Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sentimental Sunday: Rhea Maria Pape and Pat Pape-Hunter Parks, July 1947

This photo was taken by my dad's first cousin, Mary Jane Bleidt Herring (1924-1965), when she went to visit another first cousin, Patricia "Pat" Pape-Hunter Parks (1923-1967) and her mother, my great-aunt, Rhea Maria Pape (1892-1977), in July 1947, when they were both living in Des Moines, Iowa.

Rhea was born September 8, 1892, in Evanston, Illinois, the third child and daughter of my paternal great-grandparents, John Pape (1851-1945) and Gertrude Kramer (1859-1919).  The Cook County, Illinois, Birth Certificates Index gives her name as Maria, and her baptism record at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Evanston says her baptismal name was Maria Gertrude, but she was better known as Rhea.

In 1914, Rhea appears in the Mason City, Iowa, city directory, rooming at 314 Swasey with her oldest sister Clara.  Both are stenographers.  While Clara continued to live in Iowa (from at least 1912 to at least 1946), Rhea moved back home to Illinois.  She's there at 1043 Sherman in the 1917 Evanston city directory, and also there on the 1920 Census, working as a saleslady in a retail dry goods store (probably her father John's).

By 1922, single, 30-year-old Rhea was involved with a married man five years older, William F. Hunter.  Daughter Patricia was born in March 1923.  Pat is unnamed on the birth certificate, but an amendment dated May 29, 1942, gives her name as Patricia - and it is signed by her father.

Rhea appears in the 1925 and 1927 Evanston, Illinois, city directories, but with addresses in North Chicago (south of Evanston).  She worked as a clerk and saleslady respectively at the Variety and Varsity Dress Shops respectively (although the first spelling may have been a typo).  Here's an ad for the Varsity Dress Shop, from the March 1924 Northwestern University Purple Parrot (the dress shop was just south of the campus):

On the 1930 Census, Rhea is living with her single brothers Walter and Dick, at 6319 N. Sacramento Avenue in Chicago.  She is listed as the head of household, but without an occupation.  Pat isn't on the census, but may have been left off.  Rhea was not at this address in 1940, nor was she with Walter and Dick (who were living with their father John that year).  I did find her in the 1939 Evanston, Illinois, city directory, listed as a saleswoman for Carroll Inc (lingerie, 1568 Sherman Ave, Evanston), but with her residence simply listed as Chicago.

I also found Rhea and Pat in the 1944 Davenport, Iowa, city directory, both living at 1406 Brady.  Rhea is working as a saleswoman for Mrs. Sylvia M. Noack (Corset, Lingerie, and Gift Shop).  Pat is an operator for Tri-Cities Broadcasting Company - which is owned by the same man, Col. B. J. Palmer, who also owned Central Broadcasting Company / WHO Radio in Des Moines, Iowa, where Pat worked previous and subsequent years.

By this time, sister Clara was a statistician in the Iowa state auditor's office in Des Moines (she'd been working for the auditor since 1933), and she may have pulled some strings to get Rhea a job as a telephone messenger with the Iowa State Senate (record from January 26, 1944 proceedings):


In 1947, Rhea and Pat are living at 1002 Des Moines in Des Moines (Clara's former address).  Rhea is now working for the Iowa State House of Representatives as a general research clerk in the law library (record from January 27, 1947 proceedings):


I found Rhea on an April 1950 passenger list, traveling from Seattle to Yokohama, Japan.  I suspect this was to join her daughter Pat, there with her military husband Gordon Parks and expecting the birth of her first child in August.  Rhea gives her address as 210 17th, Wilmette, Illinois. (This was her widowed sister Martha Pape Bleidt's address in August 1977).

Rhea, Pat, and granddaughter Kim Parks are on another passenger list in June 1951, returning from Yokohama to San Francisco.  Their home address is listed as 3936 Lower Beaver Road in Des Moines, which was Pat and Gordon Parks' address in March 1949.

