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Norb’s Memoirs: “Better Late than Never”

Norbert E. Gnadinger, Sr.

Pages: 944
ISBN: 978-145752-293-2
List Price: 58.00
Category: Autobiography & Biography
Available: October 2013
Edition: Hardcover (DJ)

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As you open my book, “Norb’s Memoirs, Better Late Then Never”, everything appears to run smoothly, page following page. This is far from the truth. I first decided to begin the book with a 1920 heading and continue writing about the events that occurred in each year consecutively until I finally wrote “The End” in the year 2000 or later. How naïve could I be? As I continued writing I became more fully aware of my family genealogy.
David Allen Gnadinger, George Stober and Stanley Gnadinger, plus others, had given me information that I just knew had to be incorporated into my book.
Our cousin from Ramsen, Switzerland, Nickolas Gnaedinger, convinced me that my book would be more easily readable if I added photos to help clarify a point. Well! I had to clarify many points with a multitude of photos.
I first had to add my wife Helen’s family, the Buchter’s, to the Memoir at an appropriate spot, 1937, when I first met Helen. I then began earnestly to research all of my and Helen’s many ancestors by searching the files of the Filson Historical Society, the Louisville City Directory, The births, deaths and wedding records of a number of Catholic Churches in Louisville and Covington, Kentucky, the Louisville Anzieger (German) Newspaper, the Jefferson County Court Clerk’s Office, the burial records from several Cemeteries in the Louisville area and “word of mouth” and records of relatives and friends.
The original Page 1 and 1920 of the Memoirs, through the many additions and histories of our families and ancestors, became Page 34 of Book 1. Besides family Genealogy, I added the many spellings and the meaning of our name, Gnadinger – “gracious”, our “Coat of Arms” given to Raul (Rudolph) Gnaedinger in 1403 by the Earl Herzog Friedrich of Habsburg (Hapsburgh), a map of Germantown and the outlined Gnadinger Park, the dedication of Gnadinger Park, a 1757 inked map of Wahlwies, Baden, Germany from which the Gnadinger Family emigrated to the United States, and a list of names of the citizens of Wahlwies including a direct descendent, Andreas Gnaedinger who was the Burgermeister (Mayor) of Wahlwies in the years, 1814–18. I also added many “General Statements” that I hoped would help clarify my “rambling writing”.—–Book one, Memories, Our Families/My Family, 1403 through 1959—–Book Two, My Memories, Our Middle Years, 1960 through 1989—– Book Three, My Memories, A winding Down (Finis), 1990 through 2007.

I am Norbert E Gnadinger, Sr. I was born in Louisville, Kentucky to my Mom and Pop, Mary Catherine and Frank Gnadinger. I was educated in the Catholic school system, attended St. Xavier H.S., and received my High School diploma at Ahrens Trade H.S. I was married to a wonderful girl, Helen Buchter, in 1939 when we were both eighteen years old. After serving in the Navy as a Storekeeper during World War II, I took advantage of the G.I. Bill of Rights and enrolled at the University of Louisville where I received a Bachelor of Science Business Degree. During this period, I was hired at Tube Turns Inc. – a manufacturer of steel pipe fittings – as a Receiving Clerk. I eventually became a Maintenance Clerk, Senior Industrial Engineer, Production Foreman, Production Control Supervisor and, before my retirement, the title of Nuclear Process Engineer in the Nuclear Bellows Department.
When I was very young, I was intrigued with my Aunts and Uncles and I listened very carefully to whatever they were saying during our picnics, home visits and reunions – I had no Grandparents because they had all died before my birth. I had a very good memory and even today, I can visualize those meetings of family members as though it happened yesterday., Later in life when I thought these memories would have some importance, I began a continuing process of writing memory notes. I also saved as many photos of our relatives as I could. I didn’t think this was all so important until I was already retired from my job and in my seventies. Members of my family began to encourage me to write some essays about my interesting life and, as I began this task, I soon realized that just an essay was not sufficient. It would eventually have to become a book. The one book then became three books. Near this point in time a computer became the perfect instrument while writing history.
Yes, my book became a history of my life; a genealogical survey of my family; a geographical study of the United States and other areas that my wife Helen and I had visited; and a look back at the development of our lifestyle and of the many items that continued to change and improve as they were accepted and did change our lifestyles – things that my Grandparents and ancestors could not even dream would become commonplace in their lives. One very good example would be the computer that changed my lifestyle so completely and, if you will, “electronics”. Please read my book and absorb the hundreds of things I mention that are still changing, for the better (?), almost daily.