On this page you will find an announcement of Alfred and Hassel's 45th Wedding
Anniversary, a special poem written by Lena Pfenninger Simmons especiall for the
celebration of their 50th Wedding Anniversary , and obituaries for both Alfred and
To Celebrate 45th Anniversary With Family Dinner On
Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Pfenninger, Riley Road, will celebrate their 45th wedding
anniversary with a family dinner Sunday.
Mr. and Mrs. Pfenninger, who were married April 7, 1912 at the home of the late Rev.
Charles Holaday, are the parents of nine children. Lt. Elmer M., deceased, Walter,
Alvis, Byron and Frank Pfenninger, Mrs. Robert Simmons, Mrs. Dan Tipton of
Indianapolis, Mrs. Charles Lines and Mrs. Jack Marcum.
The Pfenningers have 20 grandchildren: Dwayne of Chatham, Va, Betsy, Bill, David,
Patricia, Nancy, Sandy and Mike Pfenninger; Robert Jr., David, Stephen, and Ruth
Simmons; JoAnn, Barbara and Judy Tipton; Candice, Linda, Susan and Jackie
Marcum and James Alan Lines.
(Published in the New Castle Courier Times, April 6, 1957.)
A Salute to 50 Years of Marriage
A country lad from down in the hills
Wooed our Hoosier lass with love and thrills
‘Twas the seventh of April in 1912
I’d loved to have heard those wedding bells . . .
A home with love was begun that way
And it still is standing here today.
Fifty years of married bliss . . .
Now what do you have to show for this?
First was the pride and joy, of course
A lad we all called Elmer Maurice.
A handsome lad with heart of gold,
In the war we lost him err the story’s told.
Then there was Walter Lee
Tawny headed and carefree.
A whistle britches lad at three
Now a loving, happy-go-lucky man to see.
Lena Mirriam, a girl to pat
Her Daddy’s joy and a copy cat.
His verses she was want to say
But sadness ere she spoke that day.
Alvis Henry – “Henny Penny” –
Damn trackers he could eat aplenty.
At woodworking he’s quite a whiz
In the garage several old cars are his.
Byron Emil, solid as a brick
Stood real still for his cow-lick
A druggist for his family’s needs,
He’s known for all of his good deeds.
Doris Kathryn came our way
We almost lost her one Christmas Day.
Straight locks have never been a sin,
Since she took up a curl and a pin.
When Frank Edward is around we have a ball,
We’ll never know why he grew so tall.
Cars have always been his to admire
When remodeling a wreck to changing a tire.
A lovely lass was Leona Marie
A pleasure and a joy to see.
Her career was changed to worlds untold.
With motherhood and three tots to hold.
Last but far least, was our Ada Maralyn
The dividend that has no end
Of love and kindness from within.
A booming voice and not a cussin’
With gather in her half a dozen.
This is your life – well, no, not quite,
There’s DeWayne so far away but still in touch,
We all love and miss him very much.
Walter showered us with Betsy and Bill.
We love them and we always will.
Bob, David, Steve and Ruth
All appear from Lena’s roof.
David had been another joy,
He’s a mighty fine grown boy.
Patty, Nancy, Sandy and Mike,
Are Barney’s brood we all like.
JoAnn, Barbara and Judy dear,
The family’s so glad when you are here.
Jimmy, Donna and John Charles
Keep Grandma and grandpa busy for hours.
Candy, Linda, Susan and Jack,
With Tony and Jeff, alas, a lack.
Julie Ann is our newest and tiniest,
And Frank and Wanda think she is the mightiest.
This is the grandchildren – twenty five
Hale, hardy, and much alive
Now how is that for a nice round score?
But . . . is there more?
There’s Mary and Shelly, Scott, Dave, Allen and Pam.
The great grandchildren no links to mend.
And another one due ere this chapter ends.
(This poem was written by Lena Pfenninger Simmons for the 50th wedding anniversary of
Alfred and Hassel Pfenninger – April 7, 1963.)
Alfred Pfenninger Dies at Age of 76
Alfred Pfenninger, 76, died this morning in his home at 211 Riley Road following an
illness of several months.
Mr. Pfenninger was employed at Davis Foundry for 37 years, retiring in 1951. He was
a member of the First Methodist Church, the Knights of Pythias, Masonic Lodges and
Modern Woodsmen. He was formerly a member of the Foreman’s Club.
Surviving are his wife, Hassel; four daughters, Mrs. Robert (Lena) Simmons, Mrs.
Charles (Leona) Lines, Mrs. Jack (Ada) Marcum, all of New Castle, and Mrs. Dan
(Doris) Tipton of Indianapolis; four sons, Walter, Alvis, Byron and Frank, all of New
Castle; one sister, Mrs. William Seigrist of Louisville, Ky; two brothers, J.J.
