Alberta Emma Tews was born on October 28, 1917, in New York, New York, according to her Social Security application at Ancestry.com. Tews parents were Albert August Tews and Emma Bodach.
The Tews family has not yet been found in the 1920 United States Census.
The 1930 census recorded Tews, her parents and older sister, Wanda, in Weehawken, New Jersey at 1802 Willow Avenue. Her father was a barge captain. Some time after 1935 the family moved.
The Jersey Journal (Jersey City, New Jersey), January 29, 1932, mentioned Tews, a Woodrow Wilson High School student, who performed a newsboy dance on the International Night program.
Tews was a member of the Mecca Assembly, Order of the Rainbow for Girls, Doric Temple in Union City. The Jersey Journal, January 20, 1933, said she was the color Green officer. According to the Jersey Journal, September 9, 1933, Tews, of West New York, was the chaplain. Jersey Journal, January 18, 1935, reported her as drill leader.
According to the 1940 census, Tews and her parents were Brooklyn, New York residents at 175 34th Street. Tews was employed as a clerk at a business office.
Tews was named next of kin on her father’s World War II draft card that was signed on April 27, 1942. Her home address was the same.
Tews had a brief career in the comic book industry. Tews was credited for scripting the Miss Victory story in Captain Fearless Comics #2, September 1941. Her name appeared as Al. Tews on the splash page. Miss Victory appeared in Captain Aero Comics, #12, June 1942. Tews used the pseudonym Tuesday on The Ragman story in Cat-Man Comics, #7, January 1943. The Grand Comics Database has a few more of Tews’s 1940s credits. It’s doubtful she did any comics during the 1950s because she had a family in Michigan.
Jim Amash interviewed Vincent Fago, of Timely Comics, in Alter Ego #11, November 2001. Fago said
Alberta Tews was also a freelance letterer. One day she came in and told me she'd had her teeth knocked out playing basketball the day before. She said it was no big deal because they were false teeth, even though she was a young girl.
Tews’ comics career ended when she joined the military. The Brooklyn Eagle (New York), February 22, 1943, reported the start of her service.
Three Borough Women Are Among First in N.Y. to Join Marine CorpsThree Brooklynites are among the first 14 women to join the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve in this area. They were sworn in as privates Saturday by Lt. Col. Frank V. McKinless, in charge of the Office of Procurement and Women’s Reserve Recruiting at 33 Pine St., Manhattan.The “Ipathernecks” from this borough are Alberta Tews of 175 34th St., assistant editor of a comic magazine publishing firm, and Dorothy Lonergan and Mary Jingold, telephone operators, both of 2421 E. 38th St.The recruits will begin training at Hunter College on March 5 and after a six-week indoctrination course will receive two weeks of marine corps instruction. Women officer candidates begin training at Smith College on March 13.
The Brooklyn Eagle, April 6, 1943, said “Enlisted marines at the Bronx training school are ... Alberta Tews of 175 34th St. …”
In North Carolina, Tews met another Marine, Forrest Willard Van Dorn. They married on March 4, 1944 in Craven, North Carolina.
The July 15, 1944 Brooklyn Eagle said “Alberta E. Tews of 175 34th St. has been promoted to corporal at Cherry Point, N.C.”
According to a January 1945 Marine Corps muster roll, at Ancestry.com, Tews was a sergeant and mechanic at the Aviation Women’s Reserve Headquarters Squadron 18, AWRG-1 U.S.M.C. Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina.
Her husband’s address was updated on his draft card. RFD #1, McComb, Hancock, Ohio was crossed out and replaced with 102 Reading Avenue and then 91 Sharp Street, Hillsdale, Michigan.
The 1950 census counted Tews, her husband and daughter, Vena, in Hillsdale at 205 Oak Haven. Tews was a housewife and her husband a truck driver.
There was an Alberta Van Dorn, Alberta VanDorn and Al Van Dorn who contributed to The Craftsman, a magazine about leather crafts. The name appeared in The Craftsman Annual Index, Volume 7, 1962–1963; The Craftsman Annual Index, Volume 9, 1964–1965; and The Craftsman Annual Index, Volume 10, 1965–1966.
At some point, Tews and her husband retired to Bowman, Georgia. Their address was 453 Herndon Circle. He passed away on March 15, 1996. Four years later, Tews passed away on May 21, 2000 in Georgia.
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