This site is dedicated to sharing information and memories about the family of Henry and Maria Smarcz Merzke and their collateral relatives. Henry, Maria and their parents were all born in Stolp in the Pomeranian region of what was then Prussia. They were married, settled in Rochester, New York and eventually had sixteen children. This is the story of those people, their ancestors, descendants and the families of the people they married.
Henry & Maria Merzke Family Circa 1925 - (front) Maria, Henry, Marjorie & Floyd. (rear) Lillian, Rose, Erwin, William, Marian, Charles, Albert, Walter, Henry, Jr., & Ella
Monday, November 15, 2010
Albert Henry Merzke
Albert Henry Merzke was the ninth child. He was born at home on July 24, 1900, the last of the children to be born at 39 Henry St. He was baptized August 4, 1900. Sponsoring Albert were his uncle, Albert Smarcz and Maria Krapp. He was confirmed at Concordia Lutheran Church.
Albert, who was known as Ep, married his childhood sweetheart, Leona Caroline Berndt. They were married on December 31, 1921 in Concordia Lutheran Church, Rochester, NY. They lived at 106 Cinnabar Road in Irondequoit, NY and than moved to 5036 St. Paul Blvd. in Irondequoit where they lived for the rest of Ep’s life. Ep and Leona had two children. Elvira Leona Merzke and Gilbert Merzke. Both are still living.
Leona Berndt Merzke
Ep’s first jobs were for oil companies. He was a manager at the Monroe County Union Oil Company and than became a manager for the Colonial Beacon Oil Company where he worked for several years. Ep was eventually hired by the Eastman Kodak Company and worked “B” trick there until his death. After the children were grown, Ep and Leona opened their home to many foster children. Some of the children were only there for a short time, but five of the boys were there for many years. They included two sets of brothers and John “Joey” Carmen.
Albert died of cancer on October 7,1964. At the time of his death, Leona did not know how to drive a car and had never had a job outside of the home. Her brother-in-law, Floyd taught her how to drive. She took a job doing what she knew best. She was hired by a young couple with a new baby to care for the child while they worked. They both were school teachers, so Leona had her summers free. She finally retired from this job when the couple’s fifth and final child was in school full time. Leona died June 5, 1995 at the age of 91. Leona and Albert are buried in Holy Sepulcher Cemetery, Rochester, New York.