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Most letters from beyond 1932 not added yet, but letters mentioning Jerry include:

11-4-1932 Harry and 11-17-1932 Art, 1955 Apr 1 Irene (also mentioned wife's parents), 1955 Apr 27 (only one to catch on his mother was in hospital), 1956 March Irene (only mentions youngest son), 1956 Sept 22 Irene (only mentions eldest daughter), 1956 Oct 18 Irene (eldest daughter writes but not her parents), 1956 Nov 9 (to Jerry, mentions all kids and dog), 1957 Jan 2 (also mentions oldest daughter), 1957 Apr 3 Char; 1957 April 11 (only wife & son mentioned, in CA to help out); 1957 Apr 17 by 3 (mentions wife & son); 1957 July 6; 1957 July 25 (visit to CA with kids by car, poss trip to Sequoias), and 1961 Oct 25 Irene, 1966 Feb 1 Marge (goes to Pekin bowling tournament), 2-19-1967 Hilda mentions his wife, son and mother-in-law. 10-25-1967 Irene talks of Jerry's family's trip to Sacramento to fish from houseboat, departing in over-packed car; mentioned very briefly 1969 Feb 5 Harry; trip to Tahoe w Larry 1969 Sept 22 Larry.


The only one added thus far including a section actually written BY Jerry is 9-9-1932 Wachdorfs (plus funny email at bottom of this page)

Letter written by his wife, Charlotte: 1968 Feb 21 Char


Gerald Francis "Jerry" Wachdorf

8-25-1919 to 8-19-2002



  1910-Edward Wachdorf Jr.

  1912-Irene H. Wachdorf

  1915-Arthur Wachdorf

  1917-Harry Wachdorf

  1923-Frank Wachdorf

  1926-Larry Wachdorf

  1929-Dolores Wachdorf


Only the last two Wachdorf children were born in the hospital. The rest were born at home. This gave Jerry grief when he tried to get a passport late in life, but had no birth certificate. It was not easy to find two witnesses to his birth to vouch for him.


married 5-24-1941


Charlotte Plaehn 




current generations

not listed

to protect

their privacy


Jerry's parents:

Edward Wachdorf


Irene Pfleger

Charlotte's parents:

Arthur Plaehn


Eva Marks

His maternal grandparents:

John Pfleger & Maria Grimm


His paternal grandparents:

Anton Wachdorf & Anna Klein


His maternal aunts & uncles:

c.1878-Henry Pfleger & Louise; 1880-Oscar Pfleger & Annie; 1883-Lou Pfleger & Gert; 1884/5-Dell Pfleger & Harry Wachdorf


His paternal aunts & uncles:

1883-Clara Roster & Henry; 1884-Kitty Hochertz & Tony; 1886-Harry H. Wachdorf & Dell; 1892-Joseph Wachdorf & Jessie; 1895-Lettie Myers & Harvey; 1897-Mae Wachdorf; 1899-Frances Stevens & Frank; 1902-Madge Wachdorf


His great-grandparents: Frank Grimm & Katerina Lukner

Jean Pfleger & Katharina Walter

John Klein & Christina Alberg

(Wachdorf ancestors unknown)

His great-great-grandparents & more in Pfleger Family tree

Many more photos and info to be added

Click on image to enlarge. Once enlarged, to zoom, move cursor to right of image, back onto image, and click again.

clockwise from left, Sis, Art, Ed, Harry (with banana curls), and toddler Jerry

Graduation photo in his cap and gown

Graduation photo in his suit

Bunky on the far left, Jerry on the far right, at the wedding of their cousin George Pfleger. Anyone remember his wife's name?

from left: Harry, Charlotte, Millie & Dick Heagberg, Irene & Art, Ed & Marge, Bunky (photo courtesy of Dick Heagberg)

5-24-1941 Charlotte and Jerry on their wedding day

Charlotte on her wedding day

Charlotte and her groom's sister, Dolores Wachdorf

Groom's brother Harry Wachdorf and his future wife Justina

Groom's brother Bunky Wachdorf and bride's brother Art Plaehn

Bunky on the right

not sure who these ones are

again not sure. Article said matron of honor Eleanor Cahill, bridesmaids Justina, Ruth Plaehn, Ruth Schickling, Mary Papp, and best man Peanut Schuch

back row from left: Dolores, Ed Jr, Harry, Bunky. Front row: Ed's kids, Irene, Jerry's wife Charlotte, Ed's wife Marge

Jerry on left at the table with his knees akimbo

from left: Char & Jerry, Millie & Dick Heagberg, Justy & Harry, Jinny's brother Grover Rose & date, Jinny & Bunk (photo courtesy of Dick Heagberg)

Wilbur "Peanut" Schuch flanked by Art and Ed Wachdorf with Jerry behind Peanut

Charlotte, developer's stamp on back 1949

brothers Ed Jr, Larry & Jerry

From the baby calendar of his mother, Irene Pfleger Wachdorf: August 25, 1919, Gerald F. Wachdorf was born Monday morning at ten minutes to 5 o'clock. Godparents Louis F. Grimm and Louise Pfleger. (Note: Monday's child is fair of face. Note also: all of Irene's children except Larry and Dolores were born at home. This was problematic later for Jerry, when he attempted to get a passport late in life and had to find two living witnesses who could attest to his birth.)

