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Irma Mayben

Thursday, September 30, 2021
Irma Mayben

Irmgard (Irma) Malcherek Mayben, 92, of Pottsville, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, at Focused Care of Hamilton.

Private family graveside services will be held Sunday, Oct. 3, in the Trinity Lutheran Church Cemetery in Pottsville.

Irma was born on June 6, 1929, in Frankfurt am Maine, Germany, the daughter of Georg and Dorothea Malcherek.

During World War II, Irma was an interpreter for the European Command of the US Army Engineer Section, Real Estate and Service Branch in Frankfurt Germany.

This is where she met her future husband James (Leroy) Mayben. They were married in dual marriage ceremonies by both German and American officials due to the war.

After their marriage Irma embarked on a move to Texas, where they would call home. She told the story of how she got off the boat in New York with only $25 in her pocket and traveled by bus to Central Texas to meet her new inlaws. She had no idea what they looked like or where they lived as she had not traveled outside of Germany before this trip to America.

Upon graduation from Texas A&M, Leroy received his commission from the Air Force. The family embraced military life, with Irma making their homes in Roswell and Albuquerque, New Mexico, Fairford, England and back to El Paso.

In the summer of 1958, after Leroy’s discharge from the Air Force, the family moved to Pottsville, where Leroy had accepted the position of Vocational Agriculture teacher with Pottsville ISD.

They chose Pottsville because of the very strong Trinity Lutheran Church.

In 1965 Leroy accepted a position with the United States Forest Service which relocated the family. Irma again rose to the challenge and made their home in Colorado and then Nebraska.

In 1983, retirement for both brought them back to Pottsville and the family farm they had purchased 20 years prior.

After they were settled, Irma interpreted the German records for Trinity Lutheran Church and St. Paul Lutheran Church in Shive, with Leroy documenting her translation in English. She became an active member of the community and the church as well as in the Sassie Lassies, Pottsville Extension Education Club, 4-H judging and later in local and county board meetings. Irma enjoyed being asked by local church and civic groups to give talks on her experiences during the war and from a German perspective.

One of her proudest achievements was when she became a naturalized citizen of the United States of America in June of 1950. Unfortunately during their relocation to England, her Naturalization Certificate was lost. She always regretted she could not show it to her children and grandchildren.

In the spring of 2021, she obtained a replacement Naturalization Certificate, which she shared with her children and grandchildren. She was just as proud of her replacement certificate as she was of the original.

She is preceded in death by husband James Leroy Mayben, her parents Georg and Dorothea Malcherek of Frankfurt, and her sister Margarete Malcherek of Frankfurt.

She is survived by her son George Mayben and wife Toni of Bend; daughter Dorothy Young of Jonesboro; son Michael Mayben and wife Barbara of Georgetown; and daughter Monica Mayben of Pottsville; nine grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

Memorials may be made to the charity of your choice.