Frederick Stoerker

M, #61, b. 5 October 1889, d. 1 November 1958
Granduncle of Sheila Sue Altenbernd
Father*Conrad Friedrich Stoerker b. 17 February 1851, d. 13 June 1927
Mother*Wilhelmine Cuno b. 10 August 1857, d. 20 March 1940
Fred Stoerker
     Frederick was born in Plum Hill, Washington County, Illinois, USA, on 5 October 1889.1,2,3,4,5 He was the son of Conrad Friedrich Stoerker and Wilhelmine Cuno.
     His common name was Fred Stoerker.

     Photo of Ella and Fred Stoerker in 1892 Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)6

     Photo in 1893 in Morrison, Osage County, Missouri, USA.

     Photo of Conrad Stoerker with sons; Paul, Fred, and Theophil. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

Conrad Stoerker and sons, Paul, Fred, and Theophil

     Fred Stoerker was listed as Fred Stoerker's son on the 1900 Federal Census in Plum Hill Township, Washington County, Illinois, USA, enumerated 2 June 1900.4
His birth date was listed as October 1889, age 10. He was born in Illinois. His father was born in Germany. His mother was born in Germany.4 He was able to read, able to write, and able to speak English.4 He attended school for 10 months.4

     Photo of Wilhelmine, C. Friedrich, and Conrad Stoerker. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

Wilhelmine, C. Friedrich, and Conrad Stoerker

     The following is from the records of John Stoerker Altenbernd.
Fred married Hilda Becker, and they had a son, Fred(who was born in Eudora, Kansas, when Uncle Fred was pastor there) and a daughter, Eleanor Eudora. (Eleanor was born shortly after they left Eudora for Nickerson, Kansas, but she was named after the town anyway.)

As of June 1927 Fred was living in Booneville, Missouri. He and Hilda would live there until 1936 and then moved to St. Joseph Missouri. Fred became pastor of Zion Church there.

Fred participated in the 75th anniversary of St. Paul's church of Eudora, Kansas in 1943.

     Frederick worked. He worked as Minister.
     He was a student at Eden Seminary, Webster Groves, St Louis County, Missouri, USA, in 1911.

     Photo in 1912. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130). Stoerker Family 1912 -- Back: Fred, Hilda, Theophil, Flora, Alma, Frieda Mohr, Julia, Christian Mohr -- Front: Waldemar Mohr, Conrad, Wilhelmine, Gottlob.

Stoerker Family 1912 -- Back: Fred, Hilda, Theophil, Flora, Alma, Frieda Mohr, Julia, Christian Mohr -- Front: Waldemar Mohr, Conrad, Wilhelmine, Gottlob

     He resided in Fort Smith, Sebastian County, Arkansas, USA, in October 1912.7
     Frederick Stoerker married Hildagarde E Becker, in Union, Franklin County, Missouri, USA, on 9 October 1912.8,7
     Frederick Stoerker was employed as a minister between 1914 and 1920 at St Paul's Church, Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas, USA.9

     Photo of Fred and Paul Stoerker. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)6

Fred and Paul Stoerker

     Photo of Fred, Hilda, Ted, Conrad, and Paul Stoerker in August 1915 at Parsonage, Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas, USA. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

     Photo at Eudora Township, Douglas County, Kansas, USA. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130). Fred, Hilda, Ted, Conrad, and Paul Stoerker at the parsonage in Eudora, Kansas.

Fred, Hilda, Ted, Conrad, and Paul Stoerker at the parsonage in Eudora, Kansas

     Frederick Stoerker was employed as a miniister on 5 June 1917 at St Paul's Church, Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas, USA.3
     The United States instituted a draft during World War I. The first registration was on June 5, 1917 for men between the ages of 21 and 31. This included men born between June 5, 1886 and June 5, 1896. Frederick Stoerker filled out a draft card on 5 June 1917 in Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas, USAG. He was employed as a minister at St Paul's Church in Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas.. He was described as medium height and medium build, with gray eyes and llight brown hair.3

     They resided in Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas, USA, on 5 June 1917.3

     Photo of Back: Ella Stoeker, Rev Bronke, Josephine, Theophil, Flora, Paul, Hilda, Fred, Julia Stoerker
Front: Adolph, Conrad, Wilhelmine and Gottlob Stoerker
Hartsburg, Missouri Hartsburg, Missouri, USA. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172).6

