Shalom, It is Danny here adding my deep sympathies for all of Ze'ev's wonderful family. I regret that I have not visited you in all these many years and that I did not renew my connection with Ze'ev before his passing.
One small contribution I can make is to review some of the knowledge of the Ringel family history that I gained during my research project into our family roots. Sad to say, that work has been on hold for most of the past year, but this solemn occasion might be the catalyst for me to take up that work again, just as our initial project was set in motion by the deaths of parents, Helga and Stan.
So here is some of what we learned: Ze'ev's grandparents on his mother's side were Schija Ringel (1856-?) and Feigla Kauffler (1854-1921). Schija was a merchant who had came to Berlin from Rzeszow in Galicia as a young man. It was not uncommon by the second half of the 19th century for Jewish youth to be leaving their traditional towns for the progress and opportunities of cosmopolitan cities.
Similarly, Feigla had come from Krakow to make a living as a housekeeper. She came to work for Schija in that role, but their relationship later became personal. Their first child, Herman, arrived in November 1885, though they didn't formalize their marriage until July 1888. Later they would have two other children, Bette and Rosa.
Your family members will know much more than I do about Rosa's family, and also Bette's, and I would love to learn more from you about Ze'ev's life story, as well as what you have learned about his cousins Edith and Gina. About Hermann, we know that he served in World War I, became prosperous in the garment business, married Elly and had a daughter Helga. Walter's account of Helga's early life is very rich (link below). There are some good photos on the blog (links below). Hermann died of natural causes in Berlin in 1938, and his widow and daughter fled Germany soon after, eventually settling in New York in 1942.
[Ruby Family History text (Helga's story begins on page 35): http://www.festivalpreview.com/files/RFH7.pdf
[Page with photos and documents for Hermann Ringel: http://rubyfamily.blogspot.com/search/label/Ringels%20of%20Berlin]
Going back in the other direction, we have located official records from their ancestral towns for both Schija and Feigla and a number of their relatives. Schija's birth record (link below) does not provide a great deal of information, but we see that his parents are Moses and Rose. I also have similar records for several other Ringels that are not posted on the blog. Another artifact in my possession is a copy of the yizkor book for Rzeszow, which does not have specific information on the Ringels, as far as I can tell, but paints a rich picture of life in the town in the 19th century. There are also census records that I have not yet obtained. As I say, there are lots of loose ends and I hope to post more of this information on the blog sometime soon.
[Schija Ringel birth record: http://rubyfamily.blogspot.com/2008/07/schija-ringel-birth-record.html]
Information about the Kaufflers in Krakow is much more extensive, and we can trace our ancestors back quite a few generations to Nachman Kaufler (born in Krakow in 1755). Nachman had Izaak, Izaak had Schulim, and Schulim had 10 children including Abraham Mojzesa Kaufler (b. 1829). Abraham married Chaja Esther Grunberg (b. 1826) and Feigla was one of their three children. An assortment of vital records are linked below. The full Kaufler family tree is provided in a link below.
[Feigla Kaufler 1854 birth record: http://rubyfamily.blogspot.com/2008/07/first-lds-document-arrives.html]
[Schulim Kaufler and Reisel Bluma Singlust 1825 marriage record: http://rubyfamily.blogspot.com/2008/07/schulim-kaufler-and-reisel-bluma.html]
[Schulim Kaufler 1847 death record: http://rubyfamily.blogspot.com/2008/07/schulim-kaufler-death-record.html]
[Bayla Kaufler 1831 death record (mother of Schulim): http://rubyfamily.blogspot.com/2008/07/bayla-kaufler-death-record.html]
[Kaufler family tree: http://rubyfamily.blogspot.com/2008/06/major-breakthrough-kaufler-family-tree.html]
In the coming days, I plan to post news of Ze'ev's passing along with stories and images from Joanne and Walter. If there is anything that any of you might wish to contribute to our small memorial, especially text that helps to fill in his life story, I would appreciate that very much. In the meantime, I hope this little bit of Ringel family information is interesting and helpful to you.
With great sorrow for the passing of our elders but great hope for our children and their future,