Pfenninger and Theodore Pfenninger of New Castle; 25 grandchildren and nine great-
grandchildren. A son, Elmer, died in the service in 1944.
Funeral services are pending at Macer Funeral Home.
(From the New Castle Courier Times, June 11, 1964)
Mrs. Alfred Pfenninger (Hassel)
Deceased - March 10, 1981
Services - March 13, 1981
Burial in Southmound Cemetery
It happens time and again – the one thing that brings families together is death.
People who have not seen each other for years, even thugh related, finally find the
time to draw close when death appears. It strikes me as rather singular that we are
gathered together today to celebrate the life of one whose family has been much less
affected by this American ‘syndrome of separateness’ than most. It is Life, not death
that has kept this family together.
Hassel Pfenninger loved to boast – and keep tabs on – every one of the 94 members
of her family – including her own children, sons and daughters-in-law, grandchildren,
great grandchildren and great great grandchildren.
The unique thing is that most of them were never very far away. What secret power
did this person have to keep her family so intact and near by? Was it just
happenstance or jobs, or was it something else.
Perhaps even more than many here could put into words, there was a special sense
of belonging that focused upon the one whose love was large enough to include them
all. Social scientists reflect upon bygone days when families were much more than
mother, father, and children. They were ‘extended’ families, which means that they
included everybody in the kinship, whether by marriage or by blood, and sometimes
by neither, by friendship alone.
Such a family, no matter how large or small usually focuses its relationship in one
person who became the symbol of all the clan – sometimes mother , or father, or
perhaps a favorite aunt or uncle, or someone else.
There is no doubt that for the Pfenninger family, that person was Hassel. She was so
proud to ride in the home-coming parade this past year on the float reserved for the
family with the most persons living who graduated from our high school. The
Pfenninger family won hands down.
It is said that Mrs. Pfenninger kept careful record of every dollar earned and every
penny spent. Her family also knew that she watched every member just as carefully.
No doubt there were times when you all chafed just a bit, thinking that perhaps she
watched too closely. I, too, knew what that meant, when I had not been to visit as
often as in the past. There was a twinkle in her eye as she asked, “where have you
been?” But in the long run you knew that her watchful eye was not one of anger, but
of love. Her purpose was not to make demands upon people or make you dependent
upon her, but to free you to be yourselves. The influence of her life is multiplied many
times over not by criticism, but by compassion, not by nagging, but by encouragement.
A poem that comes to mind brings this thought into focus:
She always leaned to watch for us, anxious if we were late.
In Winter by the window, in Summer by the gate.
And though we mocked her tenderly, who had such foolish care.
The long way home would seem more safe, because she waited there.
Her thoughts were all so full of us, she should never forget.
And so I think that where she is, she must be watching yet.
Waiting til we come home to her, anxious if we are late –
Watching from Heaven’s window, leaning from Heaven’s gate.
Hassel Pfenninger was able to take the various experinces of life, good and bad, joy
and sorrow, and mix them with her faith and love, and cause them to work together
for the good of all. She saw life as an opportunity, whatever each new day might
bring. And the answer to her prayer would be that all who love her might do the same
– To see life as an opportunity for service and love.
Perhaps it is another way of saying that this family was brought together not just in the
presence of her death, but in her life as well. We give thanks to God for his gift of her
life, especially as she knew what it meant to live by sharing her love and concern for
The secret of her life was that it all held together in the love of God. For as important
to her as was her family, there was the love she knew in the Lord, that was just as
One of her favorite passages of scripture was from John 14, “In my father’s house are
many mansions.” RS says many rooms, and maybe that’s a better translation. But in
the eyes of Mother Pfenninger, when she talked with God about those whom she
loved, I’m sure that she asked Him to reserve not just rooms, but mansions for those
she loved. Her vision of God was of One who would provide for everyone all of their
unfulfilled hopes and dreams. Life was worth the struggle, the pain and the tears,
because one day there would be more than just enough, but a measure heaped up,
full and overflowing, for all those whom she cared enough about to speak their name
to God in prayer.
Let this then, be our tribute, using these words of W.T. Fessenden, as we
commend her now to God’s eternal care:
You painted no Madonnas on chapel walls in Rome
But with a touch divine you lived them in your home.
You wrote no lofty poems that critics counted art,
But with a nobler vision you lived them in your heart.
You carved no shapeless marble to some high souled design,
But with a finer sculpture, you shaped this soul of mine.
You built no great Cathdrals, that centuries applaud,
But with a grace exquisite, your life Cathedraled God.
Richard L. Christopher, Pastor
First United Methodist Church
New Castle, Indiana