Archive for the ‘Deaths’ Category

Sad News

April 21, 2008

I recently learned that Sharon Sweeney Zesut passed away. Sharon was the wife of Robert (Bob) Zesut who is the youngest son of Michael Zesut. Bob is my grandmother Wanda Zesut Thibeault’s first cousin (making him my first cousin twice removed).

Sharon and I had recently corresponded via email and she was instrumental in arranging a phone call I had with Bob a few months ago. She was also a big help with passing along info and photos/articles related to the Zesuts to Bob. She was always very friendly – a very nice person.

Sharon was one of the earliest subscribers to the update notifications for this blog and it was nice to know that she was reading along with everyone else.

Following is her obituary from The Daily Times.

Sharon Sweeney Zesut, 60, of Maryville has passed away after a brief battle with ALS on April 10th 2008. She was the daughter of Michael and Ione Sweeney born on November 13th, 1947, in Denver, Colorado. She lived in numerous parts of the country and settled in East Tennessee in 1996. She worked as a Century 21 Real Estate Broker and also spent time volunteering for community events. She held a passion for animals and served as a regional Siamese Rescue Coordinator caring for nearly 200 cats and finding them new homes. She is survived by her husband, Robert W. Zesut; son Robert M. Zesut; daughter, Laura Stacey; brother, Michael Sweeney; stepsons, Richard Zesut & James Zesut; and stepdaughters, Joanne Clinton & Lynda Glarner, along with 11 grandchildren. The family welcomes all to a celebration of her life at 6 p.m. on Sunday April 13, 2008, at the Maryville/Alcoa Home Builders, 1719 King Circle, Maryville, TN. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Siamese Rescue, 366 Meander Run Road, Locust Dale, VA 22948, 504-672-6373 in Honor of Sharon Zesut. Smith Funeral & Cremation Service, Maryville, 865-983-1000, www.smithmortuary.com

My condolences go out to her family.

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1929: The Death Of Anthony Zesut

March 31, 2008

On June 1, 1929 my great grandfather Anthony Zesut died of pneumonia at Hartford Hospital.

Born Antoni Rzeszut on May 12, 1895 in Dabrowica, Austria-Poland, he immigrated to the United States in 1909 with his mother and four siblings joining his father Kasper who had immigrated in 1907.

In 1916 Anthony married Victoria Puscizna and they went on to have five daughters: Frederica, Mary, Wanda, Sophie and Ann.

Anthony and his family lived in Glastonbury, CT until they moved to Hartford in 1923 where they lived down the street from the Colt’s Firearms Manufacturing Company where Anthony had been employed as a polisher for many years.

He left behind his wife Victoria and their five daughters. He also left his mother and step-father Anna & Peter Spark, two sisters, three brothers, three nephews and one niece. He was previously deceased by his father Kasper in 1917 and his brother Joseph in 1924.

I obtained a copy of Anthony’s death certificate from the State Of CT Department Of Vital Records. Following is a scan of that document. Click on it to view an enlargement.

 

June 1, 1929 - Anthony Zesut Death Certificate

SOURCE: Connecticut State Department Of Health. Bureau of Vital Statistics. Medical Certificate of Death. June 1, 1929

 

Connecticut State Department Of Health

Bureau of Vital Statistics

Medical Certificate Of Death

  • 1. Full Name Of Deceased: Anthony Zesut
  • 2. Primary Cause Of Death: Lobar Pneumonia
  • 3. Duration: 10 Days
  • 4. Secondary Cause Of Death: blank
  • 5. Duration: blank

This portion of the certificate is dated June 1, 1929 and was signed by Dr. J.T. Woodson, Anthony’s physician at Hartford Hospital.

Undertakers Certificate – Personal & Statistical

  • 1. Full Name Of Deceased:Anthony Zesut
  • 2. Place Of Death – Town: Hartford – Hartford Hospital
  • 3. Number Of Families In House: blank
  • 4. Residence At Time Of Death: 111 Huyshope Ave. Hartford, CT
  • 5. Occupation: Polisher
  • 6. Condition: Married
  • 8. Date Of Death: June 1, 1929
  • 9. Date Of Birth: May 12. 1895
  • 10. Age: 34 years, 20 days
  • 11. Sex: Male
  • 12. Color: White
  • 13. Birthplace – Town: blank – Country: Poland
  • 14. Father’s Name In Full: Kaspar Zesut
  • 15. Father’s Birthplace – Town: blank – Country: Poland
  • 16. Mother’s Maiden Name: Annie Kopar
  • 17. Mother’s Birthplace – Town: blank – Country: Poland
  • 18. Place Of Burial: Glastonbury, Connecticut Cemetery: St. Augustine
  • 19. Name Of Informant: Mrs. Zesut Address: Hfd, Connecticut
  • 20. Was Body Embalmed : Yes If So, Name Of Embalmer: Frank M. Lowe License No. 664

Certificate is signed by the embalmer Frank M. Lowe of East Hartford, Conn.

