|Birth: ||Jul. 16, 1901|
|Death: ||May 30, 1995|
I June Welsch Brewer wrote a "This Is Your Life" the following is from that.
My name is June Irene Brewer Welsch, and I am Marie Van Horn Oppelt Foster's niece. I would like to give this gift to Aunt Marie for her "90" birthday. I hope she will enjoy it and cherish it the rest of her life. Also, in later years her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren will enjoy reading it. I will try to write a story on Aunt Marie's life. Things I have learned about her, all the sad moments, and happy moments.
"Marie Van Horn--Oppelt--Foster"
"This Is Your Life"
It was a happy day, on July 16, 1901, Katharina (Katy) Oetken and John Van Horn was blessed with a baby girl, and they named her Anna Marie Van Horn. Later she was called Marie. They were so thrilled she was a little girl. Her family lived in Albert and Schaffer, Kansas, and later Great Bend, Kansas. Marie, had three brothers, Bill, Benny, Chester and John Jr., and one sister Minnie Irene Van Horn.
Marie's father was a cattle farmer and raised horses also, her mother a homemaker. Marie's father was married before and he had two daughters by that marriage. One of the daughters name was Margarette and she lived with them for awhile. Marie does not know much about them.
Times were very rough back in those days. You accepted life as it was and did the best you could. They all stayed a happy family. One day her little brother Johnny got very sick. The little tyke was had Scarlet Fever, in those days there wasn't much a doctor could do. Little Johnnie was only five years old when he passed away. The sad part was every one was quarantine, which means no one could leave the house. So no one could go to the funeral. Marie can remember that a wagon came and took Johnny away. He was such a little imp, he would sneak food and hide it under his bed to eat later.
As life went on things never got much better. A few years later tragedy hit the family again. Marie's father had borrowed money for a black stallion. He also had other horses, and one night there was a terrible fire which destroyed all the horses. He could not pay his debt so he left town to find work. He loved his family very much and several times he came back to see them. Later on they were told he died in a mine accident.
Marie's mother was left, with five little children to raise alone. She took her children to Great Bend, Kansas to stay with her sister Anna Barnett, Anna was very sick so Katy took care of her and two daughters. When Anna died her two daughters went to live with a aunt in Oregon. So once again Marie's mother was left alone with her five children to raise.
Katherine was not very well either. She was of the Lutheran faith, and attending the Lutheran church in Great Bend Kansas. One day there was a minister from Muscatine, Iowa at the church and he told, about a place in Muscatine called the Lutheran Homes Orphanage. He told her she could bring her children there and they would not be adopted out. He told her she could work and support her children and see them as often as she could. It was an answer to her prayers as she was getting weaker and more tired every day. So she left Kansas with all of her children and brought them to Muscatine to the orphanage. She worked in Muscatine and saw her children as often as she could. She was so sick that she only lived four months after arriving in Muscatine. She was only 33 years old. Marie was only 11 years old. Marie's mother is buried at the Lutheran Homes Cemetery. None of the children were told she was sick until she died. Marie, being the oldest took care of the babies at the home and later worked doing whatever needed to be done.
The boys and girls had separate dormitories. Marie stayed very close to her brothers and sister. She tried to oversee what they did and also protected them from getting punished several times.
Everything seemed to be going well for the children. They attended school at the orphanage and worked at odd jobs. Marie cooked at the homes and one day a nice looking man named Chester Oppelt. He was an electrician and he was wiring the homes. Oh, how handsome he was. They fell in love and were married January 1, 1921 in Muscatine at the Zion Lutheran Church. Oh how happy they were.
Then tragedy struck again. Her sister Irene was hurt in a terrible accident at the homes. A dumbwaiter fell on her face and she was hurt very badly, but that never stopped her from marring a nice looking man named Archie Brewer. They had two children Ralph Brewer, and June Brewer Welsch.
Marie's brother Bill was working on a farm in Iowa City, Iowa. He married a lovely lady by the name of Hannah Binz. No children were born to this marriage.
Chester her youngest brother was working on a farm, later for the Carver Pump Company. He married a wonderful lady by the name of Beulah Kisner. They never had any children of their own. They soon became a second father and mother to all their nieces and nephews on both sides of the family. Such wonderful people they are.
Marie's brother Benny was going to college to be a minister. He was very smart, he won several scholarships for many essays he had written. Also, he was a very good basketball player. But, at the young age of twenty-one he got very sick August 26, 1927, he had surgery and bled to death. He is buried at the Lutheran Homes Cemetery.
Marie and Chester was very happy and on October 14, 1921 they were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. They named her Lorraine Ethel Louise Oppelt. Then six years later came a handsome son they named him Richard Donald Oppelt. They had their nice little family, a boy and a girl. They were married over twenty years. Like some people things seem to fade away. They later divorced, but always stayed good friends. Marie never said a bad thing about him. She later married Grant Foster (He was called Peach) on July 5, 1947. They were good companions to each other, and enjoyed each others company. Peach was a wonderful man and he loved to tease people. Grant worked at the Carver Pump Company until he retired. There was no children to this marriage.
One night she got a phone call that her brother Bill was in a car wreck and was in critical condition in the hospital in Postville, Iowa. Marie's son took Marie, Chet and Irene to Postville to be by his side until he passed away November 16, 1963. He his buried at the Oxford Cemetery in Oxford Iowa.
