Alma have same basic info on JoAnne Worley
Descendants of Benjamin "Frank" Worley
Generation No. 1
1. BENJAMIN "FRANK"26 WORLEY (NATHAN25, JOHN L.24, JOHN L.23, NATHAN ALLEN "ELDER"22, CALEB II21, CALEB20, FRANCIS19, HENRY (WORLEY) II18 WHARLEY, HENRY (HEIR) WHARLEY17 (WORLEY), JOHN16 WORLEY, JOHN (WARLYE)15, HENRY14, STEPHEN13, JAMES12, CORNELIUS11 DE WIRLEY, ROGER10, EUDO9, ROGER8, JOHN7, GUY6, WILLIAM5, ROBERT4, ADAM3, ROBERT DE PARVA2 WARLEY, WILLIAM1 DE WARLEY) was born December 1875 in Indiana, and died 1969 in Lowell, Indiana. He married MAMIE TANNER 1899. She was born July 1881, and died 1967.
Notes for BENJAMIN "FRANK" WORLEY:
1900 Census Indiana, Lake County, Roll 383 Book 1, Page 185
Worley, Frank B. b. Dec 1875 age 24 married 1 year b. Indiana
wife; Mamie b. July 1881 age 18 married 1 year
dau. Lila b. Feb 1900 age 3/12
Pioneer History by Richard C. Schmal
The Worley Family
(from the February 23, 1983, Lowell Tribune, page 17)
He farmed while raising his family and later opened up a little grocery
store in their home on Main St. in Lowell. Many readers well remember
going to the little candy store on their way home from school.
Pioneer History by Richard C. Schmal
Pioneers of Southern Lake County
(from the Aug. 29, 1984, Lowell Tribune, page 12)
The pioneers and the early settlers of southern Lake County made interesting history in the years when the area was a wilderness, and kept it interesting decades later. Some of those stories follow.
In 1868, the election for the incorporation of the Town of Lowell was held on June 27, but for some reason the report was not made public until Sept. 9.
In May, 1875, the town election had just been held, with the following results: For Trustee in the First Ward, Melvin Halsted was elected with forty-two votes, while his opponent John Frazier got 32; in the Second Ward, John Hack won over Dan Dry 52 to 20; and in the Third Ward, it was Dan Lynch 44, and J.W. Viant, 30. The clerk-treasurer's position was won by George Waters with a vote of 65, to J.W. Viant's total of 9. Viant apparently was serious about public service -- running for two offices in the same election. P.A. McNay, with 56 votes, won the marshal's position over Perkins Turner's 12 votes. These were almost all well-known pioneer names in the area.
About that same time the Monon Railroad was heading north, and was making progress at Delphi. The Lowell Silver Coronet Band was trying to re-organize and wished to hire a teacher. The new store building of A.D. Palmer at Tinkerville was progressing rapidly, and he was hoping to be in business at the new location very soon.
In 1874, Patrick Buckley was busy erecting a new barn on his farm two miles east of Lowell, when it was the custom of the neighbors to get together for a "barn raising party, with potluck food and music for dancing."
George M. Deathe and C.C. Sanger dissolved their partnership in March, 1875, and Deathe was preparing to open up a new hardware store in Lowell. For many years, his store was at the northwest corner of Clark St. and Commercial Ave.
There were protests even in those days, for in November, 1881, many people in the area were opposed to replacing the dam at the old mill in Lowell. It had been washed out for some time, and they were trying to keep Mr. Specker, the owner, from replacing it.
But it seems he had everything ready for construction and quietly put in the dam on a Sunday morning, before official papers could be served.
Some years before that protest, there was another one over the Foley Mill, northeast of the present Lake Dalecarlia. The court declared the dam a nuisance and ordered it removed within forty days, or the Sheriff would be instructed to do so .
There was a claim that the dam would do $50,000 worth of damage to southern Lake County, as it was a feeder for two other water power mills to the south.
