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launch me into the air. This game was fun until he launched me a little too high, and I landed
on top of my left arm, breaking it near the wrist. In the fourth grade, I was playing chase on
the playground when I fell and again broke my left arm. In the fifth grade, I started to experience
pains in my heels. I was diagnosed as having a strange disease in my heels called Sievers
disease. It was corrected after I wore special padding in my shoes. I had another unfortunate
incident occur at my grandparents' house. My brothers and I were throwing a frisbee. It started
to get dark outside, but we continued to play. This was unwise because we could not easily see
the metal sprinkler heads that were sticking out of the ground from the sprinkler system. My
brother threw a long pass, and as I walked to get the frisbee, my foot struck an unmarked
sprinkler head, cutting it between the toes. The next day, I had stitches put in my foot. I have
had several other minor injuries, such as cut chins, shins splints, jammed fingers, pulled muscles,
and twisted ankles, but these are some of the most remembered.
I was fortunate in getting to know my grandparents and even some of my great grandparents.
I can just barely remember seeing Grandma Goeke, my father's paternal grandmother,
in the nursing home. I can recall visiting her and riding in her wheelchair. I can more easily
remember Grandpa and andma Mickan, my mother's paternal grandparents. I can see
Grandma Mickan in her rocking chair as Grandpa plays his violin at their home in Copperas
Cove, Texas. I remember time I spent with them, such as Grandpa's 96th birthday celebration.
Grandpa Mickan lived to be 96 years old and Grandma 92. I remember my mother's maternal
grandfather, whom we called Opa (which means "grandfather" in German). He died in 1989
when I was 12 years old. His wife, whom we called Oma (which means "grandmother" in
German) is living in San Antonio, Texas. She is an interesting and extraordinary lady who can
speak several languages, including English, German,including English, German, and Spanish. My paternal grandmother is
living in Austin, Texas. I have come to know her very well and enjoy spending time with her.
I got to know my paternal grandfather quite well although I would like to have known him
better. He died in 1986 when I was 9 years old. His cause of death was cancer. Both of my
maternal grandparents are living, now retired in Kingsland, Texas. From their occupations and
from living in many parts of the world, they have learned several languages and are both trilingual.
I enjoy doing things and being with them also.
I have been blessed with many gifts and opportunities in my life. I am thankful for all
of my family, our customs, religion, beliefs, and other gifts to be treasured and passed on.
Accounts of Some of Timothy's Ancestors
My Great-grandfather. John Joseph Goeke
John Joseph Goeke was born to Friedrich Wilhelm Goeke and Theresa Siedhoff Goeke
on February 10, 1879, in Frelsburg, Texas.1 He was the first of his siblings to be born in
Texas.2 His mother died either at his birth or very shortly thereafter (the exact date of her
death is not known). Little is known of his childhood or youth except that he grew up speaking
German. He was a very independent sort of person and tried his hand at a variety of occupations.
He was a mail carrier (rural route). He farmed, raised tobacco, sold real estate, did carpentry
work, etc. Prior to his first marriage, when he carried mail near Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, he
had an interesting encounter. He got to see and talk with Geronimo, the famous Apache Indian
chief. Geronimo had been incarcerated at Ft. Sill. John Goeke often related how that, for
sport, soldiers would put gold coins in the street and have Geronimo shoot arrows at them with
1 1880 U.S. Census. Dept. of Genealogy, Texas State Archives, Austin, Texas.
2 Ibid., 1880 U.S. Census.
Texas State Genealogical Society. Stirpes, Volume 34, Number 1, March 1994. San Antonio, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39868/. Accessed March 3, 2015.