My name is Lynne Appelt Matrise and I am Douglas Appelt's first cousin and daughter of Reuben John Appelt. Reuben married Katherine (Betty)Thompson and they had two children; myself, Lynne Shirley, and my brother, Richard John. Reuben went by "John" for most of his adult life. It is not clear why Katherine was called Betty.
Olga and John came from Germany and sponsored dozens of immigrants who boarded at their house. They both worked very hard --- John at a factory and Olga cooking, cleaning and doing laundry for all their constant boarders. They never had the time to learn to read or write English, but were Baptist church members who took my brother and I to their church picnics and enjoyed playing cards with friends.
Olga gave birth to a girl who died shortly after birth. She was said to be so tiny that she fit in a shoe box. I believe she was their first born.
John partnered with another man and together they built an apartment on 68th Street in Milwaukee. Because my grandfather could not read English, the man swindled him out of everything. John lost his investment and his home.
In 1953 my father, Reuben and his father, John bought a house together at 6222 W. Richmond Avenue, Milwaukee, WI. They built the attic into a pretty four-room flat for John and Olga, and our family lived downstairs. Olga was a fantastic cook who could turn anything into something fantastic.
John had a brother, Fred (Frederick?) who was alled "Fritz", and a sister Eva also in Milwaukee. Eva never married. Olga had a brother, Adam Stibbe in Milwaukee also. He never married either. I do no know if there were other siblings back in Germany.
John died of stomach cancer on Jan., 25, 1960 at age 74. Olga died on August 14, 1978 at age 83. She passed away in a nursing home after suffering from a bad heart and a stroke.
My father, Reuben John, died of a heart attack on Aug. 11, 1974 at age 52. Richard died of a heart attack on April 9, 1995 at age 45. Katherine (Betty) died of multiple medical problems including emphysema, heart problems, and dementia on December 26, 2007 at age 82.
Richard was married to Rose Castiglionni. Rose died of MS sometime in the 90s. They had two daughters, Jaqueline and Laura.
I married Michael Leomard Matrise in 1970 and had three children; Kim age 40, Jennifer age 35, and Joseph age 34. Michael is 66 and I will be 65 on April 1st. I have had MS for 22 years, but I still walk and do most everything I always did. I tell you these things in case you are looking for some mediacal background.
Just as a last thought, Katherine (Betty) Thompson was the daughter of Katherine Sebastian and Eugene Thompson of the Spooner, WI / St. Paul, Minnesota area. Her parents were not married, her mother did not raise her, and Betty never knew her father. Therefore, I do not know much of any background information of her family.
This is everything I can remember right now. I hope it is of interest. I plan to do some research myself. Maybe we can put our findings together.
My best to you,