I belelive that mylife has been controlled by divine providence.
Parents and teachers decided I skip the fifth grade. Thus I was younger and smaller than my classmates. After Pearl Harbor I tried to volunteer. I was rejected by the Air Force and the Marines for being partially color blind. I volunteered for the Army parachute troops, was accepted, and entered the Army in June, 1942.
My parachute training was to end on November 21st, but on November 14th I broke my leg. On June 4, 1943, I finished jump school. Most of the men I trained with went to the 82nd or the 101st Airborne Divisions. I was sent to the Demolitions school, and was retained as an instructor.
During 1944 some of the instructors from the parachute school were sent out as replacements, and some were sent out on recruiting trips. I was sent on two recruiting trips. I applied to the reopened Infantry Officer Candidate School, and began classes on September first. I was commissioned in January, 1945. I was scheduled to go to Europe as a replacement. Orders came to redirect all parachute troops to the Pacific. I joined the 511th Parachute Infantry in the Philippines on June 20th. Their last combat mission on June 23rd, took the first battalion and G and I companies. I was in H company!
Back in Toledo in March, 1946, I resumed my job as a letter carrier. I had one date with a girl I had known most of my life, and was convinced that she was the girl I wanted to marry. We become engaged, and a wedding date for May 14, 1947 was set.
It was decided that I was to attend college on the GI bill, and work at my father-in-law’s furniture business. A business neighbor had a big house for sale. He and my father-in-law thought this would be a good house for Betty and me, and encouraged us to buy it. This was the first of three or four houses my father-in-law “found” for us.
Betty was a great wife, and she changed my lfe. She mothered our five children, and kept house so well, it challenged me to keep up. He dedication to church led me to appreciate religion in our lives. She made sure I participated with her in community and social events.
After two years, with a wife, 2 children, a big house and a job, I droped out of school and went to work full time at the furniture store.
My Masonic life was influenced by others. My father-in-law guided me into Blue Lodge and the Scottish Rite. Uncle Barney made sure I joined the Shrine. In Deshler, Doc Fly started me in the York Rite. One man appointed me into the Grand Commandery line. He and one other determined my Masonic career.
Now retired and a widower, my life has changed. Now my children make decisions for me. My lawn is mowed, my snow is shoveled, and the maintenance of my trailer is done for me. Long trips re quire someone to drive for me, or of arranging alternate travel. I even have a daughter and a daughter-in-law checking my underwear for excessive wear.
I thank God for the many blessings received. The blessing of growing up in a Christian home; having a young adult life free of the horrors and rigors of a combat soldier; having a loving wife, who was a great mother to our children and a true help-mate; having a loving, supportive family; hving the experieince of a lifetime in business; having many Masonic friends; and now, in my mid-eighties, enjoying good health and mobility. God has truly directed my path through life.
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