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Conrad Lemon Grove Mortuary

7387 Broadway, Lemon Grove, CA

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Jacob King Bennett Jr.

20 août , 19268 juin , 2019
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Jacob King Bennett, Jr. peacefully passed away on June 8, 2019 at the age of 92. Jake was born in LaGrange, Georgia on August 20, 1926 and his family later moved to Columbus, Georgia where years later he met the love of his life, Mary Bell Steffin. They were married for 46 years prior to her death in 1994. He is survived by 3 daughters, 6 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.

Jake served in the Navy for 20 years and achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer. He was a veteran of World War II and Vietnam. During his Navy career Jake and his family were stationed various places in the United States, including Texas, Washington state, Hawaii, California, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia and again back to California. After his retirement in 1966, Jake and Mary made their home in San Diego.

They worked together as managers for various apartment complexes. Later they were the managers of Mini Max Self Storage, one of the first self storage facilities in San Diego County.

Jake loved to spend time with family and enjoyed sharing his hobbies with his children and grandchildren. His hobbies included working with ceramics and creating beautiful leatherwork. He would make purses, wallets and clocks that he shared with friends and family. Jake also liked carpentry and remodeled two homes as well as built tree houses for his children and grandchildren. Jake enjoyed gardening and would often have a vegetable garden. He also made beautiful flower beds for Mary.

His love for bowling, playing Bingo, shooting pool and board games continued into his 90's. Jake later enjoyed many fun times at Monte Vista Village where he lived the last 3 years of his life. He was always telling stories and had a great sense of humor.

The family is planning a private ceremony and his final resting place will be Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

Jake recently said that he had a long and wonderful life. He will be missed by all that knew and loved him.

  • FAMILLE

  • Patricia Nunnelly, Daughter
  • Peggy French, Daughter
  • Paula Ring, Daughter
  • Tresa Salmon, Granddaughter
  • Benjamin Nunnelly, Grandson
  • Daniel Nunnelly, Grandson
  • Jason Ring, Grandson
  • Gianna Ring, Granddaughter
  • Tyler French, Grandson
  • David Arevalo, Great Grandson
  • Damian Ring, Great Grandson

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Souvenirs

Jacob King Bennett Jr.

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Mary Steffin went to the same school as Jake, but they did not know each other.

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Jake with his sister Joyce

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Jake at about 15 with his sister Margaret

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Jake with his mother

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Jake in Coronado in 1946 after returning from the Pacific after World War II

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Jake's' 1944 graduation picture

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Mary Steffin went to the same school as Jake, but they did not know each other.

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Jake with his sister Joyce

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Jake at about 15 with his sister Margaret

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Jake with his mother

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Jake in Coronado in 1946 after returning from the Pacific after World War II

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Jake's' 1944 graduation picture

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Biographie

“Anything is possible.” That is what Jacob King Bennett Jr. believed about life. He was a creative man, a perpetual inventor, who seemed to be able to find a solution for any difficulty confronting him. He had faith in his ability to find those solutions. Jake thoroughly enjoyed understanding how things worked. He possessed an inquisitive, confident, and rational nature matched with a versatile and agile mind. Jake was a person who believed that he could achieve whatever he set out to do.

Jake was born at home on August 20, 1926 in LaGrange, Georgia. His parents were Jacob King and Annie Maude Bennett. Jake was raised on a farm in LaGrange with five siblings. He had one older brother, Wilson, three older sisters, Sarah, Jennie and Margaret, and one younger sister, Joyce. Jake was definitely a child of the Depression era where he said nothing was ever wasted and they would usually just receive fruit for Christmas. This way of living would carry into adulthood where he was very prudent with his finances. He would also help his parents with many chores on the farm but was upset that he was too young to plow the fields. Jake would tell many stories about living on the farm - his favorite was that his mother couldn't sell the chickens for the price she wanted so instead of selling them they had chicken every day until over 200 chickens had been eaten. He said it took about 20 years for him to be able to eat chicken again.

