Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Search for My Great-Uncle Alvin Reginald Fister's Obituary (updated with obituary)

My grandmother Margaret Fister's brother Alvin Reginald Fister (1899-1976).  He lived most of his life in the areas outside Chicago, but some time after 1966 he moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he died.

After spending a good part of the day looking in historical databases (both subscription and free, even public library and community college subscription databases) for an obituary or death notice in Memphis for Alvin Fister in the 1970s, I came up empty-handed. I didn't find any obituary mention of him in Illinois, either.    This is quite a blind spot--hopefully there will be Memphis newspapers available in the 1970s and 1980s sometime soon.

The few things I know about him:

  • He served in the Army during WWI
  • He married Ilona Elizabeth Michalez in 1926 in Chicago, Illinois
  • in the 1930 Federal Census he was working as a Planning Engineer in the manufacturing industry
  • in the 1940 Federal Censu he was "Labor Rate" Engineer in the telephone manufacturing industry
  • he and his wife had 4 children: Mary, Alvin Jr., Paul Michael Fister, and Russell Benjamin Fister

I need to contact my Fister relations and see if they have an obituary for him.

EDITED TO ADD:  Found it!  The image for his obituary is a little blurred so a direct search didn't work, but a search for his sister Edith (Fister) Bornhoeft kicked out his obituary in the Chicago Tribune:

Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois)
25 Nov 1976, Thu
Page 67, col 4
Alvin R. Fister Sr., of Memphis, Tenn., formerly of Downers Grove, beloved husband of Lilly, nee Michael,; fond father of Mary (Theodore T.) Jansey, Alvin R. Jr.(Susan), Paul Michael (Nelda) and Russell B.; brother of Myron B., Lila Miller, Fern Fister, Edith Bornhoeft, Margaret Hartley and Doris Cairnes; grandfather of eight; great-grandfather of one.  Service Friday, 10 a.m. at the Adams-Winterfield Funeral Home, 4343 Main St., Downers Grove. Interment Clarendon Hills.  Visitation Thursday 7 to 9 p.m. 968-1000

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