Letter from Mrs. Dara Mendenhall

Ina, Illinois

May 26, 1945

Dear Sir:

Willis conducting baptisms on Okinawa. 1945

I am writing you in regards to my Son, S/Sgt. Waldo N. Mendenhall, who was killed in action on Okinawa Island (April 14, 1945)

He was with the 184th Inf. And the 7th Division. I have been wondering if you could give me some information as how my son was killed. Where and how he was buried.

He always attended church and Sunday school when he was at home.

I am hoping to hear form you soon. As it will mean so much to me, I wish to thank you for the kindness of your words of comfort to the ones in service over there.

If it isn’t asking too much, Please let me hear from you. As I am just broken hearted about my son.

Yours truly,

Mrs. DAra Mendenhall

Ina, Illinois



Ina, Illinois

July 12, 1945

Willis A. Reed

Chaplain (Capt.)

184th Infantry

Dear Sir:

I want to thank you for letting me know about my son who was killed on April 14th 1945 on Okinawa. I would be very happy if you could take a picture of Waldo’s grave and send it to me if there are any charges let me know.

We are heart broken, and our hands are tied as there isn’t anything we can do.

Sincerely yours,

Mrs. Dara E. Mendenhall

Ina, Ill

P.S. This was Waldo’s address:

S/ Sgt. Waldo N. Mendenhall 36011066

Co “E” 184th Infantry A.P.O #7

C/o postmaster

San Francisco, California

Hoping to hear from you soon. Thank you very much.

Letter from Mrs. Lillie V. Morton

Mrs. Lillie V. Morton

Rockdale, Tex R2 Bx 118

Aug. 15 1945

Chaplain Willis A. Reed

Willis leading service for a small group of men on Okinawa. 1945.

I want to thank you for your comforting and inspiring spiritual words in the death of my darling son Johnny who was killed May 23rd. I thank God that this cruel War is Over according to the news reported yesterday. I have one Dear Son living in the Philippines last heard of and the many many other dear soldiers that have been spared can come to meet those loved ones. But the absence that the war has left in my home and all other homes that the dear boys and girls had to give up their lives and can never come back to us. But one thing I can say thank God he was prepared to meet our blessed savior and dwell in a heaven of rest where we can all be United when our work on Earth is done but it is so hard to understand why God saw fit to have my family circle of twelve dear children broken in the war and had to be buried over there on the enemy’s land. Thank you for your services over his body and will you please tell me how he was killed and was his dear body blown to pieces or was he killed by bullet wounds. Was he killed instantly or did he have to suffer life away? Oh please tell me if all his body was buried it together and he was buried in a casket of some form where I can get his body brought back to be laid to rest in our home Cemetery where he wanted to be laid to await the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. And do you know why the letters I wrote him was not delivered to him he never heard from home after the 7th of April? It was so hard to know he had to die without hearing from me as faithful as he always was to me. Will you please tell me who to write to get his dear body. I want to just as soon as I can get it and it is grave marker where I can be sure I get my dear son’s body. You are as in Christ. 

Lily V Morton.

 Johnny carried a steel back New Testament and billfold and knife. I want them if they can be shipped to me by return mail.

 Lilly V. Morton

Letter from (Rev. Dr.) Henry L McClellan

1003 Hancock St.

Sandusky, O.

Captain Willis A. Reed

184th Infantry, APO #7

My Dear Chaplain:-

Picture from the memorial service at the 7th Division Cemetery on Okinawa. 1945.

Your letter of condolence dated June 10, 1945 and postmarked July 10 has reached us at the same time as (air mail) letter of last week from Cape. J.W. Brokau. We sincerely appreciate the sympathetic thoughts, quotation given here; and as well the facts of informations which will remain a comfort to us – wife and self. Let me extend our thankfulness to the Chaplain of his faith who said the service, the committal for his burial. He was the only close survived of our family and we must have abiding faith and trust in our God – even when the “way” seems filled with mystery.

I am glad you spoke of “his grave is marked by a lovely white cross.”

Maybe God will bring us together someday before our sunsets, and meantime we thank you for thoughts and kindnesses.

Very truly and sincerely,

(Rev. Dr.) Henry L McClellan

P.S. Enclosed and headed by favor Capt. J.W. Brokau


Captain John W. Brokau, Commanding,

Co. J. 184th Infantry #7

Dear Captain Brokau:

We have been greatly moved and deeply sustained by the assurance from your letter that our son, “Donald,” won the admiration of all members by his courage and devotion to the service; a tribute no doubt to his trining and education – military and college.

You have very succinctly given us facts we shall treasure, in beautifully expressed letter. He was our only son and come thro to Ohio to see us early February last; very hopeful and valiant.

His employer Corporation of Troa was recently writing about his return to them – Bishop Shayer of Los Angeles, Rev. Heppel Hill of Salinas, Calif. have written most sustaining words to us.

Perhaps our paths may meet somewhere and sometime that I pray. Thank you for your personal expression.

Kindly and sincerely,

(Rev. Dr.) Henry. L McClellan

July 18, 1945

P.S. Do you mind passing an enclosed letter on to Captain Chaplain Willis A. Reed 184th Inf. Who has expressed thoughtful words.


