Claire Ohlsson Geheb


I am Claire Ohlsson Geheb, editor of Dear Willy, The True Story of a Life Well Lived. Thirty years ago, my husband John was cleaning out his father's apartment and found an old suitcase filled with letters and a box full of photos. The letters were written in old German script and most of the photos were not labeled. Fortunately, we kept it all.

In 2013, we found a translator who could read the difficult script. As the letters were translated, a whole new world opened up to us. The stories and adventures of Willy Oswald Geheb and his family in Germany were written between 1914 and 1947. We read the stories of a strong, loving, determined family as they were living through very difficult times. What started as a family history project became a book that has been enjoyed by those who may or may not have their own family immigration history.
My goal is to promote this wonderful book, therefore making it available to more readers. I am available for presentations about the process of making Dear Willy, or to tell the story with photos, excerpts, and historical commentary.

More information is available on my website:
To read excerpts from Dear Willy, go to my blog:

Smashwords Interview

What's the story behind your latest book?
This is a true story that brings the reader back in time to experience what life was like in Germany between 1914 and 1947. It is told through the actual letters, journals, and photos written by family members of German-American Immigrant Willy Geheb.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
When the letters written in old German script (sutterlin) were translated a wonderful story emerged. We call it our treasure chest since the letters tell of the love, trials, faith, and determination of this strong German family. Although started as a memoir for our family, we realized it would appeal to a much wider audience so we decided to publish.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Claire Ohlsson Geheb online

Where to buy in print


Dear Willy, The True Story of a Life Well Lived
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 92,490. Language: English. Published: December 13, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » History » Family history, Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
Travel Back in Time Experience the lives of a German American and his family in Germany during the tumultuous years 1914-1947. Dear Willy is about contrasts, love and loyalties. Willy Geheb was an adventurer; he faced the ocean voyage, hard labor and horrible living conditions. Letters to and from Germany became the lifeline for the Geheb family as they shared concerns, triumphs and tragedies.

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