It was also November, 1881, when Cass Viant was badly beaten up by a bully named 'Honan,' a conductor on the work train for the new Monon in Lowell. Honan bullied his way in the pay line at the Union House Hotel, knocked Viant to the floor, and ran from the angry crowd. He was caught later and was fined ten dollars and costs by Justice Wood.
An old timer once told the story of what he thought was the greatest foot race in the history of Lowell. He thought it was about the year 1881, during the 4th of July celebration on the town square, where a racetrack was staked out for the event.
The race was for a fixed time rather than distance, to see who could run the most miles in two hours. The contest started about 2 p.m. on a very hot and dry day, with a large group of runners entered. Each runner had someone to hand him a wet sponge along the course.
At the end of two hours, only four runners were left, and the winner was Albert Webb, the favorite, who had practiced running behind trains between Lowell and Shelby. He managed to run twenty miles in the two hours, while David Fuller ran nineteen miles. August Sunderman, Ben WORLEY, and Al Kelsey were some of the other names the old timer remembered as contestants. Bets as high as fifty dollars were placed during the race.
The following is a list of Lowell High School students in 1881: Frank Dickey, Eva Haskin, Hattie Pattee, Philo Clark, John Klein, Homer Fields, Lois Pattee, Ellsworth Fry, Ernie Lynch, Wilbur Clark, Ida Stubbs, Cassius Dwyer, Merritt Post, Nettie Smith, Schuyler Dwyer, Kate Blackley, Clara Webb, Charles McNay, Mamie Bryant, George Klein, and Lois Foote. These students attended the old school which was replaced by the building of 1896 which is still standing on Main St. in Lowell. Many buildings in Lowell were built about that time.
In 1896, there were six banks in Lake County: two in Crown Point; one in Lowell; one in Hobart; one in East Chicago; and one in Whiting.
It must have been an exciting time for the residents of Lowell on June 20, 1897, when the electric lights were turned on for the first time.
During that year, a fine bell was obtained by the Town of Lowell and mounted on a steel tower 40 feet in height. The bell and fixtures had a combined weight of 460 pounds.
Another event that year was the dedication of the new frame Church of St. Edward on Castle St., replacing a smaller one erected many years before. A large crowd attended, with six neighboring parishes joining in the ceremonies.
Many stories have been written of the big fire of 1898, when many buildings on the north side of downtown Lowell were consumed by flames. But other large fires took place before and after that year.
In October, 1895, much of the Kankakee Marsh burned, and an earthquake was felt in Crown Point.
In June, 1897, fire destroyed an elevator, warehouse, haybarn, and coal sheds with a loss of $11,000 by Mr. Nichols, O. and J. Dinwiddie, McNay, and Ackerman. This fire was due to lightning.
In May 1902, there was another large fire in Lowell, starting in the rear of a blacksmith shop. A. Maxwell had a loss of $1,200, Emil Sirois, $8,000, Charles Schafer, $800, and Eugene Duckworth, $300.
In November, 1902, Fred W. Schmal, father of this writer, purchased a hardware store in Morocco and ran it for a short time until he came back to buy the old Union House Hotel from his brother Peter Schmal, who moved to Crown Point. Fred ran the old Hotel until 1916.
In December, 1902, the Lowell Gun Club was planning a big shooting contest at their grounds, which became Oakland Park.
The Crown Point Telephone Co. was well-established in the county by 1903, with their lines running in many parts of the county, including the ranches of Barringer Brown, Oscar Dinwiddie, and John Brown, whose numbers were 1302, 1303, and 1304. The growth of Lowell was healthy and substantial in 1904, recovering from three large fires and rebuilding to replace the more flammable structures.
On June 9, 1905, a big crowd of over 4,000 people, including over 200 war veterans, was on hand to witness the unveiling and formal dedication of the large monument on the town square. The big stone, dedicated by the Governor of Indiana, shows the names of veterans of three wars, and includes the name of Abbie Cutler, Civil War nurse and wife of Dr. A.S. Cutler.
