Honoring Lewis Hood, WWI

On this Memorial Day 2018 I bring honor to all those who have given their lives for our freedom. I, specifically, bring honor to my second cousin, Lewis Hood. Lewis Hood Graduation   Lewis was my dad’s cousin, making him my second cousin. He was killed in the Argonne Forest in France at the very end of World War I! Of course I never met him. He was killed on October 10, 1918. My dad was only ten years old! But Dad admired him and was looking forward, along with the rest of the family,  to Lewis coming home from the war. ??????????????

Cousin LJ

I was a little girl when I first got to know my cousin, LJ. He was already a man. I probably saw him before he was married, but I don’t remember. I do remember his brown, thick, wavy hair!

LJ was in World War ll. Scan_Pic0054  Thanks, LJ!

I do remember him after he was married. We were living in Oklahoma and were visiting family in Iowa. LJ and Ermadel were newly-weds. My mother, being a wise and patient woman, talked to us children, before we arrived at our grandparents house: “LJ’s wife has a birthmark on her face. You’re not to stare at her. You’re not to ask what it is. LJ loves her and the mark doesn’t matter to him. So just remember that when you see her.  She’s a wonderful person.”

I learned two things that day. 1.)  I learned what a good man LJ was! He loved Ermadel for who she was and probably didn’t even see the flaw on her face, even though he knew it was there. 2.)  I learned what a loving and wise person my mother was! Preparing us ahead of time saved a lot of nervous embarrassment for LJ and Ermadel, and for us.

There is something else I’ve always remembered about LJ. He always smiled at me with a tender, loving smile! When I think back, all those years ago, that’s the main thought that comes to me! I would shyly smile back. Today, I think he probably was thinking and hoping for a little girl to be born to him and Ermadel! A few years later, Iris, and then Keith were born to them. I think LJ and Ermadel must have been very loving parents!

LJ’s dad and my dad were brothers, making LJ and me cousins.

My parents became born-again Christians when I was about two years old. They were the only ones born again in both of their families and were very often ridiculed by their siblings. But in 1948 LJ made a life-changing decision to live for Christ. A special bond was formed between LJ and my dad.

Years went by and LJ and I hardly had contact with each other, but being cousins, we still had that bond between us. A couple of years ago another cousin, Erma, died, and my daughter and son-in-law, Pam and Gene, drove Jerry and me to Iowa to attend her funeral. Who else was there? LJ with his daughter, Iris. We’d not seen each other in years!


Then last year we had a cousins reunion in Iowa. LJ and I had a time, just for the two of us, to visit and reminisce about our lives. I told him about his smiles when I was a little girl and how much they meant to me. He didn’t even remember! But I do! FullSizeRender (78)  I took this picture of him during our little visit. He was 90 years old!

There was a sign on his door of the nursing home he was living in. LJ's door sign  I was surprised to see the date of when he was born-again! I don’t know why I was surprised…after all, that’s the most important date in a Christian’s life! LJ died on November 23, 2015 at age 91. I’ll see him again…some day!

This is a picture of LJ and Ermadel when they were married 50 years. LJ & Ermadel 56 years



Veterans Day

US Flag  The one day of the year that we set aside and remember to honor our veterans. Those in my family are: Nick Antoine (2)  Nick Antoine;  Scan_Pic0170  Jerry Archer;    Scan_Pic0165  Sean Banford;  ????????????  Roger Bebeau; FullSizeRender (93)  Chuck Gray;  Scan_Pic0054  Louis Williamson;  Scan_Pic0168  Richard Williamson; Scan_Pic0159  Woody Williamson;  Ed Woollard, Vet  Ed Woollard.

Thank you so much for all you did for all of us.

If I have missed any in my family, I apologize. Please let me know so I can add them. They deserve our recognition.

Thank you so much! I love you all!

World War II Memories – Uncle Richard

Every family had someone in the war, back during World War II.