From the Wikipedia entry for Pneumonia:

A lobar pneumonia is an infection that only involves a single lobe, or section, of a lung. Individuals with underlying illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, tobacco smoking, alcoholism, or immune system problems are at increased risk for pneumonia. These individuals are also more likely to have repeated episodes of pneumonia.

  • It’ s worth noting that Anthony died at the same hospital and of the same primary cause as his father Kasper.

This past fall I hadn’t been sure where Anthony was buried. When I found this death certificate and saw it indicated he was at St. Augustine cemetery in Glastonbury I drove to the church’s office to find out where. I had previously searched St. Augustine but was unable to locate a headstone. The clerk at St. Augustine’s was extremely helpful and located the index card for the Zesut plot and it indicated that Anthony was indeed in the same location as several other members of his family. This was also how I came to find out that Kasper, Anna, and Joseph Zesut were buried in the same area. Unfortunately there are no headstones for any of them. Many years later one of Anthony’s daughters had a family marker placed at their gravesite.

St. Augustine Cemetery - Glastonbury, CT

 

Zesut Family Plot Marker - St. Augustine Cemetery

Anthony Zesut 1916

Times would not be easy for Anthony’s family following his death. The Great Depression was just beginning and I can only imagine what hardships his widow and five daughters faced.

Since I started this blog I’ve felt that the articles on my Rzeszut ancestors have been leading up to this one. The lack of knowledge about my Great Grandfather is one of the main reasons I began researching this family in the first place. Through the past several months I feel as though I’ve gotten to know my Polish immigrant forebears which is extremely rewarding. I’ve met relatives I never knew and through old photos have placed names to faces. Quite interesting!

 

 

1924: Joseph Zesut’s Death Reported In The Hartford Courant

February 24, 2008

Well…sort of…I guess. Clearly one of the more laughable errors in the Hartford Courant’s history. This one leads me to believe that “reporting” in the 1920’s was based on word of mouth from the town gossips.

Joseph Zesut January 30, 1924 Hartford Courant

SOURCE: Glastonbury, The Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT, January 30, 1924, page 4

 

Former Glastonbury Man Killed By Train

(Special To The Courant)

Glastonbury, January 29.

Word was received here this afternoon from Dr. Teler, coroner of Rome, NY that Tony Zesuit, formerly of this town, was killed on the railroad track at Rome this afternoon. Dr. Teler telephoned the family here for instructions, but Mr. Zesuit had recently moved his wife and four children to Hartford.

After reading my earlier post about Joseph’s death it’s apparent this report has confused Anthony with Joseph. I wonder how many people were shocked to see Anthony show up at work after being reported dead…

While Anthony (aka Tony) had moved with his family to Hartford from Glastonbury it was his younger brother Joseph who was killed in Rome, NY.

1924: The Death Of Joseph Zesut

February 1, 2008

Joseph Paul Zesut, my Great Grand Uncle, was born March 18, 1900 in what is now Poland.

I learned through documents that Joseph was born in 1900, came to the U.S.A. with his mother and siblings in 1909, briefly sidestepped the factory work his father and siblings did and worked as a fireman for the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad around 1917. Unlike some of his brothers I could find no evidence of brushes with the law during prohibition.

Joseph never married and had no children.

When I first became interested in researching my Rzeszut family tree all I knew about Joseph was a story he had been mugged in upstate New York and murdered in the early 1920’s. Nobody I had spoken to knew the location or exact date of his death and I had no idea where he was buried.

My father’s German ancestors came to the U.S. in the late 1800’s and settled in New York City after a brief stay in Buffalo, NY. While researching their migration path I came across the website Old Fulton NY Postcards with scans of old NY State newspapers. I never found anything in those papers pertaining to my paternal lineage but decided to search on “Zesut” and see if anything turned up. I never expected to find anything.

What I did find was an article in the January 30, 1924 edition of the Utica Daily Press reporting on the death of Joseph Zesut.

Following is a scan of the article from that newspaper. I’ve also transcribed it as some parts can be difficult to read. Be forewarned that it is somewhat gruesome.

