Monday, April 13, 2009

Uncle, Uncle!

I've read several wonderful blogs about Uncles for the Carnival of Genealogy. Terri at The Ties That Bind has done a fantastic series on her uncle. I'm not sure if I'll have time to see how to send my story to the Carnival of Genealogy or if I'll even feel it is good enough for the Carnival. I wanted to at least do a post on my blog about one of my Uncles.

I can't say he was a favorite, I can't even say much about him. You see he died March 22, 1945 long before any of his nieces or nephews were born. He never married and never had children to carry on his name and memory. I feel it is important for some of his family to keep his memory alive. Never forget him a true hero!

Eugene Douglas Kelley was the third child of Edgar and Fay Kelley and was born June 28,1920. Eugene is the baby in the picture. He was only 8 1/2 years old when his father died. He was the oldest boy, I'm sure he had a lot of responsibility put on him at a young age. My Dad was three years younger and looked up to him. Dad never talked very much about Eugene, I think even years later it was too painful for him. The first time I remember seeing my Dad cry was when I was about eight years old. A neighbor had a friend in Luxembourg working as a missionary. She went to the cemetery where Eugene was buried and took a picture of his marker. When Dad saw the picture he started to cry and had to leave the room. You can see a picture of his marker at this link

I was surprised to find his name and a picture of his marker at Find a grave and I had to add the picture of the family. His name is spelled Kelly it seems that Eugene spelled it Kelly everyone else in the family spelled it Kelley. I don't know why, maybe he just got tired of trying to get people to spell it Kelley.

I had a chance to read a letter he wrote to his mother when he left the states in September 1944, he must have been a sweet and caring son. He was trying to assure his mother that he would be alright. It brought tears to my eyes knowing that he would never make it home again. He also tried to let her know that my father would write when he could and that it was good that she had heard from him once and received some money from him. Just a few weeks later my dad was wounded and almost died. Dad was in a Army hospital in the States when word came that Eugene had been killed. Eugene was wounded once before but didn't come home and went back to his unit. I'm not sure how long this was before he was killed.

My grandmother decided to have him buried in the Cemetery over in Luxembourg. The church had a Memorial Service for Eugene and others in the area who were killed in the War.

Eugene Douglas Kelly (Kelley) a life cut short by War. He was greatly missed by his family but never forgotten. The family is all gone now. They are all reunited now in heaven without the pain of this world.

My goal is to let my children and future children in the family know what a hero Eugene Douglas Kelley really was.


Betsy from Tennessee said...

Interesting post about your uncle, Harriet. I had 3 uncles on my Dad's side--but they never were very close as a family. One of them (Uncle Carl) was my Dad's youngest brother. He was an alcoholic--and Dad bailed him out of jail and who knows what else all through his life.

As a little girl, I liked Uncle Carl. But--needless to say, My Mom and Dad didn't want me around him much. I didn't understand that back then--but now I do!!!! Uncle Carl died as a fairly young man---at age 65 in 1970. My Dad died at age 79 in 1969.

Dad also had twin brothers--but I don't remember much about them. This Genealogy is interesting, isn't it???


Harriet said...

I agree Genealogy is interesting.
My Dad had a younger brother he died in 1976, he was only 48. He had an accident at work and died.
My Mom had two brothers and I guess I was closer to them even though one of them lived in California. We only saw him once a year. I just wanted to do something about Uncle Eugene since he doesn't have anyone to remember him.

Terri said...

First I want to thank you for the beautiful comments on my blog! Like you I never knew my Uncle - when I was probably 13 I found my Uncle's letters in our picture box - and as my Mother and I sat on the floor at the top of the stairs my father walked up as he heard us reading the letters - it was one of the first times I saw him cry. Please honor your Uncle and submitt your post to the carnival - it's really very simple to do - By the way I really enjoy your blog and read it everytime you have an update!

Greta Koehl said...

This is a lovely tribute. I agree with Terri; please submit it to the Carnival!

Harriet said...

Thanks for the comments! I did submit my Uncle's story to the Carnival. It was very easy.