11 January 2015

My Family Calendar This Week

This week is a tough week. We have two birthdays but we also have seven deaths. One of those is my great grandfather who I am so fortunate to have known him before he passed. Another is my husband’s father. His death was a surprise and hits hard each year.

Happy birthday this week to Donald Epps, and Eileen (Eckman) Walkling! May God grant you both Many Years. Donald is married to my cousin and Eileen is my husband’s sister. 

Memory Eternal
Monday (12 January) will be the 38th anniversary of the passing of my great grandfather, Pierson George Still. PG. He is buried at the Old Doe Run Cemetery in East Fallowfield, Chester County. I was a month shy of being eight when he passed away and I remember little things – like how windy it was at the top of that open field! I’m sure he had one but I do not recall a service. I remember him in great detail – perhaps tomorrow I will delve more into my memories of him.  The photo at left here is of him with my cousins Ken and Beth. I am on the far right.

Also on Monday, it is the 307th anniversary of the passing of Johann Martin Seitz. He died at age 57 in Waldorf, Pfafz, Germany. He was the father of Eva Dorthea Sietz who immigrated here with her husband, Johannes Eckman, and their young family. Johann Seitz is my husband’s 7th great grandfather. 

Tuesday (13 January) is the 106th anniversary of the passing of Benjamin Franklin VanHorn. I have written extensively about him over the years and I will elaborate again come Tuesday in his memory. Everyone has that one person in their tree who, although not a direct lineal ancestor, they feel a connection with … and he is mine, for whatever reason. Benjamin is my 4th great uncle. His brother, Chrispin Pierson VanHorn, is my 3rd great grandfather. (Side note: I am so grateful FTM figures those relations for me sometimes!) Benjamin was born in Pennsylvania, fought in the Civil War, was a POW at Belle Island Prison, married a Virginian lady, moved to California where he passed in 1909.  At right is Benjamin during the Civil War. The photo was given to me by a cousin, one of his direct descendants.

John Henry Eckman, my husband’s 5th great uncle, died on 15 January in 1781 in Lancaster County. To be honest, I have not yet explored his branch. He is the son of Jerome Heironimus (numerous spellings on that one!) Eckman and Anna Barbara Slaymaker. His brother, John Martin, is hubby’s 4th great grandfather.  

Friday we remember my cousin Bessie Matys. She was the daughter of my uncle Frank Matys and Helen Volschusk. Bessie was the last of their four children. She was just 17 days old when she died 16 January 1921. She is buried at St. Cecilia’s in Coatesville. 

Friday will also be 21 years since my father in law passed. Frank Raymond Eckman died on 16 January 1994. That was a rough winter. He is the son of John Charles Eckman and Mabel Florence Eckman. Dad was the Chief of Police for Sadsbury Township, Lancaster County, at the time of his death. He had also been a Philadelphia office (Highway Patrol) and before that he was a truck driver. His death was unexpected.  

Saturday is the fifth anniversary of the passing of Joseph C. Morris. He is my late cousin Joan Welsh’s husband. He was 70 when he died. 

My Family Calendar This Week will be a weekly feature.
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© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.