RPG (1908-1975), Never Forgotten

People who have any kind of connection to St. Louis, MO will probably be familiar with Marlin Perkins, the renowned American zoologist who died in 1986. His television show, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, ran for more than two decades and originally aired in 1963. The man’s love for animals began much earlier.

A recent Facebook comment (noted by my dear cousin) brought to mind another of our relatives, because of his association with the animal-loving zookeeper Perkins. Richard Phillip Grossenheider (whom ancestry.com informs me is my first cousin twice removed) was assistant curator of birds at the St. Louis Zoo from 1930-1937 and an internationally known wildlife artist as well. Continue reading “RPG (1908-1975), Never Forgotten”

Serial Number 37 404 688

Ninety-seven years ago today, my daddy entered this world. As one might expect, he had a significant impact on my life and I’ve posted about him numerous times in this space. With the recent commemorations of D-Day, I’ve been thinking often about Norman Arthur Stricker whose Army Serial Number was 37 404 688.

Searching for a Stricker crest, I found this artwork. It was just what I needed!

In an interesting turn of events, I’m spending this day some 14 miles from the Florida condo he and my mother shared in the years before his 1994 death. I thought this would be an appropriate time to debut a new subsection of my blog devoted to my Stricker roots. It’s located here and if you’re related to the Stricker family in any measure, I hope you’ll enjoy this tribute to my dad.

Precious In His Sight

As a small child, I learned a song in Sunday School. It was titled Jesus Loves The Little Children. Some years back (1970 actually), the song was incorporated into a pop song, Everything is Beautiful, sung by Ray Stevens.Kids

I was thinking about this song today when a delightful multitude of my cousins gathered for a family reunion with our German relatives, a sweet family of four who were on their American journey to reconnect based on our shared past. There were two aspects of this gathering that I found significant.

First of all, this was a celebration of an intercontinental family, Stricker (or Eppe) by name and the generations who have gone before as well as those yet to come. No matter how diverse people are within this particular group (family), our lives are intertwined by our shared ancestry. Being able to reconnect and herald that common ancestry means (at least to me) understanding something deeper about myself in context of the larger world in which we live. Continue reading “Precious In His Sight”

Coming to America

In a couple weeks, my cousin and her husband will be hosting an Open House to welcome a German family with whom my family has recently re-established relations! My cousin has already visited this family in Germany and now, they’re coming to her home. This is going to be fun!

It’s an unusual story and the two families might never have met except for my brother’s ability to speak German and his research in Germany. Here’s why. More than 175 years ago, my great-great-grandmother (Catherine Stricker, 1804-1878) married a man named Hermann Eppe (1804-1849). He took her name and four of their five sons adopted the Stricker name. Only the son who stayed in Germany kept the Eppe name. (Conjecture is that Catherine was the heir to Stricker property and her name took precedence.) Continue reading “Coming to America”