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Ohio Department of Aging Press Release

June 18, 2013

Sixth installment of War Era Story Project focuses on families in WWII

Children, wives and others did all they could to support the U.S. war effort

Sixth grade students of Fayetteville Elementary School in St. Martin, Ohio in 1942-43, Photo submitted by Loretta Carlier Dean (fifth from right)
Sixth grade students of Fayetteville Elementary School in St. Martin, Ohio in 1942-43
Photo submitted by Loretta Carlier Dean (fifth from right)

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Departments of Aging and Veterans Services today released the sixth installment of the War Era Story Project (www.aging.ohio.gov/news/storyprojects). The latest collection of 20 stories chronicles how towns, families and children all worked together to support their brothers, sons, fathers and husbands fighting overseas. Stories include:

Vivienne Bickley, 86, Amherst - Ms. Bickley shares an interaction she had with a neighborhood woman who was speaking out about the war and anyone who supported it.

Marie Ciano, 89, Fairborn - Mrs. Ciano was attending a friend's wedding reception with her future husband when they heard about Pearl Harbor.

Ohmer Crowe, 81, Camden - Mr. Crowe was 11 years old when a plane with new technology crashed on a farm in Preble County. He helped the pilot, who asked the family to guard the plane.

Loretta Carlier Dean, 81, Hillsboro - Mrs. Dean gives a child's-eye view of how life in the village of Fayetteville, Ohio changed following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Ida Fackler, 95, Dayton - Ms. Fackler recalls how she and her neighbors coped with rationing and how she and her friends passed time with few men their age around.

Eileen Schuckman Funk, Westerville - Mrs. Funk recounts a hot summer evening as a girl of five in Cincinnati and how an unexpected early-morning visitor gave her a lifelong memory.

Clara Sesler Genther, 95, Cincinnati - Mrs. Genther was a microbiologist conducting tests for the Army and recalls how rationing affected city life before and after the war ended.

Jack Gibson, 83, Dayton - Mr. Gibson was a boy of 16 in the summer of 1945. He got a job driving a truck cross-country for the government and recalls several memorable stops.

Jacqueline Helmers, Cincinnati - Ms. Helmers supported her family in their local civilian defense unit. Her father was the commander of the volunteer group and her mother was trained in first aid.

Nancy Kerr, West Chester - Ms. Kerr shares excerpts of letters that her father sent to a friend back home. The tone of his letters became darker and more serious as the fighting continued.

Abe Lincoln, 78, Brookville - Mr. Lincoln describes how talking to the older boys as they returned from war inspired his own service during the Korean War.

James L. Matson, Sr., 71, Wapakoneta - Mr. Matson grew up near the railroads in Lima, and recalls that there were three things you didn't waste during those years: time, energy and food.

William Moore, 79, Lima - Mr. Moore was eight years old when the war began and fondly remembers how living near the B&O railroad shaped his attitudes and inspired his lifelong military service.

Marilyn M. Mulligan, 80, Rocky River - Ms. Mulligan remembers how children and families expressed their patriotism and did anything they could to support the war effort.

Harry Noble, 75, Xenia - Mr. Noble recalls how a gift from a stranger staying with his family gave him the first realization that something out of the ordinary was happening in the world.

Colleen Lee Plevelich, 86, Trotwood - Mrs. Plevelich worked for the War Department as a typist and was in Washington, D.C. when President Roosevelt died. She experienced segregation through a friend.

Mary Lou Shepherd, Milford - Ms. Shepherd shares a newspaper article that heralded the safe return of her father, Sgt. Wm. D. Warren, a.k.a., "Baker Bill," from fighting oversees.

Madeleine Kenz Tagg, 76, Chillicothe - Mrs. Tagg recalls how her father supported the war effort at home by working full-time and also volunteering as a neighborhood watchman and fire fighter.

John J. Voisard, 75, Dayton - Mr. Voisard describes how everyone in his town worked to support the war effort in their own unique ways. His father was an air raid warden.

Ann Evans Wolf, Englewood - Mrs. Wolf's father served as a general's aide overseas. Mail correspondence by her parents about her newborn brother's name led to suspicion of espionage.

These stories join 114 others that were posted previously at www.aging.ohio.gov/news/storyprojects/. The agencies received nearly 300 submissions and will continue to release them in installments until all have been shared.

The War Era Story Project was a follow-up to the Department of Aging's award-winning 2009 Great Depression Story Project. Since this project was intended to explore Ohio's war-time experience, the Department teamed with the Ohio Department of Veterans Services to collect stories from veterans of World War II, as well as the men, women and children who held steady on the home front. The project garnered submissions from 284 individuals, including 21 who currently reside out of state or who did not provide location information. Ohio residents submitting stories represent 50 different counties. Of the authors who provided an age, the oldest was 100 and the youngest was 25. The average age of the authors was 83.

About ODA - The Ohio Department of Aging works to ensure that Ohio is on the leading edge of innovation in responding to the growing and changing aging population. We work with state agencies, area agencies on aging and other local partners to help integrate aging needs into local plans and ensure that aging Ohioans have access to a wide array of high-quality services and supports that are person-centered in policy and practice. Our programs include the PASSPORT Medicaid waiver, the long-term care ombudsman program, the Golden Buckeye Card and more. Visit www.aging.ohio.gov.


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