Joseph WAMBACH Jr.
- Born: 25 Mar 1928, Cincinnati, OH
- Marriage (1): Gertrude Imogene KUYKENDALL on 2 Sep 1950 in Cincinnati, OH
- Marriage (2): Sherry L. HICKEY on 30 Jul 1983 in Kenton, OH
- Died: 17 Dec 2005, Florence, Kentucky, St. Luke's Hospital West at age 77
From a letter by Joe Wambach Jr. to his daughter Melissa.
I could only go back as far as my grandparents - and even there the details are sketchy. The family tree has few branches, and even fewer "leaves" that I can identify. The birthplace of all these folks is complicated. All born prior to WWI. The map of Europe was quite different, with Germanic people populating much of the Austro-Hungarian Empire - which was nothing more than an extension of Germany. After WWI, the map of Europe was completely redrawn. Countries like Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, etc., never existed prior to WWI. As best I can place the origin of both grandparent families, is somewhere in what is now the Hungary (or E. Germany). Mom always said her grandparent came from Alsace Lorraine.
Some of the information you already have - or even possibly have in greater detail. I did not know my either of my grandparents. I have an extremely vague recollection of being in the presence of both grandfathers once or twice, maybe. I was only about 4 when Grandpa Wambach returned to Europe. I have just a hint of memory - I think it was the day he came to say goodbye before leaving for Europe. I recall dimly the atmosphere was quite sad. I had quite a bit of music that Grandpa Wambach either wrote, or transcribed. Being young and dumb I did not think to preserve it. I do recall that it was beautifully written, with the notes so precise they almost looked printed. I would give anything to have it now.
Grandma Augustine died when my Mom was only four. She was raised by her maternal grandmother, Cushing - and later in life took her name. Great Grandmother Cushing died when Mom was about eight, whereupon Mom had to leave school (3rd grade) and went to work as a live-in maid for a wealthy Jewish Doctor. She was badly treated by the Nuns in the Catholic school she attended because she was so poor. It was the Politically Correct thing at that time for the church to cater to the wealthy on whom they were largely dependent for income. That treatment left an indelible impression on Mom, and her dislike of anything "Catdolish." and that sentiment remained with her all her life. She always referred to Nuns as a "houfa unglicke." Translation: A pile of bad luck!
She remained in the Jewish household employee for nearly 15 years when she finally left Europe (1921) and came to America. It was during those years that she grew up and acquired much of her taste for "finer things," which is what ultimately influenced her decision to come to America. Post WWI Europe was an economic disaster and she sensed little hope of bettering herself. Incidentally, her style of cooking was always very "Jewish" because that is where she learned to cook. For example, as a kid we always had Matsa Ball soup, and it was not until later that I understood that it was a traditionally Jewish fare.
She was proceeded in coming to America by her two older sisters Julia and Susan. Her brothers, who remained in Europe, tried to dissuade her from coming to America. She had a great deal of foresight, and I can't image the courage it must have taken for her at 21, without knowledge of the language or what she would do, to come to America - alone. She understood several Slavic dialects, and on board ship coming to America (The George Washington), she worked her way up from Steerage as a kind of interpreter. She used to tell all the horror stories about Ellis Island. My Mom and Dad were married in April/May 1923, exact date unknown. I recall her saying that on her wedding it was extremely cold for that time of year and snowed as well. She was a lady of great integrity, principle, ambition and hard work.
Her sister Susan, several years older than Mom, was still living in St. Petersburg, Florida, when Mom died in 1991. She was in amazingly good health, and if still alive, is over 100. At 95 she was still teaching Sunday School. She was a devout Pentecostal.
He suffered a stroke February 14, 1999, and lived the last 5 years or so of his life at Baptist Village Care Center, 2990 Riggs Avenue, Erlanger, Kentucky. He died at St. Luke's Hospital West, Florence, Kentucky.
Noted events in his life were:
• Military Service. Joseph served in the military May 1946 to Dec 1949. He learned shorthand while in the military.
• Divorce. Joe and Gertrude divorced in Cincinnati, Ohio, Nov 1982. He married Sherry L. Hickey in Cincinnati, Ohio, 7/30/1983. Sherry brought to the marriage two sons, Kevin and Brian Storn.
After his divorce from Gertrude and Gertrude to Sherry Hinkey, they lived in Ft. Wright, Kentucky, across the river from Cincinnati.
• Alt. Burial: Cremation: NKY Crematory, Walton, Kentucky 41094.
Joseph married Gertrude Imogene KUYKENDALL, daughter of Ollie G. KUYKENDALL and Artie C. WYATT, on 2 Sep 1950 in Cincinnati, OH. (Gertrude Imogene KUYKENDALL was born on 3 Apr 1929 in Norwood, Ohio, died on 11 Jul 1996 in Cincinnati, OH and was buried on 15 Jul 1996 in Rest Haven Memorial Park, Evendale, OH.)
Joseph next married Sherry L. HICKEY on 30 Jul 1983 in Kenton, OH.