Advent Calendar: Sam Hillinger

Sam (Sammi) Hillinger (Hilinger) aka Grumpy
(The family surname of Hilinger was given a double-L to anglicize it when the family moved to America. Sam's birth name was actually Sammi, but he always went by Sam, and when he received his citizenship, that is the name he used, so that is the name I will use here. Grumpy came about when I was very young. Some say he named himself, others say that it was my trying to say "grandpa" and mangling it that suggested the name. Either way, he's been Grumpy ever since I was very small.)

Born 1922, Died 2000
Lived in: Frankfurt, Germany; Paris, France; Memphis, Tennessee; Hot Springs, Arkansas; ElDorado, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; several locations in the US and Europe during WWII; Frankfurt, Germany; Columbus, Ohio; Seattle, Wa
Married: Margaret Hansen
ED Hillinger
HD Hillinger
BJ Hillinger
CJ Hillinger

Sam Hillinger and his twin sister Mina were born in 1922 to Alex and Dora Hillinger in Frankfurt Au Main. They were the second and third of six children born to the couple. The family was Jewish, and though their early life was peaceful, when the Nazi party came to power, things began to grow sour for their father. In 1933, when the last of his businesses began to fail, Alex decided to move the family to America. They settled in Paris for a year, where Sam took a job as a newspaper boy, hawking papers on the streets. When they arrived in the US, the whole family struggled to learn English, but Sam did well, graduating in 1940 from the school where President Clinton would later graduate as well. After school, he worked for a time for a Texas oil company before moving with his family to Chicago, where he worked for a railroad company until he was drafted into the army in 1943. After being given citizenship, he was trained and then sent overseas, where he spent most of his time as a clerk and interpreter due to his knowledge of both French and German. After the war, he stayed in Europe to help with the clean up, and ended up in Frankfurt once more. On a trip to St Maritz, Switzerland with some friends, he met a Lieutenant by the name of Margaret Hansen. The two hit it off and spent much of their vacation together, learning how to ski together. After returning to Frankfurt, the two continued to visit, and in 1948, the two were married. Their first child followed a year later, and soon after the new family returned to the US, where Sam went to Ohio State University, receiving a degree in accounting magna cum laude. A second child on the way, Sam and Maggie made their way to the Pacific Northwest, settling in Seattle, where the two stayed, raising four children together, and welcoming six grandchildren into the world as well. They lived there for many years, happy, until Sam's death on a trip to Barcelona, Spain, in 2000.


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About this blog

This blog is maintained by two sisters who have had a life long interest in geneology.
Mika writes here mostly about our family (Hansen, Hillinger, Bordewick, Park, etc), and her search for more information.
Shannon mostly uses this space as a place to make the many stories written about and by her husband's family (Holly, Walker, Walpole, etc) available to the rest of the family, present and future.

Our blog is named Oh Spusch! mostly because Shannon is bad at naming things. The first post I put up includes a story about the time Walker's great grandfather took his whole family out to see a play and the littlest kept saying "Oh! Spusch!" No one ever figured out what she meant by that.