|Birth: ||Apr. 30, 1881, USA|
|Death: ||Oct. 8, 1956|
Annie Ettinger was the wife of my mom's dad's uncle, my great great aunt. She was the wife of Edwin N Ettinger, with whom she had no children. Her obituary was published before the Allentown newspaper's online index began, so it is obtainable only at the library, but it was published October 9, 1956 on page 28.
I'd never heard much about her, so doing some research on her popped my eyes open...twice.
Surprise, surprise, there was a great family story here that I never heard, and I doubt my mom knew. Only yesterday (July 2, 2012) did I learn Annie's maiden name was Martz. I wanted to find her obituary and was paging through an obituary index which showed her obituary appeared in the Allentown Morning Call of October 9, 1956 and showed me her maiden name. Today I tripped over an article about her. I would never have recognized it to be her if I had not just learned her maiden name, because the article got her husband's middle initial wrong (it is "N" not "A") and at the time he apparently lived in Bethlehem, and I'd never known that. It also told me who her parents were and the sort of family she came from, all news. And there was the wonderful picture accompanying this memorial. I doubt anyone alive has a picture of Annie so young.
In any case, it seems Annie and Ed had snuck away out of state to be married and managed to keep it a secret for a few years. If you read the accompanying article, it will make you smile at their innocence and how they finally revealed their past nuptials.
Annie and her family must have had a very difficult 1916. The father died April 11 and mother May 28. Maybe the loss of them so closely together dealt her a blow from which she never recovered. More on this below.
Annie is remembered by my mother as a kind lady who loved staying at her small summer country home out near New Tripoli. Ed apparently did well and having no kids, the couple lived pretty nicely.
My mom's dad was Edwin's favorite nephew, and he and Annie changed my mom's family's lives when he gave them a sweet deal on a beautiful large home at a corner of 14th street in Allentown. Annie and Edwin agreed they'd no longer need the large three-story row home with six bedrooms and a nice backyard, so they let their nephew Henry C Ettinger have it for a nice price so Henry could raise his four kids there.
It sure beat their much smaller home downtown. I have seen both houses and there's no comparison. 1137 Allen, the old family home, was a smaller two story row home, but 1438 Walnut was huge, a three story home with a full basement and nice backyard. Thankfully, it still is well-kept and Mom liked to drive by it.
And now the second surprise. There is some sadness in the fact Ed and Annie gave up that big beautiful home - they never had kids, and that was not by chance, but by Ed's choice. Annie suffered from mental difficulties and he feared trying to raise a family with her. My suspicion is that she suffered with depression, as her behavior was normal in every way, as recalled by one of my mom's cousins as well as my mom. Apparently Ed and Annie were able to make things work for many years together, but at some point Annie went to live at the Allentown State Hospital and never came home. The cousin recalls visiting her there regularly and that Annie was as "normal" as anyone else. The cousin also can fix in time (based on where her family lived when they began to visit Annie) about when Annie went to the hospital - about 1943. Ed would die in 1944, so maybe his passing necessitated her move, though that would not jive with the cousin's memory of Ed bringing things to Annie there, presents, like chocolates. Maybe it had become clear his health was not good and the couple had to think ahead. The cousin recalls as children do that the visits were not awkward or unpleasant, and that her family went to see Annie often. Still, if she went in around 1943, Annie had more than a few years left to live, so she must have been there a long time. Whatever her difficulties, I hope she was happier in the hospital and found it agreed with her needs. I thought the big surprise about Annie was finding her secret marriage, but finding out in August 2012 about her hospitalization was a sad shock to me.
And despite her delicate nature, she was empathetic and courageous, and I find myself admiring Annie more than ever. Annie's nephew by marriage (the son of her husband's sister) was a young man named Fred Romig who died under mysterious circumstances in New York City. Fred's father was gone, so "the men" of the family were Annie's husband Edwin and his brother Charles. Yet when the body was shipped back to Fred's family home in Philadelphia, who was the first relative to visit, and apprise the Allentown family of the situation? Yes, tender Annie, the first to step up and help.
I believe there are people who feel things very deeply, and for this sensibility, they feel more pain than others do and they pay for their receptive hearts. It's my belief Annie was such a person.
Joseph F. Martz (1842 - 1916)
Ellen J. Martz (1843 - 1916)
Edwin Nathan Ettinger (1879 - 1944)
Plot: Vault 18, mausoleum
Created by: sr/ks
Record added: Jun 21, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14665166