April 2009. She had Alzheimer's it seems like 20 years and we put her in a nursing home in 2004. Dad went in April 2007 and he remembered anything old really well. He could have told me about anything about it. I helped/volunteered with swine flu shout back in the 70's Maybe 76/77. Mom run into a lot of people from the village she knew and was excited to see them, she acted like I should have known them. I was two when we lived in the village and I don't know when we moved from there. My brother Chris was born while we lived there May 29th 1956. Then we went to West Virginia and then to California for Kindergarten. Then back to Ypsilanti for first grade and we are still here in Michigan.

Deb - Hi Allen,The phone book says 1429 Enfield. I know it is hard to remember much from that time. From what I can figure we were there till I was about 3 or so and I have vague memories.

Monosso's lived at 1492 Richmond Ct. "I was surprised my Dad remembered."

Bowlings lived 1559 springfield.

Deb - "I was lucky enough to have both sets of Grandparents living in the village with us. My Grandma and Grandpa Lawson lived on Conway CT. and My Grandpa and Grandma Stokes lived on Norfolk. I talked to my Dad and he said our rent was 26.00 a month and that included water and electric. Of course that sounds great until you think about how much people made. All relative i guess."

Vera LovelaceJo Anne LovelaceBill and Barb Lovelace, and John Lovelace moved to the village in 1954 , from E. Forest,( by Edmonson junior high). 
"we lived at 
1556 Sudbury Ct." 

Bill and Bob Wagner
 lived across the street. Sudbury Ct. 

When they moved away the 
Mason's moved in. Sudbury Ct.

Tommy Rose lived around the corner and Clarence Steele too. 

Donnie Lucas
 lived right across the street Sudbury Ct. with his two sisters, I cannot remember their names, but they all attended Ypsi high, not Willow Run high.

Bob Noe - We lived on 1023 Revere ct. "The Village" as we called it was a truly good experience and so many memories of my childhood include "live in the village" Our family, Ray and Frankie deceased. My sisters Doris and Donna. Doris too is now with the Lord. I could write so much but will simply mention that we lived next door to Dave, and Katherine Davidson. Their children are Larry, Phillip, and Sandra. Larry owns Allied Fence on Carpenter road. Such freedom we had there as children without the fear of abduction, problem with drugs or gangs...just fun from morning till I dropped dead tired in bed at night. Simple but Real Living.

Janet - The Warners lived at 1364 Sudbury Ct. The Branhams, the KozeesClearwatersPlottsScotts all lived in our court. Went to Ross and Holmes school. Johnny Cheney was my 6th grade teacher.

Margaret The Winters lived on Danvers Court. I will have to ask Mom and Dad the street number. We moved to Red Leaf Lane in 1958 I believe

Suzanne  -  Eugene and Louella Gaines and their son Donnie lived at 1329 Springfield. 
They had many relitives and friends from Kentucky that stayed with them after coming to Michigan to" start over". Gayle and Ann Milan lived across the street (Springfield) with their young son Phillip. There was a family from Canada next door, they had a son called Giggy. The father taught at one of the village schools. Bob and Anita Cooper lived on Metcalf with their children Lynn and Gwytha. The village was such an important part of my parents lives. it was a place of new beginnings and most importantly a place to start their new lives.

Eugene and Louella moved from the village to Stony Creek Road in the fall of 1956, where they still live and enjoy life.

 I think we lived on Danvers Court -- either that, or my "Grammie" (Stella Wilburn) and her youngest son (Dick) did. He would have been 14-16 back then. I know we lived close to them. I was just a baby, so don't remember any others' names though.

Rick - lived on Lexington PKWY, parents still there. I remember riding my bicycle on the old streets before Washington Square was built. Seems like I remember people drag racing over there. Does anyone remember the Lily Pond?