He started high school, but dropped out
in the 9th grade because there was no
money for decent clothes, and the other
kids made fun of him.
He got his first job at fifteen, for Hiland
Diary Company on Lebanon, Missouri.
When he got paid, he gave most of his
check to his mom, Nulla.
He met my mom, Juanita McFadden
at a Happy Home Church social in 1942.
They were both nineteen. When
World War II broke out that
year, he enlisted in the U.S.
Coast Guard. His basic training was
in Boston, MA, along the east coast.
My twin sister, Connie and I were born
February 14, 1943, while dad was fighting
in the war. He came home from the
war in 1946, when I was three years old.
My earliest memory of dad was when I had a ruptured appendix.
They rushed me up RT 66 Highway to the old Burge Hospital on Jefferson Street in Springfield, MO, forty miles north of Conway.
My dad was an intelligent man, with a
high IQ. But felt inadequate because he
never finished high school. Right after
my sister and I left the nest in 1961, he
took the courses, making A's to complete
A blue collar worker, dad wasn't a rich
man. He worked for Midwest Breeders
Association on S. Campbell in Springfield,
MO, Artificial Insemination of cows. This was very popular across
the Midwest in the 40's and 50's, to
enlarge their herds. They'd fly the semen
out by airplanes, and parachute it down
in a field close to the new I-44 Highway.
With this job and his VA compensation
for injuries in the war, he provided nicely
for his family.
In 1955 he took, and passed the test for
a chauffer ' s license to drive a school
bus, for additional income. This job
suited dad perfectly. He loved children,
and loved to drive.
He never talked to us or mom about
the war, and carried it all inside. I know
now he came home with PTSD from the
war. They didn't realize back then what it
Dad loved to socialize, and had many
friends. He belonged to several clubs,
Masons, Odd fellows Lodge, and Lions
Club we're a few. In the summer dad
would be working the cake walk, or
another one of the booths at the picnic.
He was a sweetheart of a man, with a
warm smile, and a twinkle in his eyes.
He died suddenly in August of 1981
from a heart attack. His VA headstone
on his grave in Greenlawn tells his
military information, his birth date and
passing date. It should have said
LOVING, GENEROUS, CARING, GENTLE