December 22 Prompt:
Christmas and Deceased Relatives-
Did your family visit the cemetery at Christmas? How did your family honor deceased family members at Christmas?
We didn't visit the cemetery, and I don't remember doing anything in particular to honor deceased family members at Christmas, but I know I think about family members who have passed on. For example, I think about my grandmothers, Nana and Nani, Elizabeth Massmann Pape and Sara Wolfe Guokas Archibald, when I make Streuselkuchen coffee cake and eat Christmas dinner respectively.
The photo above was taken at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Illinois, by one of my Streff cousins before the graveside service for Nana on January 19, 2000. Nana passed away on January 13. I was fortunate enough to see her a few weeks before, around her 97th birthday on December 23. I was a single mom living in Washington state at the time while Nana lived near Tampa, Florida, and this trip would not have been possible without the assistance of my cousin Tom Streff who, as a pilot with American Airlines, was able to obtain a low-cost ticket for me both to see Nana and to go to her funeral in Chicago later.
This imposing monument is a result of my great-grandfather, Frederick Massmann, who at one point in his life was president of the National Tea Company and was rather wealthy. He is buried here along with my great-grandmother Elizabeth Dienes Massmann, son and daughter-in-law Alfred and Agatha Burke Massmann, Nana and Grandpa Paul Robert Pape, grandson Paul Robert "Bob" Pape Jr. and his wife Delores "Lorrie" Olker Pape, and granddaughter Rose Mary Pape Dietz and her husband Ronald Dietz.
(This is post #22 in the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories hosted by Geneabloggers.com. Originally published December 22, 2009; slight revisions were made this year.)
© Amanda Pape - 2010