Letter from Mrs. Herbert M. Paige

2617 Gallatin Road

Nashville, Tennessee

October 16, 1945

Dearest Chaplain,

I am writing in regard to Vernon L Nance, 34494676.  A few months ago I heard that Vernon had been killed on Okinawa the 25th of May.

Willis in front of the chapel on Okinawa.

I’ve been wondering if perhaps you knew just how he met his death. You see, my family was very fond of him and of his family. He and I went to High School together but he was called to the Army while we were Seniors. He only had one furlough during the time he was in the service and that was in order that he might be present at the Graduation. It made all of his classmates proud to have him march down the aisle with us. Somehow, he, in his uniform, seemed to represent all the things we wanted and believed in.

Vernon was the only one of that class of ’43 who didn’t return. God must have a very special place for him in Heaven for he was, indeed, a very special person and one worthy of any honor which might be bestowed upon him.

Will you write me and tell me of his last days and of the way he met his death? I should appreciate it very much.

Very sincerely yours,

(Mrs.) Herbert M. Paige

2617 Gallatin Road

Nashville, Tennessee

March 18, 1946

March 18, 1946 

Dearest Darling Willis —

Today was another wonderful day as far as mail from you is concerned, Lover. This morning the two envelopes of free mail arrived, and this afternoon I got 9 letters from you – February 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 19th, 21st, 22nd and March 7th and 8th. And then besides, the lovely, lovely white blouse came. Darling, it is the most beautiful one I have ever seen and you are so sweet to send it to me. Honestly, you’re spoiling me, Darling. Of course, I had to press it and try it on right away, and it just fits. And then I had Margie take my picture in it and it was the last picture on the film, so I’ll have it developed and send it to you as soon as possible. Darling, a blouse like that would cost at least $20 here, and then I’m sure you could never get one as lovely. You have such good taste, Darling, and I thank you again and again. Of course, I read all of your letters all at once and had a wonderful time. It was so good to have them. Darling, please don’t wear yourself out entirely – I want a little of you left to love me with.

  I’ve been right here in the house all day except tonight when I had to go to church. I’ve been working on my thesis, and have about 11 more pages, which I’m going to try to have Dr. Mason look over tomorrow. That doesn’t sound like very much for a day, but I had so much material to go over and organize and boil down that it took a long time. I think I can finish it in one or two more days – unless Mason makes me rewrite a lot of it, which isn’t at all unlikely.

Bob Price. 1943

  Bob was home all day sick in bed. I don’t know what it is, probably an upset stomach. He was sick in the night also. They ate so much junk yesterday and I think that is the main trouble, although he had a fever all day. I doubt very much if he will be out tomorrow either. Margie was sick this morning as usual, but she felt all right after that and went to work. Mom went to the doctor again and stayed downtown for a while. Her skin is really clearing up – she has had that itching for over 20 years, and the shots he is giving her are really making her skin nice and smooth again. I am truly thankful that she got to go to him. She came home with a pair of drapes for my room – white sateen with pretty flowers in them, which she got for $4.50 a pair, which is almost giving them away as draperies go. She said they had another pair like them down there, clean (hers were a little soiled and wrinkled) for $5.79, so I had her call up and order them for us.  We didn’t have any nice bedroom drapes or any at all if you remember, Lover, and I thought at that price we couldn’t lose anything. Now, all we have to do is get a home and the window to hang them at. Most sets of drapes start at about $10 and go on up these days.

  Tonight I had to go to the meeting of the Youth Board of Deacons. We had quite an interesting meeting for a change. Lourie Larson told us a little about the plans for the new church – they have decided to build a Colonian instead of a gothic church because (1) – it will cost half as much as a Gothic church which will mean they can start on the educational remodeling sooner than they had hoped to, and (2) it will be more informal and friendly, in keeping with the spirit of the church. I  always did like a Colonial atmosphere myself, but I don’t think of the bulk of the North Shore people would take to a Gothic atmosphere. He also gave his ideas about how they could remodel the old building, but some of it sounded not too good. Well, the architect will have to figure that one out. The only feature I didn’t like about his plan was the one suggestion that Mr. McWhorter made  – that they have a smoking room. I think that is entirely out of place in a church. Incidentally, they are going to have Vaughn Shoemaker as the speaker at the Youth Banquet, which is very good. He shows a film of his own and then draws also. We had quite a discussion about the oratorical contest, which isn’t proving too popular. I think that youth today just don’t want to have to think or put forth any effort. Well, I finally got home about 10:30. I had hoped it would be earlier.

  Well, well. So my sweetie is all curious about what Paul Allen said about him. Goody! At last, I’ve got something left to tell you when you get home. Now maybe you can see a litte how I’ve felt all these years when you said, “Something very interesting happened today, but I’ll tell you when I get home.” I do believe I’ve got at least a thousand such things to hear when you arrive. I’ve told you everything I could think of importance, so I think I’ll have to save at least this little one thing to tell you when you get home. However, I might consider a bargain. Are you in a bargaining mood? OK – here goes. Every letter so far for a month or so now hasen’t had a single word in it about when you might possibly have a bare chance of perhaps in some case starting home, and as you say, (and I quote) “You know those bits of news are so helpful when a person is in a position like this over here.”  Now here is my bargain – if you’ll give me the said information or a reasonable facsimile, I will give you what Paul Allen said, even before you get home, which is quite a concession for me, seeing it is practically the only thing I have left that you are curious about. But you have to tell me first. (Heh-heh)  It’s up to you from here on.  (I feel in a bargaining mood tonight, for a change).

