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Shawano County Journal

Thurs 10 May 1928


Family Has Three Deaths in 14 Months

Dan Hardtke of Oconto Falls was summoned to Kewaunee Thursday by the death of his father, Albert Hardtke, a well known resident of that place.  Mr. Hardtke, who was 80 years old, died the previous morning at the home of his son Louis.  His wife died about a year ago, she having passed away on February 21, 1927.  The funeral was held from the Immanuel Lutheran Church, Rev. Louis Baganz conducting the services.

The death of Mrs. Albert Hardtke recalls an unusual incident which took place while Charles Struck of Kewaunee was tolling the bell at the Immanuel Lutheran Church at Kewaunee as the funeral cortege was nearing the church.  While the bell was being tolled, the rope broke, and a relative, Mrs. Charles Hardtke, who was in the vestibule of the church at the time remarked to the sexton, ”They say this sign means  that another relative of the deceased will die soon.”  The sexton, Mr. Struck, is the father of Mrs. William Ammerman of West Klondike.  While it would be superstitious to believe that the fact that the rope broke while the bell was being tolled, would have anything to do with further deaths in the Hardtke family, the unusual happened, and the next funeral held at the church, a few weeks later, was that of Mrs. Charles Hardtke, the lady who made the remark because the rope broke.  Two weeks after the funeral of Mrs. Albert Hardtke, the other Mrs. Hardtke took suddenly ill, and died after an operation was performed.  The death of Mr. Hardtke marks the third death in the Hardtke family within fourteen months.