Weber Family Home Page

Weber Crest    

We have a wonderful life in Arizona!

Mike & Cathy

Here are Mike & Cathy.  This was taken on a cruise ship while visiting some wonderful Caribbean islands!

Jonathan Inducted to National Honor Society

This was taken the night Jonathan was inducted into the National Honor Society!

He attended the U of A and graduated from NAU.  Go Wildcats and Lumberjacks!

Wilbur Wildcat

Wilbur, the U of A Mascot!

Matthew After His Honors Awards Ceremony

Here's Matthew after his honors awards ceremony.  He graduated 2nd in his class!

He Graduated From ASU!  Go Sun Devils!


Sparky, the ASU Mascot!

Mike & Cathy Portrait

So, From Our Home to Yours, Thanks for Stopping By!
We are the Webers!

Thanks for visiting our website. Whether you are a relative, friend, or other visitor, we are pleased you stopped by. This site is intended to be a place to update everyone on all our happenings and news. It is also turning out to be a suitable haven for some of my ramblings in a sort of blog format. Check out the other pages using the tabs located in the menu section, above.

(September 3, 2019)

This update is long overdue.  The focus of this webpage has changed over time to be more of repository of my ongoing research on my dad's time in WWII and on family genealogy. Still, a lot has been going on with the Webers and at least some small update is in order.

In July Cathy and I spent about two weeks in Alaska on a cruise and land tour.  Our ship was Princess' Royal Princess. Ship stops included Ketchican, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay National Park, College Fjord, and Anchorage.  After the cruise we spent time at lodges in Denali National Park and in Fairbanks.  Overall our journey was by airplane, ship, train, and bus.  It was a great time full of wilderness, glaciers, beauty, and wonderful food.  
Mike Glacier Waterfall  Cathy Bronze Rams
We saw many, many humpback whales, otters, dolphins, scores of bald eagles, moose, caribou, seals, sea lions, sled dogs, ptarmigan, and other small game.  Glaciers were ever present on the cruise and we saw a 40 story tall glacier shed ice to make small icebergs.  We saw a bald eagle hitching a ride on a small iceberg in a remote bay. Salmon were beginning to run and it was remarkable to see the upstream swim in person.  Streams ran everywhere and some were the color of gray steel as a result of the rock flour in the glacial melt, others were crystal clear.  We panned for and found gold.  At that time of the year it was still light enough to read outside at 3:00 AM.  

Denali National Park is a treasure and one you should see at some point.  Everywhere people were friendly and helpful. We have been on several cruises to the carribean, Central and South America, and the Mexican Riviera, but I must say that there is nowhere like Alaska.

(June 24, 2018)

We had a great time in June spending some time aboard the historic Queen Mary at Long Beach, CA.  This venerable old ship was commissioned in 1936 and was one of the most luxurious ships to make the trans-Atlantic crossing, shuttling its many passengers, dignitaries, and celebreties from New York to England in record time.  She was refitted as a troop transport during World War II and returned to service afterwards.  She is now enjoying a well-earned retirement in sunny California where many visitors from around the globe stop or stay to get a glimpse of the past, learn her history, and perhaps even get the chance for a sighting of one of her many ghosts who reportedly walk the halls or linger in several of the rooms.

Queen Mary

(May 26, 2018)

Earlier this month an old pal and I hiked a trail on Mt. Humphreys in northern Arizona to see if we could find the crash site of a B-24 bomber.  The bomber crashed in September 1944 during a training mission from California to New Mexico.  All eight aboard died.  We found the site which spans a wide area on the mountain slope around 11,000 feet. Here are a few pictures of some of the remaining debris.  The first is of a portion of the debris field showing various frame and aluminum skin parts scattered among the volcanic boulders.  The other two pictures are of engine parts found lower down the slope and a large control surface piece found just below the main debris field.

