Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sentimental Sunday: Leo Radauskas, 1889-1973



Leonas "Leo" Radauskas is a first cousin two times removed on my Guokas (maternal grandfather's) line.  He was born on June 22, 1889 in Gikoniai village, Rozalimas parish, Šiauliai county (which is adjacent to Panevėžys county), Lithuania, He was the second son (and second of eight children) of Ignatijus Radauskas (ABT 1853-1913) and Agota Guokas (born 1861), my great-grandfather Charles Guokas Sr.'s older sister.

According to the Illinois, Northern District Naturalization Index, 1840-1950, Leo arrived in the United States on July 14, 1909.  By the time of the 1910 Census (April 18), he was living with the family of his uncle, my great-grandfather, in Houston, Texas, and working as a porter in a restaurant.  He's in the Houston city directories of 1911 through 1913, still living at 1717 Shearn, but working as a butcher the first two years and then as a waiter.

The next record I have for Leo is his December 23, 1926, naturalization.  At the time he was living at 3548 S. Halstead in Chicago, in the Bridgeport neighborhood.

Late in 1928, Leo made a trip back to Lithuania (I found the passenger lists, for his leaving Bremen, Germany, on September 19, and arriving in New York City on September 28).  My third cousin, Osvaldas Guokas in Lithuania (who has been an immense help in research there), says his uncle Aleksandras Guokas from Panevėžys (who has also provided valuable research) tells this story about Leo's trip:

He (Leonas) came back to Lithuania with the clear target to find a wife during one month [he had only one month vacation].  He, along with Guokas family guys, was looking for girls in the Smilgiai area.  There was one young lady which Leo liked. He and a few guys came to her home to review and propose.  But Jonas Guokas (father of my uncle) didn't like this lady.  He and another guy sat near the young lady and all evening they were joking with girl.  She was happy and very funny and she had a good time joking with the guys. After this evening Leo understood that she was not a girl which he wanted to marry.  He said, "I can't show this girl in America."  So after a few days Jonas Guokas introduced another girl to Leo. She was from the Tamošiūnas family,  Tamošiūnaitė. My uncle doesn't remember her first name, he remembers only the surname Tamošiūnaite.  They married and came to the USA. It's funny history.

The woman Leo married was Ona Tamošiūnaite (1907-1988), who was apparently called Anna in the United States.  According to the passenger list for her arrival (on December 8, 1928, about two months after Leo got back), she was born in Jasoniai village, which is very near Gikoniai, and to Smilgiai and Čelkiai, where my Guokas kin are from.

When Anna became a naturalized citizen in 1935, she and Leo were living at 3258 S. Union in Chicago, also in Bridgeport.  They are still living there through at least 1947.  The 1940 Census lists Leo's occupation as a hotel chef, and his World War II draft registration card states that he was a chef at the famous Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago.  The photo above might have been taken around this time.  Later the family moved to 6223 S. Albany, near Marquette Park and Lithuanian Plaza.

Leo and Anna had one daughter, Bernice Ann Radauskas Dylo (1940-2004), two grandchildren, and at least two great-grandchildren.

As there are a lot of Lithuanians in Chicago, I think I will find at least one more relative there.


© Amanda Pape - 2017 - click here to e-mail me.

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