Back: Ella Stoeker, Rev Bronke, Josephine, Theophil, Flora, Paul, Hilda, Fred, Julia Stoerker
Front: Adolph, Conrad, Wilhelmine and Gottlob Stoerker
Hartsburg, Missouri

     Photo of Fred Stoerker (#61). Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172.)6

Fred Stoerker

     Photo of William Altenbernd and Fred Stoerker in May 1918. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)10

Will Altenbernd and Fred Stoerker

     Photo of Fred and Billie Stoerker in May 1918. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

Fred and Billie Stoerker -- May 1918

     Photo of ?, C. Frederick, Fred, and Billie Stoerker in May 1918. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

?, C. Frederick, Fred, and Billie Stoerker -- May 1918

     Photo of C. Frederick and Fred Stoerker, May 1918 in May 1918. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

C. Frederick and Fred Stoerker, May 1918
C. Frederick and Fred Stoerker -- May 1918

     Photo of C. Frederick and Fred Stoerker on 20 June 1918. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

C. Frederick and Fred Stoerker, June 20, 1918

     The following item appeared The Alma Enterprise, Alma, Kansas, USA, on 6 September 1918
Evangelical Mission Feast.

(an unknown value)

     The MIssion feast of the Evangilical church will be celebrated Sept. 15 with three services; at 10:30 a. m. Rev. F. . Weltge of Wells Creek, will give a sermon on missions. At 2:45 p. m. Rev. F. Stoerker of Eudora, will preach in English on the 50th anniversary of the Evangelical Synods Mission in India, and Rev. J. Endter will preach on Home Mission.
     At 8 p.m. steripticon pictures, "A Journey to the Leper Asylum of the Evangelical Mission in India." will be shown with a lecture in English by Rev. F. Stoerker of Eudora. A hearty invitation is extended to all.
J. Endteer, Pastor.11
ME by John Altenbernd

The Great Courtship

     It was early in 1919. The Rev Fred Stoerker was pastor of what was then called St. Paul's Evangelical Church of Eudora, Kansas. Among his parishioners was a "balding, bachelor farmer, William John Altenbernd, who lived west of Eudora in the Kaw Valley, about halfway between Eudora and Lawrence. The farm adjoined the Kansas River (or Kaw River as it was called locally) on the south side. He lived on the farm, still in the old Altenbernd homestead, with his unmarried sister, Louise. Will Altenbernd, as he was called, was then 33 years old.
     Rev Fred Stoerker had a younger sister, Flora, who worked as a secretary in Jefferson City, Missouri, for the International Shoe Company office there. She was nearing 25. Fred and wife Hilda received a letter from her one day, informing them she was coming for a visit if that would be alright. She would come in on the evening train, which did not stop in Eudora. Could Fred meet her at the depot in Lawrence? She gave the date and time.
     Well, of course that would be alright. They would be happy to see her again.
     But something came up. Fred was not able to meet that evening train in Lawrence. He called Will Altenbernd and asked him if he would meet the train. (My mother always took all of this at its face value. But I've sometimes wondered in later years if Uncle Fred was really unable to meet that train. Could Uncle Fred and Aunt Hilda have been playing at matchmaking?) Will said he would meet her, and he did.
     Maybe Will Altenbernd had seen a picture of Flora Stoerker beforehand, or maybe he had been impressed when his pastor had talked about his sister. In any event, Will evidently prepared himself beforehand, and he was not disappointed at what he saw emerge from the train.
     When they got to the parsonage in Eudora - a ten mile trip or thereabouts - Will escorted her to the door with a package under his arm. When Hilda Stoerker greeted them at the door, Will pulled out two boxes of candy from his package, gave one to Hilda and the other to Flora, saying something to the effect that pretty girls always deserved something - an interesting remark in that it might be doubted Hilda Stoerker could ever have been regarded as a pretty girl, whatever else she was.