Debris Field

Engine Parts 4Large Section

Mt. Humphreys Plaque

(August 22, 2017)

More updates from the Webers.  Jonathan has returned to school after the summer off to finish his last semester.  After that, he plans on attending Pharmacy school for his PharmD degree, a Doctorate in Pharmacy.  Matthew is coming to visit us this evening for a few days.  He recently saw the total solar eclipse in Paducah, KY - lucky guy!  Our nephew Justin is spending a few months with us while he interns at an Architectural firm for the summer while working on his Masters degree.  On the webpage front, I've added significant content to my page about dad's time in the war and have included an entirely new appendix listing known 46oth Bomb Group aircraft names (typically meaning those that had nose art and names given by ground or air crews).  That project which began as a memorial to my dad and a sort of hobby for me has grown to over 200 pages, single-space, 12-point font, and one inch margins.  I refer to it more and more as a book.  I was also asked to provide comment on a draft novel based on a crew of the 460th Bomb Group and hope to see it in print before long.  Another author recently had his book about B-24s published and included a picture of dad in dress uniform along with some descriptive text I provided from a waist gunners point-of-view.

(July 21, 2017)

A lot of time has gone by since I posted any sort of update on this main page.  Rest assured that there have been ongoing updates to the WWII and Genealogy pages which have become the focus of my research efforts.  My WWII page has grown into a very detailed sort of memoir about dad's time in the war and now includes historical and political information from that time period, as well as three separate appendices about the 460th Bombardment Group missions, Missing Air Crew Reports, and the most comprehensive personnel roster that I believe exists, and one appendix compiling technical information about the B-24 Liberator itself.  I maintain the document in a few formats and  it has grown in breadth and depth to about 200 pages.  I had corresponded with author Kenny Kemp several months ago regarding the role of the waist gunner on a B-24 and was pleased when he included some of that information along with a wartime picture of my father in his book entitled Witchcraft: B-24 Liberator.

My genealogy page provides a vast amount of information on the Weber & Landerfelt heritage, but also includes a wealth of information on distant families that relate via complicated and meandering pathways to our family.  My database now contains about 85,000 names that all relate in some manner.  Since the data is online, I receive frequent inquiries about indiviuals listed in my database or from someone asking for assistance on some family research matter.  It is always exciting when one of those requests pertains to some direct ancestor or to some other more closely related individual.  As part of the Weber & Landerfelt Family Tree Project branding I created the crest you see at the top right of this page in the header section.  It reads Weber, Aus ("from", in English) Gevenich, Cochem-Zell, Rheinland-Pfalz, Deutschland, Seit ("since", in English) June 17, 1853.  June 17, 1853 is the date our Webers arrived in American after leaving Gevenich, Germany.  I am thinking about having tee shirts made for family members.

I am sad to report the loss of Ted (a.k.a. Theodora, Teddy Bear, Teddy the Bearcat) our great cat for the past almost 17 years.  She was a good friend to us and gave more than she took.  An early picture of her is still on this page toward the bottom right.  If there are cats in heaven, as there should be, I hope the Lord has a nice box for her to snuggle in as she watches everything that goes on around her.

(August 6, 2013)

A huge find this evening in my research of my dad's time in WWII.  I found the proceedings of the war crimes trial of the man who killed Lt. Morris Caust. Morris, or Maury as he was known, was a crewmember on dad's last mission and was shot and killed on the ground after bailing out and landing safely. Josef Mangobl was tried and originally sentenced to life with hard labor. His sentence was reduced to 10 years with hard labor. I am also corresponding with a nice fellow in Austria who is speaking with Josef's son and may provide additional background information.

(August 2, 2013)

Since the front driveway project has been done for quite a while, I figured I should post a couple of pics of the finished semi-circular drive. It turned out very nicely.

Finshed Project

Finished Pavers

(June 15, 2013)

Be sure to check out the brand new "Minerals" page I've added to highlight some specimens from my natural history collection of minerals, fossils, meteorites, and othe natural history items.
(June 14, 2013)

I've finally got around to having paver stones installed on the front semi-circular drive that ties into the main driveway. The old concrete curbs have been removed and 15 pallets of paver blocks have been delivered. In addition to the pavers, I am having a concrete apron or ramp installed at the entrance from the street onto the drive.

