Last Sunday 37 years ago, (Great-) Grandpa Paul passed away in Gütersloh, Germany.
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!
This week 206 years ago, our 3rd (and 4th) great-grandfather Bücker passed away.
Johann Gerhard Büker was born on 13 October 1792, in Riesenbeck, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. His father Gerd, whose last name had been Laumann, had taken on the profession of barrel maker and in the process his last name was changed to fit his craft, first to Boddeker and later to Büker, to which over the years a ‘c’ was added to assure a short vowel sound for the ‘ü’.
The place where young Johann grew up went through a lot of political change during the first three decades of his life. In 1803, when Johann was 11, his hometown Riesenbeck on the southern slopes of the Teutoburg Forest, which had belonged to the grand duke of Tecklenburg since 1236 and through his intervention was counted with the Prince-Bishopric of Münster since 1400, became part of Prussia. Five years later, it became property of the Grand Duchy of Berg, and with the end of Napoleon’s time it became Prussian again. In 1816, two years after Johann had married Maria Katharina Hünemeyer on 25 July 1814, Riesenbeck finally became part of Tecklenburg again, and such it is to this day.
We do not know much about Johann and his wife and how many children they had, but we do know that they had one son, Bernhard Heinrich Anton (no idea by which name he would have been called!), who went on to become our 2nd (and 3rd) great-grandfather. What we do know is that the family Büker lived in Riesenbeck for four generations, beginning with Johann’s father, before our great-grandfather moved first to the Sauerland and later to Dorsten.
Johann Büker lived all his life in Riesenbeck where he died on 26 February 1852 at the age of 59. We assume that he was buried there as well. Got to wonder if any of the political back-and-forth had an impact on the life of Joe-Average-barrel-maker at all.
Featured the Riesenbecker Berg with the Schönen Aussicht (which translates Beautiful View), a platform at 116m above sea level from which one can see across the Münsterland all the way to the city of Münster, if the weather is just so.