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Pearl June (Siewert) Finke

22 Jul

Here are just a few Grandma Finke memories to get us started. If you see any errors, please feel free to set me straight!

Leonard and Pearl Finke

Pearl June (Siewert) Finke was born on June 23, 1924. Her parents were Otto Siewert and Mary (Luehring) Siewert. She was the last of 13 children. I believe that Grandma Finke graduated from Central High School but I don’t remember hearing anything about Grandpa Finke and high school. I’ve been told that Grandma and Grandpa met at a potato factory out near Rogers, Minnesota, when Grandma lived with one of her sisters. I don’t have a marriage date handy. I think Grandma and Grandpa lived near Rogers for a year after they were married before they moved back to Hamburg. She and Grandpa (Leonard) had two kids, Debra and Larry, and nine grandchildren. As of right now, she has ten great-grandchildren. She died on April 25, 1985.

Grandma Finke is the grandparent that I knew the least. She passed away when I was only five after battling breast cancer. I have very few memories about Grandma Finke, but I do remember being in the big white house by the post office in Hamburg with her. I have a memory of going out to the garage to look at their new green car. I remember her being able to drive because my other grandma couldn’t and I didn’t understand why one grandma could and the other couldn’t. I remember the big claw-foot tub in the bathroom upstairs and the tall bed that seemed so huge when I couldn’t even get up in it. I remember Grandma giving me a bath in that tub, and me being scared to be in the bathroom alone.
I think I remember visiting Grandma Finke in the hospital. I remember her visitation at the funeral home. I vaguely remember her funeral. I think I remember Grandpa Finke staying with us for a few days after she died. I’m sad that my memories about Grandma Finke surround her death.

Now here’s the same thing with all my extra commentary as well.

Pearl June (Siewert) Finke was born on June 23, 1924. Her parents were Otto Siewert and Mary (sometimes called Marie)(Luehring) Siewert. She was the last of 13 children. (but the 11th of Mary. Her two older sisters were daughters of Otto and his first wife, Emma Elling) I believe that Grandma Finke graduated from Central High School (I think my mom has a graduation picture of her.) but I don’t remember hearing anything about Grandpa Finke and high school. I’ve been told that Grandma and Grandpa met at a potato factory (name?) out near Rogers (?), Minnesota, when Grandma lived with one of her sisters(which sister?). I don’t have a marriage date handy. (Can’t find one in my house or on the computer… anyone have it??) I think Grandma and Grandpa lived near Rogers for a year after they were married before they moved back to Hamburg. She and Grandpa (Leonard) had two kids, Debra and Larry, and nine grandchildren. As of right now, she has ten great-grandchildren. She died on April 25, 1985.

Grandma Finke is the grandparent that I knew the least. She passed away when I was only five (I thought I was in kindergarten, but looking at the dates, I must have only been in nursery school) after battling breast cancer. I have very few memories about Grandma Finke, but I do remember being in the big white house by the post office in Hamburg with her. I have a memory of going out to the garage to look at their new green car. I remember her being able to drive because my other grandma couldn’t and I didn’t understand why one grandma could and the other couldn’t. I remember the big claw-foot tub in the bathroom upstairs and the tall bed that seemed so huge when I couldn’t even get up in it. I remember Grandma giving me a bath in that tub, and me being scared to be in the bathroom alone. For some reason I think I remember her putting her hand to her mouth when she was surprised or nervous about things. (like when I scraped my leg on the door to their house and needed stitches.)
I think I remember visiting Grandma Finke in the hospital. I remember her visitation at the funeral home (and getting scolded for playing around too much… and talking about her being an angel and my mom trying to explain that she’s WITH angels, but not exactly an angel herself…) I vaguely remember her funeral. I think I remember Grandpa Finke staying with us for a few days after she died. (????) I’m sad that my memories about Grandma Finke surround her death. (but I feel like I knew her just as much as my other grandparents because of my mom making sure I knew things about her…but sometimes I wonder how many of these “memories” I’ve really just imagined to be true.)

More memories on Grandpa Finke and the big white house to come.

What are your memories of Grandma Finke? Stories to share? What are the things future generations need to know about Pearl (Siewert) Finke??

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17 Comments

Posted by on July 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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17 responses to “Pearl June (Siewert) Finke

  1. Kay

    July 23, 2010 at 7:07 am

    I was afraid of her wig in her bedroom, and I remember that big tub, too. That whole bathroom was pink.
    Grandma had a quiet voice, I think. She collected elephants, as you know. But do you know why? I don’t.
    I remember us playing a lot at her visitation, running up and down a ramp that they had at the funeral home. At her funeral, I remember Grandpa Finke going up to her casket and kissing her.

     
    • jeffandmary

      July 27, 2010 at 11:40 pm

      I remember that bathroom having carpet, too. I don’t know why she collected elephants. My friend Liz’s mom collected them too, isn’t that odd?

       
  2. Gina

    July 23, 2010 at 10:25 am

    I have no memories of her, as she passed away before I was born. I do know Pearl and Leonard were married May 12, 1945. She was also the maid of honor in her brother, Donald’s, wedding in 1948. I know she had a garden in between the house and the blacksmith building.

     
    • jeffandmary

      July 27, 2010 at 11:40 pm

      It’s kind of nice to get to know her this way, isn’t it?

       
  3. Larry

    July 24, 2010 at 9:48 am

    My dad never attended high school to my knowledge. He probably either just worked on the farm or worked at Farm Valley Foods.

