A collection of stories and pictures
about my parents,
Ted and Julia,
where they came from,
the home they built, and
the family they raised.

By Tony Tschopp



Photo of 1006 42nd St. SE

For my brother and sisters:

Kelly Tschopp
Kenny Tschopp
Leslie (Tschopp) Mason
Linda (Tschopp) Blank

and to remember our parents:

Theodore Conrad Tschopp
Jul 31, 1922 – Feb 25, 1992

Julia Rose (Snoble) Tschopp
Nov 4, 1922 – Dec 13, 2013

and our big sister:

Judith Ann (Tschopp) Wiley
Feb 3, 1946 – Sep 25, 2016

We are who we are because they were who they were.
- Anonymous, The Genealogy Guide

As we grow older we see not how unique our lives have been, but how representative we were and are; that we are part of the figure in the carpet woven by events, by chance and accident, and by the play of forces more powerful than us.
- Alison Light, Common People: The History of An English Family

But since it fell unto my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I gently rise and softly call
Good night and joy be to you all
- from "The Parting Glass" a Scottish traditional song

The Tschopp Family stories and photographs came from: My father, Theodore C. Tschopp, Uncle Paul Tschopp and the "archive" of letters kept by Grandma (Selma Kellenberger) Tschopp.

The Novak Family records were provided by: My mother, Julia Rose (Snoble) Tschopp, The Jermans and Elsie Kramolis Lajcak.

The Kellenberger Family information came from: Uncle Paul Tschopp, Paul Kellenberger and Doretta (Lewis) Kunz.

The Snoble Family history was provided by: Uncle Joe Snoble and my mother, Julia Rose (Snoble) Tschopp.

The Military Service photographs and biographies collected by Linda Beth (Tschopp) Blank

Dad accumulated much of the family tree material by taking his material, meticulously enscribed on huge sheets of pasteboard, to all of the Tschopp Picnics and talking to folks about missing family members

He also created a set of cassette tapes (for a USS Gatling shipmate) capturing his experiences from WWII that he couldn't put into the letters he sent home because of war time censorship. Phil and I converted those cassette tapes into digital files and I transcribed them.

Judy and Linda transcribed and edited all of Dad’s letters from WWII and the letters from Hazleton which Grandma Tschopp kept

Stephanie Lynn (Tschopp) Thompson helped me with the intricacies of the publishing business and software

My wife, Sandra Kay (Winger) Tschopp was incredibly supportive and always willing to listen to my latest problem or approach.

Thanks to them all.

Additional sources include:

  • Wikipedia for background information on places (
  • Google Earth for the map of Europe (
  • Ellis Island Immigration website (
  • Galveston Immigration history website (
  • Baltimore Immigration history website (
  • - Bringing together science and self-discovery, Ancestry helps everyone, everywhere discover the story of what led to them.
  • - My name is William L. Tschopp. My great-great-great grandfather, Daniel Tschopp, came to America in 1815 at the age of 19 from Berne Switzerland. In hopes of finding more about his family in Switzerland, I have created this website of Tschopps around the world. If your last name is (or was) Tschopp, feel free to contribute to our website however you can.

I found these books helpful to understand World War II in the Pacific:

  • Pacific Glory by P. T. Deutermann - This novel is "...a memorial to [the author's] late father and other American veterans of the 1944 Battle of Leyte Gulf...the last gasp of the Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II" (Historical Novel Society)
  • Day of Infamy by Walter Lord - "...piecing together the saga of Pearl Harbor, Lord traveled over fourteen thousand miles and spoke or corresponded with over five hundred individuals who were there. ... Day of Infamy is an inspiring human document and the best account we have of one of the epic events in American history."
  • Flyboys - A true Story of Courage by James Bradley - "...acclaimed bestseller brilliantly illuminates a hidden piece of World War II history as it tells the harrowing true story of nine American airmen shot down in the Pacific."
  • Flags of our Fathers by James Bradley - "The true story behind the immortal photograph that has come to symbolize the courage and indomitable will of America"
  • The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors by James D. Hornfischer - "The Extraordinary World War II Story of the U.S. Navy's Finest Hour"
  • Miracle at Midway by Gordon W. Prange - - "With tbe infamy of Pearl Harbor still fresh in their minds, the men of the U.S. Pacific Fleet waited for the Japanese Imperial Navy at Misdway Island. This time, however, the element of surprise had shifted., and the American troops would be the victors of a battle that marked the turning point of the war in the Pacific."
  • At Dawn We Slept – The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor by Gordon W. Prange - "...widely regarded as the definitive assessment of the events surrounding one of the most daring and brilliant naval operations of all time. Through extensive research and interviews with American and Japanese leaders, Gordon W. Prange has written a remarkable historical account of the assault that-sixty years later-America cannot forget."
  • Unbroken – A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand - "When his Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean, against all odds, [Louis] Zamperini survived, adrift on a foundering life raft. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. ... His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will."
  • Battle of Leyte Gulf: 23-26 October 1944 by Thomas J. Cutler - "The last great naval battle of World War II, Leyte Gulf also is remembered as the biggest naval battle ever fought anywhere, and this book has been called the best account of it ever written. blends history with human drama to give a real sense of what happened--despite the mammoth scope of the battle.