Grant was dying of lung cancer and was in the hospital for a long time. While he was in the hospital Marie fell and broke her hip. But, being the person she is, she never gave up. She continued to see Grant in the hospital until he passed away May 29, 1971. Marie could not keep her apartment as there were too many steps. She moved to a nice apartment at the Clark House in Muscatine. Through the years she has had many good friends, too many to mention. Marie had a lot of good times dancing and she still would if she could. She had another broken hip and a hip replacement.
Marie lost her only sister, Irene, September 20, 1988. She was so sad as she lost her best friend also. They had many good times together going to bingo and spent a lot of time at Irene's daughter June's house. Irene is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Muscatine, Iowa.
Again it was another stepping stone in her life. Marie never lost her faith in God. She knows he is always with her. Marie does most of her own housework as difficult as it is for her. Never has an unkind word to say about anyone. She is so understanding.
We are at the present July 16, 1991. Marie's daughter Lorraine is married to Virgil Temple, a real nice man, and they live in Muskegon, Michigan. Lorraine gave Marie Five grandchildren, three grandsons and two granddaughters, Jerry, Janice, Jimmy, Cindy, and Kirk Temple.
Jerry Temple and his first wife Pamela gave her two great grandchildren Terry and Charlene Temple. With his present wife Rose there were two more great grandchildren, Nickolas and Dereck Temple. They all live in Muskegon, Michigan. Charlene Temple is married to Kyle Kurant.
Janice Temple is married to a nice Fella, Dave Babcock, and they gave Marie two great grandchildren Scott and Annette Babcock, and they live in Muskegon, Michigan.
Jimmy is married to a wonderful lady Darlene and they gave Marie two great grandchildren Kimberlee and Rachelle Temple. They live in Muskegon, Michigan.
Cindy is married to a nice young man Wayne Gordon and they gave Marie two great grandchildren Kristina and Sherri Gordon. They live in Muskegon, Michigan.
Kirk is married to a lovely lady Karen and they gave Marie one great grandchild Joshua. They live in Muskegon, Michigan.
Marie does not get to see them as often as she would like, but is happy for them. They all have good jobs and happy lives, and that is wonderful.
Marie's son Dick Oppelt lives in Muscatine, Iowa. He was Muscatine County Sheriff for twenty-four years. He is now retired and works part time as a security guard at the Muscatine Plaza. Dick and his first wife Darlene gave Marie a beautiful grandson Robert Dean Oppelt (he was called Bobby). Bobby married a lovely girl Penny and they gave Marie a great granddaughter Nichole Marie Oppelt. Penny and Nicole live in Muscatine and Marie sees them on occasion.
Marie lost her grandson Bobby July 20, 1982 at an early age of twenty three. Bobby was killed in a terrible industrial accident at Bandag in Muscatine, Iowa. Bobby is buried in Memorial Park Cemetery in Muscatine, Iowa. Marie once again had to gather all her strength and faith in God to survive.
Marie's son Dick later married a very nice lady Lana and they gave her a beautiful grandson Richard Donald Oppelt II (called R. D.). She dearly adores him. R. D. works at the Sun Mart and goes to college.
Marie has lost a lot of her relatives and friends in her lifetime, but oh look at how many survivors she has left to be blessed with. Her two living children, six grandchildren, and twelve great grandchildren.
Her brother Chet and his wife Beulah live in South Muscatine and are retired now. They are really close to Marie and Chet and Beulah does anything Marie wants them to do, They are wonderful people. Marie loves them a lot.
Aunt Marie, I hope this 90th birthday is one you will always remember and enjoy. Aunt Marie I hope you have many more.
Aunt Marie, now I would like to express my feelings and experiences I have had with you. My first memory of you is when I was a little girl and you came to our house and you always smelled so good. I used to say "Aunt Marie you smell so good", and you always got a chuckle out of that. As I got older I can remember the pies you made and when I was coming to your house you always made my favorite, Black raspberry. After I got married you and my mother (your sister Irene) came to my house and I hope I returned your kindness back to you. I remember you helping mom and me make fruit cake for my husband's father. Oh what a job and so much fun we had. We made home made candy and banana bread. When Bob and I went away and the girls didn't want to go, you and mom stayed at our house with the girls and you and mom did all the cooking and kept the house cleaned. You were always there to help anyone that needed help.
I can remember all the Christmas and other holidays you spent with us.
Remember the good times we had when we went camping and how you loved to play cards, and played games with our daughters. We had so much fun.
When my mother was ill you called her every day and went to see her as often as you could. You dearly loved her and I know she loved you.
Aunt Marie I want you to know you mean a lot to me. I want to thank you for everything you did for me over the years.
Aunt Marie I love you very much and if there is anything I can do for you "Just Ask".
I hope you have a Happy Birthday. I love you Aunt Marie.
P. S. I will sign off like my mother always did.
Hugs & Kisses
and many more.
John C. Van Horn (1874 - ____)
Katharina Oetken Van Horn (1880 - 1913)
Chester Robert Oppelt (1897 - 1973)
Grant Lawson Foster (1902 - 1971)*
Lorraine Ethel Louise Oppelt Temple (1921 - 2004)*
Richard Donald Oppelt (1927 - 1994)*
Marguerite Louise Van Horn Haberman (1896 - 1951)**
George Van Horn (1900 - 1900)*
Marie Anna Van Horn Foster (1901 - 1995)
Charles Augustus Van Horn (1903 - 1963)*
Johann Anton Van Horn (1904 - 1910)*
George Henry Van Horn (1906 - 1927)*
Irene Minnie Van Horn Brewer (1908 - 1988)*
Chester Conever Van Horn (1909 - 2006)*
Memorial Park Cemetery
Maintained by: June Welsch
Originally Created by: Genie Lady
Record added: May 25, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 37497317