Friday, March 16, 2012

Sympathy Saturday: Dora Lillie Mahler

My great-aunt Dora Lillie Mahler died on June 9, 1950, and her life and death remain a mystery. She was living in a nice area of the Bronx with her mother, Tillie, at this time...and possibly with her widowed sister Henrietta Mahler Burk, whose husband Isaac Burk had died unexpectedly in 1943. (Henrietta and Isaac were my paternal grandparents.)

Dora was a millinery saleslady, as this cert shows and as I also found in the 1930 Census. But apparently by 1950 she had been retired 10 years. (This is a good reason to check the 1940 Census when it comes out next month!) And this cert shows she had been under the doctor's care from April 1939 until her death. Did she have a chronic illness? If so, what was it? Why did she never marry?

Her June 10, 1950 obit in the New York Times was short and to the point: Dora Lillie Mahler was the "devoted daughter of Tillie and the late Meyer Mahler, dear sister of Henrietta Burk; David Mahler; Sarah Smith; Morris Mahler; Ida Volk; and Mary Markell." I wish I knew more about great-aunt Dora.

PS: Morris, Dora's brother, gave her birth date on the cert as July 11, 1905. Impossible: The New York Census shows her as 11 years old in 1905; the US Census shows her as 6 in 1900, 15 in 1910, and 24 in 1920. Her real birth year was obviously between 1893-1896, so she was in her 50s when she died.

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