  It is a rainy, coolish night,  after a cloudy day all day long. I want to get up early and go out to school in the morning early and do some reading for M&M. But first, maybe I’ll answer some of your letters. I have a lot now ahead to answer.

  I know your dinner and visit with Dr. Kim, Miss Duncan, and Alrik was very interesting and I’ll be glad to hear all about it. I doubt very much if Dr. Kim had a chance to call me – with all she had to do, I wouldn’t expect her to. She may have, however, at a time when no one was at home. Perhaps I shall get to meet her someday. That was sweet of you to give the Cha’s some more money from us, Dear. Yes, I approve. The Lord has indeed been good to us.

  You must really have been tired on the 16th of February because you dated your letter 16 August. You must have been subconsciously wishing for warmer weather. The pictures Miss Mason gave you are very interesting. I have quite a few of your pictures that aren’t mounted as yet. I haven’t mounted any since the summer, so I’m afraid I have almost enough to start another album. You keep sending pictures from Okinawa, so I want to get them all together so I can mount them all in one place. Yes, it has been very warm here, and the elm trees are even beginning to push out their catkins and the birds are pecking away at them, but I’m afraid they’re going to get their little noses nipped before long. (The buds, not the birds).

  You wondered what made me suspect that Margie and Bob were expecting – well, she was sick in the mornings, for one thing, and then the day before she told me, she went out rather mysteriously, and when she came back her mother called and the conversation was practically a dead giveaway of indefiniteness, and she mentioned September 1, and that is the expected date. She has been sick in the mornings right along except a couple of days when Mom made her take Viavi at night, but that hasn’t been working so well since. Some are sick like that the entire 9 months, and it is no fun.

  Darling, it is almost midnight, and 5:30 will be here all too soon. So I think I better say goodnight and that I love you more than ever. I know the Lord is using and blessing you, and how I pray that He may bring you home very soon.

 I’m just yours, in His eternal love –


 Colossians 3:3 

March 17, 1946

March 17, 1946 

Dearest Darling —

I feel just like a dishrag – a wet, useless dishrag. After a session with the BY like tonight’s, I wonder why I’m working with them at all. You wouldn’t have believed the kids could be so disorderly. We did the best we could with them and finally got them calmed down at the very end enough to read and discuss some scripture, but what went before was terrible. And of course, Mr. Wigent was there tonight. We have really had some very good meetings, but tonight’s was one of the worst. There were six girls and George Hans, and five of the girls just couldn’t calm down. I won’t go into the gory details, but suffice it to say, I was about at my wit’s end. However, after the meeting was over, they did say they were sorry and promised to do better next time – they even apologized of their own free will. I don’t think we will sit in a circle again. But you know, the homes of some of them come from, I’m even surprised they are as likable as they are. They tell you very freely that their mothers yelled them out of the house just before they came, and one said her mother often says she wishes the girl were dead, and then my heart just aches for them. Maybe something will stick and be a help to them. All I can do is do my best and pray for the Lord to do what I can’t. But we surely do need a couple to help us in sponsoring them. Brownie is all right, but she is just a kid – only 18, and continually regales us with the tales of her trials at school and what they do, and you just can’t do that with young people – the sponsors have to be interested in them and what they are doing, not expect them to be interested in your troubles. Well, maybe they can get us someone to help after a while. Anyhow you pray for us, Darling.

  Outside of that, it has been a good day however, and I love you more than ever. I truly thought of you a lot today, Lover. About everyone I talked to asked about you -Vivian Schaefer, Mr. Wigent, Rose Lee Reed, Ruth Skoglund, Mrs. Shogran, Ruth Obenland, Myrtle Johnson, and some others I can’t think of at the present. Incidentally, Mrs. Swanson, whose brother-in-law is over in Korea, told me that he had written that he met you and talked with you – he is a member of North Shore. You haven’t mentioned it in any of the February letters, but of course, I’m still missing some and you may not have mentioned it because I wouldn’t have known him anyway.

North shore Baptist Church – Chicago.

  It has been rainy almost all day and is raining quite hard now. But it isn’t very cold. I suppose it will be colder by tomorrow. All but one of my girls were there today, and for a change, we have an extra long time for class, which was just like heaven. For once I got to do everything I had planned, with the exception of one little thing. I do hope the girls got something out of it that will help them – they all seemed very much interested and participated very well. I love every one of them. I was sitting with one of them in church and she said she would like to join the church, so I talked with her a while about what it means to become a Christian. She also said she didn’t think her mother would let her be a member of North Shore because they are Lutheran – they don’t go to church at all, but they are Lutheran. I told her I would be glad to talk with her mother about it, and said I would call her and see if it would be convenient to come this afternoon. I called later on, but after conference, she said they were going away. I rather suspect it was just an excuse, but maybe not. Perhaps I can go some other time. Dr. Wilson had a good sermon on Jesus and His abiding presence. The Great Lakes Double Quartet was there, having sung in several classes, and they sang, “The Lord’s Prayer,” and “In the Garden,” and it was beautiful. They are negroes, and were here last year. They sing very softly most of the time now, which makes for a lovely tone and harmony and they are about 100% better than they were last year. Tonight they gave quite a few numbers, two secular, and 7 spirituals. They are truly fine men – all of them either college graduates or students. One of them played the violin beautifully also.