Rhea was living with Pat and Gordon and their six daughters when Pat was killed in an auto accident in April 1967.  The next year, Rhea apparently moved to San Francisco, where she died on August 29, 1977.  She is buried at St. Henry's Cemetery in Chicago

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Military Monday: Aunt Betty's US Cadet Nurse Corps Membership Card

I found this on Ancestry.com yesterday, and asked my Aunt Betty about it.  She said:

During World War II, they had a program to educate more nurses. In return for an all paid education, including a monthly stipend, we would serve in the US Military after graduation.  Fortunately for me, the War ended, but they continued to pay for our education without our having to honor the commitment to join the service. My Dad said mine was the only education he didn't have to pay for.

St. Francis Hospital's School of Nursing was established in 1919 with a first class of eight students. It closed in 1998, having graduated more than 3100 nurses.  The hospital, located at 355 Ridge Avenue in Evanston, was established in 1900 and still operates today.  It's the hospital where I was born (and I'm pretty sure, with it being a Catholic hospital, that a lot of my Pape kin were born and died there, too).

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sentimental Sunday: Mary Jane Bleidt and Pat Pape, July 1947

These two lovely ladies are my dad's first cousins, Mary Jane Bleidt Herring (1924-1965) and Patricia "Pat" Pape Hunter Parks (1923-1967).  The photo was taken in or near Des Moines, Iowa, in July 1947, when Mary Jane visited Pat there.

I've written a little already about Pat.  Here is some more information about Mary Jane:

According to family records, she was born October 4, 1924, in Evanston, Illinois, the oldest child of Charles Joseph Julius Bleidt (1870–1959) and Martha Elisabeth Pape (1890-1981).  She married John Herbert Herring (1926-2008) on May 20, 1950, in Chicago.  They had two children, Arlene and Thomas.  Sadly, Mary Jane passed away from a muscle-wasting disease on February 21, 1965, at age 40.

Pat also died young, at age 44, on April 15, 1967.  She was alone and turning her car into the private drive of her Emmitsburg, Maryland, home, when the rear was struck by a car that had gone out of control at a high rate of speed.  Pat was thrown from her car and pinned under it, and died of a fractured skull and broken neck.  She left five daughters, ages 8 to 17, and an older stepdaughter who joined the family when her own mother passed away.  Pat is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, along with her husband, Col. Gordon Merritt Parks, and son Kevin Richard Parks, who was born 4 months early in April 1958 and only lived 24 hours.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Happy Armed Forces Day!

Today is Armed Forces Day in the United States, established on the third Saturday in May "for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country."

I'd like to especially thank my dad, Fred Pape, for his service in the Air Force (and in the Korean War) from March 1951 through April 1955.  This is a photo of him from that period, taken when he was on leave and visiting his parents and siblings at 2093 West Lunt in Chicago, Illinois.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sentimental Sunday: Happy Mother's Day, Mom!


 Mom (Geraldine Margaret Guokas Pape) and me, maybe around her first Mother's Day, 1957

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Surname Saturday: GUOKAS

Thanks to Osvaldas Guokas, a contact in Vilnius, Lithuania (and apparently a distant cousin), who reads my blog, I've suddenly been able to jump from going three generations back on my mother's paternal line to five:

1.  My mother - Geraldine Margaret Guokas
2.  My grandfather - Charles Peter Guokas Jr. (1903 - 1967)
3.  My great-grandfather - Charles Peter Guokas Sr.  (1863 - 1939)
4.  My great-great-grandfather - Jonas Guokas (ABT 1821 - BEF 1898)
5.  My great-great-great-grandfather - Antanas Guokas

Osvaldas found the marriage certificate for Jonas Guokas and my great-great-grandmother, Marija Šukytė:

Osvaldas tells me this says that on February 14, 1856, Jonas Guokas, 35 years old, from Celkiai, and
Marija Šukytė (which sounds like sounds like Shukeete), 20 years old, were married.  Parents are Antanas Guokas and Marija Va... Guokas, and Antanas Šukys and Liudvika Gacinskytė (Gacinska) Sukys (Šukienė).