He showed his ingenuity even as a child. When he was confronted with a problem, Jake could develop an imaginative solution, and he derived satisfaction from knowing he had that ability.  As a young boy, Jake could be found building and inventing new and different things. He was curious, resourceful and interested in anything original. He always said that he invented the first skateboard by taking the handle off his scooter and getting around town on the board only. In his spare time he liked to play marbles and as a typical young boy liked to shoot his slingshot and BB gun.

Jake would later move to the city of Columbus, Georgia where his mother ran a boarding house. He was very resourceful and said that he and his sister Joyce would collect coca-cola bottles to earn at least a dime each to be able to spend all day Saturday at either the movies or the public swimming pool. He also learned how to bowl and play pool from some of the boarders. The person who lost always paid so he was sure to hone his skills so that paying was not a problem for him. He would later work at the bowling alley as a pin setter. He would reset all the pins by hand at their appropriate spot on the alley. He said he made sure all the pins were set before he returned the ball so he had time to move before the next ball was thrown. Endowed with an appetite for knowing how his world worked, Jake enjoyed school, especially when the learning experience involved dissecting and probing the unknown. He graduated from Jordan Vocational High School in 1944. His favorite class in high school was machine shop where he developed his mechanical ability and learned to work with his hands, skills that he would use later in life.

Since World War II was going on, Jake made the decision to join the Navy right out of high school. He became a radioman and at that time learned the Morse code. He was initially assigned to a CB-3 Mariner seaplane crew as a radar-radioman and gunner and he was stationed in the Phillippines. Jake said that in 1944 on the way to the Phillipines that they landed in San Diego Bay and spent some time on Coronado. Little did he know at that time that San Diego would eventually become his home after retirement. Jake said he was responsible for constantly reporting the plane's position via Morse code. He also operated a machine gun on the bombing and strafing raids that they would make on the Japanese over Borneo. He said that on one of these raids one of their engines was hit by the Japanese but they were able to make it back safely. (Even at the age of 92 Jake was able to remember the Morse code and was willing to teach it to his grandchildren.)

After the war Jake returned to Columbus, Georgia where he worked at Satlof Auto Parts Company. He mostly rebuilt carburetors but he also worked in the machine shop area of the company, a skill that he learned in high school. He had lots of fun adventures with his work buddies who played in a band and rode motorcycles.

It was on one of these motorcycle rides that he met the love of his life, Mary Bell Steffin. Although they had gone to the same high school, they had never met before. They fell in love and were married on April 17, 1948.  Jake was adept at devising original and creative ways to enhance and improve the marriage partnership and was quick to respond to his wife's needs. He had a vibrant but sometimes stubborn personality and he enjoyed verbally sparring with Mary. He was very perceptive in recognizing others’ feelings, especially regarding Mary and they had many fun times together. He would always remember special occasions and would faithfully give Mary a card with her favorite candy, Whitman's chocolates.

After the birth of their first child, Jake and Mary made the decision for him to return to the Navy as a career. Jake's ability to face any challenge no matter how difficult it might be was a tremendous asset that Jake carried with him into the military. During his time in the military there were many sacrifices including being separated from his family on deployments. Jake was stationed in various states, including Texas, Washington state, Hawaii, Alaska, California, Tennessee, Maryland and Virginia and then back to California. Mary and his family always joined him on these moves when possible. He was also able to visit a number of foreign countries while on deployment, including Japan, Portugal, France and Hong Kong and would always return with wonderful gifts for his family. Mary and his girls would always be so excited to have him back home from deployment and would be sure to have his favorite lemon meringue pie for him to enjoy.

In the military Jake saw action in World War II and also in Vietnam onboard the destroyer USS Agerholm. During his career he served in several air squadrons as well as on various ships and shore duty. Through his hard work and dedication he earned the respect of his fellow service men and women. He was also presented with various awards including the Victory - World War II medal, National Defense Service medal, Vietnam Service medal, National Defense Service medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary medal, American Campaign medal, Asiatic Pacific medal as well as a Good Conduct Medal along with three good conduct bronze stars. Jake achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer and retired in 1966 after 20 years of service.

