Looking for somebody who is related to, or was well acquainted with, the man my father-in-law knew as “Uncle Willie” while growing up in Chicago.If possible, I would like to get a copy of his obituary from the newspaper, and copies of any other articles in which he might have been in.
William Opitz was born in Vienna, Austria (then The Austro-Hungarian Empire) in 1890 and served in the army during World War I.He later emigrated to the US and settled in Chicago in the early 1920s, where he had a Barber Shop up until his death in 1962 or 1963.He had a least one sister, named Paula, and I do have a few photos.(William died a bachelor, so I’m hoping there are descendants of his siblings; none of whom I know anything about.)
The Opiz family had known another family by the name of Fischer back in Vienna, and when my father-in-law’s mother, Rose Marie Fischer, emigrated in December of 1926, she lived with the Opitz family until she was married to Llewellyn Meredith Mason (about 1934-35).William was likely Rose’s sponsor, and they remained close up until the time of his death.Rose died August 17, 1963, and is buried in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in River Grove.It is possible William was buried at the same cemetery, but we don’t know for sure.
Prior to coming to the US, we know that the Fischers were Jews who had escaped Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution, and they lived in Vienna for many years.It was there that they met the Opitz family, and Rose (not sure about the rest of her family) converted to Catholicism.From this, I’d have to assume the Opitz family were also Catholics, so somebody from the Catholic Church would have likely known them.
According to Rose’s birth certificate, issued by the State of New York upon emigration, her father’s name was Elton Copfan and her mother’s name was Lena Fischer.However, her death certificate has Eugene Fischer as her father and Lena (no last name) as her mother.We have no idea who the informant, Julian Ford, was for the information given on Rose’s death certificate, so we’re not sure what to think?Was her father Elton Copfan and Eugene Fischer a previous husband?Was Eugene actually her brother, and perhaps Rose emigrated using her mother’s maiden name?Our only hope of learning the answers lies with the family of William Opitz!!!