Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Art Flegel on program for Casper

One of the most venerable genealogists involved in Germans from Russia research will lead a workshop this year when the International Convention of Germans from Russia convenes in Casper, Wyoming, July 28-August 3.

90-year-old Arthur Flegel of Menlo Park, California, will present a workshop on the Development of German-Russian Settlements in the North Caucasus. His session is set for 3:30 p.m., Saturday, August 2nd, in the Gourmet Room of the Parkway Plaza Hotel and Convention Center.

Art Flegel was born near Bentley, North Dakota, the ninth child of German-Russian parents who came to this country in 1899. As a young boy, Flegel started work as a stock boy for J.C. Penney Company in 1934 and remained with the company until 1945. He later entered the furniture business and founded Flegels Fine Furnishings in Menlo Park, California, which has showrooms throughout the Bay area.

Flegel, who has been doing genealogy for some 40 years, was among those involved in establishing the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia and helped organize the Golden Gate Chapter. He also was instrumental in raising the funs to help publish Dr. Karl Stumpp's “The Emigration from Germany to Russia in the Years 1763-1862,” one of the most valuable resources in German-Russian research.

Since retiring from the furniture business, Art has continued his genealogical activities, as evidenced by his presenting this workshop. In May of 2007, he was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in ceremonies at the Ellis Island Great Hall. Art and his wife, Cleora -- whose family came from the Volga -- have three grown sons.

The 2008 International Convention of Germans from Russia is a joint session involving both the Germans from Russia Heritage Society and the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia. Convention planners are expecting as many as one thousand attendees at the week-long gathering.

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