Gone though not forgotten: Families, artist specializing in fight story make certain WWI veterans’ stories not mislaid to time

The organisation and women who served in World War we were standard people who, when America asked, did a extraordinary.

Historians have documented facts, total and strategies, and continue to ask since a Great War shook a world.

A century later, troops families are rooting by boxes and cedar chests, anticipating photographs letters, postcards, trinkets wordless World War we veterans and tighten kin saved. The names scribbled on faded gray photos are starting points. Who are they? What happened in that Great War?

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Genealogy websites, internal chronological societies, libraries and World War we aficionados are creation such searches easier. Families and friends have found some answers.

Several are happy and unapproachable to pronounce about these not-so-ordinary folks.

With beauty and gratitude, they common these stories.


Robert F. Garvin

Every day, an American dwindle flew during Robert F. Garvin Sr.’s home in Beaver. It was, perhaps, a one pointed approach a Army World War we maestro displayed his patriotism. Garvin affianced devotion to a United States from a day he entered World War we to his genocide during age 98 in Jan 1995.

In his necrology his troops use and associated activities were listed before his village use ventures and successful business career as owner and authority of a Bob Garvin Agency Inc. in Beaver.

Bob Garvin Jr. doesn’t understate a honour he has for his father. At age 79. a late Realtor’s low voice is superbly measured.

His father, boss of Beaver High School’s Class of 1914, was a important curtain during propagandize and in a community. He was short, maybe 5-foot, 9-inches tall, and quick, that matched him good when he was reserved as curtain for a Army’s 145th Ambulance Company. On battlefields in France and Belgium, a ambulances stayed back, waiting.

“He would run brazen to find out what was going on,” afterwards approach a ambulances to comparatively protected areas, his son said. His father expected wore an American Red Cross armband and carried a sidearm.

Such efforts deserved a Belgium War Cross, a Verdum, a Meuse-Argonne and a World War we use medals. The immature male came home to Beaver healthy, was shortly to accommodate Pearl Canuti of Oakmont and a story goes, stopped during a internal drug store for a Coke. They met and were married in 1922.

The elder Garvin’s success in business was innate of prolonged hours, offered by day and doing paperwork during night, his son said. Hunting in Tioneseta was a passion. The couple’s usually son was a third of their 4 children. His father was 43 years aged when his namesake was born.

Through a years, a maestro father frequency spoke about a war, and never notation a war’s horror.

Young soldiers grown fast and schooled that they had to accept war’s nauseous realities, a younger Garvin said.

Years later, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin’s arise in Europe hurt Bob Garvin Sr. Much to his wife’s chagrin, her father finished a non-negotiable decision. The U.S. Army Artillery Reserve member insisted on portion in World War II. It was his duty.

“He positively had to be in a Second World War. He wasn’t going to take no for answer,” his son said. “I wouldn’t doubt that he lied about his age.”

At age 48, Robert Garvin Sr. served as a captain in a Army Air Corps during Maxwell Field, Ala., as director of a base’s disaster hall. Bob Garvin Jr. clearly remembers Pearl Garvin pushing her then-5-year-old son and youngest daughter alone to Alabama, a attainment in that era. The tiny child attended a one-room school. About a year or so later, a family returned to Beaver.

The patriarch’s adore of nation has coursed by a Garvin family. In a early 1960s, Robert Garvin Jr. served as a captain in a Air Force for 3 years, afterwards 4 years in a reserves. In 2015, his daughter, Jean Garvin Mahan late as a full colonel in a USAF and now works for a cyber confidence invulnerability executive in Washington, D.C. Her son, Patrick Steppe, is an active avocation Air Force commander of C-130 ride airplanes and is stationed in Japan.

All of that would positively make Robert F. Garvin Sr., a male who late as a vital in a Air Force Reserves during age 60, very, really proud.


Robert C. Stout

Theirs is a smashing story of adore and war, a happy finale story created during World War we by a Tennessee-born sailor and a immature lady from Sligo, Pa.

