Mrs. Louise M Remington Kidder

Share This Obituary

Stained Glass Emblem

Louise was born on February 13, 1889 and passed away 2 May 1981.

Louise was a resident of Potomac, Maryland.

BIOGRAPHY OF LOUISE M. KIDDER by Ray S. Kidder with the help of his mother (Page), 29 December 2007

Louise Remington was born in St. Gabriel de Brandon, Quebec, Canada on 13 February 1889. During her early childhood, the family moved to Rhode Island. Her father was hoping to save some money while in the United States, and then move his family back to Canada to buy a farm. Louise's first language was French, which was true of her brothers and sisters. This was because her mother (Virginia Peltier Remington) spoke only French. Her father Walden spoke English and French fluently, and his ability to speak English must have been a contributing factor in his decision to move to Rhode Island. There were many French families in Rhode Island at the time, so Virginia did not feel isolated. Some of these families were her relatives and there was quite a lot of visiting back and forth. Louise told me her father was employed by a textile mill. One of the things she remembered from her childhood was the occasional oranges she received during the winter. In those days, because of the shipping costs, oranges were much less affordable even during the winter when they were in season. After his wife died, Walden heard of a well paying job back up in northern Quebec or Ontario, so he went there to work at a lumber logging site to earn more money. It was very remote and his children were grown and did not join him there.
As I vaguely recall, Louise had a job in a silent movie theater playing organ music during the films, as did her sister Cecile.
In her 20s, Louise and Cecile were in Springfield, Massachusetts when she met a divorced man named Ray N Kidder, who was born in Milton, Wisconsin in 1887. She married him in 1918 and moved to Louisiana while he was in the Navy. After the war, they moved to his home in Boston, Massachusetts. One reason for his divorce from his first wife was that she wanted to move back to Milton, Wisconsin to be near her family, but Ray's business was in the east and he could not see any future for himself in Wisconsin. Ray had attended the University of Wisconsin for a time and was thinking of becoming a physician but this did not happen; mainly because of his family's financial situation. Louise Kidder had her only child when she gave birth to Nathaniel Remington Kidder on 4 April 1921 in Boston, Massachusetts. About a year later, they moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where Ray Kidder had a job as a traveling upholstery material salesman to department stores and upholstery firms. They purchased a house on 9th Street in northern Philadelphia and Louise's sister Cecile came to live with them for a time. While living there, Cecile met a Mr. Wagoneer, who was some years older than she was. Louise was not in favor of the marriage due to the age difference, but later she became fond of him. Nat also loved him, and called him Uncle Wag.
Louise told me that during my father's childhood, which was largely during the great depression, he would frequently come home from school and play football with 3 of his neighborhood friends. His father, who was not making a great deal of money, would give him a couple of nickels for the streetcar fare to and from school. Due to the tightness of money, Nat would sometimes walk so that he could keep the money for himself.
They had a summer home in Burmingham, New Jersey. Cecile and her husband would often spend weekends in Birmingham with them. By this time, Louise's youngest brother, Albert, had moved to New Jersey and he was a frequent guest with his wife Gertrude during the summer. The house was on a small river and was ideal for swimming and canoeing. Cecile's husband was an accomplished carpenter and helped to build an addition to their house. Ray N Kidder dug a well on this property.
My father somehow skipped a grade and graduated from Olney High School in Philadelphia in 1938. He thought he would study to become a lawyer, as this is what it says about him in his high school yearbook. He was accepted to Harvard (much to Louise's pride), and graduated with a B.A. degree in 1942 in something akin to political science. The war was on, and he immediately volunteered for service in the US Army. He was made part of the Signal Corps where he worked as an instructor, mainly teaching radar. He was discharged just prior to the end of the war because of asthma. In the late 1940's he returned to Harvard and earned a M.A. degree in social psychology in 1950. As part of his studies, he worked with the US Navy for one year on Yap Island in the South Pacific, where he was the demographer. Together with other students, they wrote a study on the demographics and history of the natives of this Island. The U.S. government was concerned because the population on Yap was in decline.
In later years, her father Walden became old and senile. The plan was for him to live with her sister Gabriel, who had married Bill Quigley, and who was to look after him. Because of the work of looking after her father, Gabe was to receive the inheritance of his estate. Walden became too much of a burden due to mental problems, so Gabe put him in a state-run old folks home where he died. Louise and Cecile thought that the inheritance should be divided among the children because Gabe had not fulfilled her obligation to tend to her father for the remainder of his life. Gabe thought it was supposed to all come to her. A lawsuit developed, and Louise and Cecile were on the winning