The Merzke Family

The Merzke Family
Henry & Maria Merzke Family Circa 1925 - (front) Maria, Henry, Marjorie & Floyd. (rear) Lillian, Rose, Erwin, William, Marian, Charles, Albert, Walter, Henry, Jr., & Ella

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Floyd Carl Merzke, Sr.

Floyd Carl Merzke, Sr.
Floyd Carl Herman Merzke, the sixteenth and last of Maria and Henry's children, was born at home at 181 Weaver Street on Monday, August 26, 1912. He was born approximately twenty minutes after twin sister Marge. He always said that he was a gentleman and believed in letting ladies go first. At this time Charles Merzke, Henry and Maria's oldest child was living in the house directly behind the house on Weaver St. Following Floyd's arrival, Henry ran through the backyard shouting to his daughter-in-law Nora "make more diaper, there are two of them"

Floyd was baptized that same day. The story was that he was so weak when he was born that his parents wanted him baptized right away just in case he did not live through the night. His sponsors were Eleanore Merzke, Edward Missel, and Herman Kuiltz. Floyd's middle name was in honor of the minister that baptized him, Rev. Carl Conrad.

Floyd was always a frail child and Maria was always concerned about his health. She kept a special ceramic jug of grape juice in the cellar just for him to build his blood. In grade school, he attended what was known as a fresh-air class. In this class at Lincoln #22 school, the children took a nap every afternoon on cots on the roof of the school building. Their weight was carefully monitored and they received a special certificate every time they managed to gain five pounds. When Floyd was eight he woke up one morning and could not walk. He said it happened suddenly just out of the blue. He had an operation that resulted in a frozen hip, one leg shorter and smaller than the other, and a permanent limp. Maria saw to it that he had a good physical therapist and in time he learned to walk again.

Floyd was confirmed at Concordia Lutheran Church on April 27, 1927 along with his nephew Charles “Chick” Merzke and his best friend Arnold “Porky” Schock.  Floyd did not complete high school. Like the rest of his brothers and sisters, he chose to leave school after the tenth grade in order to get a full-time job so he could contribute to the family's income. In his early twenties, he left Concordia Lutheran Church and began attending Bethel Full Gospel Church on Ripley St. There he became very involved in church work and would remain so for many years.

Floyd married Jeanette Louise (Przeworski) Taylor on June 29, 1945 in Bethel Full Gospel Church. Floyd’s twin sister Marge was matron of honor, Dillon Frost was best man, and attendants were Ann Tarquinio and Arnold Schock. The newlyweds lived with Maria in her home at 181 Weaver Street until her death in December of 1946. In Maria's will she provided for Floyd to live in the for as long as he chose. However, if he chose to move, the house was to be sold and the proceeds divided by the brothers and sister except for Floyd. Floyd and Jeanette continued to live in Maria's house until June of 1963 when they moved to 127 Collingwood Drive, Rochester, Monroe County, New York.  They lived there until their deaths.

Floyd was a born comedian and storyteller.  He loved to talk and people were glad to listen.  He had a gift for teaching and taught a large adult Sunday school class at Bethel for many years.  He was also a deacon and the church secretary.  Floyd spent his entire work life in the clothing industry beginning when he left school after the tenth grade.  He worked for Keller, Herman, Thompson Company as a helper and as a presser.  He worked for Timely Clothes Inc. from 1952 until he retired.  Jeanette worked for Eastman Kodak Camera Works during the Second World War.  After the children were born she worked for Norton Cleaners and then in lace and trimmings for Sibley’s.  She went to night school at Rochester Business Institute and eventually worked as a clerk for the New York State Supreme Court.

Floyd and Jan had two children; Nancy Marie Merzke and Floyd Carl Merzke, Jr. (both are still living.)  My father Floyd died peacefully on June 18, 1991 of congestive heart failure.  My mother Jan died of cancer on November 1, 1999.  They are buried at Mount Hope Cemetery.

1 comment:

Free Genealogy Guide said...

It's interesting that Marie specifically provided for Floyd to live in her house as long as he chose, but excluded him from the proceeds of the house if he moved and it was sold.