Children of BENJAMIN WORLEY and MAMIE TANNER are:
i. LILA27 WORLEY, b. February 1900; m. GEORGE EBERT.
2. ii. ESTHER WORLEY, b. Abt. 1902.
3. iii. ELMER WORLEY.
iv. GLADYS WORLEY, m. THEODORE GERNER.
Notes for THEODORE GERNER:
Pioneer History by Richard C. Schmal
A Local Creamery and the Lowell American Legion Post #101
(from the Jan. 29, 1986, Lowell Tribune, page 10
In the 1920's, the plant became a pick-up station for larger dairies to the north, when trucks were used for hauling milk. Ted Gerner of Lowell told us that he worked there in 1927 when it was a receiving station for the Borden Co. The milk was taken to the Borden plant in Hammond, where Gerner later worked for many years. Others working there were Clayton Davis, James Jensen, and Mr. Falkenstein. Borden also had a receiving station at Crown Point.
Pioneer History by Richard C. Schmal
The Jabez Clark Family
(from the Aug. 30, 1983, Lowell Tribune, page 4)
Thorne Clark married Grace Sisson and the family became the best known of the descendents of Jabez Clark. Their children were: Dale, who married Elnora Latta; Marian, who married Leonard Wilson; Verna, married to Gilbert Branham; Nellie Jayne, who married Elmer Gerner; Carroll, who married Mary Ann Hayden; Millard, married to Marcia Smith; Virginia, whose husband is Wayne Huebsch; and Margaret Ziembicki.
v. FRANKLIN GUY WORLEY, m. ELIZABETH POLAND.
Notes for FRANKLIN GUY WORLEY:
Franklin Guy Worley
This February 17, 1944, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 1:
Pvt. Guy Worley, stationed at Ft. Knox, Ky., accompanied by his wife, spent the week end here with his parents, the Frank Worleys, and his brothers and sisters and families. On Sunday, about thirty family members gathered at the home of the J.L. (Bee) Worleys for a family dinner and day of visiting. Pvt. Worley left that night for Ft. Knox and his wife returned to Chicago.
This May 4, 1944, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 2:
Ft. Knox, Ky. -- Special -- A picked group of technicians from armored units all over the country was enrolled today in the Armored School for a course in tank mechanics. These men will be trained for the important task of keeping the army's tanks in fighting trim.
Among the new students is Pvt. Franklin Guy Worley, son of the Frank Worleys, Lowell.
The Armored school, commanded by Brig. Gen. P.M. Robinett, is one of the world's largest technical institutions. It turns out each year many thousands of specialists for service with the hard-hitting armored divisions and separate tank battalions.
The tank department gives students a detailed knowledge of engine, power train, suspension system and other elements of the complex tank mechanism. In addition to trouble-shooting and repair, much emphasis is placed upon preventive maintenance. The men have an opportunity to study engines in action in a half-million-dollar live-engine test building where they work on both Diesels and gasoline engines actually operating under load.
This February 8, 1945, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 4, column 1:
Pvt. Guy Worley, with a tank battalion of the 9th Army in Belgium, writes his parents, the Frank Worleys, that he is getting along fine and is O.K. He said the country was very pretty there, especially at night when the moon was shining. Houses there are all large, made of stone and brick and some of them, like the one in which he is now staying, have walls about three feet thick. When he was in Holland before moving up to the present position, Guy said the people he stayed with reminded him of his own father and mother. In another home in that little country where the boys stayed for a good time, the people were extremely good to the boys, serving them pie and coffee every night before they went to bed.
This February 22, 1945, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 4, columns 2-3:
The following article, written by Russell Jones, Stars and Stripes Staff Writer, was sent to the Frank Worleys of Lowell, by their son Pfc. Guy Worley, who is a member of this division:
With the First Army, Jan. 28 -- St. Vith, the German's last stronghold of any consequence on the First Army's sector of what once was a "bulge," was recaptured today by the Seventh Armd. Div.
