This story along with the events of the families aftermath of the Kansas City Massacre affected my
Father throughout his entire life, he thought of it often and talked about it from time to time.
In my research I had discovered 1 letter that my Father had saved his entire life which he provided
me concerning his adoption. There were only 2 clues, "The Topeka Agency", and "Mrs. Shirk" as
administrator who wrote the letter. That led me on a quest to find the adoption agency and secure
his records if they existed. Once I found those records this is the story of my Fathers mother and
how he ended up in the Kansas Children's Service League Home, and the story he never knew until
he was 70 years old.
His mother Eva had been laid off from her job at Morrell's Meat Packing Plant in late November
1931. After her husband Fred had abandoned her she had met another man. On Wednesday
December 3, 1931 Eva had quit her part time job at the drug store that day, and had told her boss
that she was thinking of going to Springfield, Missouri to see her brother and see whether he could
advance her some money. Her boss described Eva as being quite satisfactory when she had
worked for him, but was quite slow and was unable to handle money correctly.
On Thursday, December 3, 1931 she left the rooming house with her little boy and never returned.
She had left her clothes behind and never paid a thing on her room.
On that day, December 3, 1931, Eva for the last time left young Fred with her friend saying that she
found work on the other side of town, and that she would be back by 7pm that evening. Eva never
returned that evening. A few days went by and Eva still had not returned. On December 3rd 1931
not long after she had left her son with her friend, Eva had been arrested in Pittsburg, Oklahoma
for robbery, forgery, car theft, and child abandonment. She was to remain in jail under the National
Motor Vehicle Theft Act, through February 1932. Her friend called the rooming house where she
knew Eva had been staying. The landlady there did not know Eva's whereabouts, however she did
know that her clothes were still there. Eva's friend went to the boarding house and acquired more
clothes for young Fred.
On December 16, 1931, Eva's friend tired of caring for young Fred contacted the Provident
Association who in turn contacted the Kansas Children's Home and Service League. The friend
turned young Fred over to them with great hesitation and felt that Eva needed to learn a lesson.
Fred was then taken and cared for by the Kansas Children's Service League Home, while they
checked into the situation. Eva never returned for her son. Eva was excited about her brother's
adventures and wanted to be apart of his life. Eva had gone to Kansas City where she was
arrested for stealing a car and violation of the Mann Act. What was about to transpire with by then,
a little 3 year old boy, was about to change his life as he had come to know it along with his older
cousin, Jack Smalley who was Clementine and Blackie's son. Adam Richetti was about to influence
the course of history for these young children and other family members through his cavalier
actions as a gangster that would eventually affect many family members for another generation to
By December 22, 1931 the family in Oklahoma and Ohio knew about Eva's situation and the
whereabouts of her son, Fred. A friend of the Richetti's from Oklahoma came to the office in
Topeka. He had a letter from Mrs. Clemantine Smalley, saying she wanted to raise young Fred, and
did not want any of his father's family to get hold of him, since she feared they would not treat him
well. The friend had told the agency that Mrs. Smalley was living with her second or third husband,
had one child, and that they were living on compensation that her husband had obtained as an ex-
serviceman. He felt that they were in poor circumstances as far as finances were concerned, and
that Joe Richetti would be in the best interest in keeping Eva's son. He had always earned a good
living and though he had just one leg, was a good worker. His wife Betty was a former
schoolteacher in Springfield at the time
Fred eventually was adopted by Eva's sister, Minnie Richetti Sustik. This was the beginnings of
young Fred's new life in Ohio. Fred grew up in Dillonvale, Ohio in a quiet little mining village of Jug
Run. He attended school at Tiltonsville, where he graduated from. After graduation he was drafted
into the US Army and served in the Korean Conflict. He achieve the rank of Staff Seargant serving
in the Army Corp of Engineers, and was Honorably discharged at the end of the war.
Fred returned to the local area of Dillonvale and Wintersville, Ohio. After his enlistment his career
began at Weirton Steel, Weirton, W.Va. He had been a pipefitter and worked his way up to
foreman over the pipe gang. Fred retired from Weirton Steel after 35 years in 1984. He married
Jacqueline F Pfabe (b. Aug 15, 1932 - Sept 1, 2020) of Wintersville, Ohio on 20 June 1953, and
raised 3 children, Fred S. Tracey F. and Lynda D. Fred and Jacqueline were married for 51 years
until his death.
At age 75 Fred died of heart failure Oct 20th 2004. He had lived out his retirement years in
Wintersville, Ohio. He spent most of his time doing wood working and bass fishing. Fred is buried
at the Fort Steuben Cemetery. He was the last of the 5th generation of Simpsons and the 3rd
generation of Ricchetti's in America.
I was able to unlock the mystery of my fathers adoption and the true story of his abandonment
before he had passed away and put to rest a bitter resentment he had harboured his whole life. I
continued my quest to find out about the Simpson side of the family but unfortunately failed to find
the answers until after his death. I truly believe that he would have been happy with the answers
After his adoption and 80 years of no known contact I made contact with the Simpson side of my
fathers family, unfortunately my efforts were too late to see my fathers reaction.
Fred's half sister, Dolores Jean Collins Maddry was born 9 June 1948 and died 15 September 1986
at age 38. Dolores married Mark Wayland Maddry born on 30 Sept 1948 and died on 11 November
1991 at age 43. They were married on 24 September 1968 in Arlington, Tarrant County, Texas.
Dolores struggled throughout her life eventually succumbing to an addiction to Heroin.
Fred's cousin, Clarence David “Sparky” Ricchetti, 89, of Apache Junction, AZ, formerly of
Dillonvale, Ohio, passed Friday August 5, 2016. He was born in Jug Run, Ohio on August 21,
1926, son of the late Dave and Sophie Blazy Ricchetti. Clarence was retired from Norfolk and
Southern railroad and served as a seamen first class in the United States Naval reserve World War
II from 1944 to 1946 aboard the USS Saugus and the USS Refresh. Clarence earned the World
War II Victory Medal, the American Campaign Medal and the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal. His
Wife Helen Pauline Ricchetti, 86, of Apache Junction, Arizona, formerly of Dillonvale, Ohio, passed
Sunday, May 26, 2019. She was born in Glen Robbins, Ohio on February 18, 1933, daughter of the
late Paul and Anna Michalo Holubeck.
Fred H. Sustik (Fred L. Simpson Jr)
Fred H. Sustik Jr. was born Fred
Lawrence Simpson Jr. at the Stormont
Hospital in Topeka, Kansas on 3 June
1929 to Eva Richetti Simpson, and Fred
|Fred L. Simpson Jr.
Fred H. Sustik Jr.
Fred & Eva (Richetti)
Henry & Minnie
My Father grew up knowing his real mother as
Aunt Eva, her sister Minnie had adopted Fred
and raised him. The only story he knew as to why
this all came about was the story that Minnie had
told him. Minnie had told him that his real mother
Eva didn't want him so she just dropped him at
the steps of the Children's Home.
Fred 2yrs old, Kansas
December 16th 1931
Fred L. Simpson Jr
Minnie Ricchetti Sustik and Fred
Fred Lawrence Simpson, Jr
Fred & Jacqueline 6/20/1953
Fred & Jacqueline 6/20/1993
|2 Moms, Eva, Minnie, and
Dolores Jean Collins
Fred's half sister 1954
b 9 June 1948,
d. 15 Sept 1986
|Clarence "Sparky" &