Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Gretchen Schultz Ladd (2/2/1917 - 3/19/2012)

My aunt Gretchen died yesterday.  Like my father, she was utterly kind, honest, and not unstubborn.

She died in Shelby Township, Michigan, a northern suburb of Detroit, just south of Romeo, where she and my father grew up on a small farm.  As I was keeping my own vigil yesterday in Hawai`i, I came upon an envelope from her, dated 12 May 2010.  In it, I found the transcript from a German bible from 1890, which announced the birth of Gretchen's mother, my grandmother.  It was written by her father, Hermann Ebeling.  (I never met her, or my grandfather, also named Hermann, as they died before I was born).  Here is the transcript in German, and in English; as Gretchen writes in her note (also below) with typical dry wit, "A young man in my church figured it out for me. It took me all this time to find out what it said."

[click to enlarge the photos]

The line that will last for me: "gedenke an dies wenn ich nicht mehr bin."

Remember this when I am no longer here.

We will remember you, Gretchen.

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