Charles 'Joseph' Trefzger, Sr.
born 1896, died 1976

Trefzger bakery
family photos
Dorothy's obit
Joe's obit
father: Charles Trefzger
mother: Sophia Schifeling
spouse: Dora Trocker
Mary, Marie & Florence
Joe(Sr.) was born on September 19,1896 in Peoria, IL. On October 10,1922 he married Dorothy Trockur.

"The only family house for Charles Joseph, Sr. and Dora (Trockur) Trefzger -- parents of John/Joe/Tom/Mary (our dad is actually Charles Joseph, Jr.; both he and his dad always went by Joe, since Charles Joseph, Sr. was son of Charles W. who went by Charles -- I'm actually Joe but had to have a nickname since my name was being used by two impostors, though my grandfather, the eternal jokester, said I was Joseph the T'ird) -- was at 408 E. McClure Avenue in Peoria. They bought the house when they got married, in about 1921, raised all 4 kids there, and both lived there until they died."*

"Joe attended Peoria Spalding High School for the first two years then transferred to Peoria Manuel High School, from which he graduated in 1915."*

"Joe took over the operation of the bakery from his father, Charles William Trefzger, in the early 1920s. In the mid-1950s he was joined by his two sons, C. Joseph, Jr. and Thomas, Sr., 4th generation bakers."*

"We think Joe (and also the girls, Marie and Florence) went to Sacred Heart grade school, and know that he started high school at Spalding, where he played basketball (someone in the family has picture of Spalding sophomore [?] basketball team that both he and Paul Bourscheidt were on), and then graduated from Peoria Manual Training High School. After high school he spent time in Chicago in training courses for baking and for business management. Our grandmother (Dora) worked as a clerk at the bakery when she was young, and that was how they met."**

"His era was a more favorable period for running a small business than our dads, sons Charles Joseph Jr. (also “Joe”) and Thomas Edward, experienced; he was generally able to find capable hands-on managers for the bake shop so he could focus on managing the business side. This was the time period prior to unions and competition for good workers from Caterpillar. It allowed him to be active in the community; Lion’s Club member and a director for a bank. We think he and his father, Charles W., were both directors, and the bank, like so many others, failed during the Depression. But the directors paid back all depositors with their own money, which is something all of us in the family feel pretty good about."**

"He loved to fish and hunt, and was often able to get away from the bakery during the summer to fish and the fall to hunt, we think primarily duck. Summers typically involved taking the whole family (Dora and the 4 kids) to Minnesota. Family friends from Peoria would sometimes meet with them at the same Minnesota resorts. In their later years Joe and Dora often spent time in Minnesota with John’s family, who also went “up north” for 40 consecutive years (1962-2002) to camp and fish on Lake Carlos, just north of Alexandria, MN. Joe Jr’s family went up a couple of times too, both the grandparents and John’s family were helpful and hospitable. Grandpa would take the group out fishing every day; he had a lot of good fishing gear. It was a big event when they came back to Peoria each year; both of our families would go over to help them unpack the car and open up the house. We couldn’t believe the amount of fish they had caught and brought back home packed in dry ice every summer."**

"He was also pretty good at building things (like his Grandfather Shifeling who was a carpenter). Joe had an extensive tool set and work room in the basement at 408 E. McClure. Over the years he became very knowledgeable about plants; he would take us on nature walks at “the farm” (100 acres of timber and 25 acres of tillable land planted in corn by a neighbor) and rattle off the names of all the various trees, vines, and other plants in the wooded area. He had two riding lawn mowers in the shed to keep the walkways cleared for the nature walks; before a family outing he and grandma would spend a couple of afternoons over there getting the place ready. He also owned some tillable land there that was planted by an area farmer; through this farming partnership he also became knowledgeable about agribusiness issues. He was also a serious gardener, taking great pride in his roses."**

"The grandkids loved him; he was kind and generous and extremely funny. Always drew humorous pictures for us; guys would always have huge noses and adam’s apples. He also would make us laugh by saying things that seemed to push the limits of genteel discourse at the time, though they would be pretty mild by today’s standards. He was a great storyteller; not surprisingly some of the stories were best left to “mature audiences.” When late in life he suffered a serious stroke he said, “It’s the damnedest thing; I can’t remember what I did yesterday, can’t remember who my friends were when I was a kid, but I remember every joke I ever heard.” Then he would tell several, just in case anyone doubted him."**

"He had always embraced technology in the business, and seemingly at home also. When cable TV came out he became an early subscriber, and a loyal fan of the Cub games on WGN. The hardest part of those later years for him was not being able to drive; he had loved the freedom of driving around town and driving to the farm. We’d pick him up sometimes to go on deliveries to Kroger stores, where the bakery products were then being sold; he appreciated getting to see the city but it wasn’t the same as being able to drive himself."**

"Some other more general family tidbits:"**

"Several people in the family had September birthdays, which were always celebrated at a family fall picnic at “the farm.”**

"We also had a big family New Year’s Eve party every year, partly because it was our grandmother’s (Dora’s) birthday. But the main reason for the parties was because Dora and her father shared the same birthday and it was the Trockur family who celebrated!"**

"Mary was always very close to her mother, and when Joe Sr. had the stroke and a bunch of other medical problems in his late 70s she became quite adept at helping with his care. Before he died he remarked how much he had come to appreciate and rely on her help."**

"Grandfather died in September 1976, grandmother in February 1978. Just about a year and a half apart."*

* by 'Butch' Joesph William Trefzger
** by Tom Trefzger, Jr & 'Butch' Joseph William Trefzger

In the mid 1920s when Joe(Sr) took over the reins of the TrefZger Bakery and operated the business until the mid 1950s.

Joe(Sr) died September 6,1976.
Dorothy died 1 1/2 years later on February 27,1978.

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