Keesler Air Force Base
My Daddy Jim, was born James Peter Estrada to James and Angela (Franquet) Estrada in New York, USA, on May 7, 1934. In 1940, a U. S. Census shows a five year old James Estrada living with his parents, the only child. The census shows little James’ 31 year old father, a diamond setter in the jewelry industry, as having been born in France, and his 30 year old mother, Angela, a dressmaker in the dress manufacturing business, having been born in Spain. The couple rented the home at 172 111th Street in Queens, New York.
I know he attended Georgia Military Academy.
I don’t know how he and my mother, Janie Morris, met. I do know they were married at a chapel on Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Harrison County, Mississippi.
I have had trouble finding documentation for Daddy Jim’s life events and accomplishments other than the newspaper articles and information I collected for his death.
About Daddy Jim’s parents and grandparents:
From this point forward for the sake of simplicity, I will refer to my Daddy Jim as “Jim” and his father as James Sr. I know from family history told to me by my Grandma Angela that James Sr. was born of a Spanish family that had migrated to Paris in the jewelry trade. I recall spending much time with both of my adopted grandparents, the Estradas, in Houston, Texas, where my Grandpa Jim Estrada had retired after years in the oil industry.
At some point, James’s father went to work for Gulf Oil in Venezuela, but Jim stayed behind in the United States to attend military academies. In Venezuela, a sister, Beatrice, was born. I found passenger records of Jim having traveled to Venezuela for visits to his parents.
James, Sr. was born Dec. 19, 1908 in Paris, France. James, Sr., died in Houston, Texas, July 13, 1967, of multiple myeloma (cancer) at the age of 58. I remember when he passed away. He was buried at Southern Memorial Park in Biloxi, Mississippi, near his son, Capt. James Peter Estrada. He wanted to be buried by his son. James, Sr., migrated to New York with his parents as a young child. He spoke French and Spanish.
My Grandma Angela (Franquet) Estrada’s Obituary
Angela Franquet Estrada, beloved wife, mother and grandmother went home to be with the Lord on July 8, 2006. She was born in Valencia, Spain on November 10, 1909. Preceded in death by her parents; two sisters and two brothers; her husband, James Estrada; and son, Captain James Peter Estrada. Survived by her daughter, Beatrice Hood and husband Dean; grandsons, Alan Hood and wife Lorie, and Douglas Hood of Houston; and daughter-in-law, Jane Estrada of Gulfport, Miss.; grandchildren, Tenderly, Angela, Alison, James P. Estrada and wife Jan; five great-grandchildren; and one great great grandchild. She retired from Esther Wolf and Everitt Beulow.
A Memorial Service will be held at Grace Bible Church, 13700 Schroeder Rd., Houston, TX on Wednesday, July 12, 2006 at 3:00pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Still Creek Ranch, 6055 Hearne Lane, Bryan, TX 77808, or Vitas Hospice, 4828 Loop Central Dr., Suite 890, Houston, TX 77081.
James, Sr.’s father was named James “Jaime” Estrada. He was born July 25, 1888 in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, and died in December of 1970 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I met “Yiyo” the nickname for him. He had flown up to Gulfport to see us. I recall he had a pistol in his luggage, which greatly concerned my mother, and he had a “youth tonic” he drank every morning involving honey and lemon juice. He had a good disposition and spoke only Spanish and French, I think. James, Sr., was a jeweler-having been in business in Paris before establishing himself in New York as a jeweler.
James, Sr.’s mother was named Conchita Torres. Conchita Torres, James, Sr.,’s mother, was born May 21, 1886 in Puebla de Castro, Spain. I don’t have records for her death.
According to documentation, both Jaime and Conchita’s arrival dates were 1911 and 1912, respectively, from Paris, France.
In 1920, James “Jaime” and Conchita (Torres) Estrada, along with their son, James lived at 298 East 77th Street in Manhattan Assembly District 14, in New York, New York. “Jaime” was listed at a jeweler and he was listed as “Papers submitted”. In 1930, they still lived at the Manhattan address above listed as and Conchita was listed as “Alien”. Jaime was listed as “First papers”. By 1940, at the same Manhattan address, “Conchita” was listed as having “First papers”.
