Joseph Eugene Gette


Andrew and Ignatheus left Russia and arrived from Hamburg on the SS Kaiserin Auguste Victoria together at Ellis Island in New York on March 17, 1913.

The Record of Aliens Held for Special Inquiry records the the brothers were held 15 days for some kind of physical defect, probably sickness from travel.

After arriving, the brothers traveled to North Dakota where they farmed.  It was not until September 3, 1924 that his wife, Elizabeth Koenig Gette, arrived at Ellis Island with three of their children:  John, Barbara and Elizabeth.  From 1913 to 1924, there were many obstacles in the family leaving Russia including the placement of John in a labor camp because he was a male German.  The biggest problem was money that was sent from the United States to Russia never made it to the family.  He was finally able to get tickets to them in 1924.  My father, Joseph Eugene Gette, was the first child to be born in the United States on July 11, 1925.

He told the story of only speaking German at home but English outside the home for many years.  His mother, Elizabeth Koenig Gette, was sick for many years after his birth and she died on December 23, 1928 in Munich, North Dakota.  On July 6, 1930, Andrew married Catherine Keene.  His father died February 12, 1943 in Munich, North Dakota.

In 1942 Joseph moved to Fort Worth, Texas, to live with his sister, Elizabeth Gette Cline who was married to a prominent Fort Worth attorney, Coleman Cline, and to attend school at Arlington Heights High School from which he graduated.

After graduating from high school, Joe enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in the Pacific during World War II.  It was while in the hospital at Big Bear, California, suffering from Rheumatic Fever that he met Phyllis Ruth Cole and their were married at the age of 20 on February 11, 1945 in California.

Joe returned to college after his discharge and attended Loyola University in Los Angeles, California, and became in officer in the U.S. Air Force.  He served in Great Falls, Montana, until his assignment to Korea during the Korean Conflict.