Max and Margaret (Harney) Doerflinger are my maternal grandparents. The couple married on 12 June 1934 in Seattle, Washington. The family then moved to California, where they raised six children.
Max was born 14 March 1908 in Montana to Maxamillian Doerflinger Sr. and Marie Keppler. His family moved to Seattle, Washington around the start of World War I. Max and his siblings were constantly bullied during this time for being of German descent. His mother would chase the bullies down the street with her broom and try to comfort her children. He dropped out of school after the eighth grade to work and help support his family.
Margaret Harney was born 30 May 1916 in Black Diamond, King County, Washington to William Harney and Ethel Janice Weston. She was the second of seven children – six girls and one boy. She attended a Catholic high school in the area.
Max and Margaret met through some mutual friends. The chemistry was instant.
The couple wed on June 12, 1934 – just weeks after Margaret graduated high school. The couple then moved to Santa Monica, California, where Max worked as a welder at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft. The couple had 6 children: Eugene William Doerflinger (1935), Donald and Lawrence Dean Doerflinger (1938), Janice Marie Doerflinger ( 1944), Diane Doerflinger (1957), and they adopted my mom, Sharon Doerflinger in 1959.
Max and Margaret were some amazing people. They were active in their church, St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Santa Monica. After retirement, Max taught welding at Santa Monica Community College while Margaret volunteered an elementary school that Lawrence, their son, taught at. Max and Margaret had many lifelong friends. Neighborhood children called them “Grandma and Grandpa D”. They welcomed people into their homes and always were willing to give a helping hand.
I only wish that I had been able to meet them. Margaret passed away in 21 Dec 1988 and Max passed away only a few months after my birth on 1st January 1990. He had been suffering with Alzheimers for months by the time I was born, but Mom used to say that his eyes lit up in joy when he saw me. She later told me that she rarely went to see him in the nursing home without me – because when I was there, she could see the smile and look in his eyes that she knew so well.