13 May 2017

My Mom - Wilhelmina Henrietta Goebel (1897-1979)


Mom was the eldest daughter of immigrants from Germany.  Her father, Heinrich Göbel, arrived in his teens and worked his way to become a noted chef in Rochester, NY.  Her mother, Clara Marie Steinmetz, arrived with her mother and sisters at the age of eight; she worked as a domestic until her marriage to Heinrich, who had since become Henry Gabel, ultimately settling on Goebel.  As she grew up, Mom saw her 18-year old brother, Fred, dead from an accidental electrocution, and her two-year old sister, Marguerite, dead from scarlet fever; her youngest brother, Henry, lived to the ripe old age of 97. 

Always surrounded by cousins and friends, she enjoyed family outings, especially visits to her Uncle Fred Gabel’s farm in Mendon, NY.  After graduating from high school, she attended business school, eventually working at Remington Typewriter Co. as a bookkeeper.  The summer of 1922, she worked at Camp Mohawk, a resort inn on Fourth Lake in the Adirondack Mountains.

After marriage to Frank Arthur Miller in 1924, she lived in Batavia, where her two sons, Frederick Arthur, and Robert Harold, were born.  She was an active member of the Methodist Church, and with her husband, joined a local Bridge Club.   Mom and Dad continued to meet monthly with Mom’s girlfriends and their husbands to play Pinochle, rotating from house-to-house, even though it meant traveling the 30 miles to Rochester.

          After the family moved to Rochester, in 1941, she took a job as Receptionist, Cashier and Switchboard Operator at Kroll's, a women's clothing and millinery shop on North Clinton Avenue.  After her husband's death, Wilhelmina suffered a series of strokes.  She moved into a nursing home on East Henrietta Road, where she lived for her last 4 years.  She died in Genesee Hospital of pneumococcal pneumonia at the age of 82.  She was a grand lady and the proud mother of two, grandmother of 13 and great-grandmother of three.

1 comment:

Neil Waring said...

Sounds like an interesting woman and a nice life.