Today we said Good-bye to a wonderful lady; my husband’s grandmother, Violet SIWERT WOLFINGER.
Violet was the first born child of Bertha HERMANSON and James SIWERT (aka Berta and Jakob Ziwert.) Her parents were Latvian-Russian immigrants, who came to the US in 1914 and settled on a farm in Bucks County Pennsylvania.
Nana was a genealogist’s dream, for several reasons. She was still very active and mentally astute into her 90’s. She told wonderful stories to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, about growing upon the farm and raising her family in Belvidere. In 1998, she put these stories in print, in the family history book titled, “This Day.” In it, she included pictures of the Hermanson and Ziwert families from Russia at the turn of the century through modern day cousins in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
A few years ago, her daughters found another treasure – Nana’s personal diary from 1933 to 1937. Deep in the pages, long protected by the worn brown leather cover, we read of her daily routine; going to church at the Latvian Baptist Church in Applebachsville PA, walking to high school and catching rides home with the older neighborhood boys, and frequent trips to the movies to see double features with James Cagney and Errol Flynn. She tells us of the marriage proposal she received from Harvey “Red” WOLFINGER on December 11, 1936. “I still think he was only kidding.” He wasn’t. They were married in March of 1937.
To celebrate Violet’s 95th birthday last year, several family members transcribed the diary; nearly 100 typed pages of memories to share with generations to come.
Despite the bitter cold and impending snow, the last two of Violet’s siblings were able to attend the memorial service today. We thank the families of Lilly SIWERT ORMAN and Arnold SIWERT for making the trip and look forward to keeping in touch.
God Bless You Nana.