     
    • jeffandmary

      July 27, 2010 at 11:42 pm

      So is Farm Valley Foods where met Grandma Finke? That seems like a good potato factory name. I guess it’s not really a potato “factory” but I’m not sure what else you would call it.

       
  4. Bonnie

    July 26, 2010 at 8:12 am

    “You put on a sweater. I’m cold.” Those words were often heard by your Grandma Finke. We still say it. I found it interesting that Pearl never told me how to run our house or raise our kids, but she didn’t have trouble telling your mom. I think that is the difference between the relationships of sons and daughters with their mom.

    Something else that is a strong memory for me is how she insisted keeping Kay and Aaron at their house when I had Chris. Mary, I actually think you were there also. I honestly think she knew with her cancer, that she would not be able to do that again. She died when Chris was a little over a year.

     
    • jeffandmary

      July 27, 2010 at 11:37 pm

      I think I might sort-of remember that, too. I almost feel like I remember going to the hospital to see Chris when he was born, but I would have been too young to have memories of that, right?

       
  5. Mom

    July 26, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Grandpa Finke went to school thru grade 8 but did not go to highschool. That seemed to bother him alot because I often remeber him saying he wasn’t smart because he only went to school thru 8th grade. How wrong he was! He was a very talented musician with no training whatsover – He could sit down at the piano and pay – he played a concertina also. It was fun to listen to him play. There are so many memories of your grandma but I need more time then I have now. More to come

     
    • jeffandmary

      July 27, 2010 at 11:38 pm

      I do remember sitting at the piano with him. I’m looking forward to more comments with stories from you, Mom!

       
  6. Gina

    July 26, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    oops, matron of honor…she was married by then.

     
    • Kay

      July 27, 2010 at 6:38 am

      That’s so interesting, Debby, because I didn’t know he could play the piano or any instrument at all.

       
  7. Bonnie

    July 27, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    I didn’t know he could play the piano! I knew he could play guitar, but I never heard him play that either.

     
  8. Mom

    August 10, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    I’m just going to list a few things about mom with always more to come

    She was one of the first women in Hamburg to get an outside joy – working at Tonka Toys when I was in 5th grade – She worked from 2 p.m. – midnight. It was a necessity because the blacksmith shop wan’t making any money because farmers were very slow in paying their bills. Actually when mon and dad closed the blacksmith shop there was still $3,000 on the books that farmers owed and never paid (That was alot of money then)

    Our home was always open to family and she was a great hostess to all.

    Christmas was a full house with the whole Siewert family being there. One Christmas I remember the total number of people was over 100!! Until just that last few years before mom died she always insisted on the Christmas meal being a sit down affair from the oldest to the youngest. I spent many a Christmas washing dishes most of the day. Mom always made the turkey, ham, dressing and potatoes and the rest of the family brought other things. After the dishes were all done the ladies would sit in the kitchen and play cards (usually 7-up) The drink of the night was also 7-up with wine in it.

    I remember the day Mom told Grandpa Siewert that he could not drive anymore. He had an accident with Larry in the car and I can still hear her telling him that he would not drive anymore because he could of killed her sone and someone else. Her brothers were not happy with her but she told them that it was time they started helping in Grandpa’s care and driving him to where he needed to go. That was one of the few times I ever heard mom raise her voice to her brothers.

    I remember Mom being so upset with me she went to bed and cried and cried when she found out that some of us 5th graders found some cigarettes and were caught smoking them behind the bleachers at the Hamburg baseball park. I remember her saying she must be a failure as a mother if her daughter smoked. It certainly stopped me from picking up another cigarette for a long – long time.

    Going on vacations and mom making picnic lunches of bologna sandwiches and potato chips and lemonade and she made them so special by not letting dad stop until there was a nice picnic area and she would get out a tablcloth to put on the picnic table.

    More to come later – I could go on forever

     
  9. Kay

    August 13, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    I think it’s so interesting that my grandma was one of the few women in her town in her time to work outside the home, and I am now one of the few women in my town and in my time to NOT work outside the home. I literally know only two moms who stay at home full time, and I just met them both in the past two weeks, when they moved into our neighborhood. Times change pretty quickly, I guess.

     
  10. Jeremy

    August 18, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    I guess, since I am the oldest, I knew grandma best. My memories of grandma are of her sweet kindness and willingingness to do anything for me. I remember how she would sit at the table in the living room and work on the “books” for and with grandpa. I remember all of the “irregular” Tonka toys that she would bring home and we would play with. I remember some of the other quirky things too, like her false teeth and her wig, and her giving me baths in the tub upstairs with the space heater right next to the tub. People were not quite as preoccupied with safety back in those days. Most of what I remember about grandma was how she was always work so hard and never really sit down, kind of like her daughter still today. I remember going to visit her a few times at work in Minnetonka, going to their camper in the summer time, sitting on grandma’s lap for many years as she wold rub my back when I would be having trouble breathing. And I remember how much I wanted to sit on her lap, even in seventh and eighth grade when she had cnacer so I could maybe help her to feel better. Now I’m crying.

    Still 25 years later I miss my grandpa and grandma A LOT. They took care of me like no one else ever could! I can’t wait to see them again in paradise!

     
  11. finkejacob

    July 9, 2017 at 11:06 am

    I was just Googling to see if there was an obituary or any other information about Grandma online, and I found this page — so cool to read all the comments and memories. Thank you!

     

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