I have not found documentation for the parents for Jaime or Conchita at this time. That information would be in Spain, I would presume, and I have no access to those records. I am still looking, though.
Here is just one of the documents I had found in support of the family history I am working on for Daddy Jim’s genealogy:
Having had two fathers in my life, I grew up without either one. I was born to Capt. and Mrs. Frank Hunt Bosworth. My mother was Janie Morris. They divorced soon after I was born, and as the story was told to me, my mother met and married Jim Estrada. They were married when I was about two years old. Jim adopted me as his child. I was raised as Jim Estrada’s child and he is the one I have the most cherished childhood memories any child could ever dream of. I have hung onto those memories-they are as clear as if they happened yesterday.
The Estrada family shared their love with me as if I was a child born with their blood. I cherished them, especially my Aunt Bea-Bea. I grew up with the Estrada name and was always very proud of it. I am forever grateful for the time I spent with them and the advantages that went with being part of their family. Every summer I can remember, my siblings and I were packed up and sent to Houston to have extended visits with our Texas Estradas. This included the Hood family my Aunt Bea-Bea eventually married into. We had very good times! We swam in the icy cold rice wells in Katy, Texas, at Uncle Dean’s sister’s farm – the McIroys, I believe were their names. Uncle Dean always had to win at Monopoly and Aunt Bea-Bea made the most delicious food. One dish I remember was some sort of Mexican casserole. The houses in Ponderosa Forest, a subdivision of Houston were amazing to experience. My Uncle Dean had been a builder of some of those houses. Aunt Bea-Bea was a teacher and one of the most positive influences in my life. I can hear her laughter as I write this.
My Grandma Angela, “Granny Annie”, as we called her in the 60’s always made sure we had beautiful dresses and swimwear from Esther Wolfe, the store she worked at, and she provide tennis lessons for us at one of the townhouse developments she lived in. We had a blast with her. She was a very fastidious and clean housekeeper and we were expected to make our beds every day or we couldn’t go swimming at the pool if we didn’t. It just was really the best of time when we went to Houston. I wanted to live there.
It was always so exciting when Grandma Angela speed down the “freeway” heading to downtown Houston. She would holler out, “Get out of my way, you old fossil!” if she had to pass a car. We always giggled because the person in the other car appeared to be her age. I remember one trip to the Galleria for shopping. I had never seen a shopping mall quite like that one. It was new when I was there. She took me to an art gallery because she knew I loved art and always encouraged me. When she got much older, she took painting classes and produced some pretty impressive artwork herself. I was so proud of her!
As a family, we spent many holidays in Houston with the Estradas. The Christmas lights were just fantastic. The trips we made in the car were long and kind of miserable. We traveled with six of use in the car. Momma drove, Mamaw (her mother) rode shotgun and four of us kids had to sit in the back of the station wagon along with ice chests filled with food and luggage. We did take breaks at rest stops and that helped. When we got to Houston, it was all worth it.
“Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes.”
I was born a Bosworth, but, my parents divorced before my first birthday and I never knew my biological father until I graduated from high school. So, my “Daddy Jim Estrada” is the father I knew as my special angel when I was growing up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast as an Air Force brat. My Daddy Jim adopted me when he married my mother – I was just a little tiny girl about 2 1/2 years old. I remember so much about him. He was a wonderful daddy to me. Sadly, he was killed as a pilot flying in the USAF flying Strategic Air Command program when we were stationed at Bunker Hill Air Force Base in Indiana. I was just six when a terrible accident happened. He was flying in a B-58 (“Hustler”) bomber. One day I’ll write the story of my Daddy Jim. I am just as devastated today by his death as I was when I was told he was killed. It is a difficult thing to remember back to his death, but, it is a story worth telling as it colored my whole life and my perceptions of life in general. Little girls need their daddies.