While in the Navy Jake got in the habit of writing letters - no Emails at that time. The love for keeping in touch with friends and family by writing letters continued well into his 90's. Many people were able to keep up with his family as well as enjoy his humor and quick witt in these wonderful letters.

After retiring from the military Jake and Mary managed several apartment complexes and later were managers of Mini Max, one of the first self-storage facilities in San Diego County. Jake always made an effort to be a team player, doing what was necessary to get the job done. Even while in retirement Jake never stopped his inventive talents and during this phase of his life provided new opportunities for stimulating his interests. In his retirement he found new pleasures in remodeling several houses. He said that one of his goals in life had been to build a house on his own.

Jake’s remarkable talent for being inventive influenced his relationship with his children. Jake was blessed with three daughters, Patricia, Peggy and Paula, the 3 P's. (The 3 P's was a name given to his girls in 1954 by a Santa that was filming a dependent movie for Jake while he was deployed in Alaska.) Although Jake and Mary chose a life away from immediate family and relatives, they created a wonderful family environment for his girls with their Southern values of love, manners and respect as well as a love of nature. Jake also made sure that they enjoyed themselves and would often join in on bike rides, playing badminton, softball and croquet as well as board games. They would also enjoy picnics and Sunday drives in the country.

Jake had six grandchildren, Tresa, Ben, Daniel, Jason, Gianna and Tyler; and two great grandsons, David and Damian. Someone who was quick to laugh, Jake found it easy to spend lots of time with Mary, his children and grandchildren. Jake and Mary would often take their grandchildren to the zoo and Balboa Park to enjoy the playgrounds. They would also have overnight camping trips on the 40 acres that they purchased in Tecate, CA. It was their plan to build a home on the property but they were not able to due to their declining health. However, they spent many fun days with the grandchildren on Mary's "Screaming Rock" on the Tecate property. Jake would quietly but lovingly make things for them, including footstools with their names carved on them and tree houses for them to play in. He also made more than 30 frames for all the cross stitch pictures that Mary had made for the children. He built a back yard bench swing and picnic tables for family get togethers to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. He loved to share his garden, especially the abundant zucchini; and Patricia became an expert at making zucchini bread that all enjoyed!

Jake's passion for finding a better way to do things was often an end in itself for him. In fact, that interest by itself became something of a hobby for this perpetual problem solver. Since Jacob was always searching for new and unusual activities, he developed many interests and leisure pursuits. Some of the things he became an “expert” in might come as a surprise to those who knew him, but most friends and family understood that Jake simply couldn’t be limited to just a few activities or ideas. He loved to work crossword puzzles and was an avid Scrabble player who would very often come up with words that his opponents had never heard of before. His favorite pursuits were ceramics and leatherwork where he would make pictures, wallets and purses for Mary and his family. He also enjoyed bowling and shooting pool with friends. Jake enjoyed gardening and would make beautiful flower beds for Mary and he often planted a vegetable garden. Jake loved to cook and on Sunday mornings would alternate between pancakes or waffles from scratch for breakfast. He also cooked all the meals when Mary was ill.

Having the opportunity to visit and explore a new place always intrigued Jake. Traveling and going away on vacations offered yet another opportunity for Jake to expand his ever-growing inventory of knowledge. Jake and Mary purchased land and made a second home in Georgia in order to be closer to their families in Georgia and Alabama. They would spend part of the year in San Diego with their children and grandchildren. Then they would travel to Georgia and spend time with their parents and brothers and sisters. They also enjoyed fishing on the lake by their property. Some of Jake's favorite vacations were gifts from his employer that included traveling to Hawaii and Mazatlan with Mary.

After Mary passed away, Jake met and married a lovely lady by the name of Gloria Zatarain. She was very family- oriented and a great cook. They enjoyed their time together traveling back east and to Mexico until she passed away in 1999.

