Thursday, February 18, 2016

Hanna Prusse Photo Bio

Photo biography 
by her eldest son, Arthur Frederick (Fritz) Hasler, 2016

Figure 1:  Hanna, New York City, 1954

This picture was taken when Hanna was 46 and the family was in route to Germany for 12 months - Empire State Building - NYC, New York, USA
Hanna’s eldest daughter, Sylvia Hasler Thatcher wrote a comprehensive biography of her mother Hanna in 1988 almost 20 years after her untimely death from cancer in 1969 at the age of 61. That biography can be found on her Memories page on the LDS Family Search website. This biography will feature many of the best pictures we have of Hanna with narratives assembled by me, her eldest son: Arthur Frederick (Fritz) Hasler. I will draw extensively from the Sylvia bio (in quotes), as well as memories from me and our four other brothers.

Hanna Bertha Prusse was born May 22, 1908 in Hanover Prussia Germany, the first child of Wilhelm Heinrich Prusse (Baker) and Johanna Caroline Conradi. On April 24, 1913 she immigrated with her parents, two sisters and two brothers to America (Salt Lake City) arriving close to her 5th birthday in Galveston Texas. Within a year she was the eldest of 6 and by 1925 the eldest of 12 children. A 13th child died at the age of 5. Hanna and her sister, second daughter Eveline, worked very hard to help their father with the bakery and their mother raise the large family. In grade school she played catcher on the sixth grade baseball team that won first place in the all-city schools tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Hanna loved to sing and had a wonderful soprano voice. In high school she sang the leading roles in musicals of the day, one of which was Naughty Marietta by Victor Herbert. In high school, she fell in love with the doctor’s son, Arthur Davis Hasler. As is the custom of many Utah Mormon boys, Arthur left at the age of 19 on a 3-year proselyting mission to Germany in 1927.  Hanna was a very devout Mormon and unlike most of the Mormon girls in 1928, at the age of 20 she also went on a mission. Her mission was for 2 ½ years to Wisconsin and nearby states. On September 6, 1932, shortly after Hanna and Art returned from their missions, they were married in the historic Salt Lake City Temple. They left immediately for graduate school in Madison, Wisconsin. As a young graduate student's wife in Madison, Wisconsin, for three years through 1935, she sang the soprano lead in light operas, Sweethearts, The Chocolate Soldier, and Blossom Time. organized by the University Theater,
Arthur completed his PhD in Zoology at the University of Wisconsin in 1935 and took a post doctorate job with the Federal Government on the Chesapeake Bay where he took his young wife to live in Yorktown Virginia. Their first child, Sylvia, was born there on October 4th 1936. Hanna sang professionally in the Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, Virginia. Hanna and Art returned to Madison in 1939 where Art started as an Instructor in the Zoology Department. Their first son, Arthur Frederick (Fritz), was born August 21st 1940. Four more boys were to follow, Bruce Davis, June 3rd 1942, the twins, Galen Rolf & Mark Rudolf January 24th 1945, and the baby, Karl Gregory, July 19th 1947. In 1944 they moved into the wonderful innovative house at 205 Lathrop Street where Hanna would rule the family roost for the rest of her life. But parents, sisters, brothers, in-laws and Utah were never far from her mind as she organized the long family trek from Wisconsin and Virginia out West by train or car every year.
Hanna sang on a professional level throughout her childbearing and mothering years, taking a lesson once a week, with Susan Heffner, a New England Conservatory of Music graduate. In addition to personal performing, she sang in civic opera productions and directed the Mormon congregation church choir for many years, coaching promising young voices and encouraging them to take lessons, practice and develop their talents. Hanna taught all of her children to sing and strongly encouraged them to play the piano and other musical instruments. As Arthur was promoted to Assistant Professor, then full Professor and became a renown member of the National Academy of Sciences specializing in Limnology and Ecology, Hanna was his helpmate, caretaker of his children, and social chairman: entertaining friends, his students, their wives, and visiting scientists from around the world. Hanna, the baker’s daughter, thrilled family and guests alike with her food, but especially with homemade bread, dinner rolls, and German specialties including Zwetschgenkuchen, and Christmas Stollen as well as a holiday cranberry pudding that was to die for.
In 1954, Arthur took a year long sabbatical to the University of Munich in Germany leading the whole family of eight overseas. Hanna spoke fluent German from her childhood in Germany and with her family in America. Arthur had learned excellent German on his mission in East Germany. Now it was time for all the children to be enrolled in German schools and learn German as well. Before long the whole family was speaking fluent German and singing German folk and Christmas songs, informally: the von Hasler Family Singers.
Arthur also took Hanna and the youngest three children on Sabbatical to Helsinki, Finland for 6 months in 1962. Hanna accompanied him on many trips in the US and extensive European travel on the sabbaticals.
Hanna lived to see Sylvia marry Gilbert Thatcher in 1956 and Fritz marry Mary Huebner in 1965 and she got to know four grand children. Sylvia and Gilbert’s Laurel, Blaine and Sabina were 7, 5, and 3 while Fritz and Mary’s Anneliese was 18 months old when she died. She traveled France in 1958 to see Laurel be blessed in Nancy where Gilbert was stationed in the service
Hanna died from cancer in Madison at the age of 61 on June 2nd 1969 after a grim six-month battle with the disease. She had touched many lives; over 500 people attended her funeral.

