The first woman in my family to vote is my great-grandmother on my mother’s side: her name is Brigitte Margareta Whorton. She was born on July 21, 1934, in Heidelberg, Germany and moved to New York City in August 1958. She met currently retired Lieutenant Colonel Billy Louis Whorton when he was in the army in the 1950s. They were married three times: once by the American government, once by the German government, and, then, in a church wedding.
Brigitte was born and raised in Heidelberg, Germany alongside her two brothers and her two sisters. Her brothers served in the German army. She loved to dance, her father would dance with them in the evening. She was alive during World War II, her mother, Eliza, sewed food and money into her coat and brought them to a Jewish family that they knew. My great-grandmother played field hockey, her team was invited to see Hitler. Luckily for my family, someone had told her dad to not let her go so she stayed home and unfortunately her field hockey teammates were not heard from again. She will not talk about it and she does not know what had happened to them.
While she was married she did not work, she was a housewife and she had two daughters with her husband. It had taken her several years to become a citizen because their family was always moving. She took citizenship classes and became a naturalized citizen. My great-grandmother loves her German heritage and made sure my grandma and her sister learned about it. When she came over here her husband’s mother did not like her because she was German and she did not treat my great-grandmother very nicely. Since her husband Billy was in the army, she lived all over the place: Ft. Benning, Georgia, Boston, California, Omaha, and others.