August 8, 1935 – January 30, 2011
The Germanna community was saddened by news of the death of Fritz Bottenberg, a Rector descendant from Trupbach and strong friend of the Germanna Foundation, after a long battle with cancer. He was buried in the nearby village of Seelbach.
Each June since 2003, when the Germanna group arrived in Trupbach, Fritz was on hand to greet us, along with members of the Heimatverein.
Fritz had grown up in the Richter / Rector house in the village, which went by the name of “Uhrmeiersch.” That is Platt Deutsch dialect for “clockmaker’s house,” because Christoph Richter, father of Germanna emigrant John Jacob Rector, was a clockmaker.
Fritz remembered seeing the house burned in the closing days of World War II, one of the few historic houses destroyed in the picturesque village.
Fritz always invited our group for a tour through the historic timber frame house with its attached barn where he and his brother Theo lived. Then he took the group up the hill to see the surviving stone entryway floor of the Richter house and showed us a large photograph of the house taken around 1910.
Rector descendants always posed for a photo with their Cousin Fritz. In 2006, Fritz donated a portion of that stone entry floor to the Germanna Foundation, where it may be seen in our Brawdus Martin Visitor Center.
In 2005 Fritz visited Germanna for our Reunion in July, along with two other Trupbachers with close ties to Germanna families, Rudi Schneider, who plays in the brass quartet that welcomes us to the town, and the late Dieter Ohrendorf, who shared his excellent genealogical research on Trupbach families that emigrated in 1713 with the foundation.
Memorial contributions for Fritz may be made to the Germanna Foundation, and condolence cards may be sent to his brother, Theo Bottenberg, Trupbacher Strasse 49, 57072 Siegen, GERMANY.