I was poking around on a Slovene archive site
the other week and randomly lucked out - I found the obituary of my great-grandmother Antonia Zemljak in American Slovene
, an immigrant newspaper out of Chicago. She and her husband Frank were the first Pozuns of my family to come to America; she died first, and so was the first to be buried in this country.
The main headline for 25 March 1943 was “Rommel’s Front Breached - President Urges Settlement” (about the war in North Africa, in Tunisia), and the other headlines include “Italy preparing to surrender,” “Madam Chang-Kai Shek condemns privacy,” “Coal production should not behalted” and “News from the homeland” (the homeland being Yugoslavia). This was right in the middle of World War II, and about 16 months after Pearl Harbor.
The obituary is really touching, and reads:
Announcement and Thanks:
With deep sadness and heavy hearts, we announce to our neighbors, friends and acquaintances the sad news of the sudden death of our dear mother and spouse
ANTONIA POZUN (nee ZEMLJAK)
in the early morning hours of Wednesday, 10 March 1943 in Johnstown, Pa.
The deceased was born in Sevnica 14 January 1877. She spent 31 years in America. Her funeral was conducted according to the Roman Catholic rite in the chapel of Wagner Funeral Home and at St. Columba Church, and then at the Croatian cemetery in Johnstown, Pa.
On this occassion, we would like to express to all of our neighbors, friends and acquaintances our most sincere and heart-felt thanks for everything that everyone has done for the deceased. I must also thank our neighbors in particular, who were the first to help and offer consolation in our difficult hours. Sincere thanks to you!
Further, many thanks to the Rev. Edward McConnell for the beautiful funeral service. Thank you to the A. A. Wagner Funeral Home, which offered much assistance in the difficult hours and where the body of the deceased was laid out. Thanks also to the organization and individuals who laid wreaths on the coffin. Sincere thanks to you!
We must also thank all of those who came to pray at the coffin of the deceased and for the good of her soul, and also to those who participated in the funeral and accompanied her on her final journey. Thanks also to those who carried the coffin, as well as to those who offered to loan us automobiles. Thanks to everyone! Thank you to everyone and anyone who did anything and the days of our sorrow, whether for the deceased or for us. Thanks to you all, and may God repay you!
To you, dear spouse and mother, we wish you eternal peace and repose!
Rest in God from the labor and difficulties that you suffered in life, and may we meet again soon under the stars.
The Holy Cross tells us thus:
That your body is in the ground,
Where you may sleep peacefully in God.
Your soul amongst us will
Live until the end of our days.
The eternal will reunite us,
Christ gave us this assurance.
This promise was reconfirmed,
When he himself arose from the grave.
The mourners left behind:
FRANK POZUN, spouse, - FRANK, JOSEPH, JOHN, ALOIS, sons - the three MARYS and AGNES, daughters-in-law
Johnstown Pa., in March 1943.