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Faye Butler, 98

Decatur, Georgia


“We joined the throngs of people in the streets… cheering and singing”

How I have overcome personal setbacks


The greatest tragedy in my life—as well as my family’s—was the death of my brother during the Second World War. First Lt. Robert Samuel Evans, Army Corps of Engineers, was serving in Merrill’s Marauders in Burma. When that terrible telegram arrived at my parents’ front door in Council Bluffs, my sister Edith was an army nurse serving in the Pacific and my brother Bill, Coast Guard Reserve, was keeping the troop trains running out of Portland for the Union Pacific. I was teaching school in Anthon, Iowa.


My wonderful superintendent arranged for my substitutes and put me on the first bus out of Sioux City. We cried for two days, and our neighbors came with food and sympathy. They assured me they would look after my parents. The Clinkenbeards sat every evening with my parents for a month.


My father went back to his six-day work week, twelve-hour days. My mother went back to housekeeping, victory gardening, knitting socks for soldiers, and selling war bonds. I went back to teaching, folding bandages and collecting scrap metal.


Two months later my husband, Bob, came home safe after nine months of patrolling for submarines over the Bay of Biscay. He had a two-week leave and was slated for more flight training so he could be sent to the South Pacific. When I joined him in Pensacola, I took Red Cross nurses’ training so I could volunteer in the local hospital.


That is where Bob and I were on V.J. Day. Naturally, we joined the throngs of people in the streets, who were joined arm-in-arm, marching down the streets, cheering and singing…

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