Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Uncle Theo's Obituary

This is an obituary for my great-uncle. It appeared in the Gary Post-Tribune on 5 July 1955. I never met Theo--he died before I was born. I always thought of him as "Uncle Theo." However, as a Lithuanian immigrant, there were many versions of his first and last names. His baptism record shows his name as Teofilis Norvaisa. I've seen his first name given as Teofil, Theofil, and Theo. His last name is given as Norvich, Norwich, or Norvaisis. On his Declaration of Intent in 1912, he signed his name as Teofil Norwich.

Theo has always been a bit of a mystery to me. No one talked about him much. His death certificate indicated he was divorced, but I don't know anything about any wives or children he may have had. At one time, Theo worked as a coal miner in southern Illinois, and lived in Beckemeyer, IL near the family of his brother-in-law, Anton Skrobul. Later, he moved to Gary, Indiana where he remained until his death.

I hope to gather more information about Theo in the future. For now, I'm glad to have a copy of his obituary with such interesting details. It gives me several possibilities for further research, beginning with the cemetery, funeral home, Lithuanian Workers Society and LDS 81.

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