My uncle, Frank James "Bud" Streff Sr., was born July 1, 1925, in Chicago, the fourth of six children and third son of Harold Peter Streff (1892-1936) and Monica Ruth McCaughy (1895-1966). His family lived at 6428 N. Francisco Avenue on the 1930 Census and at 6222 Wayne Avenue on the 1940 Census, which are both on the far north side of Chicago where my dad and his siblings also grew up.
Bud's friend Robert Hack said, "Not sure how well this is known, but Bud was an Air Corps veteran. During the proposed invasion of Japan, he was assigned to a mission (skip bombing the Japanese coast) where his life expectancy would have likely been about 5-10 minutes. But thankfully that never occurred. And then there was the time his plane caught fire during a training mission and they were going down, but somehow the plane was righted and he survived.
Even though he never fired a shot, or dropped a bomb in anger, he was a hero in every sense of the word. Although of course he denied it."
Bud married my dad's older sister, Elizabeth Mary "Betty" Pape, on September 11, 1948. They had seven children. For a while, they lived in the Chicago area. Dad recalls working as a stock clerk for a while at an A&P store that Bud managed in the late 1940s or early 1950s.
Sometime between August 1957 and October 1959, Bud and his family moved to the Rochester, New York, area. In 1960, according to the Rochester city directory, he was a district sales manager for the Continental Coffee Company, and the family lived at 61 Irving Road. I remember traveling to Rochester as a family to the wedding of his oldest daughter in 1971. After retirement, Uncle Bud and Aunt Betty lived for a while in the Fort Myers, Florida, area, but in recent years they moved back to the Rochester area to be closer to more of their family, which (at last count) grew to include 22 grandchildren (plus spouses for many of those) and 10 great-grandchildren (so far).
Uncle Bud passed away on April 4, 2014, with much of that family by his side. During the week prior to his death, with his last illness and hospitalization, many of his children and grandchildren (and oldest great-granddaughter) posted pictures of themselves with Bud as a profile picture or cover photo on Facebook. I gathered most (but not all) of those and created the collage at the beginning of this post.
My cousin Tom Streff and his wife Karen, my dad Fred Pape, my Aunt Betty Pape Streff, my mom Gerrie Guokas Pape, and my Uncle Bud (Frank) Streff, near the Comanche County Courthouse, after we met for lunch on October 7, 2009. Tom and Karen drove down from their home near DFW airport to pick up Betty and Bud who'd been visiting Fred and Gerrie in Fredericksburg after the wedding of Tom's and Karen's daughter Katie in Austin the previous weekend.
My mother's college friend, Isabella Martin Henry, was born September 27, 1910, in Waco, Texas, the second of five children of Lawrence Seymour Henry Sr. and Anna Sloane Ingram. Her father was a printer who owned the L.S. Henry Printing and Stationery Company in Waco. On August 22, 1942, 31-year-old Isabella, a stenographer with a life insurance company in Waco on the 1940 Census, enlisted in Dallas with the Women's Army Corps as an aviation cadet. At that point she had a year of college, at the College of Industrial Arts in Denton, and was single with no dependents. Her U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem (BIRLS) Death File shows that she later re-enlisted, July 28, 1949, after earning her bachelor's degree at the University of Texas in Austin, serving through December 31, 1960. She retired January 1, 1961, at the rank of major in the U.S. Army.
The photo above is of my mother and her friend Isabella Henry, probably taken somewhere on the University of Texas - Austin campus probably in early 1948 (as my mother graduated that spring). Isabella was an older student attending college after World War II under the G. I. Bill.
This photo is from my parents' trip to Chicago in December 1953, after they got engaged, so that my mother could meet my dad's family. My paternal grandmother Elizabeth Florence Massmann Pape (1902-2000) is at the far right, and my mother Geraldine Margaret Guokas Pape is sitting next to her. On the other side of my mom is my paternal aunt, Elizabeth "Betty" Marie Pape Streff. One of her two oldest daughters, either Rosemary or Marianne, is leaning against her, and the other daughter is partially obscured on the far left of the picture. My grandparents' dog Lucky is in the lower right corner.
Above left: Mom and her date, Richard Owen "Dick" Cato, at the Ford House dance on December 18, 1945. Dick was from Beaumont, Texas, and a member of the University of Texas at Austin tennis team. He was also a member of Delta Sigma Pi, an international commerce and business administration fraternity. The photo above right is from page 553 of the 1946 Cactus, the University of Texas yearbook. Former Texas Governor Miriam Amanda Ferguson, a family friend, also made an appearance at this dance.