Tanks and armored infantry drove 1,000 yards into the key road hub early in the afternoon. After a house to house battle which lasted three hours and 45 minutes, the forces under Gen. Bruce C. Clark, of Syracuse, N.Y., had cleared it of the enemy.
The Seventh Armd.'s attack started at 2 p.m. with simultaneous drives by task forces under Lt. Col. Richard Chappius, of Lafayette, La., coming down the Malmedy-St. Vith road, and under Lt. Col. Marvin L. Rhey, of Chicago, coming down from the patch of woods 1,500 yards north of St. Vith.
The task forces, made up of tanks and armored infantry backed by parachutists commanded by Lt. Col. Richard T. Seitz of Leavenworth, Kan., pushed into the outskirts of the town in the face of small arms fire from Germans dug-in on the eastern edge and with artillery fire hitting them from the vicinity of Wallerode, 4,000 yards to the east.
Another Stars and Stripes staff correspondent writes:
St. Vith, Jan. 23 -- The Seventh armed infantry was back in town tonight, one month to the day from the night they evacuated after holding five days--three days longer than they had been ordered to--and knocking the German break-through so far off schedule that other First Army units were able to get farther west, where they stopped the threat.
The last Seventh Armd. outfit to pull out of St. Vith that cold night of Dec. 23 was an armored infantry battalion under Lt. Col. Richard D. Chappius, of Lafayette, La. Today Chappius commanded the task force that spearheaded the attack on the town.
This April 26, 1945, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 2:
A letter received by the Frank Worleys from their son Cpl. Guy Worley, with Hodge's mechanized forces in Germany, says they will soon be shaking hands with Russian soldiers whom they expect to meet soon. The letter, dated April 8th, said he did not cross the Rhine on the Remaghen bridge, but saw the crossing, and that he had been in the city of Bonn recently. He was feeling fine at the time he wrote.
This July 12, 1945, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 3:
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Worley have received word from their son, T/5 Guy Worley, who is stationed in Germany. Guy was in the 9th army for a time, transferred to the 1st when they were in the worst of the fighting, then back to the 9th and now to the 7th army. He told about some of the boys having their feet frozen, but said he was lucky and only had his ears frozen on one occasion when they had to move out so fast he didn't have time to pull his helmet down. Once when he was on guard duty they were allowed only four shells for four hours. He said it might be bad to have rationing at home, but when shells have to be rationed at the front it is worse.
Another article from the same issue of the paper was found on page 5, column 3:
Mrs. Guy Worley and daughter, and her niece, were here from Chicago from Tuesday until Sunday, guests of her husband's parents, the Frank Worleys, and other relatives.
The Fourth of July was a happy one at the home of the Frank Worleys when all their children and families, with the exception of Guy, who is with the U.S. forces in Germany, were home to spend the day. On Sunday, the Worleys' daughter, Mrs. Ernest Ebert entertained her parents and her brothers and sisters and families at the Eberts' farm home east of town. A most enjoyable day was spent by family members at both events.
This Lowell Tribune article was found in the January 3, 1946, issue (page 2, column 1):
T/5 Guy Worley is just back from Germany and received his discharge at Camp Grant on New Years day. He, with his wife and little daughter will come to the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Worley this week-end.
4. vi. JOSEPH L. WORLEY.
Generation No. 2
2. ESTHER27 WORLEY (BENJAMIN "FRANK"26, NATHAN25, JOHN L.24, JOHN L.23, NATHAN ALLEN "ELDER"22, CALEB II21, CALEB20, FRANCIS19, HENRY (WORLEY) II18 WHARLEY, HENRY (HEIR) WHARLEY17 (WORLEY), JOHN16 WORLEY, JOHN (WARLYE)15, HENRY14, STEPHEN13, JAMES12, CORNELIUS11 DE WIRLEY, ROGER10, EUDO9, ROGER8, JOHN7, GUY6, WILLIAM5, ROBERT4, ADAM3, ROBERT DE PARVA2 WARLEY, WILLIAM1 DE WARLEY) was born Abt. 1902. She married JOHN C. BROWN.