 Photo Biography of Hanna Bertha Prusse

Figure 1.5 : Hanna, Hanover, 1909

February 1909: My mother, beautiful Hanna, at age 9 months in Hanover Germany. 

She was the first child of Wilhelm and Johanne Prusse. In 1913 at age five she would travel to America with her family, by 1926 she would be the eldest of 13 children, and by 1947 she would be the mother of 6.

Sylvia and I had been looking for our mom's photo album for several years. I'm embarrassed to say. it was in my store room in a plastic bag, in a box labeled model trains (and photos). This was the prize picture of the whole huge album.

Figure 2: Hanna, Germany, 1911.

Hanna and Eveline, Hanover Germany about 1911.

This the only other picture we have of Hanna from her birthplace in Hanover Germany with her sister Eveline not quite 16 months younger when the two of them were about 4 and 3 respectively.

Figure 3: Hanna and family, Steamship Cassel, 1913

Crossing the Atlantic - Coming to America! in April of 1913

Top row: Evelyn, her mother, Johanna Caroline Conradi, holding baby Irmgard, Hanna, & father Wilhelm Heinrich Prusse.

Bottom row on the floor: Alfred and Erich.

Their ship, the steam freighter Cassel, left Bremen Germany on April 24, 1913 en route to Galveston Texas. Hanna the eldest of five, standing between her mother and father would celebrate her fifth birthday shortly after reaching Texas. Wilhelm Heinrich Prusse engineered the escape of his small family from Europe only 14 months before the breakout of World War I. Wilhelm would almost certainly have been conscripted in to the Kaiser’s army where over 6 million Germans died or were injured in the trench warfare in France.

Figure 4: Hanna, Cassel Ship’s Manifest, April 24,1913

See Hanna: Given as age 4, item number four, following her father, Wilhelm and mother, Johanne, and preceding her sister Eveline. The Steam freighter Cassel, left Bremen Germany on April 24, 1913 with the Wilhelm and Johanna Prusse Family - They were Coming to America! Listed are Wilhelm Heinrich Prusse 32, Johanne Carolina 29, Hanna 4, Evelyn 31/2, Erich 21/2, Alfred 11/2, and Irmgard 21/2 months - Their ship, the steam freighter Cassel, left Bremen Germany in 1913 en route to Galveston Texas. They landed in Texas about May 18, four days before Hanna's 5th birthday on the 22 of May,

 Figure 5:  Hanna on the Cassel, 1913

The Prusse Family with other families on the steamship Cassel April 1913

Another great picture of Hanna (in the white dress) Coming to America!

Top right - Wilhelm Heinrich Prusse 32,

Second row right Johanne Carolina 29 holding baby Irmgard 21/2 months,  Hanna almost 5,

Bottom Row Evelyn 31/2, Erich 21/2, and Alfred 11/2 

Figure 6: Hanna on the Cassel, 1913.

Hanna (right) with sister Eveline and brother Erich on the Cassel, April 1913.

Another wonderful picture of blond haired Hanna, almost 5, standing on the right in the plaid dress, on the Cassel. Her sister, Eveline age 31/2, in an identical dress is kneeling in front of her and her little brother, Erich is sitting in the middle of the Cassel Life Buoy. - With other children: Coming to America!

Figure 7: Hanna, Salt Lake City, 1914

The new Americans a year later, Salt Lake City Utah, 1914.

Hanna age 6, middle back is now the oldest of 6 children with the birth of first American Citizen: Ruth Wilhelmina.

Back row: Wilhelm Heinrich Prusse, Hanna Bertha, Johanna Carolina, Eveline Karla,

Middle row: Irmgard Herta, Alfred Phillip, baby Ruth, and Erich Wilhelm.

Figure 7.5: Hanna, 13, Provo, 1921

Another picture of very pretty mom from the missing period, just after the Prusses had moved to Provo.

Figure 8: Hanna, family bakery, Provo about 1925.

Wilhelm (Grosspapa), orphaned at age 10, never-the-less, was able to learn the bakers trade and establish his own bakery in Hanover Germany. His business was worth enough to sell for passage for his family to America and to buy a house in Salt Lake City in 1913. He couldn’t manage to finance his own bakery in Salt Lake. 

In 1920 an opportunity came to take over the Barker Bakery in Provo where he moved the family. Hanna spent many long hours working in the family bakeries as well as helping her mother raise her 12 brothers and sisters.

Figure 8.5 Hanna, High School Jr, Provo, 1925

Another gorgeous picture of mom. It's not too hard to see why dad fell in love with her. She starting to look very grownup.

Figure 8.5: Hanna, Sunday School, Provo about 1925

Hanna is center top.

Figure 9: Hanna, and family, Provo, 1928.

14 years later Hanna is 20 now the eldest of 12. She is on the back row left, one of the four oldest sisters. This is a Wilhelm and Johanne Prusse family picture.  

Back row standing: William, Hanna, Ruth, Eveline, Irmgard, Margaret.