  This was the last Sunday of the attendance campaign and we had 1194 in Sunday school this morning. That is pretty close to the all-time high of 1250. The service was jammed to the gills, with people all over the place and even standing up. I just wonder how long it will last when the contest is over. Dr. Wilson preached tonight on, “What’s the sense of joining the Church?”  and it was well done. But today not one person went forward at either service. That seldom happens.

  The kids weren’t home for dinner and they didn’t get home till after we did tonight. They went out to the Dunes and Valparaiso and got back in time for supper at Waldschmidts.  This afternoon I had several phone calls which took a good deal of time, and then I called quite a few of the BY kids, with not much success. I wrote some cards and studied for this Sunday’s and next Sunday’s meetings. By then it was time to go down to church again – Pop drove me down because it was raining.

  So that has been my day, Darling, and I’m glad it is over, for the simple reason that it makes one day less that we will have to be apart. Lover, it will be so wonderful to wake up and work and live with you again. Seems like 900 years since we have been together. I wish it were only that many hours before we would be together again. But I guess that is practically impossible. Anyway, another twenty-four have gone by since I last wrote to you. Dear, I’ll be loving you that much more when you do come home, and I do pray it won’t be much longer. God bless you and use you to His glory.

 Yours and always in His love –


 Colossians 3:3

Auntie Skaggs, Mrs. George, Mr. Abernathy and Dorothy Reid also sent greetings.

The enclosed article was in today’s paper – some write up!

March 16, 1946

March 16, 1946 

Willis, My Darling —

Well, two more letters came from you today – March 2nd and 3rd. It was surely good to get them, Dear, but just the same I was mad. That is some ruling they made, that the chaplains with the least satisfactory service are going to get to come home ahead of the ones who have done good work. I suppose it is logical to want those who have done their work well, but for goodness sake, why should they penalize you who have done your best? I don’t like it a little bit and I think you should do something to try and get home. I don’t know what it would be, but can’t you make it known that you would like to come home? You said when you got in the hospital that you were going to make every possible effort to get home as soon as possible, but so far you haven’t mentioned doing anything about it. Now, Darling, I don’t want you to fawn around and stuff like that, but I do think you should try to do something about it. You remember when you worked at Wilson’s you finally got sick of their taking advantage of you, and they respected you for standing up for your rights. Listen, Willie, they are discharging many chaplains over here who haven’t even been overseas, by declaring them surplus. I know that is true – that is not hearsay. They could get a replacement for you if they wanted to – plenty are just sitting around over here. Now you stand up for your rights and tell them you want to get home and quick. If you don’t make a good hard effort to be home for commencement you’re going to have one heartbroken little wife. If you try and can’t make it, that is something else again. But there are other chaplains who can do a good job there too. It’s not up to you to have to put out the lights and lock the door over there. I’m not asking you to shirk your duty, Darling – I just think they could divide it up a little. After all, it is going on at 27 months since we have seen each other and it’s about to get me. And I love you so much it hurts all over. I definitely don’t want you to have to go back there – that would be worse than anything. But I do want you to come home very very soon. Maybe you’re not telling me what goes on so you can surprise me, I don’t know. But it is pretty hard when you just say you hoped it won’t be too much longer – that could mean anything. I’m lonesome for you, Darling, and I love you and it may be selfish for me to want you to come home, but I don’t think so. The Army has lots of men, including chaplains, but you’re the only husband I have. So it follows in logical order that you are indispensable to me, and not to the Army. There!

Willis on the way to Seoul. December 1945.

  I’ve been right here in the house all day and I can’t say that I’ve exactly wasted the time. Margie had a big washing to do and she was down in the basement all morning. So I vacuumed all the rugs and scrubbed and waxed the kitchen floor, finishing around 1:00. Then I ate lunch and studied all afternoon. I did three lessons on my correspondence course. It is very interesting and helpful too. Then I helped dinner and Margie and I did the dishes and they went out. I washed my hair and when I was in the middle of drying it, the phone rang and it was Helen Christie, of course. She wanted to tell me that Pat and Gilbert Davis are the parents of a baby boy born last week. They named him after a Gil. No more details. I surely hope they can make a go of it. She is feeling better.  Pop made a dozen more flies tonight – he has 100 that he has made so far. I suppose he will have a wonderful time using them up this summer.

  I imagine your broadcast was very good, although I still don’t have the letter telling about it. Incidentally, John Damiani is in the Navy, not the Army. I think I heard that Bill Spence is out and has a church now. I’m so glad you got to be with Alrik for a while. I know you must have had a good time together. When does he expect to be home? You probably have my letter now telling you about Sherry’s letter to the telling of their expected addition. Your mail has truly been coming in mixed up, hasn’t it? Even worse than mine, if that is possible.