1920 census, 649 87th Place, 9th Ward (Township: tract Ag. 5 bounded by 84th St. Cottage Grove 88th Place and precinct line State St.--this was out in the country at the time. They even raised chickens):

Edward Wachdorf, 31, office manager for oil manufacturer

wife Irene, 32

Son Edward, 9

Daughter Irene, 7

Son Arthur,4

Son Harry, 2

Son Gerald, 4 months

mother-in-law Mary Pfleger, widow

sister-in-law Adele Pfleger, 35, dress maker in a general merchandise establishment.


1930 census, 334 W. 54th St.:

Edward J. Wachdorf owns home value $6000, has a radio. 41, married at 21, occupation: agent for Sinclair Refinery.

Wife Irene, 42, married at 21.

Son Edward, 19, shipping clerk

daughter Irene, 17, doing bookkeeping for a stationary company

son Arthur, 15, no occupation

son Henry, 12

son Gerald, 10

son Francis, 7

son Lawrence, 4

daughter Dolores, 11 months

sister-in-law Adele Wachdorf (no longer Pfleger), age 45, married at 40 (though husband Harry Wachdorf is living down the street with his parents), occupation: seamstress for Dept. Store.


Cook County IL marriage license: Groom Jerry L. Wachdorf (middle initial a mistake?) age 21, bride Miss Charlotte H. Plaehn, age 20, married 5-24-1941. It gives the name of the Catholic Priest who wed them in St. Martin's Church, but I can't make it out.


Couple Wed, Leave on Honeymoon Trip to Florida.

Daily Southtown, 6-1-1941:

        On a honeymoon trip to Miami, Fla., are Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Wachdorf who were married a week ago in the St. Martin church.

        Mrs. Wachdorf is the former Charlotte Plaehn, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur L. Plaehn. Mr. Wachdorf is the son of Mr. and Mrs. E.J. Wachdorf, 334. W. 58th st.

        The bride wore white slipper satin and carried a bouquet of gardenias, sweet peas and lilies of the valley. The matron of honor, Mrs. Eleanor Cahill, wore white marquisette and carried pink carnations and sweet pears. Ruth Plaehn, Ruth Schickling, Mary Papp, and Justina Shannigan (Justina Hannigan?), the bridesmaids, also wore white marquisette and carried pink carnations and sweet peas. Little Charlotte Jean Cahill was the flower girl.

        Wilbur Schuch* was the best man. Arthur Plaehn Jr., Harry Wachdorf and Francis Wachdorf ushered.

        After the ceremony a wedding breakfast for 36 guests was held in the home of the bride's parents. In the evening a reception for 250 guests was held in the Odd Fellows hall at 63rd st. and Yale ave.

        Mrs. Wachdorf is a graduate of Englewood high school, Mr. Wachdorf of De LaSalle high school. They will make their home at 9241 Throop st.


*Wilbur Schuch = Peanut


1942 (as told in 1992): Jerry told a story about getting rheumatic fever in the navy in WWII. It left him with a rheumatic heart. The doctor told him he wouldn't live to see 35. In telling the story, he leaned out of his chair to put his hand just about the floor and said, "I felt about this tall."

        The navy put all the recovering rheumatics together in one ward, confined to strict bed rest so their damaged hearts might have a chance to heal. But the men, bored and depressed, pooled their money and sent one sailor over the fence to the liquor store. He came back with cheap rock-gut and they all got corked, stripped off their hospital gowns, and started playing tag on the grounds. MPs came to catch them, but they ran, giggling and giddy, naked, hiding, drunk.

        It took until morning to chase down and catch Jerry, whose heart was supposed to have failed if he so much as got out of bed. They slapped clothes on him and took him straight to his scheduled doctor appointment, mentioning nothing of the night's romp out of embarrassment and fear of reprisal. Jerry's heart was checked and the doctor said, "This is the first day I'd say you have a chance. Your heart sounds much stronger. I don't know what you've been doing, but keep it up."


8-18-1999 email by Jerry upon hearing that his brother-in-law popped the tire on a small plane:

"Les, I am trying to learn how to do this E mail thing. Char has some 3-week old bagels here and we are sending you one to use as a tail wheel. They have good adhesion, will never go flat, will last practically forever, and are probably steerable. Plus they have onion flavor, so dogs will follow your plane."


Social Security Death Index

Jerry L. Wachdorf 8-25-1919 to 8-19-2002 Lawndale CA