Middle row seated: Erich, Wilhelm (Bill), Walter (Pete), Dorothy, Johanna, Alfred.

On Wilhelm’s lap: Ralph. In front seated: Norma

When they left for America in 1913 there were 5 children. In the intervening 15 years, 8 more children were born. Judith born in 1917 died in 1922 at the age of 5 to leave 12 living at the time of this picture. Hanna the eldest was now 20 and Ralph, the youngest, was only 2.  Hanna died of cancer already in 1969 at the age of 61. Only Ralph is still living when this is written in 2016. We knew Wilhelm as Grosspapa (grandfather in German), Johanne was Granny to us and Walter was known as Pete.

Figure 10: Hanna, Provo Utah, 1928

This is a portrait of Hanna when she was approximately 20.

Figure10.5 Hanna's Girlfriend Gang, Provo, 1928

Hanna center top


Hanna goes on her Mission to Wisconsin

Figure 10.7 Hanna & Colleagues, LaCrosse, Aug1929

Hanna her companion,  and other missionaries on her Mission,LaCrosse Wisconsin, 24Aug1929. At the home of the Kopectskys. Sister Kopectsky and her 2nd husband Brother Priebe.

Left to right: Elder J. K, Rasband, Hanna B. Prusse, President  Grant D. Richards, Sister N. Pitcher, and Elder M. LaBrum

“In 1928, Hanna accepted a call to the Northern States mission as a missionary for two and a half years. Arthur had already left for his three-year mission to Germany/Austria. Many young nineteen-year-old men went on missions, but the girls went less frequently. Hanna was very enterprising and spiritual, and truly wanted to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. She was always accompanied by another lady missionary. They rented an apartment together and worked under the direction of the mission president, who gave them assignments to several different cities”

Figure 10.8: Hanna, Elder, Converts_LaCrosse, Sept1929

Hanna with her convert, LaCrosse Wisconsin 22Sept1929

Caption on the back: 

Sunday Sept. 22, 1929
Brother Student, just having been baptized by Elder Rasband

Left to right:

Elder Rasband, Brother J. R. Sheets, Sr. Prusse, Brother Student.

Figure 11: Hanna (middle) on her mission, Wisconsin, 1929.

With her companion, and two elders on a Mississippi River boat.

Left to right: Elder J. K, Rasband, Elder M. LaBrum, Hanna B. Prusse, and Hanna
's companion, Sister N. Pitcher

Figure 11.2: Hanna on her mission, Wisconsin, 1929.

Hanna (upper left) with her companion and two Elders, on her mission, Wisconsin, 1929. 

Art left on his mission July 8, 1927 and returned January 18, 1930. Hanna returned six months afterwards.


July 1930 Hanna returns from her Mission in Wisconsin

Figure 11.1 Hanna, Grandaddy, Gramsie, Mirror Lake, 1932

1929 Chrysler

Figure 11.3: Hanna, Prusse Cellar, Provo, 1932

The Prusse house cellar, housed all the jams, hams, & other food storage for the family.

Figure 11.4: Hanna, Provo, 1932

Figure 11.5: Hanna, Girl Friends, Provo, 1932

Figure 11.6: Art and Hanna, Provo, 1932

Art and Hanna with weird car near the time of their marriage, Provo, 1932

Figure 12: Hanna marries Art, Provo, 1932.

Formal Wedding picture: Hanna Bertha Prusse and Arthur Davis Hasler

Standing: Betsy Taylor Allen, Irmgard, Art’s brother Bill Hasler, Unknown Bridesmaid, Eveline

Art and Hanna were married on September 6th 1932 in the historic Salt Lake Temple. Her sisters Irmgard (left center) and Eveline (right), who were tiny girls on the immigrant boat with her in 1913, were two of her bridesmaids.

Figure 13: Newlyweds Art and Hanna, Milwaukee, 1933.

 “Hanna and Arthur were married September 6, 1932, in the Salt Lake Temple and they left immediately for graduate school in Madison, Wisconsin” This is the first picture we have of the newlyweds. It was taken in front of the LDS Church in Milwaukee, probably in 1933 when they were both 25.


Figure 14: Hanna starring in the Operetta “Sweethearts” by Victor Herbert, Madison, 1934

Figure 15: Hanna in “The Chocolate Soldier”, Madison, 1935

Hanna singing the female lead in the Operetta by Oscar Straus with Don Brotherson.

“….as a young graduate student's wife in Madison, Wisconsin, for three years from 1932-1935 she sang the soprano lead in light operas; Sweethearts and The Chocolate  Soldier by Victor Herbert, and Blossomtime organized by the University Theater, opposite a fine tenor, Don Brotherson, who went on to star on Broadway”

Figure 15.5: Hanna, Sylvia, YorkTown, VA, December 1936

Great picture of mom & baby Sylvia we found in dad's negative deep storage files in Stoughton.

Figure 16: Hanna and Sylvia, Yorktown, 1935

First child, Sylvia Hasler was born to Hanna and Art on October 4th 1936 in Yorktown Virginia.Arthur completed his PhD in Zoology at the University of Wisconsin in 1935 and took a post doctorate job with the Federal Government on the Chesapeake Bay where he took his young wife to live in Yorktown Virginia”

Figure 17: Arthur, Hanna, and baby Sylvia Hasler (upper right) Provo 1937.

