|Birth: ||Oct. 7, 1919|
|Death: ||May 9, 2013|
Albertine Rogers Rego Steinmetz:
Albertine was named for her mother Caroline's two favorite sisters: Albertine "Tena" Schafer Schulz and Louise "Lizzie" Schafer, of Cedar County, Iowa. She grew up in Denver, after her mother spirited her and her brother away from their father in Davenport, Iowa. Friends gave her the nickname of "Ginger Rogers," because her brother's name was "Will Rogers," - two popular entertainers of the 1930s.
As a child, she lived with her mother, brother, and step-father James Alvin Stewart. She despised Stewart and was fearful of him. She said she often hung out in the alley or sat evenings alone out on the front curb to avoid him. That wasn't enough, and at 14, she climbed out the window one night and ran away from home. Recalling that, she said it was like in a cartoon: she had a bundle on a stick. She was sent back, apparently apprehended with a couple other runaway girls while headed west in New Mexico. Perhaps in over-reaction, she idolized her biological father, Clarence Rogers, ignoring his flaws.
When her 16th birthday came around, she was quite touched that her brother (who was fighting a forest fire in CA) sent her a birthday card. She said she'd not been sure before then that he really loved her.
She later married Joseph Rego Jr. and had three children, all of whom she dearly loved. Most of her life was spent in Denver, Colorado. She and Joe built a small house in west Denver during the WWII era, but Joe sold it when Stewart and Caroline started building their own house on a lot behind it. He didn't want to be that close to Stewart. (The buyer moved that house to another lot.) After WWII she and Joe managed a small apartment building for Marie and Dick (Ricardo) Lopez in Rock Island, Illinois. She and Joe had moved there mostly to get away from her step-father, Stewart, and to be nearer her father Clarence in Davenport. She was disheartened to see Stewart and her mother arrive there in a truck piled high with belongings. A cousin, Irma Henkel, described the vehicle as resembling something from "The Grapes of Wrath."
Although they started out poor, Joe provided well for the family. After a time in a frame home at 1688 South Madison Street, they lived in a lovely blond brick home on South Clermont Street in southeast Denver. Ginger enjoyed at least two vacation trips to Mexico and one to Hawaii.
Years later she was dismayed to learn after-the-fact that Clarence had once asked to stay with them in his old age. Joe had torn up the letter and not told her about her father's request. When Joe died in 1975 of cancer, she was there at the hospice to gently close his eyes. After he died she married on 29 Oct 1976 Samuel T. "Sam" Steinmetz. They were initially happy, but later had a somewhat tumultuous relationship. He died in 1988.
She was very tasteful when it came to decorating her lovely home, and loved flowers. She worked for a time doing floral arrangements. She had also volunteered many years as a Pink Lady at Denver's St. Luke Hospital, and taught hospitality for some months at Emily Griffith Opportunity School in Denver. In the Aurora care center during her last year she watched the bunnies outside her window, and said she looked forward to seeing her "Mama" again. Ginger passed away one evening surrounded by loved ones. She was buried next to Joe, as she wished.
Ginger loved her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, with many pictures in her kitchen. She seemed to have been a person who made lemonade from the lemons life handed her. Although she and her Mama believed in "keeping family secrets," there is no longer any reason to keep most of them. She will be missed and always loved.
(Grave locator kiosk at Fort Logan cemetery office has her last name as Rego, rather than her later surname of Steinmetz.)
Clarence Alden Rogers (1888 - 1964)
Caroline Schafer Waterman (1898 - 1974)
Joseph Rego (1915 - 1975)
Samuel Theodore Steinmetz (1919 - 1988)
Will Alden Rogers (1918 - 1980)*
Albertine Louise Rogers Rego (1919 - 2013)
Fort Logan National Cemetery
Plot: Section Q, Site 6731
Created by: James Allen "Jim" Rogers
Record added: Aug 17, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 115625447