This project started out as a fairly simple and straightforward way to collect, organize and share the material that I had about our immediate family and records from our grandparents – Tschopp’s, Snoble’s, Novak’s and Kellenberger’s. As I began my inventory of documents, I decided that in some cases I should add some contextual material and things expanded from there into a much bigger undertaking.

I had been feeling a bit guilty about neglecting this project because I had made a promise to my Dad that I would carry on with the family tree that he started and the fact that I was never able to complete the “Grandparent” book that Phil gave me one Christmas as a way to tell his children about our family. But I didn’t really start in earnest until I had to go to Emmett, ID to close out Judy’s estate following her untimely death in September of 2016. Saving the data on her computer gave me a trove of photographs that she had collected and nicely organized.

Encouraged by the work she had already done, I did a quick inventory of what I already had and discovered enough material to make to good start. I already had the story of Rose (Novak) Snoble that Mom wrote, family tree and photographs that Dad collected, Dad’s letters from World War II that Grandma Tschopp had saved and which Judy and Linda transcribed, a record of the Snoble family created by Uncle Joe Snoble, and a collection of stories of the Novak family.

The first order of business was to accumulate, inventory, and organize the material which proved easier to say than to do. Most of the photos were old scratched black and whites and most of the documents were xeroxed copies of xeroxed copies.

Once I determined the volume and scope of the material I was dealing with I realized that I needed to 1) create a framework for the material and 2) locate other material to complete a comprehensive and balanced story. I also decided that I wanted to create a printed book that I could send to my brother and sisters.

With good intentions I went to and other genealogy sites but was quickly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of data that didn’t really provide much new information. But I did start a couple of family trees online and you are welcome to view or update them if that is your thing.

The Internet told me that "Tschopp" is Swiss German: probably from a metonymic (i.e., figure of speech) occupational name for a jacket maker, from Middle High German jop(p)e, juppe 'jacket' (schōpe, schoppe), a loanword from Italian g(i)ubba; in some instances the surname may have arisen from a nickname for someone who wore jackets that were remarkable.

With some help from Stephanie I began to build my book using InDesign © but quickly came to the realization that it was premature to design the book before I knew what all it would contain. So I went to my comfort zone and created a web site that was easier and quicker to create and modify since I already knew how to use that software. The website,, also grew and matured until I was satisfied with the content and the organization.

In fairness the project was the perfect excuse to acquire some new computer hardware and software to scan, color-correct, and enhance photographic slides and prints, create and maintain a website, and design a printed book.

Had I known at the beginning how much work was going to be involved I might have harbored second thoughts but the journey was definitely worth it for me and I hope that my sibling and their children find some value in the work.

Born in 1947 in Independence IA while his family lived on a farm outside of Hazleton, IA, a town of just over 500 inhabitants. According to Wikipedia “The original town was established in 1853 when E. W. Tenney opened a store. A post office opened soon after and was named ‘Hazelton’, because the community was in a hazelnut grove. When the railway came, it missed the town by a mile, so the town was moved to the railway.

In 1949, he, his older sister, Judy, and their parents moved to Cedar Rapids, IA where he was subsequently educated, married, raised a family and began a career as a mid-level techno-nerd for several companies in Cedar Rapids, Ames, and Marshalltown.

It took a while for him to realize he was free to leave the state but eventually he did and became a software consultant and small business owner in the Triangle of North Carolina (Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill).

Now retired, he and his wife spent 6 years in Captain Cook on the Big Island of Hawaii raising Kona coffee, growing a variety of tropical fruits and battling feral pigs.

He now lives in Raleigh, NC with his wife of more than 50 years.

Photo of the Author with his dad
Author with Dad
Photo of the Author with his mom
Author with Mom
Photo of the Author with his big sister Judy
Author with sister Judy