Family reunion Provo Utah 1937, scanned from negative in Bill & Elaine's photo album.

Top row: Harold Merkley (Eveline’s husband), Erich, Eveline, Ruth, Dorothy, Zona (Alfred’s wife), Alfred, Margaret, Irmgard, Arthur Hasler (Hanna’s husband) Hanna, baby Sylvia Hasler (daughter of Arthur and Hanna).

 Middle row: William (Bill) , Granny, Grosspapa, and Walter (Pete)

Sitting: Ralph, and Norma.

In this picture, the Haslers had just made the long trek west to Utah from Yorktown Virginia to attend a Prusse Family reunion. They probably came by car, taking over a week on the road with a stop in Madison, in the days before freeways. They brought their first child, Sylvia, born October 4th 1936, and the first grandchild of Wilhelm & Johanne to meet them and Sylvia’s 13 aunts and uncles.

Figure 18: Hanna and Sylvia, Madison, 1941.

Because of the miscarriage of their second child, Sylvia was an only child until Fritz was born in 1940 when she was four.

Figure 19: Hanna presenting Fritz, Door County, 1941.

From left: Sylvia, Fritz, Hanna, a friend with child, Olive Thompson holding Dennis in Door County Wisconsin.

Their first son, Arthur Frederick, nicknamed Fritz, was born on August 21st 1940.

Olive Thomson just died at age 100 as this is written.

Figure 20: Art, Hanna, Fritz, and Sylvia, Lake Geneva, 1942.

Teaching the kids how to swim in Lake Geneva Wisconsin.

The Haslers returned to Madison in 1939 where Arthur had taken a job as an instructor in the Zoology Department at the University of Wisconsin.

Figure 20.5: Haslers, Madison, 1943

Winter 1943: Art, Fritz, Hanna, Sylvia on Picnic Point, Madison.

Figure 21: The young Hasler family, Madison, 1944.

Left to right: Fritz, Art, Sylvia, Hanna, Bruce.

The Haslers after the birth of second son Bruce Davis on June 3rd 1942.

Figure 22: Hasler family, Madison, 1946.

This pictue is taken in the dining room with kitchen in the background in the house at 205 Lathrop Street.

Back row: Fritz, Hanna holding Mark, Arthur holding Galen

Front row: Bruce, Sylvia

The birth of Galen Rolf and Mark Rudolf January 24th 1945 caused quite a stir as twins were quite rare in the days before in vitro fertilization

 Figure 23: Hasler family, Provo, August 1947.

Adults: Arthur holding twins Galen & Mark, Hanna holding baby Karl

From left: Bruce, Fritz, and Sylvia.
Baby Karl Gregory, was born July 19th 1947 so the family must have made a grueling three day trek by car in the days before freeways from Wisconsin to Utah with a baby barely one-month old

 Figure 24: Haslers, Madison, 1949.

“The stylishly dressed Hasler family! ” Taken in front of the 205 Lathrop Street house in Madison with their 1948 Hudson Commodore car

Top row: Hanna, Arthur, Sylvia, and Fritz sitting on the car.

Bottom row: Karl, Galen, Bruce, and Mark.

This picture is quite hilarious because it demonstrates Hanna’s frugality in clothing the children, all wearing hand-me-downs. See Bruce’s way too short jacket for the extreme example. On a University Assistant Professor’s salary they had a nicely furnished, fancy house, in a good neighborhood, right next to the University, a new car, voice lessons for mom, piano lessons for Sylvia and Fritz and trips out west to Utah every year. However, they had renters to help pay the mortgage and probably had never seen the inside of a restaurant at this point. The car is a 1948 Hudson Commodore that made several trips west to Utah with all eight Haslers aboard before being replaced by a 1954 Nash Ambassador for the trip to Europe.

Figure 25: Hanna and Norma, Madison, 1952

Mother and her baby sister, Norma Caroline, most likely with Madison Arboretum lilacs in the background,

Norma was born in 1924 and was 28 when this picture was taken. She died at the age of 90 in 2014 two years before this was written.

 Figure 26: Haslers, Madison, 1953

The “von Hasler Famiy Singers” in front the grand piano at 205 Lathrop Street.

Back row: Galen (9), Bruce (11), Karl (7), Hanna, Fritz (13), Arthur with French Horn.

At the piano: Sylvia (17), and Mark (9).

From Sylvia’s bio: “I remember the morning after Daddy had taken Mother to hear the von Trapp family singers (of Sound of Music fame). Mother was ecstatic. I can still see her joyfully telling me in the kitchen the next morning about her delightful evening at the concert. Here was a musical family singing the songs of her heritage. Rehearsals began at once. We sang and performed together a great deal as a family. We endeavored to "out-Trapp" the von Trapps for years. We all sang parts, and I accompanied the German Christmas carols on the piano……. Daddy played French horn in the Madison Civic Orchestra and University Opera Productions for twenty-five years. We attended his concerts and the annual Messiah productions”

Figure 27: Prusse Women, Provo, March 1954. 