1924 - Joseph Zesut Utica Press Article

SOURCE: Utica Daily Press, Oneida County, NY, Wednesday Edition, 1/30/1924, Front Page, Daily, http://www.fultonhistory.com , Accessed Fall 2007.
Utica Daily Press

January 30, 1924

Hunter Finds Body Of Man Near Tracks

Mangled Corpse of Joseph Zesut, 23, Discovered by Joseph Copia – Left Foot Cut Off At Ankle Leads To Gruesome Find.

Rome, Jan. 29 – Joseph Copia, bound for his favorite hunting ground Tuesday morning, while walking along the New York Central tracks in the western part of the city, found the left foot of a man encased in a shoe lying beside the tracks, and half a mile further the body of Joseph Zesut, 23, of 403 River St, Patterson, N.J…according to an identification card found in the man’s clothing.

BELIEVE MAN TOOK HIS OWN LIFE

Dr. H.J. Teller, Coroner, was notified and upon investigation found in a pocket a pay check of the Rome Brass and Copper Company. It was further learned that he had been employed as a helper in the plant since January 3. He boarded at the Cosmopolitan Hotel on South James Street.

Inquiry at the hotel disclosed the fact that Zesut ate his breakfast at 6am as usual. It was also learned that for a week he had been acting queerly and appeared to be suffering from melancholia or despondency. It was believed that he was slightly unbalanced.

The card which he filled out when accepting the local position given his birthplace of Glastonbury, Conn. It is believed his mother Mrs. Annie Zesut is living there and has been notified by the coroner.

It is not known whether the man was walking along the tracks or riding on a train when the tragedy occurred. A track walker under Henry Meyers and Jake Metterick who was also bound for the hunt arrived at the scene shortly after Mr. Copia made the gruesome discovery.

I made some phone calls and sent some emails to find out if any other records of this event existed in Rome, NY. A local police detective looked for Joseph in their logs and could find nothing. He indicated if a paper record still existed it was in deep storage at the local courthouse and without a case number would be virtually unfindable. The coroner’s office told me they didn’t have records going that far back and neither did the State Police or the County Sheriff’s office.

I plan on ordering a death certificate at some point but it will unfortunately not list the official cause of death because it will be a genealogical copy and not a next of kin certificate. If I could prove my lineage to Joseph I could get one with the cause but I’d need to have both Anthony and Joseph’s birth certificates from Poland. I expect to have these eventually so time will tell.

Another question I had was where was Joseph buried? I found the answer to this when I stopped by St. Augustine Catholic Church’s office in Glastonbury a few months ago. The reason I went there was because my great great grandfather Kasper Zesut’s death certificate indicated he was buried at St. Augustine’s Cemetery and I hadn’t been able to find a headstone. The more-than-helpful clerk at the church office looked through their files and found the plot cards for the Zesuts. Not only was Kasper’s plot identified but so was Joseph’s. They had question marks next to the dates because the cards had been written based on very old record books that may have been in poor condition. Regardless, I was happy to know that Joesph had made his way back to CT and was interred in the family plot with his family.

 

Zesut Family Plot Marker - St. Augustine Cemetery

1917: The Death Of Kasper Rzeszut

January 7, 2008

In the April 25, 1917 edition of The Hartford Courant it was reported that the day prior Mrs. Casper Zessnt was taken to the hospital suffering from pneumonia. Unfortunately the reporter didn’t get the facts quite right. It was actually Mr. Kasper Zesut who was taken to the hospital.

Kasper Rzeszut Is Taken To The Hospital April 24, 1917

SOURCE: Glastonbury, The Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT, April 25, 1917, page 17

 

Mrs. Casper Zessnt has pneumonia and has been taken to a hospital.

 

The following day the April 26, 1917 edition reported that Kasper had died.

 

Kasper Rzeszut Has Died April 25, 1917

SOURCE: Glastonbury, The Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT, April 26, 1917, page7

 

Kasper Jesut, who was sent to the Hartford Hospital Tuesday morning, died of pneumonia yesterday morning. He was 47 years old.

 

The April 28, 1917 edition gave a description of Kasper’s funeral.

 

Kasper Rzeszut’s Funeral

SOURCE: Glastonbury, The Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT, April 28, 1917, page6

 

The funeral of Kasper Zessut was held at 9 o’clock yesterday morning at St. Paul’s Church. Rev Denis F. Baker officiated. The bearers were Jacob V, Frank R, John Wilk, Joseph Kondal, Anthony K. The members of Lodge No. 311 Three Rose Slavonic Society, of Glastonbury, attended in a body. Burial was in St. Augustine’s Cemetery, South Glastonbury.

