03 August 2012

Obituary: Paul Troost

Most readers know by now that I love reading these old obituaries.  Even if you move away from town, your obituary can still make it in the local paper.  Of course, often the deceased is the close relative of a current resident.  That still is the case today as well. What often drives me crazy, is those obituaries where you are left to wonder why they appeared in our local paper. 

From the 20 February 1930 Fremont Times Indicator.

John Troost received a telegram from Portland, Oregon last week announcing the death of his father, Paul Troost, a former resident of Fremont, who died at the age of 84 years.
Mr. Troost was born in the Netherlands, April 10, 1845, and came to this country as a young man.  He was married in Grand Rapids to Miss Mattie Bouwman and they lived in Big Rapids before coming to Fremont almost 38 years ago.  Mr. and Mrs. Troost left here for Oregon in 1910 and lived there until their deaths, the latter passing away in 1920.
Mr. Troost is survived by the following children: Joe Troost of Niles, Neal and Homer Troost, Mrs Kate Webber and Mrs. Mattie Wheeler all of Portland, Mrs. Walter Gorham of Beaverton, Ore., Paul Troost of Seattle, Wash., and John Troost of this city.
The body was interred in Portland.

I was puzzled at the line about the son in Fremont just receiving a telegram, and nothing noted about him going.  In my mind I was imagining the parent all alone, clear across the country.  But reading on, it was clear that there was plenty of family out west.  The parents had left about 20 years ago, and the mother had died 10 years after the move.  Perhaps an estrangement.  Perhaps a question of distance and money.  Just another mystery from long ago.

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