Family Background

My paternal great grandparents on my father’s side of the family, includes early 1900’s immigrants from the Southern Province of Calabria in Italy to the United States. Great grandfather born in Italy, established a successful construction company and owned substantial tracts of land in a metropolitan area of New Jersey which he lost to bank foreclosure during the depression of the 1930’s. Italian great grandfather and great grandmother were the parents of nine children, five boys and four girls, who for the most part were religious and followed the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

My father’s grandfather on his mother’s side of the family was of a Welsh immigrant father and American Indian Creek Tribe mother descent. My father’s grandfather on my father’s mother’s side of the family owned a technologically innovative for that period of time, refrigeration business. Father’s grandmother on the maternal side was a homemaker of paternal German Jewish and maternal German Lutheran extract who bore five children, two boys and three girls. My father’s mother died a few months after delivering my father due to the additional stress of childbirth which further weakened her heart that was damaged from a childhood illness suffered diagnosed as rheumatic fever. At the time she acquired this disease at twelve years old, antibiotic medicines were still not discovered. Father was born two months premature and weighed 2.2 pounds at his birth in 1931. My great grandmother often commented that father was so small at birth he could have easily “fit into a cigar box”. After five months in a hospital incubator, he was released to be cared for by his maternal grandmother and grandfather, who as far as I can determine were of agnostic faith but Protestant religion. Several years later, my paternal grandfather remarried a woman of Swiss descent and subsequently became the parents of three boys. Paternal grandfather became the mayor of a town in New Jersey, who lived a modest lifestyle with his family. Shortly after my father’s, father’s remarriage, my grandfather invited his older son, my father to join with him and his wife in their home, however my father declined the invitation as he was already very well settled, after living twelve years with his maternal grandparents in their home.

My maternal grandparents emigrated from the Southern German state of Baden-Wurttemberg in the 1920’s and considered themselves to be Schwabisch. My maternal grandfather arrived first after being sponsored by an uncle who was a naturalized United States citizen. After my grandfather established himself in secure employ, he arranged for his wife to immigrate. They settled in a metropolitan apartment house in a town in New Jersey. My maternal grandfather worked in a bakery and received a reduced rent for their living arrangements because he accepted a job as the superintendent of the apartment house where they lived. He worked from the early hours of the morning to mid afternoon in the bakery and then worked to satisfy tenants in the apartment house and maintain the premises in the later afternoon to evening hours. When my mother was a toddler, the small family purchased a home. My grandfather left his lower paying job at a bakery to accept a higher paying job at a pig slaughter house. Maternal grandmother procured work in a sweater factory after enlisting the help of a relative who came to live in their house to provide child care for my mother. Maternal grandparents were mostly confined to the area where they lived, as neither of them learned how to drive an automobile. My maternal grandfather attempted to learn to drive however his attempt resulted in an accident where he collided with a service station gasoline pump which forever extinguished his desire to drive an