Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sentimental Sunday: Uncle Walt Pape, 1900-1975

The photo above is 59 years old - it is from the June 19, 1954 wedding of my godparents, Paul Robert "Bob" Pape Jr. (1926-2008) and Dolores Frances Olker (1929-2005).   Seated at the table are, from left, my great aunt Martha Elisabeth Pape Bleidt (1890-1980), my aunt Marilyn Pape Hedger, my great uncle Leo John "Lee" Pape (1893-1979), my great uncle Walter Francis "Walt" Pape (1900-1975), and my mother, Geraldine Guokas Pape, who at that time was engaged to my dad, Frederick Henry Pape.

I have not written about Uncle Walt before, so I am going to use this post to do that.

Walter Francis Pape was born August 2, 1900, in Illinois, probably in Chicago.  His parents, John Pape (1851-1945) and Gertrude Kramer Pape (1859-1919), and his six older siblings, were living at 1072 (now 1943) Lawndale Avenue in Chicago while father John was a merchant at nearby Senge & Pape Dry Goods at 889 (now 3060) Armitage. This is according to the 1900 Census, taken on June 15, 1900.

Walter was baptized on August 12, 1900, at nearby  St. Philomena Catholic Church in Chicago.  His godfather was  Francis "Frank" J. Senge, John Pape's business partner, and this may be the source for Walter's middle name.

By 1904, the Pape family was back at their home at 1043 Sherman Avenue in Evanston (rented out while they were living in Chicago).  The family attended St. Nicholas Catholic Church, and Walter went to the school there.  On April 22, 1911, Walter received his First Communion, and he was confirmed on May 10, 1914.  He took Robert as his Confirmation name, and his sponsor was Joseph A. Reis, the father of Gretchen Anna Reis, who later became his oldest brother Lee Pape's wife.

On September 12, 1918, Walter registered for the draft for World War I.  His registration card notes that he is a student at Northwestern University in Evanston.  On October 5, he enlisted in the Army, but he was released a little over a month later, on November 14, with the end of the war.

On the 1920 Census, Walter is living with his widowed father and older siblings at 1043 Sherman.  He is still there in a 1925 Evanston city directory, and his occupation is listed as teller with City National Bank.  On the 1930 Census, he is living with his single siblings Rhea and Dick in an apartment at 6319 N. Sacramento Avenue off Devon in north Chicago, and his occupation is bank clerk.

He was still in Chicago in 1935, and on the 1940 Census, he is living with his widowed father and brother Dick in an apartment at 3648 N. Hoyne Avenue in Chicago, just around the corner from his sister Martha Pape Bleidt and her family.  His occupation is listed as office clerk with a real estate company.

He is not at this address in a 1945 Chicago directory.  According to my dad, later in his life, Uncle Walt went to live with his brother Lee, who was widowed in 1947, at Lee's house in Wilmette.

The next record I have for Uncle Walt is for his death, on December 28, 1975.  It shows him living at 4915 N. Damen in Chicago at that time.   He is buried in the family plot at St. Henry Cemetery in Chicago.  Uncle Walt died intestate, and I have copies of the probate records.  He left a rather large estate that went to his surviving siblings, Martha, Rhea, and Lee, and the five children (my dad and his siblings) of his deceased brother Paul.

Walt never married, but my dad said he was in love with a woman named Marian Udelhofen who died young.  Marian was a friend of my grandmother Elizabeth Massmann Pape, and she was my father's godmother.

I found some records for a Marian Udelhofen, born February 8, 1904, which was just a little over a year after my grandmother's birth.  Marian lived at 1962 Morse Avenue in 1910, 1920, and 1930, and Elizabeth lived just down the street at 1938 Morse in 1910 and 1920 (and later on, she lived at nearby 2093 Lunt in 1930 and 1940. In 1930, John Pape lived around the block from Marian at 1949 Lunt.

I also found Marian's tombstone at St. Henry Cemetery.  She died in 1939 at age 35.

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

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