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 Hassel.
To Celebrate 45th Anniversary With Family Dinner On Sunday
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
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
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 so many.
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 real.
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
Pfenninger Family Summary - Page 5