In Memory of My Grandfather August H. C. Rettammel

On this day, 60 years ago, my paternal Grandfather August Herman Christian Rettammel died on the evening of 23 December 1959 from a heart attack while shoveling snow at home in preparation for walking to the Children’s Christmas Service with his wife (my Grandmother Ernestina or Tina) at the Lutheran Church in Lyndon Station, Wisc.

As I have stated in genealogy lectures and other formats, my interest in genealogy began because I have many photos of my grandfather but he passed away shortly before I was born. Though a remembrance of a death can be sad, I am writing this as a way of keeping the spirit of my paternal grandfather alive through story and recognition of the day and time that he left his family and my own father who was named after him, August Jr.

The following remembrance of my Grandfather was written in the church bulletin shortly after his death in 1959.

1876 August H.C. Rettammel 1959

“Only a little while before the Children’s Christmas Service on Wednesday evening, December 23, which he had already prepared to attend with his wife, August Rettammel, faithful member of St. Luke Congregation of Lyndon, was interrupted by the Lord God with a heart attack and taken to heaven to spend Christmas there with Christ and the angels. He had spent 83 years, 6 months and 19 days here.

August Rettammel was born in Chicago June 4th, 1876. There he was baptized, attended a Christian Day School, was confirmed, and married in 1900. His first wife passed away leaving him two small children. In 1909 he married Ernestina nee Wendland with whom he celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary August 17th of this year. Ten children were born of this union, two of whom went before their father into eternity.”

My Grandfather approximately in 1895 to 1900

In Memory of My Grandfather August H. C. Rettammel

One thought on “In Memory of My Grandfather August H. C. Rettammel

  1. Thanks for this touching story about your grandfather, Bob! Connections like this one to long-ago ancestors are indeed the best things about doing genealogy. Rather, though, I guess it’s what it’s all about. And, this particular story of his death is tied together with Christmas. How about that?!


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