He graduated high school, joined the Navy during WWII serving aboard the USS New Mexico. The ship was engaged in a battle at Okinawa where it was hit by kamikaze planes. Over 50 of his crew-mates immediately surrounding him were killed and over 100 wounded, but he survived with only bruises. Upon returning to civilian life, he went on to college and entered the work force becoming instrumental in developing FAX transmission machines. He married, had three children and later divorced and never remarried.
|"Fred" & "Richard" ca.1929/30|
|"Richard" with his aunt & uncle|
|"Richard" in Navy|
|USS New Mexico after being hit by kamakazes (photo taken from USS Wichita) 12 May 1945 Richard said he was between the forward superstructure and the stack, about 40 feet from point of impact.|
|"Richard" and "Alice" on their wedding day|
|"Fred" and "Richard" with their mom|
|"Fred" and "Richard" with their dad|
|"Richard" with his maternal grandparents.|
Richard's early life was spent in Colorado. He returned there for a time later on and was there for a family reunion in 2002.
As his family was in Colorado for a number of years in the early to mid-1900s, along with his wife's family, I researched online for Colorado records. One source I came upon is the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. This site is free and I located a lot of small-town tidbits that gave insights into who the family visited, how they spent their time, what relatives came to visit, hospitalizations, and school activities and events. I found information on some marriages, some deaths, but surprisingly little on births. We even discovered that "Fred" had a first wife, which Marty didn't know or remember ever hearing about.
I hope you enjoyed this very brief journey of a man who, as Frank Sinatra sang, did it (his) way. He had a good life. He had a long life. We will miss him but will remember the times we shared in his life. Ten years ago we thought he was not going to make it after an illness incident, but after three months of care, he regained his strength, rebounded and went on his way living alone until he was gone.
Today is a day of celebration as Richard's grandson, our very own Nick, turns 19. Being the birthday-boy, he gets to choose where we eat dinner.