I first got to know him when I began to date my wife-to-be 34 years ago. He was 61 at that time and retired.
I admired him as a father that raised 8 kids, none that were his own. He and his wife adopted three boys and raised five girls as foster children. Quite the commitment, but is shows a character trait. He was a artist/painter and wood-worker. He also worked in ceramics and was working at his hobbies up until last year.
During World War Two, he served in the China-Burma-India theater as part of the Signal Corps with the Army Air Corps. Drafted in early 1941, he was on the second boat out of the states on 3-month journey to India, before Pearl Harbor. While in India, he told me once that he never fired his gun at the Japs, but did have to relocate with action very close to his remote listening post on the border with Burma. He suffered with bouts of cholera and yellow fever. Very tough to live through what he did and enjoy life for almost 95 years. In February this year, he began to decline and entered a nursing home which just accelerated the process.
More recently he occupied his time at his 20-acre northern Wisconsin property cutting grass (his place was like a park) every day during the summer, building bird houses, painting, and building model sailing ship (the Tall ships of the 17-18th century) from scratch. Several of his boats and paintings are on loan at the Ogema, Wisconsin public library.
Well that sort of explains why I have not been active on my blog. I have been busy helping my wife help her mother (who is 94) with all the necessary details.
Lawrence J. Nelson, my salute and deep appreciation for everything you did for our country and your family. I will see you on the other side.