My parents were William R. and Lois N. (Smith) Gahimer.
They were teenage sweethearts. Dad grew up on a farm a few miles east of town. Mom worked as a waitress at Ed Taylor's Fish Fry, a local hot spot for good food since the early 1920's. The year was 1941. Dad was 16; Mom was 14. They hit it off and began dating. Dad would go to Taylor's, have a sandwich and eat a quart of ice cream...just waiting for Mom to get off work. She was still a knockout...almost 60 years later!
By November 1943, my dad's older brother, Richard, was already serving in the U.S. Army. Dad decided it was his turn to serve. As a senior, he dropped out of high school and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. Mom went to work at Camp Atterbury about the same time. After the war ended, Dad sent for her.
Mom and Dad were married 17 May 1946, while Dad was still serving at the U.S. Marine air station located in El Centro, CA. He was discharged from active duty 31 July 1946. Mom and Dad moved back home to Indiana in 1948. They'd been married 54 years when we lost Mom 7 December 2000. She was 73. Dad continued to live on his own, outside a few hospitalizations, over the next 10 years and 4 months. We lost Dad 7 April 2011. He would have been 86 in May.
My dad ended up working as a skilled tradesman for Detroit Diesel Allison (GM) for nearly 39 years before retiring in 1989. My mom was a licensed cosmetologist and operated her own beauty shop for nearly 30 years...all while tending 4 kids and taking care of Dad, the house and the dog.
Mom and Dad enjoyed camping for nearly 40 years. We share many fond memories related to camping with family and friends. They had two Shih-Tzu dogs, at different times, for 30 years. Both were more like children than pets. They provided a lot of enjoyment and companionship later in life, after we'd all married and moved away from home.
I am very proud of my parents and the values they instilled in us. My dad and all 4 of his brothers served in the military in World War II or the Korean War. Both my mom's younger brothers served in the 1950's as well.
Vickie's father, my father-in-law, two of his brothers and a sister all served during WWII. Her dad is a Bronze Star recipient who served in the 44th Infantry Division in Europe during WWII. My oldest brother served a combined total of 40-1/2 yrs. Air Force and Army. I graduated school early, married and enlisted in the Army shortly thereafter.
Our parents worked hard, taught us to achieve and save for the future. They endured growing up during the Great Depression and WWII. They truly will be remembered as America's Greatest Generation. They sacrificed to provide so much for us. Gone...but never forgotten.