Saturday, July 16, 2016



I never met Wilhelmine, because she died the same year I was born.  But even so, I felt like I knew her because at Colorado Springs High School she was my mother's best friend.  By the time my sis and I got to be maybe 6 or 7, we were very active in wanting to know all about our mom...when she was born (Colorado), where she lived (on a farm), did she have brothers and sisters (yes, a lot), and who were her friends in school, (and she always named Wilhelmine as her best friend in high school.)

I suspect part of the lure of having mother answer all these questions was that we had never heard of such a name as Wilhelmine had.  I can't say as my mom's family had very common names - a brothers Nevalyn, Byrd and Hugh, and sisters Florence, Marie and Margie.  Mother was Virginia.  All name of that time but not very common for us little girls.  But for some reason we were totally taken by Wilhelmine's name, and not only that first name but her good German last name, too.  

Perhaps this is why at age 81, I still remember Wilhelmine, and how mother always told us she was very nice, very smart, and very friendly - always the attributes she expected from us.

The years passed.  Mother died in 1982.  I began researching my family tree as a result of my mother's death: I realized there was no one left who could provide me with answers as to my family in those early years.  I began by researching in Colorado, pre-Internet times.

One day not too long ago I was on-line looking at obituaries in Colorado Springs, seeing who I could find whose name rang a bell.  I was startled to find Wilhelmine's obituary, dated 1935.  And I was sad to think that she died before she even had a chance at life.  Here's what the obit said:

Colorado Springs Gazette, 3/29/1935, page 1

Mary Meinholtz Dies At Her Home

Popular College Graduate Ill Only Few Days; No Funeral Plans

Miss Mary Wilhelmine Meinholtz, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Meinholtz, 1624 North Cascade Avenue, and popular Colorado College graduate, died yesterday afternoon at her home, following brief illness. Her condition was regarded as improving, when it suddenly took a turn for the worse and death followed quickly.

Mr. Meinholtz, who was out of the city, was promptly notified and his return was expected momentarily last night.

Miss Meinholtz, who was born in Henryetta, Okla., in February, 1911, was graduated from Colorado College last year. During the time she attended college she was one of the most popular members of the student body. She was a member of Delta Gamma sorority and the Tiger Club. Before entereing Colorado college she studied at Northwestern University and Colorado State Teachers College.

Last year Miss Meinholtz was awarded first prize in the Colorado College beauty contest.

Following her graduation she entered the employ of the Alexander Film company of this city.

Surviving, besides her parents, are three sisters, Helen and Marjorie Meinholtz of this city and Miss Lucille Meinholtz, who is a student at Lindenwood college, St. Charles, Mo.

Funeral arrangements will be made at the Law mortuary.

I am constantly surprised at the amazing things I can uncover when I research.  I am very pleased when I find somebody who I think needs to be remembered in my IMMORTALNOBODIES blog.  And frankly, at my age (81) I am surprised at the things I do remember, especially since I mostly can't remember what I had for breakfast on any given morning!  

I don't know that there are any present-day Meinholtzes who will stumble across Wilhelmine here, but should that happen, I want them to know that she has been in my mind for a long, long time - and that my mom always remembered her with great fondness.  

Photograph is from High School Yearbook.


  1. Thank you for sharing your memory of your mom's friend. That is a nice picture of her as well, was it from a yearbook?

    1. Thanks for your response, Travis. Yes, it came from my mother's yearbook, with a little help of Photoshop to get rid of the dot matrix effect!