He also found and sent a death record for Marija Šukytė Guokas (Marianna Shukisova Gokasova in Russian).  She died July 5, 1898 in Celkiai village. She was the widow of Jonas Guokas (Yoanna Gokasa in Russian). She was 60 years old. She left her sons Antanas (Anton), Kazimieras (Charles Sr.), Juozas (Joseph), and Petras (Peter), and daughters Agota and Apolonija.  She is buried in Smilgiai in Lithuania:


Charles Sr. is my great-grandfather who emigrated to and settled in Houston along with his younger brothers Joseph and Anton.  We have heard from some descendants of Peter, who settled in Alexandria County, Virginia, and this seems to verify that they are kin.  We also knew that Agota married an Ignacius Radauskas and stayed in Lithuania, but their son Leo was living with Charles Sr. in Houston in 1910, the year after he immigrated (at age 14), and wound up in Chicago; and their daughter Anastasia wound up in the Baltimore, Maryland area and married a Joseph Polianski.  Apolonia is a new family member to me.

Osvaldas also explained that last names vary for men and women in Lithuania, and for women also by marital status.  For example, his mother is Genovaite Guokiene. His [single] daughter is Izabele Guokaite.  His grandfather is Justinas Guokas. "As you can see it is some difference on the end."

Thanks to this information, I've been able to add numbers 48 through 51 to my Ahnentafel chart, and more details to numbers 24 and 25.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thankful / Those Places Thursday: Lithuanian Payoff to Blogging

Birth/baptism record from St. George Catholic Church, Smilgiai, Lithuania,
for my great-grandfather Charles (Kazimieras) Guokas, born 27 February 1863

A couple days ago, I was contacted by Osvaldas Guokas in Lithuania.  He'd read this blog and used the contact button at the end of a post to send me an e-mail.  He said, "Our Lithuanian last name Guokas is not usual in Lithuania.  My father Vytautas Guokas (RIP) was born near [the] small town [of] Smilgiai.  It is only one place in Lithuania w[h]e[r]e we can find [a] few tombstones with last name Guokas."

Smilgiai caught my eye, because an obituary my mother had for her great uncle Anton Guokas (1875-1947) said he was from this parish in Lithuania - so I assume his older brother, my great-grandfather, Charles Peter Guokas Sr. (1863-1939), was from there, too.

Osvaldas, who is about 17 years younger than me, offered to help.  I gave him the birthdates of Charles and Anton and their brother Joseph (1869-1963), and their names in Lithuanian (Kazimieras, Juozas, and Antanas - the obituary for Anton was in Lithuanian; Mom had it translated).

Next thing I know, Osvaldas sent me the birth/baptism record pictured above, from St. George Catholic Church in Smilgiai.  Osvaldas says:

"Text in Russian means that parents of Kazimieras (Charlie) were:
Peasants Jonas and Marija Šukyte,Guokas in lawful marriage.
[He] was born 1863 year February 27 day, in Smilgiai parish, village Celkiai. [This is my great-grandfather's date of birth, and I can clearly read the 1863 and 27 in the record picture above.]

In Russian it was written: 'krist. Yana i Mariany iz Shukov Gokov...'
Original Lithuanian names are Jonas (Yan), Marija (Mariana), last names Šukytė (Shukov), Guokas (Gokov).
Čelkiai (Chelkiai in english), [is a] village near Smilgiai (~10km to north from Smilgiai). Godfather was Antanas Guokas. I think that Antanas is [the] father of my grandfather Justinas (I'm so thinking, I need to prove it)."

Stay tuned - I am hoping to find out more!  Just wanted to show you blogging about your family history pays off.  I now have the name of my great-great-grandfather, Jonas Guokas - before, all I had was his first initial.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Military Monday: Col. Gordon Merritt Parks, 1916-2004

Gordon Merritt Parks, husband of Patricia Pape Hunter, in July 1947, in or near Des Moines, Iowa

With May being National Military Appreciation Month, I thought I'd write about a relative with a distinguished military career, my dad's first cousin Pat Pape Hunter's husband, Colonel Gordon Merritt Parks.