Children of ESTHER WORLEY and JOHN BROWN are:
i. MARY E.28 BROWN, b. December 13, 19221.
ii. MILLIARD JOHN BROWN, b. July 16, 19302.
3. ELMER27 WORLEY (BENJAMIN "FRANK"26, NATHAN25, JOHN L.24, JOHN L.23, NATHAN ALLEN "ELDER"22, CALEB II21, CALEB20, FRANCIS19, HENRY (WORLEY) II18 WHARLEY, HENRY (HEIR) WHARLEY17 (WORLEY), JOHN16 WORLEY, JOHN (WARLYE)15, HENRY14, STEPHEN13, JAMES12, CORNELIUS11 DE WIRLEY, ROGER10, EUDO9, ROGER8, JOHN7, GUY6, WILLIAM5, ROBERT4, ADAM3, ROBERT DE PARVA2 WARLEY, WILLIAM1 DE WARLEY) He married FLORENCE BLANCHE RUBLE.
Notes for ELMER WORLEY:
James Brannock operated the "Lowell Filling Station" himself for several years in the 1920's and was followed by Keith Dinwiddie, descendent of 1835 Lake County pioneer Thomas Dinwiddie. Keith was there until 1939, when he sold the business to Bernard Roy, who stayed until 1944. "Beanie" Roy later was the operator of the Airport Standard Service station at Cedar Lake.
Pioneer History by Richard C. Schmal
Lowell Businesses (cont.)
(from the June 24, 1987, Lowell Tribune, page 8)
Elmer Worley, also a descendent of a very early pioneer family, ran the popular station in 1945 and 1946 with his partner and brother-in-law, Ross Ruble. Two service bays were added in the 40's on the north side.
Child of ELMER WORLEY and FLORENCE RUBLE is:
i. ELAINE28 WORLEY, m. ??? SURY.
4. JOSEPH L.27 WORLEY (BENJAMIN "FRANK"26, NATHAN25, JOHN L.24, JOHN L.23, NATHAN ALLEN "ELDER"22, CALEB II21, CALEB20, FRANCIS19, HENRY (WORLEY) II18 WHARLEY, HENRY (HEIR) WHARLEY17 (WORLEY), JOHN16 WORLEY, JOHN (WARLYE)15, HENRY14, STEPHEN13, JAMES12, CORNELIUS11 DE WIRLEY, ROGER10, EUDO9, ROGER8, JOHN7, GUY6, WILLIAM5, ROBERT4, ADAM3, ROBERT DE PARVA2 WARLEY, WILLIAM1 DE WARLEY) He married (1) ROSE GARDNER. He married (2) NANCY GAGNON.
Child of JOSEPH WORLEY and ROSE GARDNER is:
i. JO ANNE28 WORLEY, b. September 06, 1937, Lowell, Indiana; m. ROGER PERRY, 1977.
Notes for JO ANNE WORLEY:
star of stage, movies and television, is the daughter of Joseph L., known
to most of his friends as "B".
Jo Anne Worley to accompany USMA Concert Band in performance tonight
By Staff Sgt. Christopher D. Jones
From "Pointer View" January 18, 2002
Celebrity Jo Anne Worley will perform with the USMA Concert Band at 8 p.m. tonight at Ike Hall.
The United States Military Academy Concert Band will perform with Jo Anne Worley at its third Bicentennial Concert tonight starting at 8 p.m. in the Eisenhower Hall Theater. She will perform several parodies, including "If I Had a Rich Man," and "Worleyâ€™s Grand Opera;" and will show a more serious side with Irving Berlinâ€™s "God Bless America." The concert is free and open to the public.
Worleyâ€™s brand of humor landed her a four-year stint on the Emmy-winning television show "Rowan and Martinâ€™s Laugh-In." Her instinctive comedic timing and irrepressible laugh made her a favorite of audiences.
