This is the home where my great-great grandfather, Ignatz Frohmberg, died on January 9, 1946. He was eighty-three years old.

Ignatz P. Frohmberg Memorial Program
Ignatz P. Frohmberg Memorial Program

One of my favorite stories about him take place in this home:

As told by Richard Frohmberg (his grandson, my grandfather), 2001:

In his older years, he worked out an arrangement with an arrangement with another immigrant family named Franz. They lived in his house and took care of him. He chewed tobacco all the time – he died of stomach cancer – things were hard his last few winters. I remember, though, the Franz’s used to complain about his chewing tobacco – especially in bed, because he would sneeze and spray tobacco juice all over the walls.

Well, one day, Grandpa needed to have some teeth removed, so Mr. Franz got to the dentist first, explained their problem with the chewing tobacco, and asked the dentist to blame the tooth loss on the chewing tobacco to try to get him to quit. The dentist agreed and when grandpa came in, he politely listened to the dentist’s lecture about how if he didn’t chew tobacco he would have to have all these teeth pulled out, etc. When he finished, grandpa responded by saying that he had chewed tobacco on the right side of his mouth all his life “and you just pulled all the teeth out of the left side of my mouth!”

In the papers I inherited from my grandfather, I found the funeral notices for Ignatz.

Funeral notices for Ignatz "Phillip" Frohmberg, in German and English.
Funeral notices for Ignatz “Phillip” Frohmberg, in German and English.

I think he may have gone by “Phillip” with his friends, but on official paperwork he signed as Ignatz (the “J” on the funeral notices are for Julius, which is either another first name or a quasi-Americanized version of Ignatz.)

Frohmberg tombs at Knollwood Cemetery & Mausoleum, Cleveland.
Frohmberg tombs at Knollwood Cemetery & Mausoleum, Cleveland.

I’ve had these notices for almost 20 years, but today is the first time I’ve actually tried to read them.

I think I may have found a gift or two:

One gives Ignatz’s former employer as American Steel & Wire of Newburgh Heights.

Another lists his grandsons as “Liet” (my grandfather, Richard) and “Tech Sgt” (Cliff); I knew grandpa had stayed in the army after the war, but was not aware that Uncle Cliff had.

It is interesting that in the newspaper clippings, there is no mention of his other children: daughter, Margaretha, or his son Kurt.