Just starting ...

View fron near the street ...

(May 26, 2013)

Here's a picture of the Weber family home as seen on Bing Birdseye.  You can actually see me in the yard behind the workshop!  I was trimming trees that day.

Aerial View of Weber House

... and below is the lovely backyard at dusk. You can see the pool in the background and, in the foreground, the sunken conversation area with a three-tiered cantera stone fountain I found in Imuris, Mexico.

Backyard at Dusk

Here are a few pictures from the Weber workshop where good things happen.

Workshop 1

Workshop 2

Workshop 3

Workshop 4

Workshop 5

(April 26, 2013)

Manning one of the 50 cal. waist gunner's position on my B-24 Liberator flight last Friday and wearing my dad's gunner's wings in his memory (over my left shirt pocket in the picture), I had the great pleasure and honor to fly in the type of aircraft my dad served on and was shot down on during his last bomb run to Munich. The Collings Foundation owns and operates several vintage WWII aircraft and had stopped at the Glendale Municipal Airport on its 2013 "Wings of Freedom" tour and I made sure to book a flight since I had regretted missing the opportunity when the foundation had a few of its aircraft here a couple of years ago.

Mike on the 50 cal. Dennis, Mike, & Ray B-24 Liberator "Witchcraft" Engine

I learned quite a bit I will be incorporating into my webpage about dad's time in WWII. For example, in all my research I never had any idea that it took significant effort just to face the barrel of that big gun into the slipstream. The sight on the end of the gun actually whistled in the wind. You don't get that from books. The roar from those four powerful 1,200 HP engines was so loud during acceleration down the runway I could almost not hear myself shout as loud as I could (yep, I had to test that).

I've said before we live in a world of coincidences and here's another. A camping buddy (Dennis) had signed on for the flight, unknown to me. We only learned a couple of years ago while planning a hike in the Grand Canyon that his dad and my dad were in the same prison camp, Stalag IV, in Poland at the same time. His dad and uncle both survived the 86-day destinationless winter and spring Death March across Poland and Germany from that camp. My dad was moved days earlier to Stalag I as the Russians advanced. Dennis arrived with another good friend, Ray Jones, so we three along with my old high school buddy, Eric Hals, had a flight we will always remember.

(March 20, 2012)

The Weber surname is, of course, of German origin (see my genealogy link at the top), and is a very common German name. Weber ranks sixth in the top 50 rankings of most common German surnames. Interestingly, the most common German last names are all original trade names, or names originating from the trade the individual practiced. Weber, which means "weaver" comes in behind Mueller ("miller"), Schmidt ("smith", as in blacksmith, silversmith, etc.), Schneider ("tailor"), Fischer ("fisher"), and Meyer ("dairyman"). So, my oldest known direct Weber ancestor, Servatius Weber, my 5X great grandfather who was born about 1744 and died 12/11/1796 and who worked at a mill in Gevenich, Germany, almost certainly had ancestors of his own who were weavers or textile workers. How about that! Sehr gut? Ja wohl!

(February 21, 2012)

More good news for the Webers! Matthew has been pledged to a fraternity at the Arizona State University, my alma mater. He is looking forward to learning about and becoming one of the brothers of Delta Upsilon. Founded in 1834 at Williams College in Williamstown, MA, Delta Upsilon is the sixth oldest international fraternity and the oldest non-secret fraternity in North America.
Way to go, Matthew!

Delta Upsilon Logo

(October 30, 2011)

Great news!  My sister Linda found our niece, Gracie Warinner, on Facebook!

Vergil, Dianna, Johb richard, & Gracie
Here is a great picture of Virgil, Dianna, John Richard, and Gracie!

(September 10, 2011)

Big news from University of Arizona. Jonathan has been asked to be a "Founding Father" of  Alpha Sigma Phi, one of the oldest and most prestigious fraternities, founded at Yale in 1845.
Alpha Sigma Phi
The fraternity is establishing a new branch at the University of Arizona and Jonathan will be amongst the first new members. The Founding Father's portrait will hang in the fraternity house for all time.  Way to go Jonathan!
ASP Crest  
"The Cause is Hidden, The Results Well Known"

(September 2, 2011)

Everything Moves, All of It ...