Hanna center with red carnation, Sylvia far left

From left: Sylvia (Hanna’s daughter) Marilyn (Ralph’s wife), Ruth, Carol (Walter’s wife) Judy (Alfred’s Daughter), Hanna, Eveline, Zona (Alfred’s wife), Irmgard, Dorothy, and Granny. 

Hanna and Art knew there would be no August trip to Utah this year as they were leaving then to go to Germany for Arthur’s one-year sabbatical to Munich. That meant a Spring (Easter) trip to Utah that brought many members of the Prusse clan together.

Figure 27.4: Prusse Grandkids Boys, Provo, 1954

Spring 1954: Back row - Eveline's John Merkely, Hanna's Bruce & Fritz Hasler, Alfred's Dean Prusse holding Kevin 

Front Row: Karl, Hasler with the double sets of twins Mark, & Galen Hasler and Alfred's Philip & Pherrel Prusse, with Irmgard's David Taylor on the end.

We have been looking at the picture of the adult Prusse girls for many years now, but I just found these two pictures in one of the family slide boxes. 

How come Dean's 6" taller than me when we were both born in 1940

Figure 27.6 : Prusse Grandkids Girls, Provo, 1954

Spring 1954: The grownup girls - Alfred's Judy Prusse and Sylvia Hasler

Bottom Row, Eveline's Janice Merkley, Pete's Ellen Prusse, Alfred's Sharon Prusse, Irmgard's Ada Taylor

Bottom Row:  Kid's names curtesy of Ellen.

Figure 28: Hanna and parents, Provo, March 1954.

Johanna Wilhelmina Conradi  and Wilhelm Heinrich Prusse, with daughter Hanna Bertha Prusse Hasler. Provo Utah with the Y Mountain in the background and the trees barely in bud.

Figure 29: Hasler family, NYC, August 1954

Hasler family in front of the NYC Empire State Building, visiting Art’s sister Ada Miller and family, en route to Germany on the Ocean Liner, SS Flandria, from New York to Land’s End England and on to Munich in the 1954 Nash Ambassador automobile.

Top row: Bruce, Hanna, Sylvia, Arthur, and Fritz.

Front row: Mark, Karl, Galen

In 1954, Arthur took a year long sabbatical to the University of Munich in Germany with the whole family of eight in tow. Hanna spoke fluent German from her childhood in Germany and with her family in America. Arthur had learned excellent German on his mission in Dresden East Germany. Now it was time for all the children to be enrolled in German schools and learn German as well. Before long the whole family was speaking fluent German and singing German folk and Christmas songs, informally: the von Hasler Family Singers.

Figure 4: Hanna, Bruce, Karl, Fritz, NYC, 1954

Sailing on the SS Flandre, New York Harbor, 18 August 1954

Figure 30: Haslers, Munich, January 1955.

Haslers catching snow flakes in a snowstorm on the side of their big rental house at Kunigundenstrasse 55 in Munich Germany.

From left to right: Fritz, Sylvia, Karl, Mark, Hanna, Galen, and Bruce.

The Haslers rented this big house in the Schwabing section of Munich. From there the kids commuted to school and University by streetcar. Note the boys are all wearing German military type hats.

Figure 48: Haslers and Kublys, St Nicholas, Munich 1954

The Kublys were friends from Madison, that came to visit us in German.

Sylvia remembers: “Our German Christmas was the delight of our lives. Mother was in her element. We had a tree with real candles on it (see next Figure) that year in Munich, and a real St. Nicholas came to our home and recounted our failings, admonishing us to be better before December 25. Mother discovered Advent's wreaths (see Figure 50). We burned dozens of red candles, attended Christmas oratorios, and enjoyed the beautiful many-colored Christmas decorations and marzipan (figures made of almond paste). The Christmases of Mama's childhood, as portrayed valiantly by her immigrant parents, were resurrected by a delighted Hanna and truly celebrated at  Kunigundenstrasse 55

Figure 49: Haslers, Munich, Christmas 1954

Notice the real lighted candles on the tree referred to in the quote above by Sylvia

We went all out with a big tree, not like the skanky ones we usually got at home in Madison Wisconsin.

Figure 30.5: Hanna, Sylvia, Rhine Cafe, 1955

Hanna and Sylvia enjoying a Chocolada (Hot Chocolate) at a cafe overlooking the Rhine River in Germany.

Figure 75: Hanna, Sylvia Detigs,  Kitty, Fischbachau, 1955

Frau Detig (Murmila), Holle Detig, Hanna, Sylvia, Kitty von Kranich in Dirndls

Figure 76: Haslers and Detig's at Fischbachau, 1955

Figure 77: Hanna & Boys, Aachen Krumbein, Europe 1955

Figure 81: Hasler Family at Pisa_1955

Hasler's at the leaning tower of Pisa on our spring trip to Italy

Bruce is carrying one of dad's Leica 111c cameras that were used to take most of the pictures in this blog.

Figure 86: Haslers, Leaving Munich, 1955

August 1955: Karl, Mark, Galen, Bruce, Fritz, Sylvia, Hanna, Art. This is taken in the backyard of our Munich home just before we returned from Germany. Note that Bruce, Karl and I are wearing lederhosen (leather shorts). I think Karl's are the same ones that I wore as Pinocchio for the Randall Grade School play when I was five. Also note that each of us (except Galen) is wearing a giant pretzel on a lanyard around our necks.