     Will was invited in. He stayed for a while, and then left for home.
     When Flora Stoerker got back to Jefferson City she soon got a letter in the mail, along with a box of chocolates, these coming from "Wm Altenbernd" with a postmark of Eudora, Kansas. Poor Flora couldn't for the life of her figure out who that was, an indication of the impression Will Altenbernd had made upon her. She couldn't even remember his name. She had to write her brother to find out who this "Wm Altenbernd" was. She had to find out. She couldn't just let it go because in the letter he said he wanted to drive to Jefferson City to see her.
     "Let him come," her brother urged her. "He's a very nice man. It would be cruel just to give him a cold rejection." So, against her better judgment, but with the added urging of her friend and roommate, Ozie Bruce, Flora let him come.
     I don't know the details of that first date, other than that it firmly encouraged Will Altenbernd and left Flora Stoerker realizing she had let herself in for something she wasn't sure she wanted, and which would now be very difficult to get rid of in any case.
     The box of chocolates through the mail became a weekly thing. And a Eudora visitor to Jefferson City occurred with some frequency. Ozie Bruce was crazy about him (She called him "Bern"), but Flora Stoerker had serious misgivings. Will Altenbernd was obviously quite serious, and Flora Stoerker had long determined that there were two kinds of men she would never marry - if indeed she ever got married at all; a minister or a farmer. At length she sought openly to discourage him, but that didn't do any good. He kept writing. He kept sending candy, sometimes flowers. And he kept on coming to Jefferson City.
     Not only were candy and flowers being sent, but a number of photographs began arriving. Will Altenbernd was in the process of tearing down the old homestead and was building a new one. The photos were pictures of the work in progress. (Dad later always said he had built the house for her. Whether or not he actually told her that in 1919 I don't know, but certainly the implication was plain enough.) Flora put the pictures in her photograph album. Will also put construction pictures in his album, along with the canceled check that paid for it - $10,000.
     Immediately before one of his trips to Jefferson City, Will bought a new car. He had gotten no license plates for it as yet.

They had been applied for, but Will didn't wait around to pick them up. He drove on to Jefferson City without them.
     He was in Jefferson City before some policeman finally stopped him and prepared to ticket him (or whatever was done in those days) for driving a car without an auto license.
     But Will was not to be deterred by any mere policeman. "I've come all the way from Kansas," Will told him, "to see the prettiest girl in your town. Now you're not going to stop me from doing that, are you?"
     The policeman waved him on, telling him to get those license plates before he drove anywhere else.
     Mr. Hagens, a junior executive of the International Shoe Company, and Ozie's current boyfriend, upon hearing this story, got a piece of cardboard, wrote "License Applied For" on it, and stuck it onto Will's car. Will got safely back to Kansas and got his license plates.
     Flora Stoerker was gradually giving in to this man, despite herself. But it took a long time. It would be a courtship of about eight years before there was a wedding. Most men would have given up long before then.
As time went on Flora Stoerker found herself occasionally taking trips to Kansas, even though her brother was no longer pastor there. She was always welcomed and treated royally by Will's sister Louise, who ran the farm house. The farm house, now long completed, was a beautiful thing. There are pictures of how Louise had it furnished.
     On one of Flora's visits to Kansas, around 1926 I suppose, standing outside looking at the house, Will slipped a ring on Flora's finger. There were still many misgivings on Flora's part, but she did not take the ring off. She accepted it.
     But once back in Jefferson City, doubts really assailed her. She went to work that Monday trying to hide her left hand, afraid somebody would see the ring. Of course, they saw it anyway. The office girls, especially Ozie, who worked there too, all knew Will by then, and they were overjoyed about it. Flora's doubts finally became resolved.
     It was Will's intention that Louise keep living there at the farm house. After all, this was her home too. But Louise would have none of that. If Will married Flora, she would find a place of her own. That became academic, however. Louise came down with appendicitis, the appendix burst, and Louise did not survive the emergency surgery.

Page 36

     There would be no great rush to a wedding, nor would it be a big wedding. In fact, there wouldn't even be any announcement of it in Eudora for a while afterward. Flora would go back to work at the Jefferson City office for a week or two to get things squared away there before coming on to Kansas.
     The wedding itself would take place in Booneville, Missouri, in the parsonage of the church there. That was then the home of Fred and Hilda Stoerker, the witting or unwitting matchmakers of it all. Flora's sister, Alma, may have been there too.
     The Rev Conrad Frederick Stoerker and his wife Wilhelmina would also be there, coming from St. Charles, Missouri, where they lived in retirement. They were the bride's parents. The Rev Conrad Frederick Stoerker would perform the ceremony for his daughter. It was May 24, 1927.
     For some reason Rev Stoerker listed Flora's address as St. Charles when he filled out the marriage certificate, even though Flora had then lived in Jefferson City for some fifteen years.
     Shortly thereafter, on June 13, 1927, Rev Conrad Frederick Stoerker would collapse in his bathroom. It was an aneurysm which would take his life within minutes.
     So, as it turned out, the uniting in marriage of my parents was my grandfather's last wedding.


