Holly, so fun to hear back so soon! May I ask for your email address? It might be easier for us to communicate directly thru email, rather than via this board. My email is email@example.com
I am heading out soon this morning for work--I currently am the Music Director at Covenant Presbyterian Church in St. Louis--and will have more time to write later today. Where do you live? It would be fun to meet at some point. I am good friends with Aldred Hellmich; we just had lunch this past Thursday. She'll be delighted to hear that you and I are putting some puzzle pieces together. She and I have visited St. John's cemetery and found the various headstones.
Let me give you a quick update on some names and connections, and then I can do more later.
William F. Hellmich was married to Wilhemina (Minnie or Minna) Mannecke. Their children were: Lillian, Adela (Della, my grandmother), Bill (William W.), and Eleanore. Of those, only my grandmother married. Her husband was Arthur Gabriel, and their children were Dorris (d.2009), Robert, my dad (Bob, d. 2008), and Rosemary (d. 2007).
Frederick Hellmich was married to Louisa Mannecke. Their children were Arthur, Alvin, and Alice. All are deceased. I can get dates at a later time. Aldred is Alvin's only child. She is retired and still living in her parents' house in Webster--a delightful lady, active and interested in everything.
At some point there was a feud/argument of some kind between William and Frederick, and for a time Fred changed the spelling of his name to have only one "l". We don't know the reason for the division, but Aldred was not even aware that her grandfather (Fred) HAD a brother named William. William took his own life in 1908; Minna remained a widow until the end of her life. Bill died in St. Louis of TB in 1933. The house where he, Lillian, and Eleanore lived is still there, although they sold it and moved to the house near your mother in the late 1950's, or maybe 1960 or '61. Neither sister married. Eleanore died in 1972, and Lillian in 1982.
My dad's sisters, Dorris and Rosemary, remained single, as well.
Keith IS my brother; he is the oldest, and I am next; we also have two younger sisters, Karen and Kris--they both live in North Carolina. Karen is single and is a hospice nurse, and Kris is married to a pastor; she is also a nurse and has three children. Keith is a surgeon in Springfield, IL, and is married with two kids.
Wow, I ended up with quite a long message here. It will be good to connect with you and share stories, history, etc. I am curious whether your mother or grandparents ever shared stories with you regarding the family rift, the history of the Hellmich's and Mannecke's settling in St. Louis, their lives before coming to America.