52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks #50 – Ewald Westra

Relationship: Uncle
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Ewald was the second son and second child born to Albert and Etta Westra. He was born on 05 Mar 1933 in Newton, Sussex County, New Jersey.[1]

He grew up on the farms that his father was working in Sussex County and attended Newton Public Schools.

Ewald met Betty Van Auken then married her on 27 September 1952.[2] They set up their household in Green Township, Sussex County, New Jersey, and had two boys (Albert and Jerry) and two girls (Patty and Kathy).[3]

Ewald worked as a contractor and mason for years which led to health problems for him later in life. He had to get a lung transplant due to all the dust that he had inhaled over the years of building walls and cutting block.

He was doing well with his transplants when a freak storm blew through Sussex County on 16 August 1997. My mom (his sister) called me to give me the news a day or so after he passed. Ewald was worried about the car windows being open as the storm passed overhead. He went outside to close them when a large branch from a tree next to the driveway broke off and struck and killed him. Everyone was so shocked that, after surviving all the health issues he’d faced over the years, a tree branch would be his cause of death.

He was buried in Tranquility Cemetery, Tranquility, Sussex County, New Jersey.[4]

WESTRA Ewald and Betty


[1] Newton, New Jersey, Sussex County Clerk’s Office Naturalization Record Book 1152-1204:1164, Ale Westra, 02 October 1940, declaration of intention; Hall of Records, Newton.
[2] Tranquility Cemetery (Maple Lane off Kennedy Road, Tranquility, Sussex County, New Jersey), Ewald and Betty Westra marker; photo taken by author, July 2006.
[3] Sussex County, New Jersey, probate case files, docket no. 40915, Ewald Westra (1997), last will and testament of Ewald Westra, 14 September 1979; Sussex County Surrogate’s Office, Newton.
[4] Tranquility Cemetery (Maple Lane off Kennedy Road, Tranquility, Sussex County, New Jersey), Ewald and Betty Westra marker; photo taken by author, July 2006.

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