In my husband’s family, his brother, Bob, Scan_Pic0158  fought in Europe.

In my family, my cousin, Louis, Scan_Pic0054 served from my dad’s side of our family. He recently had his 90th birthday!

My uncle Richard  Scan_Pic0053  was my mother’s brother.

There were others as well, but these were the ones we were close to. They all came home for which we’re very thankful!

But a price was paid.

Bob came home with an illness and was hospitalized for months.

Uncle Richard was inducted into the US Army December 2, 1942 in Des Moines, Iowa. He trained at Camp Dodge in Des Moines. Uncle Richard served in the infantry in Africa, Italy and France. He was wounded in France in 1945 and received a Purple Heart with a Cluster. Uncle Richard was discharged from the US Army on July 18, 1945.

My grandma was first notified that my Uncle Richard was missing-in-action. Then she received word that he had been injured and was in a hospital. What a relief! Later, Grandma went to Texas to be with him.

One day our phone rang. Mother answered…it was Uncle Richard! He gently told my mother that he had lost both of his legs in France. Mother burst out crying. He assured her he would be okay. I remember the family being in shock. He was alive, but what kind of a life could he live, without legs? He came to visit once that I remember of. He was able to walk, with his cumbersome, new artificial legs, with the help of his cane. I remember being impressed that he could walk!

The next time I saw him was in Waterloo, Iowa at Christmas time, 1947. My family was now living in Covington, Oklahoma, and we had gone to Iowa for Christmas that year. Uncle Richard was living with my grandma. I remember Mother talking to my siblings and me, warning us to behave, to be quiet, not to play in his wheelchair, not to stare at his missing legs or at his artificial legs, etc. I do remember sitting in his wheelchair and even riding in it!

The US Government gave Uncle Richard a convertible with hand controls! If I recall, he traded it in every two years for a new one.

Uncle Richard enrolled in a business college and became a bookkeeper. He married Ruth and they had four children, two boys and two girls. They moved to Elysian, Minnesota, in 1954, living there until his death in 1993.  He even became the mayor of Elysian!


Veteran’s Day

I’m honoring the veterans from my family today on Veteran’s Day. Beginning clear back to World War I.

??????????????  Louis Hood, cousin.  A cousin of my dad, Glen Williamson. Louis was killed hours or perhaps minutes after the armistice was signed on this day, November 11, 1918!

Harry Sloop, uncle, served in World War I. Harry was Jerry’s mother’s brother. Sorry, no picture.

Scan_Pic0054  Louis Williamson, cousin, served in World War II. His dad, Louis Williamson and my dad, Glen Williamson, were brothers. I, along with several others visited Louis last weekend. He’s now 90 years of age!

Scan_Pic0053  Richard Aanas, my uncle, served in World War II and lost both of his legs, fighting in France. He was my mother’s brother.

Scan_Pic0158  Bob Archer, my brother-in-law, served in World War II. Brother of my husband, Jerry.

Scan_Pic0169  Roger Bebeau, my brother-in-law, served in the US Navy in World War II. His wife, Betty, is Jerry’s sister.

Scan_Pic0168  Richard Williamson, my brother, served during the Korean Conflict.

??????????????????  Jim Archer, my brother-in-law, Jerry’s brother, served during the Korean Conflict.

Scan_Pic0170  Jerry Archer, my husband, served during the Viet Nam War.

Chuck Gray, cousin. Served in Navy. Son of cousins, Roy and Beulah Gray. Sorry no picture.

????????????  Roger Bebeau, nephew, served in National Guard. Son of Jerry’s sister, Betty.

Scan_Pic0159  Woody Williamson, nephew, served in Desert Storm. Woody is the son of my brother, Bill Williamson.

Scan_Pic0165  Sean Banford, son-in-law, served in the US Army. Sean is Christy’s husband.

There are more, but I’m not aware of them. Still, I salute each one of them all.