September 24, 2014
Call to Order – President Peggy Mentzer opened the meeting at 10:00AM
Member Al Dargis grew up in Lithuania. Lithuania is a democracy located on the coast of Baltic Sea. It is the size of
West Virginia with the population about the same as Connecticut. The language is similar to Latvia.
Al Dargis parents met at the University of Vienna where they studied economics. They were married and moved
back to Lithuania where the father worked at a bank. During the summer months his mother would take Al to the
Baltic beaches where he was able to pick up pieces of amber.
In 1940 Lithuania was occupied by Germany and the family moved. In 1941 the Germans deported 17,488
Lithuanians to Siberia. Of the 140,000 Jewish people who lived Lithuania, only 8,000 remained after the war. One
of his uncles was one that was sent to Siberia and never heard of again. As the war continued and the Russians
were closing in on the Germans, the Dargis family moved frequently from Lithuania, Austria and finally to
Switzerland. In 1945 the family papers came through and they boarded a ship to the United States. Upon arriving,
relatives met them at the pier and went to Linden New Jersey. Al was 17. He got a job at a box company and went
to school at night to get his high school diploma. He then went to the University of Wisconsin extension service
and received his B.S in electrical engineering. After graduation he was drafted into the army and served 2 years in
the transportation corp.
After the service he worked at several jobs and finally went to work for himself. Al retired in 2012.
President Peggy Mentzer mentioned that the Family History Center will begin a Focus Research Group on the 4th
Saturday at noon starting on October 23rd. She also found two social media groups on yahoo, All Things Lithuania
and Lithuania. There is also a website lithuaniagenealogy.org. There is no membership to research this site.
The meeting was adjoined at 11:00 am
Respectfully submitted
Hallie Porter