Since then, she has accumulated a list of stage credits, starring in the national companies of "Annie," "Carnival" and "The Pirates of Penzance;" and touring extensively with "Mame," "Hello, Dolly!," "Once Upon a Mattress," "Anything Goes," "Call Me Madam," "Nunsense," "Steel Magnolias" and "Gypsy," for which she won her fifth Drama-League Award. Recently, she starred in the West Coast premiere of "Moon Over Buffalo" at the Pasadena Playhouse; and performed as the witch in the New York and Los Angeles productions of "The Wizard of Oz."
Worleyâ€™s work covers everything from television, movies and stage productions to game shows, talk shows, commercials, cartoons and opera. Worley is the voice of the "Wardrobe" in Walt Disneyâ€™s Academy Award-winning movie "Beauty and the Beast." On television, she has been dishing up tasty treats on the Food Network, doing "Ready, Set, Cook!" and "Chef du jour;" and has guest-starred on "Mad About You," "Boy Meets World," "Caroline in the City," and "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch." Worley serves on the Board of Directors for Actors and Others for Animals, a charitable organization that promotes humane treatment for all animals.
The Academy Concert Band will open the performance with the Quincy Hilliard bicentennial work "Fanfare for Freedom." The ensemble will also premiere the band transcription of Nancy Bloomer Deussenâ€™s "Reflections on the Hudson â€“ An American Poem," conducted by retired Lt. Col. Virginia Allen (former deputy commander and transcriber of the work). Staff Sgt. Troy Messner, on horn, will interpret "Bride of the Waves," by Herbert L. Clarke. Also slated are the new bicentennial work "Valor," by James Barnes and "In a Cause Called â€˜Glorious,â€™" by Stephen Melillo.
Concert-goers should allow extra travel time for the 100 percent vehicle and photo I.D. inspection at Stony Lonesome and Thayer Gates. Backpacks, bags, packages or large purses are not allowed in Eisenhower Hall theater. Due to changing security requirements at West Point, call the Academy Bandâ€™s hotline at 845-938-2617 or check www.usma.edu/special
before leaving for the concert.
Notes for ROGER PERRY:
From TV Mirror Feb 1970 entitled "I Fell In Love With A Married Man"
Article written by: Jack Holland
The "news" as given by a female TV reporter, was startling: "Roger Perry has just wrapped a ring around the fourth
finger left hand of Jo Anne Worley. It's wedding bells for them soon." I knew of Jo Anne's dating, but had not heard
of any marriage plans. And since Jo Anne and I have been friends from the day she played her first role on stage in a
show I was doing, I had more than a passing interest. I know how very much marriage means to Jo Anne! The report
turned out to be not quite true. But beyond it lay a bigger story: the story of an incomplete love with no ending yet in
Let's go back to the beginning-to 1959. The setting: the old Music Box Theatre in Hollywood. The situation: Jo Anne
was playing in a musical (without pay) on weekends, and Roger was starring in Mr. Roberts during the week (also
without pay). One night, Jo Anne went to see the play. She saw his electric performance and said to herself, Hmmm,
nice! He lit up the stage-and her heart. But Roger wasn't even aware that Jo Anne existed, and she was too shy to let
him know she was there. Also- though Jo Anne did not know it at the time-she had fallen in love with a young married
man whose wife was expecting a baby! When she learned these facts about Roger she became more inconspicuous.
So all that passed between them then was an occasional nod, a brief "Hi."
"I really liked his acting-and him." Jo Anne told me recently when we got together during a filming break from Rowan
and Martin's Laugh-In. "He was like a light to me." She paused and added somewhat wistfully, "I was a blank to him."
"Obviously, I made no attempt to get to know him better at that time. How could I? I've never made a point of going
after married men. But I had a crush on him. A big-sized girl crush. Not an infatuation- that's for the older set. But I
knew all about him, all I could: how ambitious he was, that he worked at RCA pressing records, that he had a great
smile, that he wasn't too outgoing, that he had a warm smile..."