  That was some experience with the Jeep coming back from Jinsen.  I hope it is all fixed up by now. Well, Sweetheart, it is getting late and I want to get a good night’s sleep because tomorrow will be a full day. It is been gray all day, warm and raining most of the afternoon and evening, and it just thundered.

  Sweetheart, I love you so much and how I pray that you may come home soon.

 God bless you in everything.

 Forever yours in His love –


 Colossians 3:3

 Darling – I only said what I said because I love you – and I think the Lord expects us to fight once in a while.

March 15, 1946

March 15, 1946 

Willis, My Darling —

No mail from you today, Darling, but I’m not too surprised. After 8 letters yesterday I shouldn’t complain, but I would love to have some more late mail as well as your older letters. I love you so very much, Darling. This has been a long day and I thought about you a lot. Lover, I surely hope it won’t be too long before you can be back home. I’m so lonesome for you.


streetcars 1940s Chicago.

This has been a long day for me. Bob was driving to work this morning as he thought maybe he would have to work tonight and he didn’t want to have to wait for streetcars. So I rode downtown with him. I was especially glad for the ride this morning because we had a pea soup fog and it was raining a sort of drizzle and it was nice not to have to wait for cars. So I got there about 8:05. Mr. Paul wasn’t there yet, so I was hard at work typing when he came in. He peeked around the door, rubbed his eyes, looked at his watch, and in general put on an act of being surprised, which of course he was. So I really did put in a day at the office. I was busy all day long too. I almost got a trial balance – was $1 out at the end and couldn’t find it, worse luck. I also typed the long monthly report and several letters and then some more bookkeeping and several other things. I was glad to be busy however, for then I don’t get so lonely.

  Mr. Paul was telling me about the meeting they had at Buena to decide on Dr. Hepburn’s resignation. It was very orderly, and they put the motion to read that they accepted his resignation as pastor, and made him Pastor Emeritus at $2,000 per year salary, which is truly nice for him. But Mr. Paul is disgusted with the whole thing and says they are going to take their letters to the Park Ridge Methodist Church. I still can’t understand Dr. Hepburn – I really think he is getting childish or that his mind is a little touched. At least I hope he isn’t in his right mind and acting as he is. We can talk about it better when you come home, Lover. But I just pray the hurts in the church will be healed and that they may go on and do good work for the Lord. But such things usually die hard, as you know. Pray for them, Lover. I would hate to be the minister who comes there, frankly, after what has happened and with Dr. Hepburn still in the picture.

  It had cleared by the time I was to come home so I took the bus and got off at Thorndale and Sheridan and walked, as it was still light. It was nice to walk in the cool air for a change. Now that it is still sunlight at the time I come home I think I’ll come that way often.

  We were just finishing supper when the phone rang. And when I answered it the man’s voice said, “Is Mr. Reed there?”  And then when I said you were still overseas, he said, very surprised, “ He is?”  And who do you suppose it was – Arthur Mitchell. I was truly surprised to hear from him. He was just discharged a couple of weeks ago and is on his way to New York. He leaves tomorrow morning on the train. So I told him to come out and he seemed very glad to do so. He got here about 7:30 and left a little before 10:00. He’s a very nice fellow and is surely a talker. Bob and Margie went out, so just the folks and I were here, and we had a very interesting evening. He told us all about Christmas Island and the islands were he was – Saipan and Guam and Japan. And we talked about the Bible and a lot of different cults. He tried to read some Christian Science but got disgusted with it. Then he spent three days with some folks in Washington state who have been writing to him, they are of the ultra dispensationalist type and have got him all mixed up, and he tried to read Dr. DeHaan’s book on the Chemistry of the Blood and got disgusted with that too. He said this woman in Washington tried to make him take all kinds of literature of her special brand, but he didn’t take much of it. I did the best I could to straighten him out on some things and hope it helped, although I know I have so much to learn. He needs help in the form of grounding in the Scriptures. I wish people would lay off giving new converts all that literature, which is mostly lopsided and stressing someone’s hobby. I told him he would be much better off sticking to the Bible. He is thinking of investigating one of the Hebrew Mission training schools in New York. I couldn’t help him very much along that line because I don’t know much about them. I think he is going to contact Reverend Cohen and perhaps he can give him some good help. He asked about you and said how much he thought of you as did all the men. He said he hopes you get home really soon. He was very nervous – couldn’t sit still. I surely hope and pray he gets under the right influences. He is a thinker, isn’t he? It was surely an interesting and profitable evening. I only wish you could have been there too, Lover.

  Mom sent one of the living room rugs to the cleaners and also one of the hallway rugs. We look a little bare. But they needed it. So I’ve had a fairly busy day today. It seems like a long one too.