In 1916 or 1917, Bob Stout headed north from Bakersgap, Tenn., to Beaver County for a pursuit in a steel mill. The agreeable 21-year-old bachelor finished friends with guys and girls vital in Beaver. Geneva Oppelt was among his new acquaintances in a tiny town.

When a United States entered a war, Stout was drafted and compulsory to lapse to Tennessee. He entered a Army in Sep 1917, was sent to 4 troops camps and trustworthy to a 81st troops troops mounted cavalry division.

Before a multiplication left for France in Jul 1918, Stout asked his northern friends to write letters to him.

He pronounced he’d answer each. A organisation of girls religiously wrote.

Oppelt graduated from Beaver High School that year. She wrote about her college plans, where she and her friends went and what they did. Their girl-talk enclosed discuss of any letters anyone perceived from Stout. Soon, no one finished any discuss of any letters from him. Stout stopped essay to lots of friends. Instead he wrote to one — Oppelt.

Their records of loyalty became letters of love.

Eleanor Stout Courtney knows this since she’s review any notation her mom and father exchanged.

He saved her letters. She saved his.

There are distant too many to count, a 90-year-old Brighton Township proprietor said. They wrote letters to any other any day.

Her mother’s essay was eloquent.

“It was really fluent and she common all that she was doing,” Courtney said. She is demure to share a letters publicly, and guards her parents’ privacy. Simply said, a created difference are deeply personal.

To guarantee a treasures for destiny generations Courtney’s daughter has saved any notation digitally on a computer.

Bob and Geneva Stout lived their forever-after lifting 5 children in their home on Second Street in Beaver. Stout non-stop Bob Stout’s Garage Inc. in Rochester, afterwards altered a Chrysler and Dodge dealership to Fourth and Market streets in Beaver.

Courtney cinema her mom in a residence dress and apron scheming dishes in a kitchen or sitting during her sewing machine.

“She finished all of my garments and my sister’s clothes,” Courtney said, adding her creations ran a progression from slips to dresses to promenade gowns.

Stout stood 5 feet, 11 inches high and had thick, black hair with a hold of gray until his in genocide in 1975 during age 80.

Courtney removed a tip that a high propagandize classmate revealed. “My mom thinks that your father is a handsomest male in Beaver,” she said.

His daughter remembers her father entrance home from work dressed in a suit, white shirt and tie. He’d take off his fit cloak and tie, afterwards reap a grass in his fit pants and black dress shoes.

“That’s a kind of male he was,” Courtney said.

Most of all, her father was unapproachable that a Stout family’s troops use traces behind to a Revolutionary War, Courtney said. Two of his sons, Robert Jr. and Ray, served in World War II. His third son, Earl, was stationed in France after a war.

Their mom died in 1993 during a age of 93.

She had no letters to review or write.


Albert Reiser

Years after World War we and during a Korean War, Albert Reiser’s great-nieces and great-nephews collected turn his rocking chair since great-Uncle Albert finished adult a best “Adventure of Muttsy” stories.

Uncle Albert was a grand storyteller and Muttsy, his wandering mutt, would have been utterly a dog if a tales his master told were true. Little Ruth Reiser, a great-niece, knew his stories were nonsense. But when you’re younger than 10, it’s fun to listen to aged folks being silly. Especially since Uncle Albert smoked his siren and talked.

“Now we’re done,” he’d announced. “What’s new in your life?” he always asked a kids.

At age 77, Ruth Reiser Drake of New Sewickley Township remembers a smell of his tobacco. It was cherry.

Uncle Albert was her grandfather William Reiser’s brother, a youngest of John and Eva Reiser’s 8 children. He and his wife, Blanche, and their dual children, Raymond and Marie, lived in a large white residence on Freedom Road, usually over a Beaver County line. It was subsequent to a residence where people stop to buy homemade fudge now, she said.

Each Sunday, he and Blanche invited one Reiser kin and his or her family for a homemade dinner.

Blanche served roasted chicken, egg noodles and potatoes.

If they weren’t hosting dinners on their “free Sundays,” Uncle Albert and Aunt Blanche stopped for an hour-long revisit during any sibling’s home. Christmas was a must-visit to their large white house.

