Tombstone Tuesday-Walter & Helen (Backus) Krueckeberg

Walter & Helen Krueckeberg, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. (2012 photo by Karen)

This is the tombstone of Walter and Helen Krueckeberg, located in row 9 of Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Van Wert County, Ohio. The marker is inscribed:

May 9, 1910
Dec 29, 2000
Aug 28, 1911
July 12, 1999

Walter Friedrich Krueckeberg was born in Van Wert County, Ohio, on 9 May 1910, the fifth child of Carl H. (1877-1943) and Vilenna M. (Bienz) (1879-1964) Krueckeberg. Walter was baptized 22 May 1910 at Zion Lutheran Church, Schumm, with Friedrich Bienz and Friedrich Thieme serving as his baptismal sponsors.

The 1910 census was enumerated in Willshire Township the very same day Walter Krueckeberg was born. Walter was apparently born after census taker Clyde Jones took the Carl Krueckeberg family information, and as a result, Walter was not enumerated in that census. On that census day Carl and Vilenna Krueckeberg indicated that they had 4 children. That must have been a busy and hectic day for the Carl Krueckeberg family, having a new baby as well as a visit from the census taker.

Walter Krueckeberg was enumerated in the next U.S. Census, the 1920 census, with his parents and siblings: Charles/Carl Krueckeberg, 42; Vilenna, 40; Leo, 17; Hugo, 16; Elvira, 13; Henoch, 11; Walter, 9; and Loretta, 2. The father Carl was a farmer. [1] By 1930 all but two of the Krueckeberg children had left home. Just Walter, age 20, and his sister Luetta, 12, resided at home with their parents Carl and Vilenna. [2]

Walter Krueckeberg married Helen Backus 28 March 1937. [3]  

Helen was born in New Bremen, Auglaize County, Ohio, 28 August 1911, the daughter of Harry H. (1882-1955) and Emma (Harlamert) (1888-1954) Backus.

By 1920 the Harry Backus family had moved to Convoy, Van Wert County, Ohio, where they resided on Walnut Street: Harry, 37 head; Emma, 31, wife; Helen, 8, daughter; Wilma, 5, daughter; Anna R, 1, daughter; and Georgianna Backus, 62, mother. The father Harry was a Watkins salesman. [4]

By 1930 the Harry Backus family had moved again, moving to Maple Street in Convoy: Harry H, 47; Emma, 41; Helen G, 18; Wilma, 15; Anna R, 11; James H McCullough, 26, boarder; and Robert L Fogt, 23, boarder. The father Harry did cabinetry in a factory and daughter Helen was a clerk in a dry goods store. [5]

At the time of their 1937 marriage Walter Krueckeberg lived in Willshire Township and his bride Helen Backus lived in Convoy. Walter was a farmer and Helen worked as a clerk. [3]

I found their wedding announcement in a newspaper. They married on Easter Sunday morning. Remember when wedding announcements like this were published:

Helen Backus, Walter Krueckeberg Marriage Solemnized Yesterday
Vows Exchanged in Emanuel Lutheran Parsonage Easter Morn
An early Eastern [sic] morning wedding was solemnized at 8:30 a.m. Sunday at the parsonage of Emanuel Lutheran church on West Maple avenue when Miss Helen Backus, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Backus of Convoy became the bride of Walter Krueckeberg, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Krueckeberg of near Willshire. The Rev. Herold Kramer, pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran church read the single ring ceremony which was witnessed by the attendants, Miss Wilma Backus, sister of the bride, and Henoch Krueckeberg, the bridegroom’s brother.

The bride’s gown was of Bernese blue knife-pleated chiffon and with it she wore accessories of light grey. Her flowers were a corsage of Talisman roses and sweet peas. Her sister wore a gown of French rose with navy accessories. Her flowers were briarcliff roses.

Mrs. Krueckeberg a graduate of Convoy-Tully high school, is employed as a saleswoman at the J.P. Skinner and company store. Mr. Krueckeberg was graduated from Willshire high school. He is a well known Willshire township farmer.

A three course wedding dinner was served at noon Sunday at the home of the bride’s parents in Convoy with members of the immediate families as guests. The dinner appointments were carried out in a pink and white color note which was also evident in the table centerpiece which was an arrangement of pink roses and snapdragons in two crystal bowls.

Mr. and Mrs. Krueckeberg left Sunday afternoon for a wedding trip to points in southern Ohio and in Kentucky and after their return will be at home on a farm in Willshire township. [6]

By 1940 Walter and Helen had one child, James. The Walter Krueckeberg family in 1940: Walter, 29; Helen, 28; and James E, 9 months. Walter was a farmer. [7]  

By 1950 Walter and Helen had 3 children: James E, 10; Janice Ann, 6; and Kenneth C, 2. Walter continued to farm. [8]

Walter & Helen Krueckeberg, 1971 Zion Lutheran, Schumm, directory.

Walter and Helen were active members of Zion Lutheran Church, Schumm.

Helen died in a long-term care facility in Mercer County 12 July 1999, at the age of 87.

Walter died in a long-term care facility in Van Wert County on 29 December 2000, at the age of 90.

Walter and Helen (Backus) Krueckeberg had three children: James, Janice, and Kenneth.

It is interesting to note that one of Helen (Backus) Krueckeberg’s two sisters, Anna Ruth Backus (1919-1970), married Adolph Ferdinand Dietrich (1918-2000), son of Henry Jacob (1869-1935) and Maria Elizabeth (Schumm) (1881-1966) Dietrich.  

[1] 1920 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, Ed 145, p.3B, dwelling & family 57, Charlery [sic] Krueckeberg; digital image,, viewed 16 Apr 2023.

[2] 1930 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, Ed 24, p.5B, dwelling 110, family 113, Chas H Krueckeberg; digital image,, viewed 16 Apr 2023.

[3] Ohio, U.S., County Marriage Records, 1774-1993, Van Wert County, Ohio, p.190, Walter Krueckeberg & Helen Backus, 28 March 1937; digital image,, viewed 16 Apr 2023.

[4] 1920 U.S. Census, Tully, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 137, p.10A, dwelling 267, family 273, Harry Backhus [sic]; digital image,, viewed 16 Apr 2023.

[5] 1930 U.S. Census, Convoy, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 14, p.9B, dwelling & family 265, Harry H Backhus [sic]; digital image,, viewed 16 Apr 2023.

[6] “Vows Exchanged in Emanuel Lutheran Parsonage Easter Morn,” Van Wert Times Bulletin, Van Wert, Ohio, 29 Mar 1937;, viewed 17 Apr 2023.

[7] 1940 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 81-28, p.5B, household 107, Walter Krueckenberg [sic]; digital image,, viewed 16 Apr 2023.

[8] 1950 U.S. Census, Willshire, Van Wert, Ohio, ED 81-40, p.8, dwelling 119, Walter F Krueckeberg; digital image,, viewed 16 Apr 2023.

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