  Now to answer some more of your letters, Lover – all of them very old. I imagine it is nice and warm over there by now. It was rather warm today here except for the dampness. It is too bad your attendance at church services going down, but I imagine most of your work is in personal contacts, isn’t it? That is, after all, the most effective form of evangelism. And the Lord can use you with a few as with many. I know you always do your level best, Darling, and I love you for that (among other things too numerous to mention.)  It is surely too bad that Dennis can’t play your accompaniment for services. It is a big help to a service. Yes, I imagine it is very good to just sit in a service for a change. I suppose you will want to do that some when you get home – to absorb a little instead of always giving out. Most of all you’ll need time for study and personal devotion though.

  I was very much interested in your visit with the Korean Presbyterian pastor and his wife. They really must have gone through a lot. It makes me very much ashamed before of ever complaining. That was sweet of you to give him the money and soap and matches and I approve, Lover. It is just like you to do that for them. I surely hope your mail is getting through better by now, Beloved. That was a grand letter from Netti and Charlie. I hope we get to see them when you come home. I wonder how they are coming about adopting children. However, with him still in the Army I don’t suppose they have tried too hard as yet. They should be settled before they do it.

  Lover, I’m going to get me to bed so that I can get up early and do a good day’s work tomorrow, and there is plenty to do. I wish I could tell you how much I love you and how much you mean to me, Beloved. You are so precious and I am so thankful to the Lord for all you are to me. I love you more than ever, Darling, and may the Lord continue to bless and use you in His work.

 Forever yours alone and always Dear,

 in His love –


 Colossians 3:3

II  Timothy 2:15 

March 14, 1946

March 14, 1946 

Willis, My Dearest Darling —

Today was surely a red-letter day for me as far as mail went, Darling. I sort of had a feeling I would have a lot of letters when I got home, and sure enough there were no less than eight letters from you! I just whooped when I saw them. They were of various dates – February 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 11, and March 4 and 5. I had about given up on the first two. It was just wonderful to get them all, even if most of them were late. I’m always hungry to know what you have been going, Lover. I read them through twice immediately and they were food for my soul. Darling, I do love you so very much and I’m more lonesome for you than I can ever express in words. The only thing that disappointed me in the letters was that they didn’t mention anything about coming home. I suppose you don’t want to get my hopes up again, and maybe you want to surprise me, but just the same, it would be nice to have a little ray of hope now and then. The paper today said they are going to speed up the discharge of officers very soon, and about 47,000 are to be let out and all of those with two years of service as of next August should be out by then. So you should be out very shortly, I hope. Sweetheart, you grow sweeter to me every single day that passes. I surely hope your mail has started to come in better by now.

  This has been a pretty long day for me, but I haven’t been sleepy all day. I got to school at 8:00 this morning and studied in the library till time for classes. We really had fun in Parliamentary Law this morning as we had our first practice session, with turned out to be very brief. You know how that class goes –  but I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. You think the rules sound so simple, but when someone actually gets up there in front, you can see how it is easy to get confused. We had only two in front this morning because we had an extra speaker. Ray Johnson and Russell Orr and Maurice Dyce of the State Convention were there today, and Ray Johnson was to speak in our class for a few minutes. I learned a lesson in the law of readiness in teaching, incidentally. We had been having a very hilarious time with making motions, amendments, et cetera and right in the midst of it Dr. Whitesell called a halt to give Ray time to speak. Well, it was hard for me to get my mind on what he was saying for a few minutes, from what we had been doing. That is the way with a Sunday school class so many times, and I’m going to try to apply what I found out. Ray gave an excellent short talk and how to be a successful Pastor – he is really full of his message and must be doing a fine job with the ministers of the state. He is plain spoken, but can do it in love, I believe. As he said, the requisites of being a good pastor are, a definite call from God to the ministry and the particular field, a love for people and the ability to get along with even the worst deacon, an ability to help people get along with each other, and ability to help them into the right relationship with God, meaning first the minister must have it himself. It was surely good and although we have talked about it before in classes, it brought it home to me in a new way. I do hope I can be of more help to you and our future work than I have been, Darling, for I want to be my best for my Lord.

  In chapel, Dr. Stiansen made an announcement about the Gleason baby. I think I told you about the trouble they had with it – it had to be operated on when it was three weeks old. Well, just Tuesday it developed a strangulated of the bowel, and they were afraid he couldn’t stand another operation, but it would die without it. The operation was to be at 10:00 but the operating room was in use at the time and they had to wait until 11:00. At 10 minutes to 11:00, the difficulty suddenly disappeared, and when the doctor came, he said no operation was necessary and that it was a miracle that had taken place. We have a marvelous God, don’t we? I’m so glad the baby was saved. Many people were praying for him. Then he also announced that Dr. Ralph Jensen of Southern California passed away very suddenly, and it was a hard blow to the conservative cause. Pray that they may find a man to take his place.