Back then, children knew to sensitively listen to grown-ups conversations, collect adult cues, afterwards try to figure out what’s what. Ruth pieced tidbits together.

Uncle Albert was innate in 1892, so he had to be 25 years aged in 1917 when he was drafted into a Army. Before that, he and his brother, Jacob, worked as drillers during oil fields in Cranberry Township. After a war, Uncle Albert got a pursuit during a circuitously apprehension core for uneasy girl since his health wasn’t good.

In France, unwholesome mustard gas burnt his skin and burnt his lungs tissue-paper thin. That’s since Uncle Albert infrequently gasped for air, and since he had to stop and lay for a notation when he took his great-nieces and great-nephews on walks, Drake said. The Army sent him to a sanatorium in Ohio before his discharge. Then he came home and lived his life.

Until he died in 1959 during age 67, Albert Reiser smoked his pipe, was a jack-of-all trades proffer during St. John of Lovi Lutheran Church, smiled during what mattered and kept his silence. There was no pronounce of quarrel in that large white house.

Drake now spends large hours weeding by 27 boxes of Reiser family things that Uncle Albert’s daughter, Marie, packaged before her genocide several years ago. She’s found Uncle Albert’s induction, orders and liberate information and a spacious toned notation he sent home from France: How are things? Please, review this notation to mother.

Drake knows that it’s all yet guaranteed that Ruth won’t find any difference Army Pvt. 1st Class Albert Reiser wrote about his private war.


Steve Roman

If Bill Roman were to applaud his sixth birthday again, he’d blow out a candles on his cake and certainly make a wish. He’d ask a birthday wish granters for some-more time to spend with his father.

The tiny child from Midland schooled immature that such wishes can’t come true. At age 64 though, a Beaver proprietor has had time to find answers to questions he would have asked his father.

It’s given a late electrician a clarity of contentment.

As best she could, Anna Melnick Roman pleasantly answered a questions her son asked. With a information his late mom provided, Roman and his wife, Regina, searched stock and troops websites for specifics, and filled in blank names, dates and places.

Ustin Romanenka was innate Jul 14, 1896, in a Russian range of Chernesoka. He lived a easeful childhood on a farm, had during slightest 4 siblings, and was a youngest and shortest, station during 5-foot, 4-inches. The Romanenkas were a standard family, not rich or poor. Ustin’s father hold a internal bureau of some sort. His relatives didn’t concede him to attend school. He rebelled.

At age 17, Ustin ran divided from home, trafficked to England and left a pier during Liverpool to cruise to America. No one knows how a teen designed or paid for his journey.

In Apr 1913, he arrived during Ellis Island in New York. He didn’t pronounce or know English. He couldn’t review or write. His attainment was documented and his name was changed. Ustin Romanenka became Steve Roman.

Young Steve Roman quickly worked in a spark mines in northeastern Pennsylvania, afterwards finished his approach to Beaver County. He was hired as a laborer during Pittsburgh Crucible Steel Co. in Midland, rented a room in a boarding residence and solemnly schooled to pronounce English.

Soon after a United States entered World War I, a Russian newcomer was told that by law he had to offer in a military. On Nov. 28, 1917, Roman was inducted into a U.S. Army in a Beaver County Courthouse. Army Company B, 6th Infantry Division arrived in France on May 1, 1918, The sailor saw movement in battles during Meuse-Argonne and St. Miheal, and was unprotected to unwholesome mustard gas. On Nov.11, 1918, when told that an truce had been signed, Roman threw his purloin into a atmosphere and ran down a integrate line announcing a grand news.

The Army maestro returned to Midland and to his pursuit in a mill. While visiting Russian friends during Onifer and Rose Melnick’s boarding home, he met their daughter, Anna. On Nov. 20, 1926, they were married in a Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ambridge. The bride was 15 years old. Her father was 30. Bill Roman pronounced a Melnicks didn’t daunt their union. Such marriages weren’t uncommon.

