Last Man Standing was a recent theme for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. My grandfather, Daniel “Dan” Wilbert HEISER (1882-1974) was the last man standing in his family.
Dan first wife, Goldie PRICE HEISER (my grandmother) died 1 January 1919 in Washington, D.C. at 25 years of age. Her death certificate had no place to name the informant, but I’m sure it was Dan who told what needed to be told.
Dan married Maria KERCHNER HESS, a widow herself, in the spring of 1919. A marriage of necessity, I imagine. Each had children already, and each needed a spouse. They started out living in the city of York, Pennsylvania. But Dan bought a house in Jacobus, a nearby town also in York County, Pennsylvania. He lived in this house until he died.
Together Dan and Maria had two sons, Elmer in 1921 and Ralph in 1923. Elmer died in 1925 at four years of age. Dan was the informant on the death certificate.
No more losses until the 1940s
In 1945, Dan’s sister, Maude HEISER, and his father, Joseph H. HEISER, Sr. died. Dan’s mother, Martha ROGERS HEISER died in 1947. Dan was the informant on his parents’ death certificates but not his sister’s.
Jump to the 1950’s
In 1951, Maria died. She was followed by one of Dan’s daughters with his first wife, Mary HEISER WEAVER, in 1955. Dan’s brothers, Ray HEISER and William S. “Bo” HEISER, died in 1957 and 1958 respectively. Dan was the informant on each of these four death certificates.
One Man Before the Last Man Standing
Dan and Maria’s son, Ralph HEISER, died in 1968. Again, Dan was the informant. Here’s a blog post I wrote about Ralph a few years ago.
Not just the informant, though
Dan did more than provide the requested information on his family members’ death certificates. He also arranged for the burial of most of them, and I expect he paid for them, too. All except for Ray and Goldie, the above people were buried in Jacobus, Pennsylvania where Dan lived. Some were buried at Salem Union Cemetery and some at Christ United Methodist Church Cemetery. He outlived both of his wives, three of his five children, his parents, his sister, and two of his three brothers.
The last man standing dies
Dan died 4 Oct 1974 at 92 years of age. The informant on his death certificate was Allen HESS, Dan’s stepson who Dan raised from the time Allen was about five. Dan is buried next to Ralph in Christ United Methodist Church Cemetery. They share a headstone. Here’s a link to his Find A Grave page where you can see the headstone. I can’t share the photo here since I didn’t take it.
Who was the last man (or woman) standing in your family? Please comment and tell me.
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