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20 August 1952
Ken `47 and Phyllis `48

leave and at the end of that period they drove to Battle Creek Mich. and he reported for duty at Ft. Custer. A few days later he rec'd orders to report to Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. They rented a one room cabin at a lodge just outside the base where Ken was to serve out his final six month of military duty. He had been drafted for 21 months military duty, extended to 24, but released with 21 because he had served a combat tour of duty.

Discharge papers were presented him at a small church on base at Leonard Wood to the accompaniment of a country western song in the background and the words `So Long, Its been Good to Know You'. Now it was back to Milford Twp in a small tenant house on the Watson farm in January 1953 and the birth of their first born- a boy, in Sept of that year. Two and a half years later they were blessed with their second child- a girl. By this time Ken's parents had moved into Nevada and the young couple now occupied the main farmhouse. They managed to scrape together a small down payment on a farm south of Boone and relocated to that community late December 1957. Here two more children were born- a boy and then another girl. Farm prices were depressed and with four children to raise and a farm to pay for, it became necessary for Ken to seek outside employment- one year at Animal Husbandry Dept. at Iowa State University- then hired on as one of the first thirteen employees at the National Animal Disease Center at Ames- staying there for over 28 years.

The Fred Gardner Family
Front: Shirley `46, Norma Jean (Dawson HS`52), Phyllis `48. Back: Ron (Rhodes HS `45), LeRoy `50, and Duane (Rhodes `43). Picture from about 1946.

It was during these years that the words of the wedding vows started being very prophetic- especially the first part of the phrase "in sickness and in health". Both parties of this union suffered serious health problems and the other was always there with their love and support to see them through the bad time.

And so it is today as Phyllis and Ken live out their elderly years- with their love for each other stronger than ever- their children now raising families of their own and all the while maintaining a home where the children like to gather together again.

That's the way it was meant to be!

Ron was well known by many in Milford Twp as the gasoline and fuel bulk delivery man for a distributor from Ames. He served our community for years in this task.

Below is a picture of the Ken and Phyllis Watson family in 1975 with Randy, Cherie, Stacy and Lisa.

Duane received his High School Diploma from Rhodes in 1943- he was enrolled at ISC Ames his senior year. He became a naval officer and served 14 years in the Navy. Then he graduated from ISU Ames in Veterinary Medicine in 1963, with honors- he ranked 2nd in his class!

LeRoy was in the Navy- stationed in Chicago when he contracted tuberculosis. He was sent to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C. for treatment and then to a Hospital in Asheville, N.C. for recovery- probably was in the hospital 2 years or more. Then he attended and graduated from college in Chapel Hill, N.C. He became Vice President of an Insurance Co.

Shirley (Milo Bylund) graduated from UNI, Cedar Falls with a 2 year degree in teaching. She later received her BA degree from Drake. She taught a total of 39 years- first at Viola Center and then at Audubon, Iowa.

Norma Jean (Howard Jacobsen) did office work in the accounting field.

Phyllis graduated from Milford in 1948 and wed, in Aug of 1952, a Milford lad, Ken Watson of the class of 1947.

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Page 224 of 354

© 2012 Mark Christian
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