     I had always thought the farm house had been built later in the mid-Twenties, but Dad's canceled check for the house is dated August 2, 1919. If Dad did indeed build the house for my mother, as he always said he did, then he had remarkable confidence very early on - like within weeks of meeting her.


     I don't know how serious Ozie Bruce and Mr. Hagans were, but their relationship ended abruptly when Mr. Hagans got drunk one night and woke up the next morning to find himself married to the woman lying next to him. Mr. Hagans made no effort to get out of the marriage. I don't know if or for how long the marriage lasted. I have only the vaguest memory of Mr. Hagans when he was at the farm once when I was very small.


     The old Eudora parsonage in which the Fred Stoerkers lived was not torn down when the new one was built. It was sold and moved to what became Highway 10. It was still there when I was a boy. It had been sold again and had become a beer hall.

( in 1919.)12

     Photo of Hilda, Fred, and C. Frederick Stoerker. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

Hilda, Fred, and C. Frederick Stoerker
Hilda, Fred, and C. Frederick Stoerker

     Photo of Fred Stoerker (#61). Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

Fred Stoerker

     Photo of Stoerker Golden Wedding Anniversary -- Back - Theophil, Julia, Paul, Conrad, Ella, Fred, Adolph -- Front - Alma, Wilhelmine, Frieda, Flora, and Gottlob on 2 November 1926. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172.)10

Stoerker Golden Wedding
November 2, 1926
Back - Theophil, Julia, Paul, Conrad, Ella, Fred, Adolph
Front - Alma, Wilhelmine, Frieda, Flora, and Gottlob

     He resided in Boonville, Cooper County, Missouri, USA, in 1927.13
ME by John Altenbernd

Unique Road Map

     I'm not sure just when along the line that Uncle Fred Stoerker and Aunt Hilda moved from Booneville to St. Joseph, Missouri, but I was 7 or 8 maybe. The first time we went there to see them was on the way home from a trip to somewhere, probably from seeing my Grandmother and Aunt Julie. We stayed just for a relatively short time and then drove on home.
     I recall Dad and Uncle Fred looking at a road map that Uncle Fred had. I guess Dad was interested in knowing the shortest way to get home from St. Joseph. Anyway, I was close enough at hand to get a good look at the road map, and it was unlike any I had ever seen before. The roads and highways were drawn onto the map in black and red as is usually the case with such maps. But the added feature of this map was that there were pictures of tiny cars and trucks on those roads and highways.
I thought that was fabulous! When Uncle Fred got road maps, he got a real good kind! I wondered why Dad never got such wonderful road maps as that when we went on trips. I never saw such road maps again.

( St Joseph, Missouri, USA, circa 1935.)14
     Frederick Stoerker was mentioned in a lettter sent by Adolph Stoerker residing at Gary, Indiana, USA, to Flora Altenbernd and William John Altenbernd on 10 February 1935.

February 10, 1935.

Dear Flora and Bill:-

You will perhaps be much surprised to get a letter from me. It has been so long in the making that I'll be greatly surprised myself if I finally succeed in getting it written. Many times since my delightful days with you last summer have I wished myself back again. And often have my intentions been to write you how much I really enjoyed being with you and thank you again for the many kindnesses shown. But when one gets back to work and the fall and winter work needs to be planned - for two places and there's not much to plan with - then there are always many things that I neglect. Writing is one of them - and so I beg to be excused for this long silence.

Have often wondered how the turnips came out and whether the rye Bill was going to plant made some feed for the stock? - The Indiana farmers around here had very late pastures and so did not have to start feeding until late in fall. And then there were lots of soy beans everywhere and also corn fodder. So they fared much better this winter. Nearly every farmer has a dairy herd and gets a milk check every two weeks. Butter is 44 cents a pound and eggs 40 cents a dozen. Milk 12 cents a quart. Bacon 30 cents per pound. -- So prices are double what they were 18 months ago. But wages in the Steel mills here are not quite half what they were 3 or 4 years ago. And that gives most people a bare existence. So you can figure out for yourself why people here have no money to spare even tho they may be working full time. --- I have an opportunity here to watch both the industrial workers and farmers - and in a year or two I believe the farmers of this community will be far ahead of those who work in the city. And its about time that the farmers get fair play. Their products keep the nation alive.

