When Paul Heinrich Bücker was born on 26 January 1911 in Balve in the German Sauerland, both his father Josef Bücker and his mother Anna Hotmaker were 35 years old. He had many brothers but only one sister, Auguste, or Gustchen for short, and she died fairly young. They all missed her terribly; Paul named his first daughter after her. From the quiet and beautiful Sauerland, the family moved into the Ruhrgebiet during the 1920s, most likely because Paul’s father had to find work in the city to feed his big family. Times were hard in the Weimar Republic.
There, in the city of Dorsten, Paul grew into a man and married Anna von Hinten on 23 January 1939. Paul moved his family out of the Ruhrgebiet to the more quiet Gütersloh close to the Teutoburg Forest – yes, the same area where the Cherusci Arminius (or rather, Hermann) beat the Romans in 9 AD -, where he worked for a private rehab clinic as a physiotherapist. They had two daughters, one at the onset of WWII and the other when the war was over. During the war Paul served in a medical unit in Danzig.
In the late 1940s, Paul’s mother Anna, then widowed, lived with them for a few years in Gütersloh before she died in 1950. His older daughter remembers well her ‘Strickoma’, and the time spent together. Paul worked at the same place until he retired when he was 70 years old, so that would have been in 1981.
Paul died of a heart attack only roughly two years later, on 12 July 1983, in Gütersloh, and lies buried there, see picture below. His wife Anny followed him fourteen years later.
Rest in Peace, dear Opi. You had a big heart, and from you, I first learned about Goethe’s Faust, the music of Richard Wagner, and why it is a good idea to eat smoked ham sandwiches with knife and fork. You also were the most cunning Easter-egg-hider in the family!
We love you, and we miss you.