Walter, Michael, Anna, John and Peter

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Walter § Michael § Anna § John § Peter

Walter C. Billick

Walter Billick (1903-1952) was born in Slavonia in 1903, the first child of Louis and Tekla, and arrived in America with his parents in the 1905-06 era. He surely spent his childhood in McKeepsort, Pennsylvania.

He appeared in the 1915 Toledo City Directory, living at 1667 Oakwood Avenue. Since he would have been only 12 or 13 years old, it’s likely this was the family’s residence, especially since his father, Louis, appears in the 1917 Directory at the same address.

In the 1920 U.S. Census he is recorded, at 17 years of age, living with six brothers and sisters in Adams Township, Lucas County, Ohio. His occupation is listed as “office boy” in an auto shop.

Nothing is known of Walter’s life in the years between 1920 and 1930. In the 1930 Census Walter is recorded (as “Walter Billek”) as living with his wife, Letty (noted as “Lottie” by the Census enumerator) and in-laws at 2939 Hartman Street in Toledo, Ohio.[1] His occupation is listed as “driver” for a bakery.Billik_Walter_crash_news

Walter next appears in the 1940 U.S. Census living with his wife, Lettie, at 104 Lincoln Avenue, Toledo. His occupation is recorded as “salesman” in “retail dairy co.” His obituary notes that Walter worked for a time with the Driggs Dairy Company.[2] The Lincoln Avenue address is less than one-half mile from the then Driggs Dairy location.

Walter died in a car-truck crash on October 10, 1952.[3] At the time, Walter was a salesman for the Home Packing Company in Toledo,[4] and residing at 1331 Craigwood Avenue.[5] He was 48 years old.

Walter’s wife, Letty D. Rudnicki (1906-2003), was a native of New Jersey. She had a long career as a seamstress and survived Walter by fifty-one years, passing away January 1, 2003. Where they met and where they were married is not known. They had no children.

Michael C. Billick

Michael C. Billick (1906-1996) was born on Thursday, January 25, 1906 in Poland (then Galicia, Austria), the second child of Louis and Tekla and arrived in America with his parents in the 1905-06 era. He spent his childhood in McKeesport, Pennsylvania.

The 1920 U.S. Census shows fourteen-year-old Michael living with his parents and six siblings in Toledo, Ohio. In 1930, he is living with his parents and six siblings at Sibley Place (probably Sibley Road). His occupation is recorded as “salesman” for a retail hardware.

On May 28, 1932, Michael married Agnes Lena Langhals (1907-1967), 32 year-old Cloverdale, Ohio native working as a stenographer. In the 1940 Census, Michael is listed as a Post Office mail clerk.

Agnes had a twenty-three-year career as a secretary at Toledo Hospital. She passed away on May 20, 1967.

Later, Michael married Clotilda M. Langenderfer (1905-1982), retired Toledo Schools administrator. She passed away 21 October 1982.

Postal Clerks Union

Michael was active for many years in the Postal Workers Union. In August of 1953 he was elected fifth Vice President of the Ohio Federation of Post Office Clerks. In June of 1957, he was elected President of the Ohio Federation of Postal Workers at the organization’s annual meeting in Youngstown, Ohio. In June of 1965, he was elected Field Vice President of the United States Federation of Postal Clerks. For twenty years, he served as manager and treasurer of the Toledo Postal Employees Credit Union.

Mike was an avid diarist, recording daily events for many decades. And he was also a photography enthusiast, taking pictures at every family event.

Michael died Friday, April 5, 1996 in Toledo, Ohio. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery.

Anna May Billick Mazur

According to her Delayed Birth Certificate, Anna May Billick (1907-1996) was born Sunday, 6 October 1907, in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, one year and eight months after her brother, Michael’s, birth and less than seven months following the great McKeesport Flood of mid-March of that year. She was baptized on October 13 at St. John the Baptist Little Russian Church.[6]

Like all the Billick children, virtually nothing is known about her adolescent years. Anna would have been about eight years old when the family moved to Toledo. The 1940 Census indicates she completed one year of high school. Given the chronology of the family’s movements, she probably attended secondary school in Toledo, perhaps DeVilbiss High School where her younger brother, Paul, was a student from 1930 to 1934.

In 1930, Anna is still living at home on Sibley Place with six of her seven siblings. The Census reports her working as a binder in a print shop.

On December 22, 1934, Anna married Joseph J. Mazur (1901-1987). Their Marriage License notes that Joseph was a bus driver, born in Wanber, Pennsylvania[7] and living in Cleveland. It seems the Mazur family also immigrated from Austria and Joseph and one brother and sister were born in Pennsylvania.