I didn’t realize Kasper had such Glastonbury clout to warrant three separate mentions in the Hartford Courant. I’d never really considered that he’d have friends or belong to an ethnic society of any kind. It also opens the door into further research.

His was the first family death the family experienced while living in America.

He passed away in Hartford, CT but a copy of his death certificate was made and sent to the Glastonbury, CT town hall. I located the copy there. Following is Kasper’s death certificate, click on it to view a zoomable version.

Kasper Rzeszut Death Cert - 1917

SOURCE: The State Of Connecticut Bureau Of Vital Statistics. Standard Certificate of Death. City of Glastonbury. 1917. Volume 11. Page 29. Certificate D3-68 .

State Of Connecticut Bureau Of Vital Statistics

Medical Certificate Of Death

  • 1. Full Name Of Deceased: Kasper Zesut
  • 2. Primary Cause Of Death: Lobar Pneumonia
  • 3. Duration: 4 Days
  • 4. Secondary Cause Of Death: Alcoholic Poisoning
  • 5. Duration: blank

This portion of the certificate is dated April 25, 1917 and was signed by Kasper’s doctor at Hartford Hospital. This certificate is a copy of the certificate sent to Glastonbury from Hartford and does not have actual signatures on it.

Undertakers Certificate – Personal & Statistical

  • 1. Full Name Of Deceased: Kasper Zesut
  • 2. Place Of Death – Town: Hartford – Hartford Hospital
  • 3. Number Of Families In House: blank
  • 4. Residence At Time Of Death: Glastonbury, CT
  • 5. Occupation: Factory Hand
  • 6. Condition: Married
  • 8. Date Of Death: April 25, 1917
  • 9. Date Of Birth: 1871
  • 10. Age: 46
  • 11. Sex: Male
  • 12. Color: White
  • 13. Birthplace – Town: blank – Country: Austria
  • 14. Father’s Name In Full: Adam Zesut
  • 15. Father’s Birthplace – Town: blank – Country: Austria
  • 16. Mother’s Maiden Name: Don’t Know
  • 17. Mother’s Birthplace – Town: blank – Country: blank
  • 18. Place Of Burial: Glastonbury, CT Cemetery: St. Augustine’s
  • 19. Name Of Informant: Anthony Zesut Address: 53 Concord St. Glastonbury
  • 20. Was Body Embalmed : Yes If So, Name Of Embalmer: Eugene Charbonneau License No. 626

Certificate is signed by undertaker Peter Talarski at 150 Governor St.

From the Wikipedia entry for Pneumonia:

A lobar pneumonia is an infection that only involves a single lobe, or section, of a lung. Individuals with underlying illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, tobacco smoking, alcoholism, or immune system problems are at increased risk for pneumonia. These individuals are also more likely to have repeated episodes of pneumonia.

  • The personal information on the certificate was provided by Kasper’s oldest son Anthony who was 21 years old at the time.
  • We learn that Kasper was born in 1871 and the his father’s name is Adam.
  • Anthony did not know Kasper’s mother’s name.
  • Anthony did not know Kasper’s birth town or the month and day of his birth and considered Kasper’s birth country to be Austria.
  • Prior to this document we only knew Anthony and his wife Victoria were living on Concord St but did not know the street number. This certificate confirms his address as 53 Concord St.

Without firsthand or anecdotal knowledge it’s difficult to gauge the impact Kasper’s death had on the family. Based on documented records we know that he left behind:

His wife Anna – age 46.

His Son Anthony – Age 21

His daughter Julia Pendrok – age 18

His son Joseph – Age 17

His son Michael – Age 16

His son Frank – Age 8

His son William – Age 7

His daughter Mary – Age 3

We can only speculate on the difficulties Anna would face while raising a number of young children without the primary bread winner around.

In the fall of 2007 I went to St. Augustine’s cemetery because I had read that there were Zesut’s interred there. I never found a marker for Kasper but did find the Zesut family plots. I drove up the street to St. Augustine’s office to ask about the location of Kasper’s plot because his death certificate indicated he was buried there. The office clerk found the index card indicating that Kasper was indeed buried in the Zesut family plot but that there was no headstone. I would learn that his was one of four unmarked graves at the Zesut plot.

 

St. Augustine Cemetery - Glastonbury, CT

 

Zesut Family Plot Marker - St. Augustine Cemetery

 

Kasper Rzeszut