Friday, August 27, 2010

Geezer Cousins -Surprise Phone Call

Since I am a geezer it stands to reason that many of my cousins are geezers too.   Today I had an unexpected phone call from one of my female cousins Dolores Tange Bowker in Newark, New York.   Her father and my mother were siblings so we are related on the Tange side of our family.   It was good to hear from her although she was reporting sad news of the death of one of our mutual cousins Roger Dennis at the age of 86.   Even more tragic was the fact his death was a suicide.   Roger was the only son of Louise Tange Dennis and Frank Dennis.  Roger was an extremely shy individual who never married and in his later years became a recluse.  He never lived away from his parents home nor enjoyed the common amenities of modern life such as indoor plumbing and the like.   After his parents died, he simply remained in the family home mostly isolated from society other than regular church attendance.   Cousin Dolores who is my contemporary would visit occasionally and tried to look after him.  When his analog TV recently became inoperative with the change to digital he simply stopped watching TV.  He was a kind and gentle soul who to the best of our knowledge may have been suffering from some unknown illness since he would not take the initiative to see a doctor.   It seem like such a tragedy to have lived such a socially isolated life.  

Five Tange Cousins -Parents Frank and Mary Tange -Dolores Tange Bowker - Standing Upper Right 
On the lighter side, it was good to catch up on various aspects of the family network that I had grown up with.  Dolores and her husband are retirees, both in their seventies.   Dick was a Cornell classmate who was in the Industrial and Relations School and now enjoys the golf scene post retirement.   From Dolores I learned of her four children and twelve grandchildren and their various activities.   Three of her children live in Newark and one lives near Rochester so the tradition of staying near where you are born continues among my more distant relatives.   I also heard of the death of an Aunt Mary Tange and of the passing of my deceased half brothers wife Bernice Bastian Goebert.   And finally I learned of the location of another cousin Linda Tange Tucker in North Carolina.

The mobility of our modern society certainly challenges my ability to keep up cousin level family connections.  Perhaps in geezerhood it is time to reach out to make more contact with my generation of cousins.   On my agenda is a project to provide a pictorial history of the Tange's and the Rehkugler's to share with my children, grandchildren and cousins.   I guess I better get to work!

No comments: