Honorable Man 



Bonnie Boerema


 
Copyright 2017 by Bonnie Boerema










Photo of Ernest and his twin girls.

My dad, Ernest McFall was born July 17, 1922.  He grew up in the Great Depression. He had three brothers and three sisters. They were dirt poor. His dad, Arthur McFall farmed and worked on the railroad. He went to grade school in a one room schoolhouse, east of Conway, Missouri.

He started high school, but dropped out in the 9th grade because there was no money for decent clothes, and the other kids made fun of him.

He got his first job at fifteen, for Hiland Diary Company on Lebanon, Missouri. When he got paid, he gave most of his check to his mom, Nulla.

He met my mom, Juanita McFadden at a Happy Home Church social in 1942. They were both nineteen.  When World War II broke out that year, he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. His basic training was in Boston, MA, along the east coast.

My twin sister, Connie and I were born February 14, 1943, while dad was fighting in the war. He came home from the war in 1946, when I was three years old. My earliest memory of dad was when I had a ruptured appendix. They rushed me up RT 66 Highway to the old Burge Hospital on Jefferson Street in Springfield, MO, forty miles north of Conway.

My dad was an intelligent man, with a high IQ. But felt inadequate because he never finished high school. Right after my sister and I left the nest in 1961, he took the courses, making A's to complete his GED. 

A blue collar worker, dad wasn't a rich man. He worked for Midwest Breeders Association on S. Campbell in Springfield, MO, Artificial Insemination of cows. This was very popular across the Midwest in the 40's and 50's, to enlarge their herds. They'd fly the semen out by airplanes, and parachute it down in a field close to the new I-44 Highway.

With this job and his VA compensation for injuries in the war, he provided nicely for his family.

In 1955 he took, and passed the test for a chauffer ' s license to drive a school bus, for additional income. This job suited dad perfectly. He loved children, and loved to drive. 

He never talked to us or mom about the war, and carried it all inside. I know now he came home with PTSD from the war. They didn't realize back then what it was.

Dad loved to socialize, and had many friends. He belonged to several clubs, Masons, Odd fellows Lodge, and Lions Club we're a few. In the summer dad would be working the cake walk, or
another one of the booths at the picnic.

He was a sweetheart of a man, with a warm smile, and a twinkle in his eyes. He died suddenly in August of 1981 from a heart attack. His VA headstone on his grave in Greenlawn tells his
military information, his birth date and passing date. It should have said

FUN- LOVING, GENEROUS, CARING, GENTLE MAN.




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