|Max Liebross grave stone, Mount Richmond Cemetery, Staten Island, New York, Grave 34, Row 6, Section 3-36, Hebrew Free Burial Association, photograph acquired by author on 19 January 2009|
1889 - 1959
May his soul be bound in the bonds of the living
Gambling may have been Max Liebross' downfall, but it was a gamble that led me to his grave. Max was, unfortunately, the Black Sheep of the family. He'd married, had four children and then left his wife and his children to fend for themselves. He'd come around to his brothers and sisters asking for money. Ultimately, those who were left wanted nothing to do with him. The family was close-mouthed about him and his troubles. One unconfirmed thought is that he had a problem with gambling.
So, when I contacted Mt. Lebanon Cemetery in 2008 and found that he was not among the Liebrosses buried there, I was unsure of where to look. I tried the online indices at several New York Jewish cemeteries, but did not find his grave. I thought about New York City's potter's field: Hart Island. But then I recalled that Jewish people in New York City have their own organization for handling burials for the indigent and those who cannot afford burial: the Hebrew Free Burial Association.
They were the only other cemetery I contacted, and they answered in the affirmative: Max Liebross was buried in their Mount Richmond Cemetery on Staten Island. I asked them to take a photograph of his stone, they did, and I sent them a donation.
Max Liebross was the third child and the eldest son of Louis and Bertha Liebross. He was born about 1889 in Radautz, Austro-Hungarian Empire (today Radauti, Romania).