She broke off with a sudden laugh (her usual escape route) and concluded, "That's a lot of reacting for someone who
doesn't really exist- in another's eyes." She laughed even louder, but I have learned that Jo Anne often laughs the
loudest when she's the most unhappy. There are two Jo Anne Worleys: the raucous comedienne, and the sensitive
person who looks within herself in moments of aloneness- and waits for the meaningful dream in her life.
Jo Anne is actually a shy person, believe it or not! When she first came to Hollywood, her shyness was quite
aggravated. She learned- the hard way- to cover it up by appearing to be an out-and-out extrovert. Today, just as in
1959, she is a girl who regards marriage as the most important thing in her life. It is the answer to everything. Love
comes to her but marriage dances past her. So she has gone on laughing her way out of heartache.
When, after a while, Jo Anne and Roger went their separate ways-never even having had lunch together! She went to
New York and into the second lead of the touring company of Carnival. And, one night when Carnival was in Los
Angeles, Roger dropped around to see it.
"But he didn't even come back stage to see me," she remarked ruefully. This time, however, it didn't matter quite so
much- because of a man she'd met when the show was in Cleveland. "I met him the same way I did Roger- when I saw
him in a show. It was the touring company of the revue, The Second City. I saw him on stage and very much like what
"After the performance, there was a party on stage and I was introduced to him. We seemed to get along very well
and began to date. Often. Later we worked together in a show called Happy Medium in Chicago, and then in New York
in Second City. He was warm, intelligent, sensitive and had a good sense of humor. Even though I instinctively heard
the word caution, I felt myself collapsing inside. I knew I was in love."
Though Jo Anne once said that the men she knew either wanted to do her hair or were married, she had experienced
love that had some meaning. There were those who wanted to marry her but whom she didn't want to marry. Instead,
she seemed to fall in love with those who were not ready for marriage. And so it was with this new love.
He and Jo Anne talked of marriage-seriously-but he balked at the thought. "Look, it won't work," he would say. "Right
now, I'm not working and you're just starting. You're on your way to stardom-I know that-and I couldn't ever compete
with my wife."
Jo Anne tried to reason with him that her career would never be a problem. She knew that would take a back seat for a
marriage. But he wouldn't be convinced. He walked out of her life.
"Never a bride?"
"It took me two years to get over this," Jo Anne said quietly. "Shortly after we broke up, we were in another show
together, but by now he was involved with another girl-which neatly reopened the wounds. Not long after that, he got
She smiled reflectively and added, "You know, it's a funny thing. Whenever I broke up with a guy, the next month or
so, I'd get a wedding announcement from his bride-to-be. I began to feel like 'always a bridesmaid never a bride.' I was
very clever at picking the wrong men to fall in love with.'
Heartache has never been easy for Jo Anne to take. She gives all of herself when she's in love. She leads with her
heart. And when it's over- she turns to her work with a passionate intensity.
"I'm inclined to let the work slide when I'm in love," she confesses, "But when it's over, I seem to drive myself. It's an
escape, I guess. I have to admit this 'marriage would be fine but it's impossible for us' routine gets tiring. I've had this
noble but about two times. Maybe three. Let's say two-and-a-half! I've never wanted a noble man-just a man who can
let himself be loved and who will love without any fear."
All this naturally had an effect on her career. "The experience has matured me," she says with a light laugh. "They
have made me a better comedienne, I think, because they have made me more sensitive to other people's hurts. I know
more ways to get a laugh, through a tear. Comedy is, after all built on heartache."
Roger came back into her life when she returned to Hollywood to do The Mad Show. He came to see her in it, and she
let him look at a script for a TV special she was going to do, called Laugh-In. He glanced at it and said, prophetically,
"It'll never work."
Again, nothing happened. so far as she and Roger were concerned. But some time later, Jo Anne was in Las Vegas to
do a nightclub act at the Sands. It was around Christmas and a card arrived for her-from Roger. She wondered, not for
the first time, why there was such a chain reaction between them over the years. Cards and notes and sudden
appearances whenever they could catch each other's shows.
