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Mentioned in letter 9-9-1932 Wachdorfs and 10-13-1932 Irene and author of letter 9-21-1932 George Pfleger (same one scanned in photo gallery below)

George H. Pfleger

11-28-1911 to 8-5-1944



He may have had a brother, Edward, who died in infancy

mentioned only in his father's obituary and the 1910 census, when his mother is listed as mother of one, none suviving (before George's birth)



Isabel Sullivan





  He died in WWII before he had a chance to have a family.

George first entered the seminary at Mundelein, then withdrew, married, and went off to war.

No one currently can recall his wife's name, only that George's mother was set against her, because she had wanted George to be a priest.


Henry Pfleger


Louise Lift

spouse's parents:

Joseph Lift



maternal grandparents:

Joseph Lift & Eva


paternal grandparents:

John/Johann Pfleger and Maria Grimm

maternal aunts & uncles:

Annie; Edward Lift & Lucy Parker; George Lift & Helen; Catherine; Lena; Susan


paternal aunts & uncles:

1880-Oscar Pfleger & Annie Wirtz; 1883-Lou Pfleger & Gert Bornhofen; c.1885-Dell Pfleger & Harry Wachdorf; 1888-Irene Pfleger & Edward Wachdorf



Frank Grimm and Katerina Lukener

Jean/Johannes Pfleger & Katherina Walter


For his full Pfleger lineage going back to the 1600s, click here: Pfleger Family tree

Click on any image to enlarge. To zoom after enlarging, move cursor to right of image, back onto image, and click again. Zooming on the letter is awkward--click here for transcription.

page 1 of letter from George 9-1932 when he was in the seminary

page 2

page 3

page 4

A groom, not a priest (caption below photo gallery)

his mother in the late 1950s, but his photo is on the table behind her, and since photos of him are scarce...

8-5-1944 mass card "killed in action in France"

presentation mass card (he was buried in France)

George's military info

Wedding photo caption: bookend groomsmen are his cousins Frank Wachdorf and Jerry Wachdorf, two of the sons of his father's sister, Irene Pfleger Wachdorf. The others in the shot are unknown. His bride's name was Isabel Sullivan, found only through old newspaper clippings, as no one could remember her name, only that his mother was dead set against her because she had wanted George to become a priest.

When George was born his parents lived independently of his mother's family, but in the 1930 census his family has moved in with his maternal grandfather, Joseph Lift, and they apparently stay there throughout George's life. His father started as an optician, and held that job for decades, only to lose it around the Great Depression, after which he went from clerk to messenger. Someone in the household, however, saw fit to refer to Henry and Louise as "Dr. and Mrs. H. Pfleger" in a small blurb about guests they had in 1943. 

In 1929 George was named godfather to his Aunt Irene Pfleger Wachdorf's daughter Dolores (godmother was his cousin Catherine Pfleger, daughter of his Uncle Lou).

George's mother wanted him to be a priest (and held it against the woman he eventually married--to the extent that her name went unrecorded) and in 1932 he did attend the seminary at Mundelein (his letter from the seminary is in the photo gallery, with the transcription below). His Aunt Irene Pfleger Wachdorf wrote in a letter to her daughter 9-9-1932, "George left for Mundelein yesterday and it seemed kind of lonesome not having him pop in and out a few times today. He left on the train with the rest of the boys as he thought that would be more fun than driving down." In a later letter, she says of George's mother, Louise, "I have to leave her read all of your letters as George's are also few and far between this year," which implies it was not George's first year at the seminary.

8-11-1943 George Pfleger listed among blood donors in the Southtown Economist, so he was not yet overseas by that point.

By his mass card and military records, George died 8-5-1944, "killed in action in France." Details of his rank and whatnot in the gallery above, in "George's military info."

Southtown Economist 8-23-1944 excerpt

...Those killed in action were:

...Pvt. George Pfleger, 32, husband of Mrs. Isabel Sullivan Pfleger, 424 W. Marquette rd., and son of Mr. and Mrs. H.J. Pfleger, 347 W. 58th st....Pvt. George Pfleger, an infantryman, was killed August 5 in France, nine days after he arrived overseas. His last letter, dated August 1, said only that he was attending mass and receiving communion every day. Private Pfleger attended Quigley Preparatory and Mundelein seminaries and the Armour Institute of Technology. Before entering the service he was a sales engineer for the Crane company. A memorial mass will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in St. Martin's church, 59th st. and Princeton ave.