  I spoke to Ray Johnson after class, and he asked about you right away and said to greet you. He said he thinks you should take a month or two before you decide definitely what you want to do when you get back. In the chapel Dr. Orr introduced Merrice Dyce who is the state director of the Christian education and he gave a good talk – he is from Southern Seminary and conservative. Only he was a little hard to listen to because he used such long involved sentences you got sort of mixed up trying to follow him. Ray Johnson was supposed to have half the hour but the other fellow took so long that Dr. Orr just took the rest of it to outline the work of the State Convention, and Ray Johnson will speak tomorrow. I wish you could have been there to hear him. I talked with Dr. Orr briefly after chapel and he wanted to know when you were coming home – he said he had received your letter and answered it. He said if you were coming right away, and he wished you were, he had a job he would like you to do, but he didn’t say what it was. However, that is immediate, so I guess you’re out of luck. Many of the good churches are looking for pastors, but after all, I feel, and I’m sure you do that the only good church for us is the place with the Lord wants us, and He will lead. We will keep praying about it of course, and when you do get back, it will be much easier to talk and think and pray together. But we can never really be apart, can we, Beloved? We had a very interesting session in M&M.

  Don Williams, Alice Kelly, and Chaplain Anderson asked about you too – Anderson finally found an apartment for his family, and I’m very glad. Incidentally, you will be interested that I heard today the school is going to buy the Alcazar for married couples. I hope it works out – but I think they ought to get more facilities for single girls unless they are trying to cut down on them.

 I stopped in to see Gen on my way home. She was in the basement washing and we stayed there and talked and then went up to their apartment. Incidentally, Lover, I bought us a copy of the New Revised New Testament and got Gen and Paul one also from us. Gen was very pleased with it. I have just read a little in it, and I like it very much. Gen had the sad news that Mrs. Zude died the first of this week. That made me feel badly. I suppose she sort of let down after Walter came home and she got to see him. She surely was a lovely character though. Mr. Zude will surely be lonesome without her. But I think the worst news was that John Clark was tried for embezzlement by his company. That was the reason they sent the police after him. And Iris is supposed to be moving to Chicago. Darling, I know it makes you as sick as it does me, and then I hate to bother you with it, but I know you will want to pray for all of them. I don’t know a thing more than that and I hardly know what to do – I hate to call Mrs. Scheu because I don’t want her to think I’m prying, and then I can just imagine how bitter she is. I feel very sorry for Iris and the children and how I pray that John won’t have to go to prison. If I find out anything more I’ll let you know. Dorothy Olson got a letter from Letha Amundsen and Dorothy told Gen. I don’t intend to say anything to anyone else about it, but I surely wish we could do something to help. And I hope and pray it isn’t as bad as it sounds. But they surely need their friends now if ever. Iris’ club gave her a shower because she is leaving. I wish you were here to talk with them, Lover.

  I got home, read your letters, helped a little with supper, and Margie and I did the dishes. Then I studied for quite a while, and now I’m talking with my best and only beloved. Mrs. Koller called me about the Auxiliary program, which I have to plan, finally, and she also asked me about you and said she hopes you get home really soon. That was some experience you had with the Korean New Year’s at Doctor Kim’s. I wish I could have been there. It was just like my tweet heart to give them all he had – and I thoroughly approve and think the folks would too. You are so thoughtful, Darling. I’ll be very interested to hear all about it. It’s nice you got to see Chaplain Meyers. Hope the pictures come out. I’ll also be interested to hear about your conversation with Miss Duncan. She must be a wonderful woman. Australia is a long way away. Darling, I love you more than ever before. God bless you in all the things and bring you home soon.

 Just yours, Dear, in His love –


 Colossians 3:3

March 13, 1946

March 13, 1946 

Willis, My Darling —

Well, finally three letters came from you today, Darling, believe it or not. Wonderful air mail service too – they were written February 5th, 12th, and 13th. And they had the nerve to charge me $0.06 overweight postage on one of them. I felt like telling them I had supposed they were air mail letters, but I thought I’d better not. Anyway, to get them I would have gladly paid almost anything. Even though they were old, Darling, they surely did me good. Two came this morning and one this afternoon. It was a new mailman, and when I went down and he said it was $0.06 due, I said, “With pleasure!” and he looked at me so funny – guess he thought I was crazy. I read them over twice and they are in for some more reading you may be sure. Well, now I’m missing only 17 letters for the month of February, and March is almost half gone. The service should soon be picking up though. I surely hope you start to get your mail too, Lover, it is surely awful when nothing at all comes.

  I’m starting this before we go to prayer meeting because I want to get to bed rather early tonight and get up early and go to school and study. It has been just like spring here today – balmy and rainy and then sunny. Got up to over 70 in the sun. I’ve been right here in the house today and most of the day, working on my thesis. I didn’t get as far as I had hoped. I ran into a snag on organizing this next chapter and it took a long time to get straight in my own mind. I think I have it pretty well worked out, however now, and it shouldn’t be so hard to get going. But Darling, I guess the main trouble was that I was lonesome for you. As I told you, it was grand to see Don yesterday and talk about you, but it made me so lonesome for you that I hardly had any appetite all day – and for me that is most unusual. I kept thinking about you and wondering what you are doing and when you are coming home and everything and it was very hard to concentrate. However, getting your letters helped some from time to time, and I feel better tonight. But I’m glad I’m lonesome for that way I can realize a little further how much more I love you, Darling. You grow more and more precious to me every day that passes.

Bob and Marge Price at the Dunes. August 1945.

