Walter “Junior” Doering is one of our museum’s faithful supporters. He lives in Kentucky, but he and his wife often stop by the museum when they are in the neighborhood. Once a year, he shows up in town for the annual Boehme reunion.
Today’s post will give the reason that he comes for that event. A while back, we published a story about Junior’s grandfather titled, Junior’s Grandpa. Several other posts have referred to people in the Doering family. Today’s story will start with Junior’s mother, Edna Boehme, who happens to be today’s birthday girl.
However, before I discuss her life, I would like to take a side trip to talk about the history of the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and Cemetery in Wittenberg. Technically, Edna was the fourth child in the family of her parents, Ludwig and Louise (Lottes) Boehme. Ludwig was a twin, and when he and his twin sister, Josephine, were both married in 1901, they had this wedding photo taken showing both couples. The twins’ story was told in the post, Twin Twins. Ludwig and Josephine were not the only twins in that family.
After Louise and Ludwig were married, their first children was a set of twins, but sadly, they were stillborn. Their death record is found in the records of Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg. They died in February of 1903. At the end of 1902, a new church was starting to be organized in Wittenberg, and in May of 1903, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church conducted their first official services. So when the stillborn twins died, that church was not officially started yet. Ludwig and Louise’s third child was born in 1904. Her name was Alma Boehme. Alma only lived three months. She died in July of 1904. Her baptism and death records are found in the St. Paul’s books. First, here is Alma’s baptism record.
These are the first four death records in the St. Paul’s church books. Alma is number 4.
All four of these deaths could be described as the deaths of children. The first three cannot be found in the St. Paul’s Lutheran Cemetery, according to Findagrave.com. However, there is a gravestone for Alma.
Findagrave.com says that Alma died in 1901, but that is obviously not correct. The date on the tombstone was probably misread as 1901, but if you look closely, it is 1904. I happen to think that Alma is the first person to be buried in this cemetery.
Now on to Edna. She was born on October 12, 1905. This is the record of her baptism at St. Paul’s in Wittenberg.
The first census in which we find Edna was the 1910 census from Union Township in Perry County, which is near Uniontown. Ludwig (Louis) was a farmer at the time.
By 1920, this Boehme family had moved back to the Wittenberg area.
It was in the 1920’s that Edna’s father bought the Lueders Store from Otto Lueders. Now we’ll move on to Edna’s future husband. His name was Walter Doering, who was the son of Wilhelm and Maria (Schmidt) Doering. This is why Junior calls me his cousin. His grandmother was my grandfather’s sister. This is Walter’s baptism record from Trinity Lutheran in Altenburg. He was born on March 10, 1901.
Walter’s father was a farmer in the Seelitz area of Perry County. We can see the Doering land on this 1915 map that shows property ownership. The Doering land is noted by the red box.
This land put Walter in close proximity with the Boehme land where Edna lived. That land is shown by the green boxes.
On August 15, 1926, Walter and Edna were married at St. Paul’s in Wittenberg. This is their marriage license.
Thanks to Junior, we have this wedding photo.
The first census in which we find Walter and Edna is the 1930 census from Wittenberg. They were living with Walter’s parents and had their first child, Vernon.
The Doerings would eventually have five children according to our German Family Tree. Junior tells me that their family moved to St. Louis in 1953, where his father was a bus driver for a Lutheran school and was the custodian for Gethsemane Lutheran Church and Eden Seminary.
The photo below is probably one taken when Walter and Edna celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
Edna died in 1979; Walter, Sr. died in 1991. They are buried together in the Lakewood Park Cemetery in St. Louis.
I guess now you know why Junior Doering shows up for the Boehme family reunions.
***Update: Yesterday, June 16, 2022, a funeral took place for Walter “Junior” Doering in Paducah, Kentucky. His obituary can be found at the link below:
Junior was such a great friend of our museum. He supported our mission in so many ways. He will certainly be missed. Walter also served his country in the U.S. Navy for many years. I am going to add a few more photos of him in a gallery here.
Walter is another one of those people of whom can be said, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”