Death in the family during WWII

Death in the family during WWII
John Koroschetz, my mother, Lillian's, father, whose death on 9/17/1943, is recorded in this letter to Frank.

My maternal grandfather, John Koroschetz, was buried on September 20, 1943. In her letter to Ebner (Frank), my grandmother notes  that on the same day she's writing this letter, she and the family attended John's funeral. But the date on the letter is October 20, 1943. She inadvertantly got the month wrong! I know this for certain because I have the funeral receipt, dated 9-20-43. (see below)

Koroschetz, John Funeral expense 9-20-43

We had always thought 9/20/1943, was the date of John Koroschetz's death, but this letter confirms that he actually died on September 17, 1943. (See THIS LETTER, three weeks earlier, in which Frank's mom writes that my mother's father is dying of lung cancer.)

Flowers were ordered the day after his death, on September 18th (receipt below). These letters clarify events and dates as no memory can.
Koroschetz, John Funeral expense-flowersReminder: I have edited my grandmother's writing to make it more readable as English was her second language. That means much of her syntax is off and spelling is often phonetic, based on her German accent. I think she does an admirable job and communicates beautifully what is in her heart given a limited vocabulary and little formal education. I have left some of her misspellings and syntax stand, where readable, to allow her writing voice to come through.

Chicago, Il 9/20/43

My Dear Ebner,

It is 10:30 P.M. But a few lines I have to leave you know. I got your 2 letters and we are all happy for you that you found your place and are happy in all. I say it in other words: Thanks to God for the Blessing. [At] the same time, pray for the day [that] comes and is hard on you [whether] in school or other work. [She often said, "Pray for trouble. It makes you strong." That, I believe, is what she means by "pray for the day that is hard on you."]

 Sorry that I delay with the writing. This was happen here. The 17th at noon Lill’s father died so [I] was more or less at home here ??? Work or time short in all corners. Today the 20th at 2:30 was the funeral at 1458 Belmont Ave. The burial was at Elmwood Cemetery. Our pastor [Kaitschuk] held the service. He was very goot. [Fred] and Lill both was not at their work from the 17th. Now they are by [Lil’s] mother for a while. So you have to forgive me for the delay because I don’t like to leave you wait.

Page 2

The 18th your letter came that you want your blue pajamas. I packed It the same day. However, the post office was closed so I will send them tomorrow. The 21.This letter I will send as soon. You forgot your brother Will’s birthday. In your address book is his birthdate: 9/18; Sam 10/10; Lill 10/18, so look in your book.

Father, Will, and me was in the Paradise [movie theater on Crawford and Madison] on his [Will’s] Birthday to see “Be Happy.” It was goot. Today after the funeral, Father and I went to the Marbro [movie theater] where the Cony Island and Henry adrys plays. So I told you all [that’s going on ] at home. Please say hello to the 4 boys [his roommates]. God be with you in all that you have to do.

Lots of love from all

Pa, Will, Fred, Lil & Mom XXXXXX

Original letter below: Ebner LTRs 1943-09-20 (ltr misdated) from Mom-1 Ebner LTRs 1943-09-20 (ltr misdated) from Mom 2-2

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    Linda Gartz

    I was born and raised on Chicago's West Side, where the Gartz family lived and worked for most of the 20th century. After my mom died in 1994, my brothers and I poked around the the attic of my parents' home and discovered a trove of letters, diaries, documents, and photos that had been saved for almost a century. Taken as a whole, they focus a lens on the history of our city and life in another era, as seen through the eyes of regular folks. Go to where you'll find my blog, Family Archaeologist (a clickable link is on the "About Letters of a World War II Airman" page). There you can explore this historical treasure trove that illuminates history and our shared humanity. I started my blog, "Letters of a World War II Airman," on the 70th anniversary of the date my uncle, Frank Ebner Gartz, was drafted into World War II military service. You can see that first post and the first three months of 1943 letters at my website, All future letters will be posted on this blog. I'm an author, archivist and television producer. Please visit my website,, to see my published articles and an overview of my television productions.

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