Figure 31: Haslers, Munich, August 1955.

Haslers “Departure from Munich” in the back yard of the Kunigundenstrasse 55, house in Munich Germany just before they returned to the States in August of 1955 to 205 the Lathrop Street in Madison. This card was made by Fritz in printing class at West High School for the 1955 Christmas following the Hasler year in Munich. Note: family members are wearing pretzels around the neck.

Figure 32: Wedding of Sylvia and Gilbert, Salt Lake City, 1956

Sylvia and Gilbert Lionel  Thacher were married in the Salt Lake Temple Sept 4, 1956. Hanna’s first child and only daughter was now married. She only had five boys to go.

Figure 32.5: Wedding Reception for Sylvia and Gilbert, Madison, 1956

Kappa Sorority House, Madison, Sept 20, 1956

Figure 33: Haslers, Madison 1957

The boys all showing off their Schwinn Bikes with generator lights that Art got on a special deal from Mr. Schwinn himself.

Photo taken in front of the famous 205 Lathrop Street house.

From the left: Hanna, Arthur, Karl, Mark, Galen, Bruce, Fritz
Note: The family German Shorthaired Pointer, Sherzel hiding Hanna.

“In 1944 they moved into the wonderful innovative house at 205 Lathrop Street where Hanna would rule the family roost for the rest of her life”

 Figure 34: 50th Wedding Anniversary of Hanna’s parents, Provo 1957

Fourteen children and spouses, 25 grand children and one spouse assembled to wish Granny and Grosspapa (Johanna and Wilhelm Prusse) a happy anniversary, Provo Utah, August 1957

Top row: Walter (holding Joan) next to his wife Carol, Ralph (holding Conrad) Fritz Hasler (Hanna’s), John Merkley (Eveline's), Dean (Alfred’s), Judy (Alfred’s), Sylvia (Hanna’s) & Husband Gilbert Thatcher, Bruce Hasler (Hanna’s), Hanna, Ruth, Eveline’s husband Harold Merkley, Eric and wife Ruth, Eveline, Alfred and wife Zona, Elaine in front of her husband William.

Middle row standing: Kathleen (Bill’s), Karl Hasler (Hanna’s), Phillip (Alfred’s), Mark & Galen Hasler (Hanna’s), Pherrel (Alfred’s),

Seated: Marilyn (Ralph’s wife holding Shauna), Sharon (Alfred’s daughter holding Diana) Ellen (Walter’s), Carol Ann (Ruth’s), Johanna, Wilhelm, Janice Merkley, Linda (Bill’s)

On ground: Roger (Walter’s), Kevin (Alfred’s), Garn, (Walter’s), David (William’s)

The Prusse, children, spouses, and grandchildren are listed below: those present in the picture are in bold type.

Hanna (1908-1969) & Arthur (1908-2001) Hasler: Sylvia 1936, Fritz 1940, Bruce 1942, twins Galen, Mark 1945, Karl 1947 …. Madison Wisconsin

Eveline (1909-1998) & Harold (1912-2002)Merkley: John (1943-1970) & Janice …. SLC

Eric (1910-1984) & Ruth (1916-1985): None …. SLC

Alfred (1911-1971)& Zona (1915-1971): Judy 1938, Dean 1940, Sharon 1943, twins Phillip & Pherrel 1947, Kevin 1954, Diana 1955

Irmgard (1913-2001) & Arthur Taylor (1904-1975): David 1947 & Ada 1943

Ruth (1914-2001) & Stephen Lundquist (1910-1994): Carol Anne 1950-2016

Judith (1917-1922 died at age 5)

Margaret (1916-2003) & Charles Gamble (1911-2003): Charles (1938-2012), Ronald (1940-2010)

Dorothy  (1920-2006) & Irwin Bailie (1918-1916): Karla 1947 & Robert 1950

Walter (Pete 1922-1996) & Carol (1924-2013): Children Ellen 1948, Roger 1951 Garn 1954, Joan 1956, Brian 1961 ….. Denver Colorado

William (Bill 1919-2002) & Elaine (1920-2006): Kathleen, Linda, David 1951, Michael 1959, Denver Colorado

Norma (1924-2014) & Lyle Thompson (1924-1996) -no children

Ralph (1926-2016) & Marilyn (July 14, 1931): Conrad 1953, Shauna 1955, Merrill 1958, Eric 1960, Bryce 1961, Holly 1976,

25 of eventually 37 Grand Children were present in the picture.