Southtown Economist 11-5-1944

Plaque Dedications Today

For Five Southtown Men

Plaques will be dedicated by American Legion posts this afternoon in memory of five Southtown men who lost their lives while serving their country in the armed forces overseas. The six men are:

    Pvt. George Pfleger, 32 years old, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Pfleger, 347 W. 54th st. (note--should say 58th)...the plaque for Private Pfleger will be dedicated at 3:30 p.m. at 59th st. and Shields ave. by the Raymond J. Hagamann post, American Legion, and the Englewood OCD auxiliary police, with the Rev. Edward Baseheart, assistant pastor of St. Martin church, giving the invocation. Block Capt. John Logan, 5844 Shields ave., and Zone Capt. Chris Schnoor, 246 W. 59th st., also will participate. Private PFleger was killed in action in France on August 5...


Southtown Economist 8-1-1945

Memorial Mass to Be Held

Saturday for Geo. Pfleger

A solemn memorial mass will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday for Pvt. George Pfleger, 33 years old, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Pfleger, 347 W> 58th st., who was killed August 5, 1944, in France, in Old St. Peter's church, Polk and Clark sts.

    He had been in service 11 months and was overseas four days. A graduate of Armour Institute of Technology, he was sales engineer for the C.R> Carne company before entering service.

A version of a photo of George is in the photo gallery on the Lift page--in one photo of his mother in the 1950s, his portrait is on the table behind her.

Transcription of letter

Dear Sis,

You letter came in a hurry, but the one you had 'coming' back from me didn't 'come' in such a hurry. I'll give you a fine excuse for not answering sooner. I'm telling that it took a long time to think up. Here's the way it goes:

You see when we move in after vacation has closed we have to unpack, arrange our rooms, etc, and besides that a million other things. Well, I just about finished with all this work when your letter came. Well to make a short story long, I could have answered immediately but you know how we seminarians are--we just must keep our public in suspense. So, I thought I'd let you wait a while. Now don't get sore. We are all alike. It seems to be a habit that grows on one out here.

It's nice to hear the you are happy. In fact, it's one of the nicest things I've heard in a long time. But one of the funniest things I've ever heard is that you eat everything that's put in front of you. Gosh, the guy who said there is a first time for everything surely was right. Nicht wahr? How is the homesickness coming along? Do you miss me as much as ever? Aw mertz.

No, Sis, I was not made a prefect, thank the Lord. I have enough to do as it is. My year's wrok includes Psychology, Physiology, Ethics, Theodicy, Biology, English and History of Philosophy. Besides I was elected to take care of the fish, play in two orchestras, clarinet in one, oboe in the other, and then play the sax in the "splash" orchestra. Not only that, I am taking part in the tennis and golf tournaments. So you see I am kept pretty busy most of the time. I'm writing my fourth letter home tonight. If I don't watch out, mother will be calling up to see if I'm still alive. Talking about letters, I received one from home today and enclosed in the envelope I found your picture. You were all dressed up in your "Sunday-go-meetin' clothes," and if I do say so myself, you look pretty swell.

Well, Sis, I think I'll make my bow before I get kicked off the stage. Tell Florence, Dorothy, and all the Sisters with whom I am acquainted 'hello.' Is Dorothy over her case of homesickness yet?

I'll remember you in my prayers--as per our agreement, which was the you do the same for me. Excuse the writing and the slang, etc. I just feel kinda dizzy tonight for some reason or other.

So long, write soon, your cousin, George.

(dated September 21, 1932; addressed to Miss Irene Wachdorf/St. Joseph Convent/1501 So. Layton Blvd./Milwaukee Wisconsin. Header at top of page "Hall of Philosophy/St. Mary of the Lake Seminary/Mundelein, Illinois." Note: this is written to George's cousin (his aunt Irene Pfleger Wachdorf's daughter); everyone called Irene Wachdorf (Heagberg) "Sis." Why George left the seminary is unknown, but Sis left the convent because she got tuberculosis. Go to Irene Heagberg for her story. )

Connection: his paternal aunts were Dell Pfleger Wachdorf & Irene Pfleger Wachdorf