I am back after two weeks with family members—first, a wonderful week with our grandson Nate and then a week with the extended family. We had gorgeous weather, lots of laughs, and too much good food. But now things are quiet, and I am returning to finish the story of the children of Amalia Hamberg.
It’s been a long break since I last posted, so I thought it would be helpful to clarify where I was when I left off. I had been discussing the many children of Amalia/Mlalchen Hamberg, who was a first cousin of my great-grandfather Isidore Schoenthal through his mother Henriette Hamberg.
Although Hattie Baer died at a young age as did her brother Alfred, most of the other siblings lived long lives. As we saw in the earlier posts, Amanda lived late into her 90th year, and Josephine lived to 97. Their sister Elsie also lived to 97, and Tilda was within a few months of her 90th birthday.
Unfortunately, their sister Flora did not live as long a life. As I wrote here, Flora married Julius Adler, an engineer who had worked for the Philadelphia highway department, supervising the construction of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. They had three children between 1917 and 1920, Stanley, Jerrold, and Amy. Thanks to one of the grandchildren of Flora and Julius, I now have some photographs of the family.
In 1940, all three children were still living at home with their parents in Philadelphia. Julius listed his occupation as an independent civil engineer. Their son Stanley was working as a chemical engineer for a chemical company, and their daughter Amy was a social services worker at a hospital. Jerrold had no occupation listed; perhaps he was still in school.
Then tragedy struck. On August 27, 1945, my cousin Flora died from fluoride poisoning; her death was ruled a suicide by the coroner.
Julius and the three children somehow recovered from this tragedy. Julius married his second wife Katinka Dannenburg Olsho in 1971 when he was 84 years old.
When he died in 1993 at the age of 106, the Philadelphia Inquirer published a wonderful tribute to him:
… [Julius Adler] was an erudite man who could quote long passages from Kipling, recite Latin and Greek verse, and speak authoritatively on any of his varied interests, which included growing roses and playing bridge, according to his family.
“This man was unique, just an extraordinary human being,” said Mr. Adler’s son-in-law, Leonard Malamut. “In everything he did, he was top-notch. And he was a man of great dignity. He grew up at a time when decency and ethics and morality were the guiding principles of how one lived.”
Mr. Adler was born in Memphis, Tenn., and moved to Philadelphia as a child. He was a graduate of Central High School’s 109th class in 1904 and a 1908 graduate of the School of Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, which he attended on an academic scholarship. His family believes he was the oldest living graduate from Central and Penn.
Mr. Adler’s supervision of the Ben Franklin Bridge paving took place when he was deputy chief of the city’s highway department, his son-in-law said. The bridge, when it was built, was called the Delaware River Bridge. He also supervised the repaving of Broad Street after the construction of the Broad Street Subway.
Mr. Adler taught at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Washington. He was a member of the Engineers Club of Philadelphia, the American Society of Civil Engineering and the American Society for Testing Materials.
For 70 years, he was a member of Congregation Rodeph Shalom.
Mr. Adler was, as well, a devoted fan of the Phillies. “He could tell you players’ ERAs and batting averages with great accuracy until he was 100,” Malamut said. “I regret that he died in the season the Phillies are having such a great season – that he had to die before the season was over.”
Julius and Flora’s three children also all lived productive lives. Their daughter Amy died in 2003 of a heart attack; she was 83. According to her obituary:
She served as a hospital volunteer when she was a teenager and later studied X-ray technology and electrocardiography. In 1942, she met Dr. Leonard Malamut when she was working at Jewish Hospital, now Albert Einstein Medical Center. The couple married in 1944.
Dr. Malamut opened a practice near Albert Einstein Medical Center in Olney after serving several years in the Army during World War II. Mrs. Malamut joined him in the office. She managed the practice, keeping the books and helping with electrocardiograms, blood work and other tests. She enjoyed attending concerts and the theater with Dr. Malamut.
Amy’s older brother Stanley died on April 21, 2006; he was 89 years old. According to his obituary, like his father, he was an engineer who had graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. The obituary reported:
During World War II, Stan was an aircraft inspector for the United States Navy. …. He was active in Reform Judaism, scouting, and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He wrote many technical papers. His interests included amateur radio, bridge, calculus, gardening, classical music, and a more cooperative world.
The last surviving child of Flora Baer and Julius Adler was Jerrold, who died on March 5, 2008, when he was, like his brother Stanley, 89 years old. He had attended the University of Pennsylvania and had served in the army during World War II.
He had married Doris Elaine Getz on October 6, 1946.
Although Flora’s life ended tragically, she left behind the legacy of three successful children. Their lives enriched the country that Flora’s mother Amalia had moved to as a young woman back in the 19th century. They served in our armed forces during World War II and contributed to society through their chosen careers. Like so many of us, the grandchildren of immigrants, they justified the risks their grandparents took when immigrating to the United States.