Tally: Children (13), Grand Children (37) / Great Grand Children (58+?)/ Grt Grt Grnd Children(Sylvia 3)/

Hanna & Art - 6: Sylvia 21, Fritz 12, Bruce 0, Galen 9, Mark 16, Karl 0 (Total 58)/Sylvia 3
Eveline & Harold - 2: John ?, Janice ?, 
Eric & Ruth - 0
Alfred & Zona - 7: Judy ?, Dean ?, Sharon ?, Phillip ?, Pherrel ?, Kevin ?, Diana ?
Irmgard & Arthur - 2: David ?, Ada ?
Ruth & Stephen - 1: Carol Anne ?
Margaret & Charles - 2: Charles ?, Ronald ?
Dorothy & Irwin - 2: Karla ?, Robert ?
Walter  & Carol - 5: Ellen ?, Roger ?, Garn ?, Joan ?, Brian ?
William & Elaine - 4: Kathleen ?, Linda ?, David ?, Michael ?
Norma & Lyle - 0
Ralph & Marilyn - 6 : Conrad ?, Shauna ?, Merrill ?, Eric ?, Bryce ? Holly?

Figure 35: Sylvia, Laurel, Granny, Hanna, Provo, 1958.

Sylvia, Laurel, Granny, Hanna - four generations, Provo Utah, August 1958.
Hanna with her eldest child Sylvia and first grandchild Laurel. Granny with her eldest child Hanna, her eldest grandchild Sylvia and her first great grandchild, Laurel.

Figure 36: Sylvia, Hanna, and Gilbert, Madison, 1960.

Sylvia & Hanna singing, with Gilbert accompanying, Madison, about 1960.

“When I began dating my future husband Gilbert, Mother was ecstatic. Here was an excellent pianist who could sight read anything she put in front of him. Mother would say "Oh, Gilbert's here, he'll accompany us.””

 Figure 37: Prusse children & father, Granny’s funeral, Provo, 1962

Hanna (back right) with Grosspapa and all 11 siblings assembled for the last time at Granny’s funeral in 1962.

Johanne Caroline, Conradi (Granny) died at age 78 of intestinal blockage.

Standing: William (Bill), Eveline, Ralph, Walter (Pete), Erich, Hanna, Alfred.

Seated: Ruth, Norma, Irmgard, Grosspapa, Dorothy, Margaret.

Figure 38: Hanna and sisters, Granny’s funeral, Provo, 1962.

From left: Hanna, Eveline, Irmgard, Ruth, Margaret, Dorothy, and Norma.

The Prusse sisters in birth order Hanna 1908, Eveline 1909, and Irmgard 1913 born in Germany (after the two eldest boys) and newborn on the trip to America. Ruth 1914 the first American born soon after arrival, Margaret 1916, Dorothy 1920, and Norma 1924 who died in 2014 at age 90 two years before this was written. The eighth sister, Judith, 2017 (not shown) died in 1922 at the age of five.

Figure 38.3 Hanna and her Men, Madison, 1963

Mark, Galen, Hanna, Bruce, Elaine Roundy, Fritz, Karl, Art

Hanna and her men plus one girl friend in front of 205 Lathrop Street, Madison, Wisconsin

Figure 39.5 Hanna, Sherzl, Trout Lake, 1964

Hanna and her dog once again at her favorite Trout Lake Beach for 30 years 

Figure 39: Fritz & Mary’s Wedding, Madison, 1965.

Hanna at Fritz & Mary’s Wedding, June 19 1965, Mormon Chapel, Madison.

Back row: Galen, Mark, Bruce, and Karl

Front row: Arthur, Hanna, Fritz, Mary, and Sylvia

Fritz’s four brothers were the best men and his sister Sylvia was a bridesmaid along with Mary’s three sisters. Hanna was driven to see her children married, but only lived to see Sylvia, Fritz, and Bruce marry. She got to know four grand children. Sylvia and Gilbert’s Laurel, Blaine and Sabina were 7, 5, and 3 (see Figure 41) while Fritz and Mary’s Anneliese was 18 months old when she died.  The newlyweds went to Glacier National Park and Canada on their honeymoon. Hanna and Art met them at the Salt Lake City temple where they were sealed (official Mormon marriage) by one of the 12 apostles, Harold B. Lee, who became President of the Church in 1972.

Figure 39.5: Hanna, Karl, Sylvia, Madison, 1966

Karl graduation from West High School.

Figure 39.5:  Bruce, Christine Wedding, Provo, 1967

Hanna, Art, Bruce, Christine, Christine's mother.

August 25, 1967 Bruce Davis Hasler married Christine Commandant in the Manti Utah Temple. The next day they had a reception on the BYU campus in Provo.

Hanna's second son was married. She would be dead 6 months before the wedding Galen, December 20 1969 and a year before the weeding of Mark, June 6, 1970. 

Figure 40: Christmas Stollen, Madison, 1960

A batch of mom's Christmas Stollen 1960. In the bay window of the dining room at 205 Lathrop Street, Madison.

At Christmas she would bake fifty loaves of German Stollen (fruited yeast bread), ice them, and Daddy would deliver them to friends and neighbors”Hanna, the baker’s daughter, thrilled family and guests alike with her food, but especially homemade bread, dinner rolls, and German specialties including Zwetschgenkuchen, and Christmas Stollen as well as a holiday cranberry pudding that was to die for."
In the next image we see the assembled group and dinner table for the blessing of Anneliese (born December 4th 1967), the first child of Fritz and Mary Huebner Hasler. Shown is the wonderful dining room with bay window of the 205 Lathrop Street house. The great round dinner table with large Lazy Susan in the middle. A large turkey is carved in the foreground with mashed potatoes; on the Lazy Susan are homemade dinner rolls and the gravy for the mashed potatoes. A typical dinner, and number of guests, that Hanna served innumerable times during her life.