Well, I guess Fred is in his glory now. I haven't heard a word from him but heard from mother that they had moved to St. Joseph. That's the biggest and most prosperous church in the West Missouri District. I don't ever hope to be in line for that size job. A smaller group appeals to me better. And I'm not such a great preacher anyhow. So if there is to be any greatness on my part I'll have to find it in being of service.

J. J. Braun is going to be here Thursday this week to study the Gary mission with me. I have surveyed the community and sent in my report. In response they're coming here to investigate my findings. That's what I have been hoping for some time. There is not much hope for a future church here since the population is so transient. There is a Reformed Church 9 blocks away farther towards the city. And since the bottom has dropped out of the finances here with little hopes of a substantial increase for some years I feel that an adjustment of some kind will be made offer the Mission Board gets thru checking on Thursday.

Joanne and I were home over New Year's. Mother was surprised to see us. As usual glad to have us come. She seems to be doing quite well. I sometimes wish I were closer home but guess I'll have to be satisfied where I am and with what I've got.

The box you had Santa Claus deliver here at Christmas time was much enjoyed by all. The cookies were a treat. Why do somebody else's cookies always taste better?!!! Sonny liked his pencil. You know he was 9 years of age the 24th of last month. And he's reading, writing, drawing etc. So the pencil was just the thing. And Joanne with her handkerchiefs --- was she proud? She's just like her mother. Hasn't ever got enough things to wear or should I say too many things to wear. Thanks a lot for everything!

Next Sunday the Elmhurst Girls' Sextette will present a musical program at the vesper service at the Gary Christian Church. Mr. Hille will play several organ selections. Rev. Schuster and I are jointly arranging this. We expect to have the group here for lunch after the service. So Marie has started to get the house in order for the occasion. And also for the visit of honorable J.J. Braun.

Received Bill's card from St. Charles last fall. Glad he got the cigars in good shape. They sure put them out by the boxes at the Fair last summer. And say - if I had been at home when you were there Bill would have had company at the World's Series games.

How's that big boy of yours? Keeping you going no doubt. You'll have a better chance raising him there than in the city. This town of Gary isn't very desirable for raising children. The Gary school system may be famous but that doesn't tell the story.

Now I've about had my say. I'm not a very good typist so you will have to make some allowance. Perhaps I will do better next time.
Let us hear from you again when you feel that you can take time.
With kindest regards to all of you,
Adolph & co,

P.S. Sonny and Joanne send special greetings to John and invite him over to play!15

ME by John Altenbernd

Typewriter Fever

     Uncle Fred Stoerker and Aunt Hilda had moved from Booneville, Missouri in 1936 to St. Joseph, Miissouri, where Uncle Fred became pastor of Zion Church there.
     That took some getting used to for me. Aunt Hilda, in writing us cards and letters, had always signed them, "The Booneville Folks (as a little kid I always thought that was Boomville.) That was about the first thing I thought of when they moved, and "The St. Joe Folks" just didn't sound right. (I don't recall that Aunt Hilda ever used that term in writing to us from St. Joe. Maybe she thought it didn't sound right either.) Anyway, since they were so much closer to us we saw them more often.
     I remember once when we were there a year or so after their move I discovered a typewriter in Uncle Fred's Study (upstairs in his home). I was fascinated by typewriters at that age, and I asked Uncle Fred if I could type on it - saying that I wanted to write a letter. (Eight-year-old kids, of course, never willingly write letters.) Uncle Fred laughed, got out some paper and put a sheet in the typewriter for me.
     "Now, Dear Miss Who?" he asked.
     I just grinned, rather embarrassed at such a question.
     But that was about the last anyone saw of me. I spent the rest of the afternoon there using the typewriter, just typing words and sentences by hunting and pecking. As soon as supper was over I went back up to the study until my folks were ready to go home.
     That early love of typewriters didn't last however. Nowadays I regard a typewriter simply as a necessary evil. I find it much easier to write in longhand. The only trouble with that is people have difficulty reading it. In more recent years a Christmas letter to the David Kruegers prompted a response from my niece, Wendy. "It was nice to get a letter from Uncle John," she said. "Too bad we can't read it."
*     *     *     *     *
A couple of years later Dad got me a used Corona portable typewriter for Christmas.