For the last three years of his life Jake lived at the Monte Vista Village retirement home. While living at Monte Vista he enjoyed playing Wii bowling and Bingo. He tried to figure out the system for choosing the winning Bingo card and was usually pretty successful. Every Saturday he enjoyed playing pool for hours with a group of friends. Jake thought that Monte Vista was a great place to live because the staff was always so helpful and caring.

Jake passed away on June 8, 2019 at LakeView home in La Mesa, CA. Jake fought a brave battle for years against congestive heart failure. Jake often said that he had a long and wonderful life. He is survived by his children, Patricia, Peggy and Paula; his grandchildren, Tresa, Ben, Daniel, Jason, Gianna and Tyler; and his great grandsons, David and Damian. Private services were held at Conrad Lemon Grove Mortuary. Jacob was laid to rest in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

During his lifetime, nothing appeared impossible to Jake. He met the words “it can’t be done” with the enthusiastic challenge of a “wanna bet” attitude. Jake was able to recognize the possibilities a new idea held, even when those around him could not. For Jake, the traditional way of doing things fell short of his expectations, especially if there were original and untested methods for handling a challenge. For Jacob King Bennett Jr., the fun of living his life could be found in the challenge.


The following are excerpts from letters where Jake would share various times and events in his life:

2/22/07 in a letter to one of his nephews: ...I’d like to tell you a little history of our family. I don’t know how it happened but our part of the family eventually wound up in LaGrange, Georgia. Papa was born in 1883 and mama was born in 1889. My parents were married in Alabama. Papa died of a stroke in 1947 at a hospital near Macon, Georgia. You attended mama’s funeral in 1978.

My mother’s father, Noah Gladney, owned a company that manufactured bricks. He left all his children a few thousand dollars. With this money my mother and father bought a combination grocery store and gas station plus a house next door. I think all of their children were born there, including me. The place was located on Hogansville Road about four city blocks from the high school in La Grange, Georgia. I think the store was where Wilson got experience cutting meat because most of his working life he was a butcher. Some of my grandparents lived in a house a short distance down the road. Most of my grandparents were gone before I was born in August of 1926.

In 1929 the Great Depression “hit” the U.S. Well a lot of businesses had to close their doors for good, including most of the cotton mills, putting thousands of people out of work. My parents had sold a lot of groceries on credit and they couldn’t collect the money since a lot of people in the area were out of work. So they sold the business and they bought a farm (50 acres) on Greenville Road, LaGrange, Georgia. It was about a half mile outside the city limits. I was about three years old at the time. First thing I remember there was papa bringing a lot of new shoes from the store - I tried many of them on but none of them fit me!

On the farm there was a small house that our help lived in and the woman helped mama with the cooking and other work. A man by the name of Robert lived there with his grandparents and young sister. He and Wilson did most of the plowing before they planted the crop. I think I also remember papa doing some of the plowing. We had four mules to pull the plows, plus three milk cows and a lot of hogs and pigs. Mama would raise 200 chickens each year for eggs, Sunday dinner and to sell. Papa and Wilson would kill three hogs in the winter, since we had no refrigeration. In fact, we had no electricity, no running water, no phone, no bathroom (just an outhouse a few hundred feet from the house). Mama cooked on a large wood burning stove and we had fireplaces in every room ( 3 bedrooms and living room). It was my job to bring in the firewood for the stove and fireplaces. I had to fight a mean rooster that perched on the wood to get it! Robert would chop the wood from trees on our farm. We got our water from a deep well near the back porch. We smoked the meat in our “smokehouse” and then packed a lot of it in big wooden boxes and covered it with salt. Mama would make sausage and smoke it - she’d also make soap from hog fat and lye.

Our whole family would take an “all-over” bath once a week in a galvanized tub - whether we needed one or not! (Ha). Mama heated the water on her wood burning stove. For food over the winter, mama would can a lot of veggies in glass jars. We would also kill one steer each year for beef. My father’s “money crop” was cotton. All of us children, including my sisters, would toil a lot in the fields - chopping (thinning) and hoeing cotton. Then when the cotton was ready to pick my father would hire a lot of extra help tp pick the cotton before it rained. Papa paid a quarter for so many pounds and it took a long time to pick that much. Of course, all of us kids were also there picking the cotton. He planted a lot of veggies for us and the animals, especially corn. He and mama were “master farmers” - they could grow anything and the only thing we had to buy was salt, sugar and flour.