The integrate lifted their 3 comparison children in a residence they rented on Fifth Street in Midland. Bill, their fourth child, was innate in Jan 1954, 20 years after his sister, Frances. Throughout a marriage, Roman pronounced his father drank liquor, presumably stirred by his practice in World War 1 or life’s frustrations. He was intelligent, proficient in math and spoke English well, yet didn’t know how to review or write. Promotions during a indent compulsory both. Liquor altered his moods and ease in a home, his son said. By all accounts, Steve Roman was a good father who supposing for his family.

“There was a lot some-more to him than we will ever know,” Roman said.

After a renovation, a Veterans of Foreign Wars and a American Legion posts in Midland rededicated a town’s World War we Cenotaph on Oct. 3, 2009. Roman satisfied that his father’s name wasn’t listed on a coronet plaque. He contacted a restoration committee.

On Oct 3, 2013, a second rededication rite respected WWI veterans Steve Roman, Walter B. Hohenshell and Ernest P. Watson. Their names are now on a coronet plaque,

A wish Bill Roman finished for his father has been granted.


George Gaadt

George Gaadt is a double-lucky guy. The 76-year-old Sewickley proprietor was innate with dual gifts: artistic talent and passion.

Best of all, he’s parlayed both into a successful career as an artist and designer, and is an backer of a story of wars, generally World War I.

That multiple final intensity, that he thrives on. Gaadt’s got to know some-more so he digs deep, over books and journals to find families who will share their memories of World War we veterans and what equipment they stashed away. That’s since wants to write a tender realities of a Great War, a practice WWI veterans rarely, if ever, talked about.

“You’ll never review a things that indeed went on,” Gaadt said. “We hear about events.”

Proof of his loyalty is seen and heard. For some-more than 4 decades, Gaadt’s collected American WWII memorabilia. He’s so good review that he peppers explanations with tidbits and anecdotes that bleed “Gee-whiz, we didn’t know that” reactions.

Did we know that internal folks finished WWI shells in a groundwork of their homes? Or that while abroad Walt Disney embellished designs on German War helmets, afterwards sole them?

For 32 years during Great War Association re-enactments, Gaadt donned a German quarrel uniform, in respect of his lineage, and went to conflict opposite a Allies as a quarrel reporter.

“I got killed during slightest 3 times during any event,” he said.

Gaadt married his wife, Ann, 52 years ago. She understands her husband’s ardor.

All a while, a engineer drew and embellished accurate and accurate pieces of WWI soldiers. They are jaw-dropping. At a same time, Gaadt professionally designed design for a National Football League, a Pittsburgh Steelers, businesses and organizations. He continues to work.

The immature child from Erie, who was meddlesome in quarrel helmets and motionless to pull them, has schooled many about wars. It’s all about energy and all that goes with it, Gaadt said.

“God magnify a people who go and fight,” he said.

So many veterans of WWI are unsung heroes.

“They’re out there,” Gaadt said. “They will run into glow and we consternation how and why.”


Joseph H. Thompson

”Colonel Joe” Thompson had no fear.

He had bravery and Irish bravery so there was no approach a male who was best on a battlefield, basketball court, gridiron, on a sidelines and in a courtroom would cruise disaster an option.

He was innate in Ireland in 1871, came to America with his relatives when he was 2 months old, afterwards spent his early decades extraordinary everybody who watched him play.

His success as a actor and football manager during Geneva College and a University of Pittsburgh garnered headlines and awards. Others competence have famous him as a counsel and a state senator representing a Beaver-Lawrence County district from 1912 by 1916.

Undoubtedly, his use to this nation in World War we defines courage. While portion abroad in an battalion ordain in a Pennsylvania National Guard, Thompson was bleeding 3 times and tainted with gas from Sept. 28 by Oct. 1 of 1918. He stayed on a battlefield. Specifics are formidable to pinpoint. The medals he perceived are a matter of record.

Thompson was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery on a terrain in France. In 1925, a troops upgraded his Distinguished Service Cross to a Medal of Honor, this country’s top and many prestigious particular fight award. He is a usually documented WWI maestro in Beaver County to accept that honor.

On Feb. 1, 1928, Thompson suffered a heart conflict and died, according to journal accounts. He was 56 years old.




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