Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Monday, February 11, 2013

1st Mennonite cemetery, cont.

Continuing on from the prior post, we look at the Graber side of the family buried at the cemetery in Pretty Prairie. 

 This headstone belongs to Allen's parents.  He was a wheat farmer and she played the piano beautifully! We miss them so much.

Al's mother was asked to play the piano often, but most notably she played for this singing group that toured all over Kansas and in other states also.

This is my favorite picture of Al's Dad.

This tombstone belongs to Al's Dad's parents.

I never knew him since he passed away earlier, but Grandma B. (her nickname to differentiate from the other Grandma Graber) lived 2 doors down from our parsonage and she befriended me when we came to the States when I was 16.  She invited me into her home often.  Sometimes she would be quilting and let me help her with it.  We looked at pictures and she told me stories.  And she encouraged Allen to take me out!!

They had 4 children, but Ruth passed away at 4 months.

 Al's uncle Vic's grave.

And their son, Denny, Al's cousin, passed away while learning how to fly an airplane.  He was almost 17 years old.  We were home on furlough when that happened and I vividly remember it.  The week before, the youth group mowed the cemetery for a service day and Denny mowed the area that he was buried.

Grandma B's (Edna) parents. They are in the photo below, in the middle.

Grandma B. and Grandpa Ed are on the left back row.
Uncles Chris and Jonas, who lived on the farm Al grew up in,
 are on either side of the great-grandparents.  

The wildest story of the Goerings is that Grandma B. claims to be a first cousin with the notorious Herman Goering, Hitler's right hand man.

This tombstone belongs to Al's Dad's grandparents.  The log cabin in North Newton at the Kaufman museum was one she lived in before marrying Peter.  She was married to a man in South Dakota and when he died, she married Peter.

* * * 

This is Allen's mother's parents tombstone.  She also was a Graber before she got married.  Infact, Al's parents were 2nd cousins.  We joke that Al is a 3rd cousin to himself!  And, this is wierd too, my Dad and Al's Dad are 2nd cousins too.  And that makes Al and I 3rd cousins.  Yes, that is legal in Kansas to marry your relation.

Chris P. Graber and Anna Albright Graber

And this is Grandpa's parent's tombstone and photo.

The historic background of the Grabers, Goerings and Vorans are all similar.  The were originally with the Anabaptist movement of the Reformation Period.  Our forefathers were originally from Switzerland but there was bitter persecution of these Christians because they would not join the State run church.  Many were burned at the stake.  They left their Alpine homes and left for France near the Swiss border.  Although some stayed in France (there are still Grabers there) most left to go to Austria for awhile, then on to Russia where Katherine the Great granted them religious freedom for 100 years.  When they lost freedoms in Russia, our forefathers boarded ships for America in 1874.  Should we lose our freedoms here in America, as we are beginning to, would we go elsewhere?


Anonymous said...

Very interesting to hear all the historical stories! I am perhaps even more interested since my heritage and beliefs are Anabaptist as well. I am curious about your statement that we are beginning to lose our freedoms...what do you mean by this?

Allen and Debby Graber said...

Anonymous - you can facebook me or email me.