Early in 2012 I found myself on the phone participating in a very lengthy hold. What to do while I wait? My favorite activitiy - type “Gunzendorfer” into google and see what comes up! I’ve done this so many times yet often times something new still pops up that piques my interest. On this day, up came an obituary for Gustave George Gunzendorfer in Reno, Nevada! Reno? Gustave, also known as Gus or George, was the eldest brother of my great grandfather, Abraham Gunzendorfer, and was born in Monterey on September 26, 1864. And until that moment, I thought he’d spent his entire life in Monterey or San Francisco. The obituary stated that the burial was to take place at Masonic Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Reno so I found an e-mail address and sent off a message. I really didn’t expect a response but within minutes I had the answer I was looking for – Gustave was buried there! Not just him, but a Katherine Shuster Gunzendorfer who, it turns out, was his wife. Now that might not seem odd except that the only wife I knew about was Minnie Dauterman!
|Gustave George Gunzendorfer|
Hmmm, what to do? I really wanted a photo of the grave as I thought that might provide some clues. Wait! My dear friend, Bev, lives in Reno so I sent her a quick message and asked if she wanted to play genealogist for the day. The answer? Yes, we’ll go out to the cemetery first thing tomorrow morning! The Bev and Pam Detective Service was on it!
And here’s what they found.
Right there in a lovely setting below the mountains was my Great Grand Uncle, Gustave George Gunzendorfer! And with a new wife, no less!
Not only did Bev and Pam take photos for me, they went to the funeral home that handled both of their services when they died. And a few weeks later, I had some documentation in my hands detailing their funerals.
As you can see, Gustave was known as George when he passed in 1939. After his death, Katherine returned to Delaware where she lived until her death in 1957. Her body was then returned to Reno for burial with George.
The paperwork shows the names of the pallbearers for Gustave’s funeral, none of whom were his brothers. Nowhere on the paperwork is another Gunzendorfer even mentioned. And when his first wife, Minnie, died in 1946 she had apparently changed her name from Gunzendorfer back to Dauterman which I’m guessing was not all to common in those days. There’s a mystery in all of this information that I need to solve!
So add this to the list of my top 10.5 genealogical finds of 2012. And thanks again to Bev and Pam for helping me with this quest!