Figure 41: Anneliese’s blessing dinner, Madison, 1968

Hanna (far right) in her element with a grand dinner for the blessing of her fourth grandchild, Anneliese, the first child of Fritz and Mary.

Back row: Sylvia, Galen, Arthur, Fred Huebner, Fritz, Ellen, Anne, Gilbert, Grandpa Huebner, Paul Christenson, Hanna

Seated: Larue Christenson, Mary, Laurel Thatcher, Laura Huebner, Sabina and Blaine Thatcher, Grandma Bast, Grandma Huebner, Alice Huebner

 Figure 42: Anneliese’s Blessing, Madison, 1968

Hanna (left), at Fritz & Mary’s Anneliese Blessing, Mormon chapel Madison

Front from left: Arthur, Laurel, Hanna, Grandma & Grandpa Huebner, Ellen, Anne, & Laura Huebner.

Second row: Grandma Bast, Alice & Fred Huebner, Mary & Fritz holding Anneliese

Six months after the first birthday of her fourth grandchild, Fritz and Mary’s Anneliese, Hanna died June 2nd 1969 from cancer at the age of 61 in Madison after a grim six-month battle with the disease. She had touched many lives, over 500 people attended her funeral.


Hanna’s Legacy

Galen and Mary were with Hanna in the hospital when she died. She was in pain with not enough medication to keep her comfortable, because the doctors were worried that she would become addicted.

Galen went on to be a doctor specializing in oncology and later in hospice care. He treated numerous patients with cancer like his mother, and put to use the lessons learned watching her die giving his patients better treatment than she received.

Mary learned some of the same lessons and she has put them to good use easing the pain of her father, mother, and sister as they were dying of cancer. She continues to use them with dealing with a second sister and daughter who also have life threatening cancer.

Read Sylvia's bio of her mother on this blog for more details of her legacy.

All of Hanna’s six children are alive and in relatively good health as this is written  47 years after her death in 2016 .

At this point, she has 18 grandchildren, 58 great grandchildren, and 3 great great grandchildren.

See pictures below.

Figure 43: Sylvia, Fritz, Mark, Galen, Bruce, Karl, Three Lakes WI, 2012
Hanna’s six children

Figure 43.5: Thatcher 50th Anniversary, Trout Lake, 2006

William Abby Gilbert Laurel Madeline Jed Bradley Cameron Daniel Stephen Nathen Amy Blaine Callie Barbera Elizabeth Cole Sylvia Kathryn Elliot Hattie Sabina Arthur Karl Lillian Jameson (14August2006)

Figure 44: Sylvia & Gilbert, 6 Kids, 3 Spouses, Salt Lake City, 2010

Gilbert's 80th Birthday Dinner at Blaine's Restaurant.

Sylvia and Gilbert have six children, 21 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren as of February 2016. Sylvia and Gilbert live in Colorado Springs CO near their daughter Barbara.

Figure 45: Fritz & Mary, 4 Kids, 4 Spouses, 10 Grandkids, Lindon 2015

Fritz & Mary have four children and 11 grandchildren with one on the way as of February 2016.  

Mary and Fritz live Lindon UT in the winter with son Matt and daughter-in-law Amy & family. In the summer they are in Three Lakes WI often with many kids, grandkids and friends enjoying water sports and boating on the lake. In the winter they are near Anneliese's family in Pleasant Grove as well as Marta's family in Park City, but not so near Marta's current (temporary) residence in Sydney Australia.

Figure 45.5:  Mary, Fritz, 50th Anniversary, Three Lakes 2015

Fritz & Mary celebrate their 50 wedding Anniversary with the McDonalds, DeBellises, Matt Haslers and 50 good friends thanks to Marta, in Three Lakes Wisconsin. Katherine and newborn Ailsa were not ready to travel.

Figure 46: Galen & Grace, 3 Kids, 3 Spouses, 9 Grandkids, Minneapolis, 2015

Galen & Grace have three children, and 9 grandchildren as of February 2016
They moved back to Madison some years ago and are the main care givers for Karl who is also in Madison.

Figure 47: Mark & Renee, 4 Kids, 3 Spouses, 16 Grandkids, San Diego 2015

Mark & Renee have four children and 16 grandchildren as of February 2016 

Mark and Renee are currently serving a senior mission at the Family History Center in Salt Lake City. They recently followed the Tanya Hunters from Madison to San Diego where they will live after their mission.



  1. Hi Fritz,
    This is from your cousin Ellen, Pete's daughter.
    You have the girls in photo 27.6 labeled incorrectly. Younger ones are Janice Merkley (pink dress) , Ellen Prusse (blue dress), and Sharon Prusse (stripes). I'm pretty sure that is Janice because she's closest to my age. Can't be Carol Ann because she's younger & that just doesn't look like her. It could have been Karla Bailie because Dorothy was there, but son Robert isn't in the photo with the boys, so I'm guessing Dorothy came alone that day & didn't bring her kids.
    Also, you left off David Taylor in photo 27.4 of the boys. He's on the end next to the Prusse twins.

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