|Birth: ||Oct. 19, 1867|
|Death: ||Jan. 10, 1936|
Minnie Kepler, my great grandma, was a daughter of Daniel C Kepler (a druggist in Snyder County, Pennsylvania) and his wife Mary E./Elizabeth Mary Kepler.
Minnie was sister to May (nee Kepler) Budd, Maud (who died young), Lydia (nee Kepler) Fogel, and Eldon Kepler.
She was the wife of J.J. Greenhoe, a physician who left her a young widow. They were married November 4, 1883. He died not even 10 years later, May 26, 1891.
She was later married once more to Daniel H Romberger and became mother to Edna May (nee Romberger) Gackenbach, Gilbert Allen Romberger, Amy I (nee Romberger) Strobel.
Not much seems to be known about Minnie by living family. Her son's marriage license application states that she was born in Freemont; her obituary from Allentown (probably written by children) claims Gratersford (Montgomery County) as her birthplace, while another obituary claims Richfield in Juniata County. Going by censuses, it appears that as a child her family moved around a bit between Snyder County and Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Her parents divorced, and it looks like the kids lived with relatives from time to time. When her first husband died and left her a young widow, Minnie worked at housekeeping in Williamstown, PA, which was then a thriving town centered around coal mining. She married the man in charge of the local schools, my great grandpa Daniel H. Romberger. According to their marriage license application, they wed in "Reiner City" which was where the Budds lived, the Budds being a prominent lumbering family into which Minnie's sister had married, becoming Mrs. Allen Budd. Allen was the son of Captain Richard Budd.
It's not known but guessed that Minnie was the driving force behind having the family leave Williamstown. Perhaps with the strife of the times- mine accidents, child labor, and sometimes nasty strikes- she didn't want her kids to grow up thinking that was to be accepted as normal. The family moved to Harrisburg, where Daniel (who arrived in the city as a teacher and former principal) ended up partners in a business making cast stone. They later moved to Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania where Daniel began his own cast stone business, Romberger Cast Stone, aka Romberger Manufacturing Company in 1914.
Minnie's life ended up being more materially comfortable than she might ever have guessed. Her husband's new business in Allentown took off, in large part due to the United States' entry into World War I, and there was high demand for new facilities (requiring cast stone parts to build) to produce goods for the war. As a result of the sad but strong business climate, her husband ended up building four distinctive stone homes in Allentown, one for her and Daniel, and one each for the kids.
From 1924 to the end of her life, Minnie lived in one of these unique Italian-villa style homes, still called "Romberger Homes" by local realtors. She and Daniel lived at the corner of Ott and Tilghman Streets. As she grew older and her health became compromised, she had live-in nurses to help take care of her.
Family members recall her swollen legs and say it was spoken of as "dropsy" which today would likely be called "congestive heart failure". Indeed, this would make great sad sense, as her sister, Lydia Kepler Fogel passed from this ailment. Her death certificate tells us she died of intestinal and liver cancer and its side effect of dropsy, called "ascites dropsy". Cancer causes 10% of all instances of ascites in the United States. It is most commonly a consequence of disease that originates in the peritoneum (peritoneal carcinomatosis) or of cancer that spreads (metastasizes) from another part of the body.
Her last weeks must have been very stressful. Minnie died only two weeks after her husband Daniel, and her one-page will was written only 4 days before her passing. Husband Daniel died the morning of Christmas Eve, and she died soon after New Year. It must have been a terrible holiday season for the family. It's possible her declining health and dropsy was worsened by his passing, because it often is aggravated by extreme stress... or she may have just wanted to be with him again.
(From an unidentified Allentown newspaper)
Surviving her husband by only seventeen days, Mrs. Minnie Romberger, widow of Daniel H. Romberger, passed away at her home, 2638 Tilghman street, after an illness of several years. The shock of Mr. Romberger's passing is believed to have had a greatly depressing effect upon Mrs. Romberger.
She was born in Gratersford, Montgomery county, a daughter of Daniel and Elizabeth (Amey) Kepler, and was married to Mr. Romberger, founder of the Romberger Cast Stone Co., in 1895. She was a member of Christ Lutheran Church.
Surviving her are three children: Mrs. Charles Strobel, Mrs. Arthur Gackenbach, and Gilbert Romberger, all of Allentown; five grandchildren, and two sisters and one brother: Mrs. Allen Budd, Williamstown, Pa.; Mrs. John Fogel, Allentown; and Eldon Kepler, Harrisburg.
Services will be held at her late home on Monday, which would have been her husband's birthday anniversary, at 2 o'clock. Interment will be made in Greenwood Cemetery at the convenience of the family. Rev. Dr. G. Harold Kinard will officiate. Friends may call Sunday from 7 to 9.
(From the January 17, 1936 issue of The Lykens Standard)
Mrs. Minnie Romberger, formerly of Williamstown, died at her home 2623 Telgham (sic - should be 2638 Tilghman) St., Allentown, Friday evening at 8:45, death having resulted from a five years' illness of complication of diseases.
Mrs. Romberger was born in Richfield, Pa., and was the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Kepler.
She was first married to the late Dr. James Greenhoe during which time she made her residence in Williamstown. Her second marriage was to Mr. Daniel Romberger who preceded her in death two weeks ago.
Two daughters, Mrs. Arthur Gackenbach, Mrs. Charles Strobel, and a son, Gilbert, all of Allentown, survive. Two sisters, Mrs. John Fogel, Allentown; Mrs. Allen Budd, Williamstown, and one brother Eldon, Harrisburg, also survive.
She was a member of the Lutheran Church.
Funeral services were held from her residence Monday afternoon and burial made in the Allentown cemetery.
Daniel C Kepler (1842 - 1915)
Mary Elizabeth Amey Kepler (1844 - 1916)
James J. Greenhoe (1856 - 1891)
Daniel Henry Romberger (1858 - 1935)*
Amy Irene Romberger Strobel (1896 - 1965)*
Gilbert Allen Romberger (1897 - 1961)*
Edna May Romberger Gackenbach (1900 - 1984)*
Thomas Eldon Kepler (1865 - 1952)*
Minnie Kepler Romberger (1867 - 1936)
Mae J Kepler Budd (1870 - 1948)*
Lydia M Kepler Fogel (1874 - 1951)*
Maud Kepler (1878 - 1881)*
Hazel Florence Kepler McAfee (1889 - 1980)**
Created by: sr/ks
Record added: Jun 21, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14665517