Not really an update, just a few observations. Even though it it still so hot here in the southwest, there is a sense of promise of change in the air. Subtle shifts foretell the coming of cooler temperatures and what constitutes the change of season in this desert environment. Things like the timed yard lights coming on increasingly later after dusk, sounds of landscape maintenance crews starting their equipment in the neighborhood later in the early hours, and the gradual drift towards a more reasonable time for the morning wake up call by the cat.

On a much grander scale, celestial indicators tell a similar tale. The shadows of our north-facing patio grow longer every morning now that the sun descends ever so slowly towards the south in its daily risings, scribing out its great arc in the clear blue desert sky. This slow descent actually started on June 21st, the first day of summer, or the Summer solstice. However, one would be hard-pressed to say that June 21st was the longest day when considering that the hottest times of the year had not arrived, but that is another matter, one more based in thermodynamics. September 21st or 22nd marks the day when the duration of daylight has decreased to equal the duration of dark, a special date called the Fall or Autumnal equinox. The shadows will continue to stetch northward until about December 21st when the sun, from our vantage point, will be at its lowest point in the southern sky marking the Winter solstice when the earth's axis points away from the sun. After that it's the long climb back northward for the sun in earth's sky and the days will slowly begin to get longer again, through about March 21st, the Spring or Vernal equinox, the point at which the duration of daylight has increased to equal the duration of dark. After that, the days will continue to lengthen, just as they have done since time began, only to climax again on the longest day of the year, about June 21st when the sun is near its farthest distance from earth, but with its axis pointed toward the sun. Two other points in the earth's orbit are worth mentioning. Perihelion is the point at which the earth is closest to the sun, and interestingly it occurs in the dead of the northern hemisphere's winter on January 3rd.  Conversely, aphelion is the point at which the earth is furthest from the sun, on July 4, right in the midst of our summers.

These various key dates in the earth's position relative to the sun use to have tremendous significance to those ancient races who figured the whole thing out. Agricultural cycles, religious ceremonies. and perhaps even human and animal migrations were tied to these solar milestones. Now, for most of us those events are marginal notes on a wall calendar.

Everything moves, all of matter, large and small. The sun itself is moving along on its own ordained path, just as our galaxy, the Milky Way, scribes out its own trek. The universe itself continues to expand. Nothing remains still. I remember being awed as a young boy learning that the sun moved, shepherding its many planets along with it in its meanderings. Even so, the slow tracking of the earth in its orbit around the sun is dependable and predictable. It's a cycle and one that has repeated itself for longer than man has been around to decipher it. It is routine in its celestial mechanical regularity; what differs are our hopes and expectations the subtle changes inspire. It's about the promise of a better day ahead, heartened further by the knowledge of the plannable and known.

(July 23, 2011 & August 24, 2011 Update Follows)

Well, this update is long overdue!  A lot has happened in the nearly two years since I created this web page and last updated this main page.  First and foremost is that our youngest son, Jonathan, graduated from  high school sixth in his huge class.  We are so proud of him!  He was also part of the first graduating class at his school for the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, a very rigorous and prestigious academic program.   He is a very serious student.  The next stop for him is the University of Arizona in Tucson where he was admitted into the Honors College and where he will be majoring in Physiology.  His long-term plans are to go to medical school.  