Papa would once a week give us children 15 or 20 cents for entertainment. We’d all walk about three miles to a movie theater in downtown LaGrange - see a movie, comedy and serial, then get a double dip ice cream cone and walk back home. Then the next week we'd all talk about the movie as we worked in the fields. We’d also have potluck dinners with neighbors and kin. Also papa and Wilson built a long front porch. We would wax the floor and have dances once in a while; mostly on Sunday evenings. Since we didn’t have electricity, we’d fill coke bottles with kerosene, hang them on a steel cable and light a wick we put in the kerosene. So it wasn’t all work and no play, especially for Joyce and me, the youngest.

When Sarah was 19 she’d had enough of farm life and she moved to Washington D.C. and got a job as a secretary. She lived there about two years and then moved back to LaGrange. A little later Wilson decided to leave home and went to live with mama’s brother, Uncle Grover, who lived in Alexandria, Virginia. When he got back Wilson got a job cutting meat in a grocery store in Macon, Georgia.

After Wilson went to Macon, papa got in an argument with a neighbor about property lines. A short time later our barn burned down killing most of our animals. Also most of the crops that we had just harvested burned. The firemen found a gas can in back of where the barn had been so it was deliberately set on fire. Everyone suspected our neighbor that had argued with papa but we couldn’t prove anything. A few weeks after that mama and papa decided to give up the farm and move to town. So, when I was ten years old we all moved to a house and rented it - about a block from the town square. Mama and papa separated soon after we moved to town.

Mama started taking in boarders - about six or seven. She furnished them a bed to sleep in and three meals a day. I think she charged just a few dollars a week - enough to support her and us children. Jennie met Hogan Ware a short time after we moved there and they married when she was 18. Two or three years later my sister Margaret married a soldier from Fort Benning and they moved to Columbus, Georgia. When I was 13 Sarah met David Henson, one of mama’s boarders and a bricklayer and they married soon after. I think Sarah and David decided to move to Columbus because there were more construction jobs there. After they moved mama decided to move to Columbus because it was a much larger city than LaGrange and made it easier to get boarders. Eventually mama put a down payment on a large two story house in Columbus with many separate rooms. She had kitchens installed in all the large rooms and rented them out as studios. Life was a lot easier for mama after that - not having to cook for all those boarders. My sister Joyce also married a soldier from Fort Benning and that left mama and me. I graduated from high school at the age of 17 (Georgia only had 11 grades at that time) and two weeks later I joined the Navy. Mama had to sign the papers for me to join....


- 3/18/08: Don’t know if I ever told you how or when I started bowling. Well, I was 14 years old, in 1940, living in Columbus, Georgia. My mother was running a boarding house - she had six or seven boarders (she furnished them a bed to sleep and fed them three times a day). She and my father had separated a few months before, so this is the way she earned a living. She charged the boarders six or seven dollars a week - which doesn’t sound like much now but back then a dollar was worth a dollar and groceries were “dirt cheap” compared to now. She had a woman that helped her cook the meals and clean. Mama still cooked on a wood burning stove like she did when we lived in the country. She would get up at 4:00 in the morning to fix breakfast because some of the boarders went to work real early. She fixed them a lunch to take with them. She had two boarders that worked in a cotton mill machine shop that made $16 a week. I remember that because I earned the same amount with a newspaper route. Believe it or not, she charged me the same rent as the boarders.