She thought she was over that early crush on a married man. But suddenly old memories came back, old yearnings,
and when she got back in town, she called him. This time they started dating. Roger had been divorced from his wife,
he had just broken up with, so there were no blocks.
Then Jo Anne had to go to London to do a Tom Jones special.
"All the time I was in London, I thought of little but Roger," she admits. "I was doing a song he had co-written on the
show, and the lyrics, the music only served as intensification of all I had felt before. I was supposed to do just one
show there, but I was asked to do more."
"This was fine except that it meant being away from Roger! So I called him about the extra shows and he said, 'Okay,
I'll fly over to see you.' You can imagine how I reacted to that!"
A happy, confusing time
After she had finished her commitments, she and Roger went to Ireland to get away from it all. It was an ideal place to
go. Her TV show hadn't hit Ireland, so she wasn't recognized. There were no fans crowding around her. They arrived
on St. Patrick's Day-a religious holiday there, and rather somber.
"The weather matched the mood of the festival," she remembered, "Cold and damp. But we didn't mind. We seemed to
draw closer there. We were alone- we shut out the world. Roger was much freer, more relaxed than I had ever seen him,
and I was too happy to have any other reaction than joy."
Yet during this time of aloneness, marriage wasn't discussed. Not that Jo Anne didn't want to, but she felt Roger
wasn't ready to talk about it. She did find very bitter memories of his marriage, that it had left big scars emotionally. So
she learned to accept the relationship in the same casual way he preferred.
Not that it was easy to be casual while denying all she felt inside! All the time, she kept wondering: Will he ask me to
marry him? Why doesn't he? ? ?
It wasn't her career this time. She knew that. He was glad she was doing so well and he had been busy on TV, too. He
didn't mind if she were the focal point of attention when they were out- he was just protective about her. For instance,
when she and Roger later did Luv and Gypsy in summer stock, they were expected to sign autographs after the show
and he worried about this imposition on her time and energy.
"I appreciate how he feels," Jo Anne told me, "But I also try to not discuss my work too much. I want him to feel he is
the big important thing in my life- and he is. I also try to enter into what matters in his life. Mainly his children. He is
so devoted to them and I feel the same about them. But he still hasn't asked me to marry him, and he won't discuss it."
Roger undoubtedly realizes some of his "reasons" are not entirely rational and that he is reacting more against a
present one. But time is only thing that can make an effective change.
In the meantime, he and Jo Anne are together much of the time. He is a steady customer at her house for dinner, and
she delights in fixing all his favorite dishes.
Jo Anne admits she may have some characteristics that might not make her a good bet for marriage. Her jealously, for
one. "I'm incredibly jealous of his attentions to other people. If we're at a party and he starts talking to some pretty
girl, I get livid. The only thing we fight about is my jealously."
"Not that we're entirely alike. He's sports-minded, and I'm not. I love to go shopping and he doesn't. These are minor
things, though. What matters is that I don't feel complete without him."
When I asked her if Roger felt the same way, she said, "I'll have him call you and let you know. I'm not sure. I don't
know if we'll get married. I hope so. But all I can do now is to enjoy the relationship for what it is. It would be silly for
me to say there's no future for us. There could be. But I'm not going to push or pressure in any way. I never discuss
marriage with him."
"But if he should ask me tomorrow to marry him oh! would I!"
And so Jo Anne Worley has gone on making the loud noises, making the big laugh on Laugh-In and other shows.
Her career is in high gear, but inside she's been only half a woman. She'll always reach out for what really matters to
her in life, though it's a double life she's been leading: the laugh outside, with the money and the fame- and the tears
1. Lake County and Crown Point, Indiana Index to Birth Records 1921-1941, Book H-6 page 90.
2. Lake County and Crown Point, Indiana Index to Birth Records 1921-1941.