Title: Army Wagoner, World War I; laborer
Birthdate: December 31, 1899
Death Date: May 20, 1965
Plot Location: Section 36, Lot 94
German immigrants brought Edwin’s father, John, to Philadelphia where he married Catherine Viereck, also of German lineage, and had six sons, the youngest of whom was Edwin. Catherine died of a stroke in 1913. Since there was no longer a family structure at home, Edwin found one in the Army after war was declared on Germany. Ironically, his tour of duty took him in the opposite direction.
He served from October 23, 1917 through April 5, 1920 with the rank of Wagoner in a supply troop for the 17th Cavalry. A wagoner drove a team of animals to transport cargo, and was responsible for securing the cargo, operating and maintaining the wagon, and caring for the animals. The regiment had been formed the year before at Fort Bliss, Texas but when Edwin joined them they were in Arizona. One year into his tour the 17th was ordered to relocate to Fort Shafter in Hawaii. After 18 months he was discharged and had to return to the colder climate of Philadelphia, having never left American soil.
Marriage came next as Virginia De Felice became Edwin’s bride. Their only child was born in 1925, named Edwin Jr. By 1930 the Army veteran was working for Emery Wheel Works, a manufacturer of emery wheels for bench grinders. Other jobs included work with a roofing company, although the 1940 census says he had been out of work from that job for about two years. Soon after, he found work at the Philadelphia Naval Yard. In 1950 he was listed as unable to work.
Edwin died of heart failure and Virginia had this military stone placed over his grave. She lived until 1996, Edwin Jr. lived until 2009, and both were interred at the nearby Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon.
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