30 April 2013

Rev. J. W. Fiegenbaum

1924 — 2010

photograph of J. W. Fiegenbaum at age 6 months sitting on a blanket in the grass
photograph of J. W. Fiegenbaum at age 6 months sitting on a blanket in the grass and obviously happy to be holding an apple
Taken at Tulsa, Oklahoma, about 1925.  From Fiegenbaum-Gerber family; all rights reserved.

These two photos were taken in Tulsa, Oklahoma, J. W.'s place of birth, when he was about 6 months old. It is probable that J. W. was in the yard of 124 West Brady Street, where his parents rented an apartment. His father, John Henry Fiegebaum, repaired automobiles at the time.


photograph of a young J. W. Fiegenbaum with Mom and Grandmother on the front portch of the home at Maimi, Oklahoma
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J. W. Fiegenbaum with his mother, Katherine Margarete (Maun) Fiegenbaum, and his grandmother, Henriette Amelia Caroline (Starkebaum) Fiegenbaum.

photograph of a young J. W. Fiegenbaum wearing overalls and posing for his portrait in front of the home in Miami, Oklahoma
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J. W. Fiegenbaum

Taken at Miami, Oklahoma, about 1926.  From Fiegenbaum-Gerber family; all rights reserved.

In the photo on the right, we see a young J .W. with his mother, Katherine Margarete (Maun) Fiegenbaum, at their home at Miami, Oklahoma about September 12, 1926. J. W.'s sister, Dorothy Lorraine Fiegenbaum, was born next day. The other lady is J. W.'s paternal grandmother, Henriette Amelia Caroline (Starkebaum) Fiegenbaum. She is visiting from her home in Lafayette County, Missouri, no doubt to be on hand for the birth of another of her grandchildren.

In the photo on the left, J. W. poses alone at the front steps of the home. He is dressed as any good farmer should.

Much later in life, J. W. recalled that the home at Miami, Oklahoma was located at 200 South Main.

While in Miami, J. W. and Dorothy's father, John Henry Fiegenbaum, worked as shop foreman at L. & L. Auto Supply. By about 1928, the family had returned to Lafayette County, Missouri, and John resumed farming, an occupation he followed for the rest of his life.

In 1997, J. W. Fiegenbaum wrote down what he recalled of the early part of his life.

I have no memories of Oklahoma. I was born in Tulsa. Somewhere in a calendar book I have written down the address – Brady Street. I recollect hearing enough to make me conclude that it was a very small affair – maybe one room. My mother once mentioned that she and I were almost gassed to death – a leaking gas stove. My father found us in the nick of time. In one of my mother’s photo albums, there are some pictures of the house, and some of the friends of the family, in which my parents are pictured. My father’s employment was in the oil industry as a welder. In 1926, we were in Miami, Oklahoma where Dorothy was born, September 13, 1926. Some pictures are extant of that time – me on a kitty-car and one of me in a large hat. Aunt Clara and Grandma Henrietta Fiegenbaum visited us in Miami. I know that only via pictures. In these Oklahoma years my tonsils bothered me some. I was told x-ray was used as a treatment. I was baptized in Miami in the First Presbyterian Church by a Rev. Curtis. A certificate is extant.

The family does possess a document that certifies that J. W. Fiegenbaum was enrolled in the Crade Roll Department of the First Presbyterian Sunday School, Miami, Oklahoma, on 18 November 1926. The certificate was signed by D-?- Ballinger, Superintendent, and Harry W. Curtis, Pastor.

The "Aunt Clara" who J. mentioned is Clara Drewel, who married his father's brother, Martin Hermann Fiegenbaum.


photograph of J. W. Fiegenbaum about high-school age
At Mayview, Missouri.  From Fiegenbaum-Gerber family; all rights reserved.

Growing up near Mayview, Lafayette County, Missouri, USA


photographic portrait of J. W. Fiegenbaum in his Army uniform
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J. W. Fiegenbaum, c.1944-1945

photographic portrait of J. W. Fiegenbaum in his Army uniform
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J. W. Fiegenbaum, c.1944-1945

About 1944-1945.  From Fiegenbaum-Gerber family; all rights reserved.

In the Army, 1944-1946

J. W. was inducted into the U.S. Army on 10 November 1944 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He received his infantry basic training and military law enforcement training at Camp Joseph T. Robinson, North Little Rock, Arkansas. Serving as a Tec 5 in the 275th Military Police Service Company, he embarked on the USS General H. B. Freeman, a troop transport ship, on 1 June 1945 from Riverside, California and arrived on 10 July 1945 at Calcutta, India. His assignments also took him to Karachi, India; Kandy, Ceylon; and Shanghai, China. He arrived back in San Francisco, California aboard the U.S.A.T. David Shanks on 27 August 1946. J. was honorably discharged at Fort Sheridan, Illinois on 25 October 1946.


1950 college graduation photo of J. W. Fiegenbaum
Drury College; Springfield, Missouri; 1950
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J. W. Fiegenbaum's photo upon his graduation from Drury College

Graduation from Drury College
Springfield, Missouri

photograph of Professor J. W. Fiegenbaum in 1960
Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, Illinois; 1960
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J. W. Fiegenbaum, a husband, father & a professor at Elmhurst College

Professor at Elmhurst College
Elmhurst, Illinois

The photo on the left appeared in the 1950 edition of the Sou' Wester, the year book of Drury College. J. W. Fiegenbaum graduated that year with an A.B., magnum cum laude, in Bible, Religion, Philosophy, and History.

Following his time at Drury College, J. attended Eden Theological Seminary at Webster Groves, Missouri. Following his graduation, he was ordained into the Evangelical and Reformed Church.

While at Eden Seminary, J. met Dorothy May Gerber, of St. Louis, Missouri. A recent graduate from Elmhurst College, Elmhurst Illinois, she was studying for a degree in Christian Education.

With their studies behind them, J. and Dorothy were married at Eden Seminary. While waiting to begin a term as missionaries to India, they traveled south and served the Back Bay Mission, at Biloxi, Mississippi.

In late summer of 1954, J. and family moved to Elmhurst, Illinois, where he began teaching in the Department of Religion at Elmhurst College and served as the first Chaplain to the College. By 1960, when the photo on the right was taken, he was beginning to feel the need to continue his education. Part-time graduate studies at Northwestern University did not meet all of J.'s requirements. In the summer of 1962, the family of five would move to Montreal, Québec, Canada, and J. would begin his studies at the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University, where he earned an M.A and a Ph.D in comparative religion.

Brief Genealogy

J. W. Fiegenbaum's family

Dorothy May Gerber's family

Fiegenbaum - Gerber family

J. W.'s 1st marriage

Patricia Hannigan's family

Francis L. Correia's family

Details of the birth family of Francis L. Correia (1940-2000) are not currently known.

Correia - Hannigan family

Patricia's 1st marriage

Fiegenbaum - Keyes family

J. W.'s & Patricia's 2nd marriage

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