Cousins’ Corner: In Memoriam Roberta Wohlgemuth (1917-2010)

by
Larry Pearce
2/28/19

Robert P. Wohlgemuth
(1917-2010)

So often with the hobby of family history and genealogy one doesn’t discover the passing of those “pros” who have been instrumental in helping to form our ancestral stories. Sometimes years go by before we realize that these old friends are gone. Roberta Wohlgemuth (1917-2010) was one such comrade. I started researching my Pearce family name before the turn of the millennium. My great-grandmother was Alice Moon Hill (1865-1947) The Pearce, Moon, and Hill families had all lived within a few miles of each other in the North Park area of Allegheny County, PA, before their land was purchased for the creation of a vast expanse set aside for public use in 1927. When I started searching on my computer for family data back in the 1990s, about the only sources were limited data banks and small message boards. One day, around Christmas, in the year 2000, after posting a request for information on my Moon family for the article “The Mystery of Henry Moon,” I received a reply from Roberta. She sent me some basic information, and better yet, some unanswered questions that I am still pursuing to this day. We corresponded with Christine Adams, who provided a list she called “Known Descendants of Henry Moon,” which was very helpful. I recently rediscovered Roberta and Christine’s contributions as I reviewed some old floppy discs containing their e-mails. Their names came up again as I prepared to post my North Park and Western PA/OH Virtual Tour series. I have a letter in to Christine at this time to be sure that she is still around, but I take this opportunity to honor and thank, unfortunately posthumously, Roberta Wohlgemuth for her curiosity and hard work over the years. At first, I was unable to find her formal obituary online, but with persistence and the use of several search engines, not unlike trying to find lost ancestors, I was able to learn the history of Roberta. She was born in Mercer County, PA, and her mother was a Moon. She was affectionately named after her father, Robert. Roberta and her husband lived near Detroit for many years before moving south of Columbus to Waverly, OH. Along with four children, she had three grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and if you can believe it, two great-great grandchildren. Sounds like the Moon descendants are in no danger of fading away anytime soon. My favorite part of the obituary refers to her love of genealogy AND her cat Susie. We have and will continue to miss her, but her profound presence on this site will continue. Here’s her tribute as published in the Detroit News:

ROBERTA PEARL WOHLGEMUTH passed away May 28, 2010 after a short illness in Westland, MI at age 93. Roberta was born in Fredonia, PA on April 20th, 1917 to Robert Wilson and Anna Harriet Moon. Roberta married Frederick Henry Wohlgemuth on February 28, 1947. They lived for many years in the Detroit-Redford area before moving to Waverly OH. Roberta was an adventurous person, a lifelong learner, an avid reader and gardener. Among her special interests were archeology, history, genealogy and her cat Susie. She had three siblings, James, Adelaide and Verna who preceded her in death. She was the beloved wife of Fred, dear mother of Charlene, Judith, Vicki and the late Nancy, dear grandmother of Pamela, William, and Richard, great grandmother of Shannon, Joshua, Erika, Alex and Jonathan and great great grandmother of Trent and Aidan. She is also survived by sisters Betty and Donna, many nieces and nephews including Janet, Linda, and David. A memorial service celebrating Roberta’s life will be held on September 25th 11 a.m. at the Resurrection Chapel at Roseland Park Cemetery, 29001 Woodward Ave, Berkley, MI.

Last revised 2/28/19

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