My Aunt Lil as a young mother and my cousin Marlynn with the beautiful red hair. I was jealous. Love the matchy-matchy and I bet my Aunt sewed the outfits. She was DIY before her time.
My oldest known living relative on my father’s side of the family is my Aunt Lil. Her given name is Lilburne Ruth Kaiser. She is my 1st cousin once removed. Aunt Lil was born in September of 1930 and recently celebrated her 84th birthday in New York City with her daughter, Marlynn. Marlynn lives in the north Dallas area so from time to time I get to see them both and catch up on news. On this visit, I wanted to engage her in our genealogy research to further explore the Hauck-Kaiser branches with both. I think I have run into a gold mine of information. Aunt Lil has written books about her family including one about her dad, Franklin Kaiser, her mother, Faye Kaiser, and of herself, her family and her hobbies. She makes doll houses, is an art history buff, and has collected hats from all over the world that tell a story and captures a moment in history through a very unique lens. I shared with them both the information C1 and I have completed in the tree and she was most aghast at the picture I had selected of her for her profile. She thought she looked ridiculous as it was taken in high school when she was tall for her age and “too skinny” as she put it. We will get that situation corrected lickety-split as no one likes their picture of their tween years. I thought she looked beautiful.
Here are a couple of unique points she shared with me about our family:
1. She misses her telephone conversations with my dad very much as they were close cousins growing up in each other’s houses in Newton, Kansas.
2. My dad picked her up once and threw her over his shoulder just because he could and she still remembers it to this day. They were both young adults at the time.
3. My dad and her brother tried to peek in on her when she was taking a bath as a young girl. She didn’t like that at all.
4. Her dad was a minister and died at a fairly young age of leukemia.
5. She married Donald Theuer in 1952 and they had a daughter and two sons. The boys were adopted.
6. She lived in Africa for many years with her husband and children but settled in Nashville.
7. She has traveled all over the world and is thinking about where she wants to go to next.
8. Her two sons died in the last few years of complications from hepatitis C; contributed to tattooing and not taking good care of themselves.
9. She remarried after her first husband died. Her second husband’s name is Bill Senn and they reside in South Carolina.
10. She plays the piano and co-authored a song with my grandfather. He wrote the lyrics and played the trombone. She wrote the music and accompanied him on the piano.
She has been to Germany to research the Kaiser family history with no success. No one from these families will talk with her and she suspects it is because her great-grandfather fled Germany as a stow-away on a ship to escape the war. She even hired a researcher to help her to no avail. His relatives in Germany likely consider him a traitor – that is her theory. He arrived in Canada but settled in Minnesota. Her grandfather, August Kaiser, fought in WWI as an American and was gassed. Her dad fought in WW2.
Aunt Lil is the little girl in the front row. My dad is next to her in the middle of the kids – something is going on between those three.
Aunt Lil promises to send me copies of information she has collected over the years including copies of her books. I can’t wait for the package to arrive. My cousin, Marlynn, promised to help her Mom navigate through ancestry.com and I look forward to seeing their additions to our tree.
I left them at the Kimbell this afternoon after enjoying a too quick-lunch at the buffet. They were headed to the Faces of Impressionism exhibit which she was so looking forward to seeing. Love you, Aunt Lil, and so happy you came today.