Jonathan Graduation

Matthew has started his junior year at my old alma mater, the Arizona State University, and is still majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

After taking a break, I recently got back to my research.  I have found a first-cousin-once-removed (the daughter of my grandfather's James's sister Thelma) I had been looking for off and on for a few years.  I found Patricia Kavanaugh and her daughter, my second cousin, Deb Kavanaugh Moore living in Kansas.  My search started with a reference to them in my grandfather's sister's obituary.  I first found a reference to Deb in a Kansas school reunion bulletin, and then on Facebook and sent her an email.  Subsequently, I found her mother's address and sent a letter of introduction.  
Patricia (Patty, who is now 79 years old) sent me a wonderful letter in response and let me know she remembers both my grandmother Helen and grandfather James Leo Weber, whom she knew as "Uncle Jimmy".  She shared a couple of anecdotes about my grandfather such as how he was so kind to her mother Thelma M. (Weber) Higgins, how he painted Thelma's kitchen, planted a Victory Garden for her, and how he could fix anything.  She said that all his relatives called him "Brother".  She has some family pictures she is getting back from her son, Sean, and has promised to send some to me.  I had been hoping some of those would include pictures of her grandparents, my great grandparents, Matthew and Anna Marie (Manning) Weber as I do not have a single picture of them.  One of my goals on this genealogical journey has been to find pictures of them and any earlier direct-line Webers.  Even without the pictures, I feel blessed to have discovered what I have in my search and am thankful for all the wonderful people and new relatives I have discovered.  

Well, in Patty's second letter to me she included this 1940 newspaper clipping that touched my heart.  At long last, my Weber great grandparents, and on their 50th wedding anniversary no less!

Matthew J. & Anna Marie (Manning) Weber 

I have also found a second cousin, Adair "Kippy" Schaffer, in Florida and have sent her a letter as well, but have not had a reply.  She descends from Sylvia A. (Weber) Schaffer, the third child of my great grandparents, Matthew and Anna Weber.  Sylvia married Kilbreath Doughty Schaffer, a son of which union was Robert Weber Schaffer, the father of Adair Schaffer.

(Following Created Aug. 23, 2009)

We now live in the greater Phoenix area.  Many years ago, a few days after we married, we moved here from Ohio - Cathy in her hot little red Mustang with a 17-foot aluminum canoe on top and me in a little Toyota pick-up truck hauling everything we owned in an overloaded 14 foot Jartran trailer. Wow, what a trip that was!  I remember crossing the wide open great plains at night and how close and brilliant the stars were and the great sense of the Milky Way I got.  I've never felt the way as I did that night.  The huge expanse of the sky was balanced exactly by the vast openness of the earth I stood on; balanced in fact on the very spot of earth I occupied at that moment.  I felt my place that night, and it was insignificant.  I've seen nighttime, underwater film sequences where the divers and film crew are using high intensity lights.  The light makes all the small, meandering particles show up in the beam like snowflakes in the headlights on a dark country road. Sometimes, strange things zip out of the darkness into the light and then flash away in an instant.

That's how I felt then, out there that quiet, lonely night where we stopped, turned off our engines, and got out of our cars. Like one of those little floaty particles. Neutrally buoyant, drifting. So very strange.  Sort of full beyond belief but an empty shell all at once.  Taking it in, but unable to hold it, like grasping fine, bone dry sand. The harder you try to hold onto it, the more it slips away. Like cupping water in your hands.  It was almost as if I were to spread my arms wide, the last bit of me would leave, just slip away into the starry backdrop or the endless waving grassland or just somewhere in between. The air smelled different too, sort of wild, dry, thin and sharp, full of wonder and potential. I got a sense of the movement of the stars, like the slow workings of a great and silent machine. Parts gliding along in well greased tracks.  I've read all of the works of Carlos Castaneda and my experience that night crossed over, just a little, into his world.  Those of you who know will know. Well, needless to say the vast emptiness did not swallow me, I did keep my particles together, Cathy and I did make it to Arizona, and we survived all the changes of those early years. I'll write more of those early days sometime.

Central Arizona is a great place to be.  The low desert is a beautiful place! We lived in southern Arizona for several years too and enjoyed the higher elevation, slightly cooler temperature, high desert vegetation, and the powerful monsoons that begin in early to mid-July.