Gordon Merritt Parks was born July 28, 1916, in Davidson, Saskatchewan, Canada, the son of Lee W. and Hazel Merritt Parks. He was raised and educated in Iowa. After graduating from high school in 1934, he enlisted in the Army's 113th Cavalry as a radio operator, the first for this "all horse" regiment. During World War II, he served in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, in combat for 309 days, and receiving two battlefield commissions to second lieutenant and first lieutenant.

After a brief civilian career on the engineering staff of radio station "WHO" in Des Moines, Iowa, and being active in the post-war National Guard, he returned to active duty and was assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division on occupation duty in Japan. He received his third battlefield commission to captain during the Korean War.  Subsequent duty stations included the Southeastern Signal School in Camp Gordon, Georgia; the Army Pictorial Center in New York City; the Signal Corps Proving Ground at Fort Huachuca, Arizona; and the White House Army Signal Agency in Washington, D.C.   He retired from active duty in 1963 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.  He was later promoted to colonel and retired from the Iowa National Guard.

Appointed to the Secret Service in 1962 as its first communications officer, he modernized and expanded communications facilities to meet the agency's growing mission. Among his many duties with the White House Communications Agency, he traveled overseas extensively on presidential (and First Lady) trips, arranged communications services and made sure the president was never out of contact with the United States. His service in the Washington area, military and civilian, spanned the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford administrations, with final retirement in December, 1976.

After retirement, he served as volunteer editor of The Redhorser Newletter, a quarterly publication for veterans of the 113th Cavalry.  His military awards included the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Army Commendation Ribbon with Medal Pendant, the Belgian Fourragere, and the Presidential Service Badge. He died on October 26, 2004, at age 88, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.  He had six daughters, one stepdaughter, and one stepson.

[Sources:  November 3, 2004, obituary in The Washington Post with November 4 correction, and an entry on page 133 in We Remember: U.S.Cavalry Association by Edward L Daily.]

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sentimental Sunday: Patricia Pape Hunter and Gordon Merritt Parks, 1947

This is my dad's first cousin, Patricia "Pat" Pape Hunter (1923-1967), daughter of his aunt Rhea Maria Pape (1892-1977), and her husband, Gordon Merritt Parks (1916-2004).  This photograph was among the many shared with me by my second cousin Bill, grandson of Rhea's (and my grandfather Paul Pape's) sister, Martha Pape Bleidt (1890-1981).

According to Bill's notes, this photo was taken by his aunt, Mary Jane Bleidt Herring (1925-1965), on a visit she made to Des Moines, Iowa, to visit her cousin Pat and aunt Rhea in July 1947.  The oldest sibling of Rhea, Martha, and Paul, Clara Pape (1889-1975), had moved to Des Moines from Sioux City, Iowa, by 1938, working first as a secretary to the State Auditor and later (1940-1944) as a statistician in his office.  Here's Clara on the 1940 Census:
 (above is the left half of the page, below is the right half, showing her occupation - Clara is on line 31)


 In the 1946 Des Moines city directory, Pat is shown living with Clara at 1002 Des Moines, and the following year, her mother Rhea is living with her at that address.  Not sure where Clara is, nor where Rhea is in the 1949 directory, when Pat is at this address alone (but we know directories aren't always right).

Pat worked as a technician and office secretary for Central Broadcasting company, parent of radio station WHO. Gordon Merritt Parks worked there too.  I suspect that is how they met.
I'll write more about Gordon and Pat in future posts.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Henrietta Kamp and Lorenz Pape


 This photo was sent to me by my cousin Mary Kay.  She says it is of her great-grandfather, Lorenz Pape (1862-1932), my great-grandfather John Pape's younger brother, and his first wife, Maria Henrietta Kamp, who died before 1899.  They had six children, Karl James (1889-1958), Joseph John Anton (1891-1936), Maria/Mary [Mrs. Herman Walter] (1892-1977), August Peter (1893-1947), Ewald Theodore (1894-1976), and Petronella "Nellie" [Mrs. George Arendt], (1896-1930).  This photograph was taken in Germany, probably in Düsseldorf, perhaps when they were married.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.