Well to make a short story long (ha), two of the boarders liked to bowl and they invited me to bowl with them one day.
One guy was named Bo Willis. I remember Bo’s name because he had a “Willis” automobile - of course they don’t make them anymore. (Sears and Roebuck used to sell them under a different name.). My sister Joyce and I used to have fun going on short trips with those two fellows in that old, beat up Willis sedan. When I started bowling with them they told me that they played that the person with the lowest score paid for all the games. You can imagine how long I paid for all the Saturday afternoon games we bowled. We bowled “Duck Pins” - short stubby pins - with a ball about the size of a grapefruit with no holes in it. You’d be lucky to bowl 90 or 100. About two months after we started bowling together I finally started winning a few games.

Didn’t bowl with ten pins until I was in Hawaii after I joined the Navy. I got lucky there and bowled eight strikes in a row (then “fizzled”) and ended up with a score of 238, my best game ever.

When we were bowling in Columbus years before games cost ten cents. They didn’t have automatic pin setter machines. They used a person to set the pins on a spot that they painted on the alley. Much later they had a machine that you loaded the pins in and lowered it on the spots. When I was in my teens I’d set pins to make a little extra money (very little). You’d set the pins before returning the ball otherwise someone might throw the ball too soon and hit you.


4/12/09: The painting on the card of a young boy fishing was exactly like me when I was that age. Just a pair of overalls, as we called them, no shirt and bare footed (but without the hat). A bunch of us country kids would ride on our bicycles down a dirt road to a nice creek and pond to swim and fish. We used a small tree limb, just like the painting, with line and we would bend a straight pin into a curve for a fish hook, plus digging worms in the rich dirt in our barn yard. Yes, when we would see the red cardinal bird, we’d know that spring had arrived in South Georgia.


- 5/5/10: Mary and I used to take Freeway 10 when we would go by and see her Aunt Emma and then go to see my sister Joyce in Deltona, Florida. Then of course when we left Joyce’s we’d head north to visit my brother, Wilson and his wife, Willie Vernon. From their place we would go to Selma, Alabama and spend part of the day with my sister Jennie and her husband Hogan, then hit the road the next day for our property in Georgia. We had some good times with all those folks. I sure miss them. We would always see my mother at the nursing home in Marion, Alabama while visiting Wilson. Then when we got to our property in Georgia we’d see Mary’s father and his wife the next day, across the lake in Eufala, Alabama. The lake was the dammed up Chattahoochie River that is the dividing line between Georgia and Alabama. I’d usually go fishing with Mary’s dad, Ed Steffin, during our 3-6 month stay at our place in Georgia. Ed and his wife would spend many days and nights with us while we were there. A good time was had by all visiting, eating Ed’s wife Mary’s delicious cooking. We would always play dominoes with Ed and his son-in-law who was an expert player. I’ll have to make a trip back to Georgia and Alabama to see all those people before I “cash in all my chips”.


2/11/11: Yes, it’s always nice to visit family members. I tried to do the same with my family over the years - it wasn’t always easy especially the 20 years I was in the Navy. Most of the Navy years I received very low pay, compared to civilian salaries of people doing the same type of work. I remember when we lived in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1949 to 1953 - I was making a little over $200 a month and was in a PBM (sea plane, patrol bomber) squadron drawing hazardous flight pay of $50 as a third class radioman. They gave us the choice of flying or not as it was a volunteer type of duty. If we chose not to fly we would just work in the radio shop. Well, as I said, I flew for the extra pay. Suddenly I got transferred to a fighter squadron, a few miles from where I’d been in the “PBM” squadron. So I lost my flight pay except once every three months I could get $30 flight pay if I flew in the PBM for four hours. My pay figured out to $160 a month including the $10 flight pay a month. We didn’t have any bills except for $25 a month for some used furniture we’d bought to furnish one side of a federal housing duplex (2 bedroom, one bath, a nice place), of course we had to pay utilities, few dollars a month, and the rent was $25 a month. I tell you all this so you can see what small pay the Navy was paying at that time. I really didn’t make fairly decent pay until I made Chief Petty Officer in 1960 and even then the pay wasn’t too much. But I am glad I stayed in the Navy for 20 years - as the retirement pay really is nice otherwise Mary and I would never have been able to retire in 1981 (she at 53 and me at 54 years old).


