I have been cleaning around the house and in a sports coat that I no longer need, I found my notes from what I said at my maternal grandpa’s funeral in November 2008. Here is what I prepared.
My Grandpa Maas was born in the Spring of 1914 outside the city of Lake Geneva, WI., prior to the start of the Great War (WWI).
Grandpa said one of his first memories at 2 or 3 years old was being snipped in the buttocks by goose protecting her young. They lived on a farm at the time.
Grandpa was the 4th of 6 children born in the family. In order was Karl, Loretta, Roy, Orv (Grandpa), Ann and Lorraine.
My grandpa worked for his Dad (William) at an early age in the 1920s and 1930s working in the family taxi business in Lake Geneva, WI.
Grandpa’s Mother Marie came to the US from Frankfurt, Germany with 3 sisters in November 1901 through Ellis Island.
Grandpa graduated from Lake Geneva High School in 1934.
Had an offer to go to Northwestern on a football scholarship but did not go.
After graduating from High School went with a friend to Long Beach, CA jumping on trains like hobos in June 1934. Grandpa’s oldest brother Karl was already out in Long Beach working and my grandpa went looking for work.
While out in Long Beach and Hollywood area, Grandpa took acting classes and even auditioned for the Movie “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” done by Warner Bros, released in 1935. He did not get any part or have any movie career. Though back in the area of Lake Geneva and Chicago he did get on the radio playing banjo with a large group for a country hr station.
Back in Wisconsin by 1935 he drove taxi again for his Dad and told a story that during this time, he had a gun pulled on him by customer who told him to take him to Kenosha, WI.
Grandpa boxed until he had too many nose bleeds.
During the Depression he was a member of the CCC program in Northern, WI.
During WWII he tried to join the Air Force but he was rejected because he was deaf in 1 ear.
Grandpa’s passion in life was golfing. He started playing as teenager in Lake Geneva, being a caddy, eventually playing until past 85 yrs old. About 70 yrs of golfing, even had a couple holes in one on a few courses.
Took me bowling on Sunday mornings for a few years when I was a kid growing up in Racine, WI.
He also was very serious and competitive with card games. When he visited Lyndon Station with his wife and daughter (my mom) in 1940s and 1950s, he would participate in local card games up as the local bars in town.
He lived in Lake Geneva for the first 50 some years of his life, moved to Phoenix, Az for one year and then in Racine, WI for 7 years before retiring in 1976 and moving to Lyndon Station, WI.
He ran a gas station in town with my grandma for a few years in the 1970s, worked at Wis Dells min-golf courses for a number of later years and died in a special facility in 2008.
Love you Grandpa Maas