June 27 – Happy Birthday Herbert H. Klug

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The announcement appeared in the April 30, 1963 edition of the Amsterdam Evening Recorder. It stated that a young lady, who was a former resident of Amsterdam was engaged to a young man from Storrs, CT named Stuart Rupert. They had met at the University of Connecticut, where the future Mrs. Rupert was still a student. Mr. Rupert himself had already graduated and was working for the Electric Boat Works in Groton. An October 1963 wedding was planned but the bride’s Dad would not be there to walk her down the aisle.

The future bride’s name was Eileen Klug and the announcement had been made by her mom, Mrs. June Kowalski, who was also a former Amsterdam resident. The reason for the difference in last names between mother and daughter was the same reason why Eileen’s Dad would not be there to walk her down the aisle that October.

To find out what that reason was, it is necessary to go back to another article that appeared in the Amsterdam Recorder, this one in the August 30, 1944 issue. It describes the content of a telegram received by Eileen’s Mom at her 36 McCleary Avenue home. It was sent from the War Department informing June, that her husband, US Army Sergeant Herbert H. Klug had been killed in action on August 1 of that year in France.

Sergeant Klug was 32 years old at the time of his death, having been born in Amsterdam on June 27, 1912. He was educated in the City’s public school system and like so many of his peers, had secured employment in the rug mills. I could not find out when he married June but he was inducted into the Army four months after Pearl Harbor. After basic training, he spent another year stateside. He came home one last time on leave during the spring of 1943 and then got sent overseas that October. Eileen Klug was born in January of 1944.

So not only did Herbert Klug miss the wedding of his only daughter, he missed her birth as well. And based on the dates above, it looks as if he never even got the opportunity to hold her in his arms. I kept searching and searching online for an article describing Eileen Klug’s October 1963 Connecticut wedding to Stuart Rupert, because I wanted to find out who walked her down the aisle on that date but I came up empty. Was it her stepdad, a grandfather? I just hope that she had a magnificent wedding and is still enjoying a wonderful life because Eileen was one of thousands of young brides from her generation who were forced to walk down the aisle without their Dads.

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