Sad news

I got my first death notice by email. On the one hand, I am glad to be informed, and this is surely the best way to reach his correspondents. On the other it was rather a bit of a shock to open.

Gordon was my 4th cousin. My grandfather's grandmother and his grandmother's grandfather were brother and sister. At his prodding I drove down to Hesse and spent some days in the archives, actually finding the birth and confirmation records of the brother and sister's father, Daniel Stamm, from Hofgeismar, who left for the States with his brother, Christian, and his father Johan Conrad, in 1802.

Rest in peace, Gordon! I enjoyed corresponding with you.
Gordon Allan MacInnis, of Blacksburg, died December 18, 2006 at the age of 84. One of the original faculty members at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine where he taught large animal medicine, he began his more than 20-year affiliation with Virginia Tech as an Extension Veterinarian in 1962. In that capacity, he assisted farmers throughout the state, helped organize and judge the dog show program of the State Fair of Virginia, and served in Virginia Tech's anaerobe laboratory. He considered one of his most important contributions to Virginia Tech to be his role in the founding of the university's chapter of Alpha Gamma Rho, a national agriculture fraternity. He retired from Virginia Tech in 1983. During his active retirement, he was recognized as an accomplished woodworker, and was deeply involved in genealogical research. Prior to his work in Blacksburg, he was a practicing veterinarian in Wooster, Ohio, and Millersburg, Ohio, and was on the faculty of Washington State University and the University of Idaho. He earned his degree in veterinary medicine from Ohio State University in 1950. A combat veteran of World War II, he served in the European Theatre of Operations with the 389th Field Artillery, 97th Infantry Division. As a youth he earned an Eagle Scout badge. Dr. MacInnis was born March 8, 1922, in Salem, Ohio. He was preceded in death by his parents, Angus and Inez MacInnis, and his sisters Judith MacInnis and Nancy Naccarato. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Eleanor, and his children, Ronalee MacInnis of Provo, Utah; Mary Masciovecchio and her husband, Lou, of Anderson, S.C.; Bruce MacInnis of Blacksburg, Va.; Stewart MacInnis and his wife, Valorie, and their children, Ellen and Michael, of Buena Vista, Va.; and Brian MacInnis and his wife, Kim, and their children, Ian and Neil, of Christiansburg, Va. He is also survived by his sister, Eunice Mitchell of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a number of cousins, and numerous nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alpha Gamma Rho Alumni Corporation of Virginia (MacInnis Memorial), PO Box 11055, Blacksburg, VA 24062. At his request, no services will be held.


paula said...

Dear Wise Woman: I am Gordon MacInnis' niece-in-law. Nancy was my mother in law. I am sorry to inform you that Eunice MacInnis Mitchell passed away on January 3, 2008. I just happened on your blog when I was searching for Aunt Eunice's death notice in her local paper. They were both wonderful people, Nancy died before I knew her but her brother and sisters were all very wonderful to me.
Uncle Gordon and I both did geneology so I am sure I have the information you dug up for him. My mother's family are Germans. Her father's mother's family came from Sunbury Prussia. His father's family also came from Prussia.

Paula Naccarato

WiseWoman said...

How interesting the twists of time on the Internet! Sorry to hear of Eunice's passing, I only ever met Gordon and Eleanor.

I also volunteer for "Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness", I don't have a Sunbury listed for Prussia, that is more of an English name. I do have a Słońsk (German: Sonnenburg, "Sonne" is "sun" in English) in what is now Poland, though, maybe that is where they are from!

paula said...

hello again:

Thank you for your information. I only had the English spelling from Reinhold Zimmerman's discharge papers from the Civil War. At lease now I have a better idea of where he came from.

Thank you


Neil said...

Hi, this is Neil MacInnis. I am Gordan's grand-son. this seems so long ago, but it was only 2 years ago. I'm sure we all remember him. He was a GREAT wood-worker. About every thing wood in my room was from him!
Grandpa wasn't the only one i will miss. my nana passed away in her sleep. It's real sad to see two great people gone.
i miss you Nana and Grandpa. I know you both are looking over me, Ian, Mom, Dad, Papa and Grandma. (alot more.)
I can't wait to see you both in heaven.

-Neil M.

Ted said...

Dear WiseWoman,

I just stumbled across this blog when I was "google-ing" my granma, Eunice Mitchell. Gordon was my great uncle. I know of his great interest in family genealogy. After finding this blog, I was intrigued to find that this could mean we have distant family living outside of the US and Nova Scotia. Following your statement at the beginning of the blog, if you are great uncle Gordon's 4th cousin, this would make you my 6th cousin. I am curious about my family's history and our relatives (though not as devoted as Gordon).
If these statements are wrong, then please ignore this. If not, I would be very interested in corresponding.

Ted Smith

WiseWoman said...

Hi Ted,

yes, indeed! Contact me at

wisewoman dot 5 dot weberwu (at) spamgourmet dot com

(with dot and (at) fixed appropriately) and I'll send you my real address!