It's also an anniversary in my family. My maternal grandpa Gene passed away 17 years ago on Halloween morning. He was the closest family member that I knew that had died since my paternal grandmother died when I was 7. I was 15 when grandpa passed away, a sophomore in high school who still went trick or treating with friends. I didn't feel like celebrating much that day.
Grandpa Gene is actually my step grandfather on my mother's side. My maternal grandfather, Alfred Schild, passed away in 1976 (before I was even born). My grandmother (who I call Nanny) married Eugene Blumenreich. I'm still researching grandpa so I'll share what I know today.
Eugene Blumenreich was born on September 2, 1927 in NYC to Benjamin Blumenreich and Esther Alter. He grew up in NYC (specifically, Bronx and Brooklyn boroughs). He married his first wife Clara (date TBD) and had a son named David (who is now deceased). He served during the Korean War as a parachutist (I still have yet to learn all of the details of his military service).
I don't know the specifics if he divorced Clara or if she died but eventually he married my grandmother, Dorothy. My grandmother already had three children. She had no additional children. Eugene and Dorothy lived in Clifton, NJ for a time where they were landlords of a high rise apartment building. I loved their apartment so much - so many rooms to explore! Grandpa and I would rough house or play chess, talking endlessly about so many subjects, talk during the movies (yes I know that's frowned upon). Before he passed, him and Nanny were fixing up their condo in Florida, getting ready to enjoy retirement and the Florida sun. He had heart problems and underwent surgery. Unfortunately, recovery was very hard on his body and he didn't wake up one day.
I hope to continue to honor my grandfather by researching his line of the family tree. He's still a part of me and my family, even if we're not blood related.