Sunday, July 11, 2010

Uncle Obie

Uncle Obie was born 16 Nov 1923 of Oliver Turner HARGROVE and Clara DUNCAN. He was the youngest son and the fourth born of five living children. I wasn't told much about Uncle Obie when I was a child other than he was in the army, died bathing in a Korean river and I had seen this picture of him. One other item of info I knew as a child is that he gave my Mom her silver service as a wedding gift. It must have been an engagement gift because they weren't married yet when he died. Now that I am researching, I find a bit more information about him. Just as I have other family members, I followed him around the city of Youngstown and also away from Youngstown. After high school graduation, he and at least one other brother, worked at CCC. CCC is Civil Conservation Corps. I have to do more research about CCC but not before I complete my 1940 census preparation work.

I don't know what all kinds of work CCC trained, but Uncle Obie and Uncle James appear to have learned construction trades there. Heck maybe my Dad did also but I have not yet found evidence that Dad was a CCC worker. Last week while visiting the new OGS facility, I found Uncle Obie in the 1947 Cleveland City Directory. He lived two blocks away from Uncle James. Funny thing is that I didn't know either of them ever lived in Cleveland. It appears that both of them left Youngstown, moved to Cleveland and then to Pittsburgh. They may have possibly moved back to Youngstown before Pittsburgh.

I also didn't know Uncle Obie ever lived in Pittsburgh until I found him on the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC). That was also when I found that he has two death dates; 7 July 1950 and 12 February 1951. I found his 7 July 1950 death date on his headstone when I went to Youngstown for another funeral. I found his 12 February 1951 death date on the ABMC website about five years ago. All this time I wondered why did he have two death dates and how could there have been a mistake like that? I did figure, actually guess that the 7 July date was correct because it was the earlier one. How could anybody die after they were already dead? And besides, his mother would have been the one ordering his gravestone and would not have allowed a mistake there to go uncorrected. So now I have determined that the 7 July is the correct one because of two things. There is this newspaper obituary, copy obtained from my cousin and also recently found that the 12 February date was coincidentally his parent's wedding anniversary.

Last January, I sent to the ABMC to correct the spelling of Uncle Obie's middle name as well as sent them his photo to post on their website. I have been wanting to add the photo for a long time but didn't get a copy until late last year. I do still need to write them again and correct his death date. I'm going to do that after my next trip back to the Ohio Historical Society where I can view for myself when his obit was published. It was most likely published sometime between Monday the 10th and Friday the 14th. For your reference, if you apply to the ABMC, they will send you a full color page memorial of your veteran like the one shown for Uncle Obie. Allow plenty of time. I sent the correction and photo on 28 January and got the memorial page back about the end of May.

Being the next older in age to my Mom, I believe she was closer to Uncle Obie than to any of her other siblings. I also believe that his death really affected her in some ways. Uncle Obie passed before any of his nieces and nephews were born. My guess is that he would have been the koolest Uncle. Rest in peace Uncle Obie.

1 comment:

  1. this was beautiful... great homage to your Uncle. I'm sure he would have been a cool uncle as well.