Belleville (A French name meaning "beautiful city") was settled by German immigrants and until WWI, German was the language used in churches and some schools. I was named after my grandfathers: Reimund (Raymond) Franz and Johann (John) Seubert. I had two younger sisters, but I was the only one whom my father forced to graduate from high school. When I wanted to quit school when I reached 16, he said the only way I could get out of high school was graduate or die. Best advice he could have given me in light of my enjoyable career in education.
During the depression, jobs were hard to come by, and it didn't take much encouragement for me to enrol at the Teacher's College at Carbondale IL. I was able to work my way through the first three years, when Uncle Sam called and I reported to the 96th Division at Camp Adair Oregon for basic training with a weapons platoon.
After 6 months of training and a promotion to S/Sgt, I was sent to Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg, Mississippi as part of a cadre to form the newly activated 69th Division. I was so nearsighted that someone decided I shouldn't go overseas with the division and I was transferred to the 3137th Signal Motor Messenger Co. and two months later I was on my way overseas as a message center chief. My route was England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany and I wound up at Nuremburg at the end of the war, waiting for enough points to return home.
I returned to SIU, finished my degree, married my college sweetheart, and started a teaching career which lasted for 37 years. I taught business subjects at Gorham (IL) High School from 1946 to 1948, at Pekin Community High School from 1948 to 1966. The community college movement started to blossom in Illinois and I moved to Belleville Junior College for one year(1966 to 1967), only to return to the Pekin area as Chairman of the Business Division at Illinois Central College from 1967 until 1982 when I retired.
Since retirement I have dedicated my life to golf, volunteering as an Escort at Pekin Hospital, and recently computing and the internet.
I have not neglected being a good husband and father. On December 20, 2000 we celebrated our 54th anniversary. Mary died February 6, 2001 after a lengthy illness. That marked the end of a wonderful marriage and a beautiful friendship.
POSTSCRIPT: The last chapters of my life are being written in Forest, Virginia, a suburb of Lynchburg where my son and family live.
This is beautiful country in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains. Although it has four seasons, the weather is much milder and the extremes are not as much as in Illinois.
I met a lovely Southern Belle and Estelle (see Family Pictures) and I have chosen to share our life and love for the years we have left. "Ain't love grand," even as we age and the lonelies take hold after one's spouse dies.
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