Sunday, June 16, 2019

Father's Day without My Father

This is my first Father's Day without my father.  He died less than a month ago, on May 19.  He had been ill for some time, so it did not come as a surprise, but my world has shifted.  I am now a person with no living parents, and it feels different.

Surprisingly, my father, who outlived his first two wives, both of whom were younger than he, did not survive his third wife, who is older.  That's not how I expected it to happen.

When someone dies, there's an obituary.  Being the family genealogist, I was asked to write the first draft.  After some back and forth with additions and changes, one of the pieces of information that my sister added was that my father had served in the New Jersey National Guard for seven years.  After I thought about that for a little while, I realized it didn't add up right, based on what I knew of my father's moves to Florida and then back to New Jersey.  I told my sister about my uncertainty and that I did not think I could get verification in time for the obituary to be published.  She said she could just remove the reference; she was the one actually submitting the obituary.  When the obit came out, however, it was still there, albeit only as National Guard service, with no reference to New Jersey.

So then, as a genealogist, I was concerned that we had incorrect information in the obituary.  I had requested my father's records from the New Jersy National Guard, but, as expected, they arrived after the obit was online and in the newspaper.  I opened the envelope with a little trepidation, anxious to read just how long my father had been in the Guard.

You know how it's said that there's always something new to learn?  Well, that was the case here.  Daddy actually did serve in the National Guard for seven years — but only three of them were in New Jersey.  Four were in Florida!  Funny, he had never mentioned that when he talked about his time in the Guard.  But we only learned about it after he had died.


And little things like this help keep me distracted for a while.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Wedding Wednesday

Lucy Wynona McLaughlin married Daniel Edmund Caldwell on May 10, 1958 in Santa Monica, California at Saint Monica's Catholic Church.  Lucy was the half-sister of my ex and therefore the aunt of my stepsons.  While I still lived in Oakland, California, I learned through a probate file that she was living near me, so one day I bravely drove to her address and cold called in person.  I was fortunate that she was home and willing to talk with me.  I ended up visiting for four hours.  She allowed me to take home her wedding album and scan all the photos.  She was a stunningly beautiful bride.  She called me her "not quite sister-in-law."  I'm so happy I was able to meet her, and that her nephew David met her and her younger son.  I miss her a lot.

Lucy and father Karm Singh

Daniel Caldwell (right), probably with the best man

Lucy and Karm

Daniel and Lucy in the center, with flower girl Carol to the right

Saint Monica's Catholic Church

Lucy and Daniel during the recessional

Lucy and Daniel

Lucy and Daniel

Lucy and Daniel on the church steps

Daniel and Lucy

Daniel and Lucy

Daniel and Lucy with flower girl Carol

Daniel and Lucy

Daniel and Lucy


Lucy, Daniel, flower girl Carol, and Lucy's mother's family (I think)

Edmund, John, Lucy, Carol, ?, Hugh

Lucy, Daniel, flower girl Carol, and Daniel's family (I think)

Back row: Karm, Mary, Lucy, Daniel; front row: Hugh, Ed, John, Carol

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Remembering Lost Family Members on Yom HaShoah

Yechail Golubchik
Yom HaShoah is the annual day of commemoration to honor and remember the Jewish victims of the Holocaust during World War II.  It is usually held on the 27th of Nisan, which this year falls on May 2.

The following is the list of my known family members who died in the Holocaust.  They are all from the Mekler/Nowicki side of my family and lived in Grodno gubernia, Russian Empire (now in Belarus).  May their memory be for a blessing.

Beile Dubiner
Eliezer Dubiner
Herschel Dubiner
Moishe Dubiner
Sore (Mekler) Dubiner
Aidel Goldsztern
Golda Goldsztern
Josef Goldsztern
Pearl (Gorfinkel) Goldsztern
Tzvi Goldsztern
Esther Golubchik
Fagel Golubchik
Lazar Golubchik
Peshe (Mekler) Golubchik
Pinchus Golubchik
Yechail Golubchik
Mirka (Nowicki) Krimelewicz
— Krimelewicz
Beile Szocherman
Chanania Szocherman
Maishe Elie Szocherman
Perel Szocherman
Raizl (Perlmutter) Szocherman
Zlate Szocherman