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Genevieve Reinart Gehling


Posted By: Richard Gehling (email)
Date: 2/16/2010 at 19:02:49

Genevieve was the fifth and last daughter of Peter and Mary Reinart. She was born on 10 February 1920 on a farm four and a half miles southeast of Halbur, Iowa.

When she was eight years old her parents moved the family to a house high on the hill overlooking Halbur. She grew up jumping rope, playing ball, and exercising on a trapeze. The trapeze was made out of a broom handle, and was hung from chains. There she spent many a summer day, hanging upside down and swinging back and forth. During the school year she attended St. Augustine's Catholic School in Halbur, and had lots of friends.

St. Nicholas used to come to her house every December 6th. Sometimes there would be two who came: St. Nickolas, dressed in red and passing out goodies, and Black Pete, carrying a handful of sticks for any kids who had misbehaved. Jen always received a bag of candy, fruit, and nuts. Before receiving them, however, she had to kneel down on the living room floor and pray.

As a young girl, Gen had several pets - a parakeet that used to nibble on her dad's ear, ducks, pigeons, and a little black dog. The was prone to fits, which made it try to climb walls. The girls of the family would immediately climb up on chairs when the fits came; only Grandpa Hoffert remained seated, but he always grabbed a coal shovel for protection.

When Genevieve was nine years old she caught whooping cough, then scarlet fever. Her house was quarentined for six weeks. The next year she got blood poisoning in her hand.

After graduating from 8th grade, Genevieve spent her teen years working on the farms of her married sisters, slopping hogs, milking cows, and feeding horses until she was seventeen.

In 1937 Genevieve met and married Lawrence Gehling. She wore a black dress to the marriage ceremony. After a day-long honeymoon, the young couple moved in with her parents for a few months, then into a shared house on the George Wernimont farm near Auburn, Iowa. Their early years of marriage were spent moving from farm to farm and from small town to small town in western Iowa.

Genevieve gave birth to seven children over the years: Lois, Richard, Donald, Constance, Bonita, Thomas, and Charles. Before the last of her children left home, Genevieve began working as a cleaning lady for various families around Gilmore City, Iowa. She later worked at a couple of retirement homes in Pocahontas, Iowa.

Even while engaged in these many jobs outside the home, Gen found time to become interested in family genealogy. She provided information to Mary Anne Rhinehart for her Reinart Family History, which was published in 1980. She also wrote scores of letters to the descendants of Herman Gehling, seeking names and dates for her own work on the First Gehlings in America. Finally, she wrote down the memories of her girlhood, of Reinart family ancestors, and of her married life. These memories contain a vast amount of information, which will undoubtedly be treasured by generations of her future descendants.

After the death of her husband Lawrence in 1982, Genevieve moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to be near her children. She took up landscape painting and began piecing together quilts and embroidering pillowcases.

Genevieve spent the last four years of her life at the Cedarwood Health Care Center in Colorado Springs, where she continued to work on her many crafts until her death on 16 February 2005. She had just celebrated her 85th birthday the previous week. Her ashes were taken back to Iowa to be buried next to her husband Lawrence at St. John's Cemetery near Gilmore City, Iowa.

Firstborn Sons of the Gehling Family

Pocahontas Biographies maintained by Karen De Groote.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

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