Marco Island did not have a formal Veterans Day ceremony this year due to COVID-19, but the Calusa Garden Club members lovingly remembered and thanked the veterans in their family during their November Zoom meeting. They shared photos and memories “lest we forget.”
The stories were about the wars their fathers and brothers fought in countries far away; it was the story of an unknown future as they left their families behind. It was a story filled with commitment to Duty, Honor and Love of Country.
Janet Watson’s father, Donald E. Frankenhauser, Army, First Lieutenant, served in the Philippines. He was sent to the South Pacific where he captained an air-sea rescue vessel.
Janet’s mom, Madeline McManus, was a nurse and enlisted soon after the war began and became a Second Lieutenant in the Army. She met Donald Frankenhauser while he was visiting San Francisco on leave. Their whirlwind courtship led to an engagement; they wedded within a week of his return and were happily married for over 40 years until Janet’s father passed away.
Jackie Purvis’ dad, Anthony Dominic Pavone, served in the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific from 1941 to 1945. His four brothers were also veterans. Jackie remarked, “It was hard to imagine how family members kept positive and never doubted they would all return. They did, but they seldom talked about their experiences except for the humorous times!”
Sara Wolf’s husband, Myron (Mickey) Wolf, served in the US Army from 1969 to 1972. He served as a law clerk at Fort Benning, Georgia in the court–martial of Lieutenant William Calley, who was charged with murder in the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam. After the trial, Mickey was transferred to Walter Reed Army Hospital where he worked for the attorneys in the JAG Corps office.
Sara’s father, Edward Straight, served in the U.S. Army Air Corps teaching soldiers how to fly and was sent to what is now called Pakistan where he flew supplies and soldiers over the Himalayan mountains. Sara’s father passed away in April of 2020 at the age of 100.
Joan Husband’s father, Thomas Patterson, was a member of the Army Air Force stationed in Baffin Island, Canada during WWII. American aircrafts were ferried over the North Atlantic Ocean to the major combat areas to support combat operations in Europe.
Susan LaGrotta is proud of his father, Michael L. Molinari, USN, Armed Guard, Gunner served on the Merchant Marine Ships delivering goods to the Allied Nations in WWII. Their convoys were called “sitting ducks.”
Lindy Kowalcyk’s Dad, Joseph William Dunst, U.S. Navy, served on the USS America and USS Westport.
Linda Spell’s husband, Ray Rosenberg, retired as a U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel after 26 years of service. Her father, Harvey Brown, was an Army Air Corps trainer during WWII, and her brother, Harvey Brown Jr., served as an Army Chaplain.
Barbara Messner and Gwynn Goodman’s father, Myrlin “Mike” Smith, enlisted in the Navy in 1942. He served in the Pacific on the Destroyer USS Marshall during WWII. After the war, he stayed in the Naval Reserve and was called back to duty in 1950 to Korea.
Barbara Messner’s husband, Hugh Messner, joined the Navy in 1963 and was assigned to the Navy Flight School in Pensacola, and was designated a Naval Aviator in 1965. He went on to fly the C-118 aircraft in support of the Pacific Fleet during the Vietnam war. He later became the Executive Officer at Naval Air Station New Orleans and ended his career as Wing Commander of the Fleet Logistics Tactical Support Wing. He retired in 1988.