Joseph Mimm’s bucket list

Letter J: Tenth of twenty-six posts in the April 2016 Blogging From A to Z Challenge. Wish me luck and please join me on the journey!

Joseph A. Mimm, one of my maternal great, great grandfathers, emigrated from Baden-Württemburg in Germany to Gloversville in Fulton County, N.Y., in 1873.

My ancestor lived a good life in Gloversville — worked as a glove die maker for 45 years, married my great, great grandmother Eva Elizabeth (Edel) Mimm and had two daughters.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ellwangen_Stadtansicht.jpg
Ellwangen, Baden, Germany. My immigrant ancestor Joseph A. Mimm celebrated his 79th birthday by fulfilling the lifelong dream of visiting his home town, Ellwangen, one last time. Photo: Moggosaurier/German Wikipedia Project

But when he was a widower and had been retired about 10 years, he decided to cross one last item off his bucket list — a trip back to Ellwangen, the town he had left 57 years before.

So to celebrate his 79th birthday, which occurred on 2 May 1930, Joseph boarded the S.S. Bremen for the trans-Atlantic trip. He was gone for the summer and set sail back to the U.S. on 7 August 1930.

Sadly, Joseph was taken ill on the return trip and later died at his Gloversville home. But according to his obituary in the 20 Aug. 1930 Leader-Republican and Gloversville Journal, he lived a last few months that many would envy:

While abroad he traveled extensively through the Rhine Valley and witnessed the Passion Play at Oberammergau going from there to his home in Ellwangen.

Most important of all, my great, great grandfather Joseph A. Mimm went out on his own terms and realized his lifelong dream of visiting his home town one last time.

Tomorrow’s post: Katherine (Gormley) Dempsey of Galway. Please stop back.

© 2016 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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8 thoughts on “Joseph Mimm’s bucket list”

  1. How wonderful that he got to revisit his birthplace. So few of our emigrant ancestors did and I often wonder if the homesickness caught them more at the end of their lives. Well done Joseph for making it happen!

    1. An interesting observation, Pauleen, that I had not really considered. And travel by boat was more difficult at Joseph’s age than air travel would be today, making his journey all that much more remarkable. Thanks so much for stopping by!

    1. Thanks, Trisha. Learning about our ancestors’ lives and choices offers lessons for our own. Please stop back!

  2. It’s sad he took ill on the return journey. But passed knowing he had visited his home town one last time. Keep up the posts for the A to Z challenge.
    Fran @travelgenee from the TravelGenee Blog

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Fran. It’s easy to think of older years as a time to just rest and relax close to home. I am proud of my great, great grandfather for taking a different road and embarking on a journey that was close to his heart. Good luck with your ongoing A to Z challenge blogging!

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