Family History

Our heritage on our father's side is German. Our great grandfather was named Gustav and his parents came to this country from Germany and settled in Los Angeles, California. Our grandfather, Joseph Risse was the youngest of eight children and married my grandmother, Marie Huemmer. They had attended Catholic elementary school together. Marie was born in Mishawaka, Indiana and was the second of eight children. Our "little grandmother" was four score and seven years old when she died (She always told us her age in scores as it mystified us as to her true age). All I know of my Huemmer ancestry is that they owned the Huemmer brewery in Germany very near the Belgium border.

Our heritage on our mother's side is more extensively known to us. It begins in the sixteen hundreds when "Hogenkamp" relatives emigrated to New Amsterdam near present-day Tappan, New York, from Holland. About 1832, the Hogancamp branch of the family migrated by way of the Ohio River to Cincinnati. Later, two of the Hogancamp brothers built a raft which was used to float down the Ohio River until they reached the area of the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers and there they chose to settle on the Kentucky side. Many of the Hogancamps still reside in this area of western Kentucky. Detroit was the residence of Samuel Hogancamp, our great grandfather, in the 1920's where he worked in the auto industry. When the Great Depression hit the family moved back to Kentucky to live on their portion of the family farm. Our grandfather, Wayne, is the second oldest of the five children of Samuel and Carrie Hogancamp. Although Wayne had moved to Michigan to work in the factories, he was drafted into the army during World War II and met our grandmother, Lillian nee Barrett while stationed in the Griffith Park area of Los Angeles, California.

Lillian was the oldest of the three children of David and Helen Barrett. David's father, our great-great grandfather, worked as a gold miner in Cripple Creek, Colorado and was of Irish background. The story goes that his father had died the day after he retired in a mine cave-in what occurred when he was going to go down for just one last time to say his goodbye to his friends. Our great grandfather sold mining equipment for Ingersoll-Rand and later worked for United States Steel in Torrance, California. He met my great grandmother Helen Smithson in Upper Peninsula, Michigan, in iron country. Our Grandmother, Lillian, although born in Cripple Creek, Colorado, moved with the family to El Paso, Texas and finally moved to Hollywood, California during the Depression. Our grandparents met at a USO dance and our grandfather was among the American personnel stationed in the Pacific. He took part in the "Island Hopping" of the day. He did the job of a Navy frogman but for the army, and was involved in the first wave of the invasions of more than four islands including the Philippines and Okinawa. He ended his career in the military as a First Lieutenant, although he'd been offered the rank of captain without a pay raise. After the war, he returned and stayed in California. He worked for Douglas Aircraft and later owned a tool and die business. He now lives in Gardena, California.

Our father, Thomas Arthur, was the youngest of Joseph and Marie's five children. He worked as a journeyman electrician. Our mother, Donnamarie, was the oldest of Wayne and Lillian's three children and has raised us five boys: Thomas, James, John, Daniel and Mark. Our father died in 1980 at the age of 36. At that time Mark, the youngest, was 2. Donnamarie is now retired. She was a physics and chemistry teacher at Fountain Valley High School and taught before that at Westminster High School, both in the Huntington Beach Union High School District. She currently lives in Laguna Hills, California.

Thomas graduated and received his MBA from the University of Southern California. Thomas is married to a lovely lady, Susan nee Conrad, who is a flight attendant with Northwest Airlines.  Susan's family reside in her home town, Columbia, Missouri. She has lived in Boston, Massachussets, as well as Seattle, Washington, before Thomas found her in Long Beach, California. Thomas works for the Providence Hospital Group in Olympia, Washington, as their chief financial officer. Their first child, Thomas Michael Risse, was born on February 13, 1999 and their second child, Natalie Olivia Risse, was born on December 29, 2001.

James has his degree from Cal State Fullerton in Computer Science. James is currently living in San Diego. He is an avid gamer.

John teaches Physics at Newport Harbor High School. He graduated from UCSD with a major in physics and obtained his teaching credential from Cal State Long Beach. He earned his M.A. in Technology and Education from USIU. He is married to Robyn nee Matsumoto, a math teacher at Lost Alisos Intermediate School in south Orange County. Their daugther Claire Aiko was born on August 4, 2006.

Daniel is co-owner of a web-site-hosting company, TierraNet. He graduated as a computer engineering major from UCSD. His company TierraNet Inc. is flourishing and, a Perl expert, he thoroughly enjoys his involvement with the internet. He owns a home in San Diego, and enjoys soccer, handball, and computer gaming.

Mark earned his B.S. in electrical engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He volunteered in the Peace Corps in Uganda as a teacher trainer. Soccer remains his favorite diveresion. He spent two years working as an inside wireman. He is presently living and working for UCLA in South Africa.

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