Photos don’t do this headstone justice. It has a gorgeous, textured pattern and sparkles in the sunshine. It is the most perfect Mid-Century Modern headstone, and I’ve never seen anything quite like it before.
Fred Bachtel (1882 – 1954) was born in New York, and it’s unclear when he came to Chicago but it was definitely before 1905 when he married Mathilda “Tillie” Schmidt (1881 – 1954), a German immigrant who’d arrived in the US as a young girl with her family.
Fred worked as a machinist throughout his career, and together he and Tillie raised two daughters, first on good old West 21st Place in the city, and then in the near west suburb of Berwyn in the 1920s. After 1930, the family made their last move, this time to Oak Park and their own, purchased-not-rented house. Their younger daughter Lucile attended Oak Park River Forest High School, so perhaps they moved to make that possible.
Between 1930 and 1940, their oldest daughter Edna had a first marriage that ended when her husband passed away. She was back home, widowed, in the Oak Park house for the 1940 census. She remarried, and her younger sister Lucille also married at some point after 1940.
According to his obiturary, Fred passed away suddenly, in February of 1954. The obituary also mentions two grandaughters, one born to each of his daughters. Tillie died just four months after Fred. Tragically, just two years later, Lucile passed away at only 40 and was also buried beside her parents with a similarly beautiful, textured headstone. Her husband joined her many years later, and his headstone doesn’t have quite the same, unique texture so I suspect it was no longer available which is a shame!
RIP Bachtels and to whoever had the great taste to select the family headstones: great job.
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