Monday, May 17, 2010

Amanuensis Monday: Obituaries

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them. If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, feel free to add a link to your post in the comments.

This week I am transcribing the obituaries of three great grandparents - Herman and Anna Feinstein, and Barney Newmark.

Herman Feinstein

(I suspect the first two below appeared in the St. Louis Post Dispatch.  The clippings were discovered on death certificates obtained from the funeral home.)

Feinstein, Anna, Dec. 9, 1965, widow of the late Herman M. Feinstein, beloved mother of Mrs. Melvin L. Newmark, Bernard B. Feinstein and Seymour Feinstein, Huntington, N.Y., dear sister of Mrs. Morris Dankner, Henry Blatt and the late Mrs. Jake Wyman, our dear grandmother, great-grandmother, and mother-in-law, sister-in-law, aunt and friend.

Funeral from BERGER Memorial. McPherson at Walton, Sun., 11:30 a.m to United Hebrew Temple Cemetery. In state Sun., 10:30 a.m.

Feinstein, Herman M., Nov. 8, 1963, beloved husband of Anna Feinstein, dear father of Mrs. Melvin L Newmark, Bernard B. Feinstein, and Seymour Feinstein of New York City, dear brother of Pearl Oxenhandler, Rose Gold and Aaron Feinstein, our dear grandfather, great-grandfather, father-in-law, brother-in-law, and uncle.

Funeral from BERGER Memorial, McPherson at Walton, Sun. 1 p.m., to United Hebrew Temple Cemetery. Mr. Feinstein was a member of Benjamin Franklin Lodge No. 642  A.F.&A.M., Missouri Consistory and Moolah Temple Shrine. In state Sun., after 12 noon.

Herman Feinstein  (obituary appeared in November 9, 1963 - St. Louis Globe Democrat)

Funeral services for Herman Feinstein, 77, St. Louis laundry manager for 40 years, will be at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Berger Memorial funeral home, 4715 McPherson ave. Burial will be in United Hebrew Temple Cemetery.

Mr. Feinstein, who lived at 8620 Old Bonhomme ave., University City, died of a heart attack at about 4:30 a.m. Friday at Jewish Hospital.  He had been ill for about four days.

For the past five years, he managed the St. Louis Bachelor Laundry and, before then, was the manager of the old Justin T. Flint laundry for about 35 years.

Survivors include his wife, Anna, a daughter, Mrs. Melvin L. Newmark, and two sons, Bernard and Seymour.

(The below appeared in the November 26, 1956 St. Louis Globe Democrat)

Barney Newmark
Dies; Retired Tailor

Barney Newmark, 71, a North St. Louis tailor who retired in 1944, died of a heart ailment yesterday in Jewish Hospital. He had been a tailor 30 years.

Mr. Newmark, of 5573 Delmar Bl., is survived by his widow, Mrs. Bertha Newmark; two sons, Harold and Melvin L Newmark; a brother, I.D. Newmark, and four sisters, Mrs. Katie Jacobs of Chicago, Mrs. Cissy Gold of New Orleans, Mrs. Nellie Fudemberg and Mrs. Bella Cohen.

Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. today at Berger Memorial Funeral Home, 4715 McPherson ave. Burial witll be in Mount Olive Cemetery.


1) The information in the Globe Democrat on Herman Feinstein contradicts what my grandmother remembered in her oral history interview, which I transcribed earlier.  She had said  that due to a heart attack he had 'retired' early, though a friend (the owner of Bachelor Laundry) had hired him as a 'consultant.'  I knew that he had filed for Social Security at age 50 in 1936, and was still working then.  The obituary suggests that the heart attack that 'retired' him was in approximately 1958, when he was 72 years old.  That's not 'early.'

2) My grandmother also said that he spent the final years of his life on a street called Canterbury.  She was close - 8620 Old Bonhomme is about 2 blocks east.  (The death certificate agrees with the newspaper.)

3) Barney Newmark did retire, at age 59.  The "30 years" was likely meant as an estimate of his years as a tailor in St. Louis, which if he retired in 1944 would have been 34 years.  He probably had a handful of years as a tailor in England before the family immigrated, though.

4) Sometime between 1956 and 1963, United Hebrew Temple stopped referring to their cemetery as Mount Olive Cemetery. 

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