In the 1940 Census, Anna and Joseph were living at 3317 Collingwood Blvd in Toledo, less than one mile from the Willys-Overland plant where Anna’s father, Louis, was employed, and only a bit more than two miles from the Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass plant where Joseph worked as a crane operator. No occupation was noted for Anna in 1940.

The Mazurs had a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit. At one point they operated a motel and later had a Dairy Queen franchise. I also recall that for at least a brief period they owned a large boat.

Joseph retired from Libby-Owens in 1963 and spent two years as a maintenance worker at the Westgate, Sheraton Hotel. Joe Mazur passed away on 15 August 1987.Anna_Mazur_obit

Anna died on Tuesday, 7 May 1996, at age 88. She is buried in Ottawa Hills Memorial Park.

  • There’s an “Anna M Mazur” working as a Bell Telephone operator in Cleveland in 1937.
  • Joe may have served in the army from 11 Aug 1919 to 28 Sep 1922.

John Charles Billick

John Charles Billick (1910-1960) (also called “Jackie” by his siblings) was born in 1910, in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, the fourth child of Louis and Tekla.

In the 1930 Census, twenty-year-old John is living at home on Sibley Road in Toledo and working as a binder at a print shop, as is sister, Anna.

In June of 1935, John married Dorotha Fritch (1915- ??), twenty-one-year-old Toledo native and graduate of Waite High School. John’s occupation is recorded as “glass worker” and both bride and groom list their residence as Box 378 Fryer Avenue.

In the 1940 Census, John and Dorotha were living in the home of John’s father-in-law, Charles Fritch.

At some point, they set up their residence at 5575 Fryer Avenue, a little more than one-half mile from his parents’ and brother Paul’s Blackburn Road homes and brother, Peter’s, residence on Sibley Road.

He worked as a precision grinder at Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass.[8] He was a member of the Adams Township Volunteer Fire Department for twenty-seven years.

On 27 January 1948, son John, Jr. was born. Tragically, John, Jr., died May 24, 1957, following a playground accident at Charles Feilbach School.[9]

John passed away on Thursday, September 22, 1960 at the age of 50. He is buried in Ottawa Hills Memorial Park.

Peter J. Billick

Peter J. Billick (1913-1970) (“Pete”) was born 24 April 1913, in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, the fifth child of Louis and Tekla. Within a year or two, the family moved to Toledo and in 1920, six-year-old Peter was living with his six brothers and sisters in Toledo, in the Sibley Road area.
Peter married Lillian Williams (1916-1981), twenty-two-year-old Holland, Ohio resident on 5 September 1936.

By the 1940 Census, Peter and Lillian were living with their one-year-old son, Darol (born in 1939), on Deline Drive, a little over one mile from Louis and Tekla’s Blackburn house. [10] Peter’s occupation is recorded as “pressman” in a rubber factory.

The family eventually settled into their home at 1115 Sawyer Road.

Peter reached the rank of captain in the Ottawa Hills Fire Department, retiring in 1965 after twenty-five years’ service.[11] He also served with the Adams Township Volunteer Fire Department for twenty-five years and was a member of the Northwestern Ohio Fire Chief’s Association

Peter passed away at home from a heart attack on Monday, 30 March 1970, three weeks short of this 57th birthday. Peter is interred in Ottawa Hills Memorial Park.

Lillian lived another eleven years, passing away on 19 March 1981.

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[1] An old, Polish, Ukrainian ethnic neighborhood of Toledo, near the intersection of Central Ave. and Lagrange Street.
[2] Driggs Dairy Farms, Inc., was a major retailer of dairy products in the greater Toledo area and had a large facility at the corner of Detroit and Grand avenues.
[3] Walter’s wife, Lettie, was awarded $50,000 in a jury trial in October of 1954. “Huron County Court Notes,” The Sandusky Register, October 20, 1954, p. 15.
[4] A long-established meat packing firm.
[5] Toledo City directories suggest Letty was still living at this address as late as 2002.
[6] Officially known today as St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church, the parish was established just five years earlier in 1902.
[7] No such city exists in PA. A city with a similar name, Windber, is about 85 miles east of McKeesport.
[8] It’s interesting to note that at this time, Libbey-Owens-Ford was one of America’s largest companies, and was included in the Dow Jones Industrial Index of the nation’s top thirty stocks.
[9] Then called the Charles Feilbach School for Crippled Children; what we now refer to as a special needs facility. John, Jr., may have suffered from Down Syndrome.
[10] 1940 U.S. Census, Lucas County, Adams Twp., Ohio; sheet 8B, lines 74-76; April 15, 1940
[11] Based on a newspaper story, Pete had already achieved the rank of Captain by February 1948. The Sandusky Register, 23 Feb 1948, p. 1, col. 1.
{last update: 3-Mar-2020}