( St Joseph, Missouri, USA, circa 1936.)16
     Frederick Stoerker was employed on 27 April 1942 at Zion Evangelical Church, 9th and Faraon, St Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri, USA.1
     They resided at 814 Faraon, St Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri, USA, on 27 April 1942.1
     On 16 September 1940, President Roosevelt signed into law the first peacetime Selective Service Act. During WWII, the Selective Service System conducted six draft registrations. The fourth registration was on April 27, 1942 for males between the ages of 45 and 65 not eligible for military service. Frederick Stoerker registered for the 4th draft on 27 April 1942 while living at 81 Faraon, St Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri, USA. His serial# was 3057. His phone number was 4-0569. His date of birth was listed as October 5, 1889 at Washington, Illinois. He was employed at Zion Evangelical Church, 9th & Faraon, St Joseph, Missouri. Hildagarde E Stoerker was listed as the person who would always know his address.1 His race was white. He was 5'10" and his weight was 165. He had gray eyes and gray hair. His complexion was light.1

     Photo of Theophil, Adolph, Fred, and Paul Stoerker. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd(#172.)6

Theophil, Adolph, Fred, and Paul Stoerker

     Photo of John Altenbernd and Fred Stoerker circa 1949. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

John Altenbernd and Fred Stoerker

     Photo of Fred Stoerker circa 1950. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

Fred Stoerker

     Photo of Fred Stoerker circa 1950. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

Fred Stoerker

     Photo of Fred and Hilda Stoerker. Original photo in the possession of Sheila Altenbernd (#172.)6

Fred and Hilda Stoerker

     Photo of Theophil, Adolph, Fred, and Paul Stoerker. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130.)

Theophil, Adolph, Fred, and Paul Stoerker

     Photo. Original photo in the possession of Sue Myers (#130). Julia and Fred Stoerker, Flora Altenbernd, Hilda Stoerker.

Julia and Fred Stoerker, Flora Altenbernd, Hilda Stoerker

     Frederick died on 1 November 1958 in Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas, USA, at age 69.17,5 He was buried after 1 November 1958 Memorial Park Cemetery, Good Shepherd & Acacia Sec B & C, Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas, USA, at.5
ME by John Altenbernd

Uncle Fred Gone

Uncle Fred Stoerker had resigned from his last church, Zion in St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1956. In failing health from a weakening heart, he and Aunt Hilda had moved to Lawrence and were living in an apartment there. Uncle Fred enjoyed his retirement. It left him plenty of time to do the reading he always so much liked to do.
He was my favorite uncle. He had ordained me. I always enjoyed the opportunity of talking with him. He was an educated, intelligent, cultured, fascinating man, although a rather quiet, soft-spoken one. Aunt Hilda tended to monopolize conversation when she was around.
My mother telephoned me one day in late October of 1958 to tell me Uncle Fred had died - quietly when his heart simply gave out.
Sue and I drove to Lawrence for the funeral. Uncle Fred's children, Eleanor and Frederick - with his wife Mildred - were there too. Uncle Fred and Aunt Hilda had joined Plymouth Congregat-ional UCC Church in Lawrence, and the pastor there had the funeral. I think that was the Rev. Paul Davis. Uncle Fred was buried in Lawrence.
The family all went to my mother's house afterward, and stayed into the evening. It was Tuesday, November 2, the day of off-year elections. I hadn't voted, not being in St. Louis that day to do so. But we had the radio on for the returns. Mom did not yet have a TV. Frederick and Mildred were from New York City, and Nelson Rockefeller was making a run for Governor there. When word came in that Rockefeller had won, Frederick said, "He'll try for the Presidency in '60."
I felt rather empty. Uncle Fred was very close to me. I didn't see him all that often, but I would sorely miss him.

