Sunday, March 1, 2015

Timeline Puts my Grandfather's Life in Perspective

Earlier today I posted a story with a timeline of my grandmother's life showing many of the losses she endured during her life. That post can be found HERE. I thought it would be interesting to prepare the same timeline for my grandfather. 
My grandpa was John Ludwig Margheim,youngest of the children of George Jacob and Mary Katherine "Katy" (Winter) Margheim. He was born in 1900 in Russell, Russell, Kansas. 
This timeline shows us that Grandpa lost his father at age 12, in 1912. Grandpa told me he had to quit school at that age so he could work and help support his family. 
One of my favorite portraits of my Grandpa Margheim
on a celluloid plaque.
By the time he was 20 years old he was living on his own and supporting his older sister Lena in his household. 
He married my Grandma in Nov. 1920, at age 20, and sadly, just three-and-a-half months later his mother passed away. Five months after he lost his mother, his first child, my father Ernest was born.

When Grandpa Margheim was 23 he was blessed with another son Alfred.
Just 3 years later, Grandpa experienced the loss of his older brother Alexander, a father of five who was killed in a car accident at age 34. Exactly one year later his older sister Lena passed away from tuberculosis at age 38. This was the sister who was living with Grandpa in 1920, before he got married. 

In 1929, when Grandpa was age 29, he became the father of twins Leonard and Laverna.
In my previous post I wrote of my Grandparents' move from the farmland of Kansas to Longmont, Colorado. It was in Longmont that their little precious son Alfred passed away in March, 1933 from pneumonia.
Left to right: Alfred, Leonard, John, Laverna and
Ernest Margheim
After Alfred's death in 1933 the family moved back to their home state of Kansas where Grandpa gained employment in the railroad shops in Hoisington, Barton County.

In September 1934 Grandpa received word that his oldest brother Fred had mysteriously died in Russell, Kansas.

You can see the family activities in the intervening years in the timeline posted above. But it's sad to note that when Grandpa was 46 his brother Jake died. 

When he was age 50 his oldest sister Eva died at age 67 from a stroke. 

At age 53, Grandpa experienced the death of his sister Mary, then at age 62 he lost his brother George.
John and Mollie Margheim with granddaughter Michele
and daughter Laverna Irelan. 1969
At age 72 he suffered the devastating loss of his only daughter Laverna, who suffered a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 43. 
Left to right: Leonard and Marceleen (Manke) Margheim,
John and Mollie (Koleber) Margheim, Phyllis (Jones) and
Ernest Margheim. About 1976
On July 28, 1978 Grandpa enjoyed an evening at home with his wife and good friends playing pitch at their dining room table, after which he suffered a heart attack and died. 
These photos from my early childhood show what a devoted grandpa John Margheim was and how much time he spent with us, whether it was shoveling snow or building the second story onto his house. He was a happy man, very gentle, quiet, and unassuming. He worked hard to support his family and never complained through all the loss and hardships he experienced in his life. I'm blessed to have been his granddaughter. 


Michelle Ganus Taggart said...

What wonderful photos! It never ceases to amaze me how much people endured "back then." There seems to be so much loss in so many families, including my own. Their courage and faith to keep going helps strengthen me with my challenges. Thanks for sharing!

Wendy said...

I'm inspired to do some timelines now. I am always calculating, "How old was so-n-so when such-n-such happened." Putting the details into a timeline like this would be interesting and enlightening.

Patti said...

How bittersweet...with all the loss he endured. He pushed on and was a wonderful role model to his children and grandchildren. I can see why he would be your hero!

Patti said...

Very well written, Becky. How bittersweet...all the loss your grandfather endured, yet he pushed on being a good example to his children and grandchildren. No wonder he was your hero!