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SHOEMAKER v. SHOEMAKER (09/13/62)

September 13, 1962

SHOEMAKER
v.
SHOEMAKER, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 214, Oct. T., 1962, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County, June T., 1960, No. 603, in case of William Mercer Shoemaker v. Nancy Jane Burwell Shoemaker. Decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

William J. Moran, Jr., with him Harry N. Moran, Jr., and Hillegass & Moran, for appellant.

Raymond M. Seidel, with him High, Swartz, Roberts & Seidel, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Wright, Woodside, Watkins, Montgomery, and Flood, JJ. (ervin, J., absent).

Author: Woodside

[ 199 Pa. Super. Page 63]

OPINION BY WOODSIDE, J.

This is an appeal from a decree of the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County granting a divorce to a husband-plaintiff on the grounds of adultery and indignities.

In February 1943 William Shoemaker, the plaintiff, and Nancy, the defendant, then in their twenties, met one morning at 10 o'clock in a bar. Both were married. At the age of 18, Nancy had married a man in his sixties. William had married while he was intoxicated but had never lived with his wife. On July 16, 1946, after each had obtained a divorce, they married in Reno, Nevada.

[ 199 Pa. Super. Page 64]

Cursed with too much money, too little willpower, no employment, and whatever physiological deficiency may be involved, the plaintiff became an alcoholic. For the security and luxury that the plaintiff's $950,000 trust fund brought to the defendant, she paid the price of living with an alcoholic from the time of their marriage until her husband stopped drinking on July 16, 1957. She was a dutiful wife throughout many trying experiences during the early years of their marriage, but in the end it was she, and not he, who destroyed the marriage.

In 1959, when her husband was successfully fighting his battle against alcohol, she became enamored with Frank Vymetal, a veterinarian who had been treating her cats. He was a recent immigrant from Czechoslovakia with no family and few acquaintances in America. The Shoemakers had befriended him. Both Mr. and Mrs. Shoemaker liked him, and in 1958 they frequently entertained him at their home. He dined with them, swam and danced with Mrs. Shoemaker and played chess with Mr. Shoemaker.

His association with Mrs. Shoemaker grew more intimate, and their meetings became more frequent and more varied. She went to dinner with him, went dancing with him, went to see the Cherry Blossoms in Washington with him, went to the apartments of friends with him, went to his room to see him, and had him at her house when her husband was away.

She made no efforts to hide her affection for Vymetal. "He is a better lover than you," she told her husband. "I love Dr. Vymetal and nobody is going to stop me from seeing him," she told her friend, Mrs. Faller. "I love him and want a divorce," she told another friend. "I love Dr. Vymetal," she told her physician. "Frank is a wonderful lover," she told the assistant trust officer of the Wyoming National Bank. "I had intercourse with him," she told her nurse. She

[ 199 Pa. Super. Page 65]

    said that she wanted "Bill for support and ...


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