( Eudora, Douglas County, Kansas, USA, on 2 November 1958.)18
ME by John Altenbernd


     A zebra is what television's George Jefferson calls the child of a mixed marriage.
     The Rev. Myron Ross, a friend from seminary days, had served a brief pastorate at a black church in St. Louis after ordination, and then had gone to Japan as a missionary. While there, Myron met and married a fellow missionary, a white woman from Wisconsin.
     I had heard that the Ross's were due back in St. Louis on furlough, staying at the missionary apartments on the Eden seminary campus. One day, while driving, I saw Myron walking down the sidewalk. I pulled to the curb as soon as I could and got out and talked to him. He was a father, he said. He and his wife had a little girl a few months old.
     We got together on a date, and Myron and his wife came over to our house one evening. This was the first time Sue had met Myron, and the first time either of us had met Mrs. Ross. They had the baby girl with them. That was the only time we got together while Myron was on leave.
     Some time thereafter my cousin Fred Stoerker was in town with his mother, my Aunt Hilda. They stopped by to see me.
     I mentioned that I had seen the Ross's. Aunt Hilda knew Myron, having met him when he participated in my ordination service in 1954. She had heard about his marriage to a white woman, and of the baby. Aunt Hilda had mixed and uncertain feelings about that sort of thing.
     Aunt Hilda asked me if they had the baby with them. I said they did.
     "Is the baby dark?" Aunt Hilda asked.
     "I guess that depends upon which side you start from," I told her.
     Fred burst out laughing. "That's great, John," he said, "just great!" Aunt Hilda seemed a bit flustered.
     It was several years before I saw the Ross's again. By then the girl was five or six years old. She had blue-gray eyes and a kind of olive-colored skin. She was beautiful.

Last Edited=4 September 2023

Children of Frederick Stoerker and Hildagarde E Becker


  1. [S1286] "WWII Draft Registration", 00061-1942-04-27-01; FOLD3; CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS, 1300 West Traverse Parkway, Lehi, Utah, USA. Hereinafter cited as "WWII Draft Registration."
  2. [S81] Theophil Stoerker unknown date.
  3. [S316] "Stoerker (#61), Frderick -- WWI Draft Registration";; unknown repository address. Hereinafter cited as "WWI Draft Registration."
  4. [S386] Fred Stoerker(#14) household, Census 1900, Washington County, Illinois, population schedule, Plum Hill, Enumeration District (ED) 144, sheet 1B, dwelling 10, family 11, National Archives micropublication T623 349, viewed at
  5. [S1546] Unknown author Complete Tombstone Census of Douglas County Kansas, II Page: 49. (Douglas County, Kansas: Douglas County Genealogical Society, 1989) (Document Source Number: 00061-1989-00-00-01). Hereinafter cited as Complete Tombstone Census.
  6. [S25] John Stoerker Altenbernd unknown date.
  7. [S803] Sebastian, Arkansas. Unknown series ; Fred Stoerker (#61), October 9, 1912; unknown repository, unknown repository address . Hereafter cited as Marriage License.
  8. [S75] Marion Adolph Stoerker unknown date.
  9. [S1733] Unknown author, unknown title (n.p.:, unknown publish date) (Document Source Number: 00061-1868-12-27-01).
  10. [S157] Sheila Sue Altenbernd unknown date.
  11. [S1441] Frederick Stoerker Evangelical Mission Feast., Alma Enterprise, Alma, Kansas, September 6, 1918, page 8, on June 18, 2017 (Document Source Number: 00061-1918-09-06-01) . Hereinafter cited as Alma Enterprise.
  12. [S1422] John Stoerker Altenbernd,"The Great Courtship" in ME; Page(s) 33-36; Published:.
  13. [S609] Conrad Stoerker (#14) Obituary, St Charles Newspaper, St Charles, Missouri, USA, June 13, 1927 . Hereinafter cited as St Charles Newspaper.
  14. [S1360] John Stoerker Altenbernd,"Unique Road Map" in ME; Page(s) 106.2; Published:.
  15. [S1640] Letter from Adolph Stoerker (#65) (Gary, Indiana) to Flora Altenbernd (#63) February 10, 1935. (1935). (Document Source Number: 00065-1935-02-10-01).
  16. [S1361] John Stoerker Altenbernd,"Typewriter Fever" in ME; Page(s) 124.5; Published:.
  17. [S130] Ruth Arlene Stoerker unknown date.
  18. [S1411] John Stoerker Altenbernd,"Uncle Fred Gone" in ME; Page(s) 713; Published:.
  19. [S1362] John Stoerker Altenbernd,"Zebra" in ME; Page(s) 807; Published: (Document Source Number: 00114-c1960-00-00-01).