8/6/11: ...England was one country I never visited. Hopefully some year I’ll get there and to Scotland and Ireland. We did get to see a lot of different areas in the “Med” over the years of flying and sailing. During World War II flying in our patrol bomber we visited many islands, starting with Hawaii, Midway, Kwajalein, Guam and many islands I have forgotten the names of. We spent a couple of weeks in Shanghai, China, Hong Kong, and some cities in northern China. We spent many weeks in southern and northern Phillippines going on bombing and strafing raids against Japanese installations in Borneo. We were waiting for the invasion of Japan, but it was called off after the “A-bombs were dropped on Japan cities. In the “Med” we visited many places, years later, Italy, Spain, France, Greece and a few islands I’ve forgotten the names of. In the Caribbean we went to Bermuda, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Jamaica plus more islands. Spent six months in Newfoundland and also Kodak, Alaska. Flew a few times to the Azores next to PortugL. Should have kept a log of the travels but didn’t.


12/1/11: We had a vey nice Thanksgiving meal. Everything was well done the way Tresa and I like it. That’s the way my mother always cooked - she was a wonderful cook - her green beans tasted so good that I made sandwiches with them after school. I never saw her open a can (always fresh veggies) and she never used a recipe. All the recipes were in her head probably all the way from Ireland.


6/7/12: ...Paula gave me a movie gift card. That’s the only time I go to the movies cause when I was a kid movies were a thin dime, so seven or eight bucks for a movie is serious money to me. I’m from the 20’s generation, you well know. My sister and I used to collect thrown away coke bottles to earn money to go to the movies. We got a penny each because the store owner had to pay the coke man two cents each for missing bottles. We’re talking big money!

My tomatoes are doing fantastic, have a lot of fruit already. I planted around two dozen other seeds but none came up - they must be 2 or 3 feet down. I’ll probably have to go to China for those!


7/8/12: I see on tv that today is opening day at the Del Mar racetrack - women wearing outlandish hats, etc. Guess they have a lot of fun. I’ve never been to the horse races but my Uncle Grover, my mother’s youngest brother loved the races. In fact when he and his wife retired to Florida he owned race horses and raced them quite a bit. Whether he won or not I am not quite sure but my mother told me that she had heard he’d lost most of his money participating in the races.


6/30/13: ..I tell you that is just like when we lived on the farm. During the winter our temperature would maybe get a few degrees below zero but not dangerous like on the show about Alaska. Otherwise both the same - no electricity, no running water (we got our water from a well off the back porch). Of course, we heated by burning wood and my mother cooked three meals a day on a wood burning stove and we used kerosene burning lamps for light at night. We had an outhouse instead of a bathroom, and it was located about 300 feet from the house, so we didn’t have to smell it, except when we used it. It was my chore to bring in the firewood that was cut with an axe from the trees on our property. As I have said many times, it was a hard life but a good life.


2/28/14: Speaking of letters, I used to have a bunch of people to write to - my sisters, brother, mother, Aunt Emma, etc., but now they’re all gone. So now I have you and Connie Roberts who writes me every holiday season. I didn’t know that Aunt Emma had passed away until I sent her a Christmas card with a note inside, and after her daughter wrote that she had passed away. The same thing happened with Wilson’s wife, Willie Vernon. I guess when you get as old as I am, 87, it happens a lot. Like the barber used to say years ago - “Next”! Guess I’m “Next”! In my family anyway since I’m the only one left. Saw a movie last night about the general that took over Japan after their surrender and his favorite saying was “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away”. Well I say, “Old sailors never die, they just sail away!”


5/8/18: it’s nice of Bob to do cross stitching projects for other people. I can remember your mother doing a lot of cross stitching (especially the Hummells) and giving them as presents to family and friends. We also did a lot of ceramics and gave them away. Then Mary crocheted and made afghans for everyone. I have the one she made me at the foot of my bed. I use it especially in the cool and cold weather, when I take a nap.

We had green, split pea soup - I’m going to tell them I hope they didn’t waste any of the soup cause the cook stayed up all night splitting those peas!