Thursday, December 3, 2009

More December Milestones


Running late, gotta get ready for a Basketball double header at Spencerville...So I will forgo the news and get right at this one....

Milestones Missed____

I stopped by mom's today to discuss the death of her sister-in-law, my Aunt Agnes DeVore, in Wilmington, Delaware. Mom reminded me that there were many "milestones" in December in her DeVore/Feeley side of the family as well as the Houseworth/Waldron side.

Agnes was my aunt by marriage to mom's brother Bill. When I was in my early days of my Air Force tour, back in 1968 and early 69, I was stationed down the road from them at Dover AFB, Delaware. I would usually take my 72 hour breaks and spend it with them and their daughters, Mary and Diana.


Bill and Agnes treated me like the son they never had...Uncle Bill and I would sit out on their screened in porch and listen to the Phillies games, and down whatever beer he happen to be trying out....If Bill got a can that he considered "skunky" he would switch brands...anything from Ballentine, to Schlitz, to Falstaff....they would also feed me well, and when my once every ten days, 72 hour break was up, I would head down Highway 13 towards Dover....full and usually relaxed.

Uncle Bill and I got alone famously...as did me and Agnes....we just usually avoided politics.

Bill was a lifetime Democrat and UAW worker at the GM Plant in Wilmington...I was a not so enlightened Republican...so we just agreed to disagree on those issues. Not to say Bill and Agnes were liberals, because they sure were not....more of the old fashion Democrats from the FDR era....

Bill was 2 years younger than mom, and passed away in 1997...he was born in December(what else?)...On December 4th to be exact, he would have been 84 tomorrow. He was a WW2 Veteran, joining in 1943, when he turned 18. He was shipped off to the European Front, where he took part in the Battle of the Bulge. Bill left the front with a Purple Heart, and was shipped to the prison where Helmet Goreing was being held...he was one of the guards at the prison when Goreing dropped a capsule of cyanide, and checked out of this life for his appointment in Hell....

Never did discuss the war with Bill, even though I was with him when I received word that I was heading to Vietnam. Bill made a successful effort to stay close to home when he returned from his war, other than a trip or two to a Phillies game, he rarely left the State of Delaware in his last 50 years.....

Agnes was a little more outgoing, and did the driving and traveling, while Bill was usually content to be dropped off at one of the watering holes in the neighborhood when on occasion he decided to go out....I would go with him to the bar when I got the chance, or to the Amory for the local Golden Gloves boxing matches....those were indeed simpler times, I miss him and those days on occasion.

I got a call from Diana yesterday informing me that Agnes had passed away in the morning, at the age of 79, in December of course, 2 days shy of what would have been Bill's 84th. The 2 girls, along with Mary's husband John, had shared a house with Agnes the last few years...I last got to visit with them back in 2005 on one of my RV runs to a dealer just north of Wilmington...we had a good talk about Bill, the 60s, and even some politics, which of course we still disagreed on.

I hope Bill and Agnes DeVore are reunited and looking down at us now.....a salute to both of them. We did have some good times all those years ago, didn't we?

back later>>>>
Photos-Bill DeVore home on leave in 1943 just before heading over to Europe and the Battle of the Buldge....Me, standing in Bill and Agnes's living room in the Spring of 1969 before heading out to a homecoming dance or some like event.

1 comment:

Law and Order Teacher said...

Pat,
I enjoyed your post. WWII vets had a propensity for not talking about their experiences. My uncle Glenn and Jim were there and never spoke about it. My dad was quiet until one day he brought my brothers and I to my uncles house and they told us about their wars. My uncles were in WWII, my dad, Korea.

They talked for a couple of hours and I never heard anymore about it. I was stunned and inspired. Greatest Generation? Yeah.