On to current events.  One young Weber has left the nest, at least for a while. Our oldest son, Matthew, who graduated 2nd in his high school class (yes, I will continue to boast that for a while as a proud parent), has started his new life at my old alma mater, the Arizona State University.  We moved him into the brand spankin' new honors dorm in mid-August and got him situated. What a nice place it is too!  He has one roommate in his room which is separated from a mirror image of his room by a common bathroom.  All four of the fellows are getting along splendidly and, before long, will have no end of compromising stories with which to hold each other hostage.  He has declared his major as mechanical engineering, although I still have hopes he will come back into the light and be a civil engineer!  As a follow-up for the maybe three two people who actually look at this webpage, Matthew did stick with his summer job as a sign spinner until it was time to move into the dorm.  Now, that may not mean much to some of you not living in Arizona, but it really is an accomplishment since the temperatures climbed into the 115 degree range during his tenure in that role.  Back in Ohio, we could always hold over our kids heads our three mile hike to/from school in the snow, uphill both ways of course; now Matthew has his own good ammo to use on his kids in the future!

Jonathan, our youngest son, finished his high school freshman and sophomore years with straight As and is on track for great things too! He has been admitted to the International Baccalaureate program this school year, so he will be working very hard.  We have been working on calculus homework every night.  Man, am I rusty!  He became a member of the National Honor Society and is active in Future Business Leaders of America.  Jonathan recently returned from a stay in Blue, AZ where he got to visit his girlfriend, Cassie, and work on her family's property. See some of those pictures on the "Pictures" tab located at the top.  Jonathan is just shy of 6 foot 4 inches at age 16!  He has his diver's permit and is gaining driving time towards the 30 hours required here in Arizona before he can take the test to be licensed.  Soon, one more Weber will be on the road! He is headed up to Flagstaff for another visit to see Cassie soon in her family's new location.

Cathy and I are experiencing a new sort of homelife since Matthew left.  We talked about taking a leaf out of the dining room table.  Little things like that remind us that life is ever changing.  Now that the boys are both older, Cathy has started to re-enter the working world.  She enjoys sharpening her old skills and being in the mix again.

After taking a bit of a break from my genealogical research, I've started the hunt again.  My database now has approximately 61,000 related names (see my "Genealogy" page). I am currently working on the McGrew lineage.  My aunt Garnet married into this line and I had done a good bit of research some time ago, but recently was contacted by another researcher in Atlanta, GA about a missing McGrew. I found him on a 1924 death certificate in Lexington, Fayette Co., KY and solved that mystery for her and some of her relatives.  Now, she and I are working on a very old McGrew family portrait to find out who all the people are.  In a related (no pun intended) matter, I sought out a half sister I had not talked to since about 1991 or so. We had a wonderful conversation over the phone and caught up on each other's lives.  It is so nice to be in touch again.  She provided me some information on her mother's side and I was able to find some existing information to tie into my database.  So now she has a wonderful family tree too!

We enjoy having visitors, especially friends and relatives from Ohio. My old friend Eric Hals comes out every year for fun at the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show. Ed Hara has also visited a couple of times and it is always great to see my old pal!

I like to keep in touch with friends and relatives by email, and also by Facebook and Myspace.  So, drop us a line sometime and check out those sites too!  You can even use the links contained in the "Contact Me" tab at the top of every page.

Weber Family

This is the Weber Family.  That's Cathy and Mike upstairs, and Matthew and Jonathan downstairs.

Leaving Ohio 1983

My friend Eric helps me with the final check before leaving Ohio. Sorry for putting the canoe on your Mustang, Cathy!

Cathy Poses Before Leaving Ohio

Cathy takes time out for a cute, trademark pose before we leave!

Eric & Mike

   Eric and Mike pose for a final picture.

Cathy in Gown

This is one of my favorite pictures of Cathy! I took this in front of our house in 2006 as we left for a night on the town. Er, that means a work social function, the Annual Diamond Ball.

Oh, and what's a Weber family home page without Ted the Cat!  Ted is a female, but somehow the name fits her.

Ted the Cat

She might have looked ferocious, but in reality she yawned just as the picture was snapped.  I guess humans bore her? Rest in peace, Teddy The Bear Cat. Know you are missed. A metal cross marks your grave in the backyard in rememberence of you as a member of the family.

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