This photo is the epitome of a young immigrant couple ready to make a life of their own in America – Brockton, Mass to be exact. They look pleased as punch to have just gotten married. “This was taken Sat … Continue reading
An Illinois boy through and through. This 1935 graduate of Macon High School in Macon, Illinois was a veteran like his classmate. He served his country for 5 years beginning in 1941. But at the time of this photo, Melvin was 18 years old, born on June 23, 1916. He lived with his parents (Alvin Ray and Icephenia Grupp Beckett) in Macon, Macon county, Illinois. He was the oldest child, with 2 younger sisters and 3 younger brothers.
The whole family was born in Illinois, including his parents. His father, Alvin, worked as a farm laborer and a Railroad carpenter. Melvin distinguished himself in Macon through the Post Office, serving ultimately at Post Master. Thanks to his obituary we know he married in 1947 and had children and grandchildren to surround him.
Melvin died in November of 2004 in Macon and is buried there as well. More surprisingly his mother, Icephenia Beckett, was born in 1894 and died in 1995. She lived to be 100 years old! Her obituary states that she married in 1915 at about age 20 and was preceded in death by her husband in 1975. What amazing changes she must have seen in her life! I wish I had a photo of her to go along with Melvin.
Edward J. Gibis is 18 in this handsome photo. He was the oldest son of John Gibis and Maria/Mary Libich. Born on October 2, 1913 he appears to have had a tragic end to his life.
The family, John, Maria, Edward, and younger brother Julius lived in Chicago from at least 1920-1940. That is where Edward, in 1931, was photographed at St. Michael Central High School here as a Senior. Father John worked mainly as a mail carrier for the US Post office. Edward was still living at home at age 26 in 1940. He worked as a shipping clerk. Younger brother Julius was married with a child, but still in Chicago.
Moving on, Edward enlisted in the Army on June 12, 1942; he was still single. Only one more piece of documentation follows Edward after that WWII enlistment record. A Rockford, Illinois newspaper article titled “Discharged Soldier in Fall from Train Dies.” That appeared on November 2, 1945. The article states that Edward J. Gibis, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Gibis of Chicago fell from a New York Central Passenger train on his way home. He had been discharged from the army at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. How or why he fell is unknown. He died that evening at a Lafayette hospital. I’ve not found a death certificate or a burial record. The only odd thing is that the article says Edward was 20, when he would have been about 32.
Edward had no family of his own, but Julius lived until 1999 and had a large and loving family. Hopefully some of them will be interested in this long lost uncle.