  I called Mrs. Mantey this morning to consult with her about the Auxiliary program and she wanted to know what I’ve heard from you and said she hopes you get to come home very very soon. She also sent their greetings. I also talked to Mrs. Koller and she said if the business meeting of the auxiliary is as long as it usually is, we won’t have to have much of a program, which is all right with me, only I had a pretty good idea about it –  having some of the returned missionaries in school be interviewed by some of the candidates for the various mission fields. They both thought it was a good idea, but maybe we won’t have enough time for it. We shall see.

  This afternoon early I had to go out and get a birthday present for Margie from you and me. I wanted to get her really pretty bed jacket, but I couldn’t find one, so I got her a nice umbrella – it is black with pretty print looking like Petit point embroidery in roses and green leaves on it. And when we got to the table tonight,Bob had a long box for her and he looked anguishedly at me and said with his lips – “Did you get her an umbrella too?” and groaned.  That was really funny – if you could have seen his face. He got her a red and blue and white plaid one which is pretty also. She likes them both so she’s going to keep them both. That will be handy. I also gave her the white soakers I made for her and she was really tickled with them. Mom and Pop gave her the money for an electric iron. She got quite a few more things Sunday when she was at her house for dinner. We had a cake and ice cream for dessert and it was really nice party, only you weren’t there, Darling. Absolutely the only present I want for my birthday is you, Lover, and I mean that. But I suppose that is too much to hope for, isn’t it? I love you so, Lover.

  Hello, Sweetheart – here we are back from prayer meeting. And it was a very good one too, extra-special good. There was a man there who is Sunday school superintendent in the First Baptist Church of Keokuk, Iowa and he is here for a baker’s convention so Dr. Wilson had him lead the singing and sing a solo, and he also led in part of the prayer. It was really a beautiful prayer, because you could just feel the presence of the Lord, and you know that there was a man who really knows Him. It was a blessing to me. One of the Challenger girls played the Chopin’s Black Key Etude, and it was very beautiful. And then, Gus Sword was there and gave a short talk. My, he is a wonderful man, though. About a hundred times better than Victor. He was back in Burma just a year ago and he said that everything was gone and there were bomb craters everywhere, and just as he was speaking tonight he said it was time for the Burmese Christians over in Kutkai to start their day’s meetings. They are having the first meeting of their Association since the Japanese were there, and he said he thinks there were about 2,000 there. During the last six months, they’ve taken over 300 by baptism and over 270 families. That is real evangelism – the  Lord is really working among those people. I wish we had more missionaries like Gus Sword. He was so enthusiastic it was a joy to hear him and yet he was very humble and lovable. I wish he could have had the whole prayer meeting. He didn’t say when he is going back but I sure hope it is soon. And Dr. Wilson gave a very good talk on the church at Laodicea, and the danger of growing lukewarm now that the war emergency is over apparently. I think we need to be on our guard against that even more than before, as he said, the church has always flourished during persecution.

  There was a good crowd there, and I got to talk with a few. Mr. Abernathy asked about you, Lover, and so did Mildred Williams, Alice Bantli, Ann Nagle and Irene Borah, and Emma Laymon. They also feel you will be home very soon, and of course, that is what I’m hoping for, believe it or not. Pop got some more feathers for flies, and he is just tickled to pieces with all of them – he says he doesn’t want to lose a single feather. And you should see all the feathers he has right now- but Pop really collects when he starts out.

  Margie has decided she really must get more sleep, as she can’t stay awake at the office, and everyone thinks she looks very tired. So she was going to bed as soon as we left tonight, Bob went to the library for a few minutes, which was sort of a dirty trick because it was her birthday. But I guess she was so tired she didn’t mind. Perhaps if she gets more rest she won’t get so sick so often.

  I’m sorry you had such trouble with your Jeep, Lover, just so it didn’t kick up his heels and buck you off in the dust, it isn’t so bad. But I suppose by now you have it all fixed. You really had some trip on February 5th  that is ancient history by now, but I just found out about it.)  I know you have done a good work out there, Beloved, because you did in out of love for Christ and in His power, and that is the only kind of work that counts. I’ll be interested to find out if you finally got to go to dinner at Dr. Kim’s. It was very kind of her to invite you. I was interested to read your father’s letter and those of Joan Cable. I was surprised that your father had given up on the Rawleigh route. I know he liked the work. I’m sure the Lord will work it out for him. It’s nice he has a nice place to stay for a while, however. I’m sorry that Mrs. Cable has been having such a miserable time of it. I don’t suppose they have hopes that they can completely cure that. So you  subscribed to TIME and FORTUNE. They haven’t started coming here yet. I told Mom and she says they are communistic. I don’t know – never read them very much. Dr. Wilson says that people who take FORTUNE must be capitalists, however. But they should be helpful to read, discounting that tendency. Bernice Ptacek just transferred her letter from North Shore to Second – I suppose she is working out there. I’m not sure what she is taking out at NU.  Frank Arnold had himself transferred to another company that was about to leave for home, just before he was to be promoted – at least that is what Mr. Arnold said. Lover, I’m going to sign off and go to bed too. I love you more than you will ever know, and I’m so glad we are one day closer together. God bless you my Darling.

Forever yours alone in His Love,


Colossians 3:3

 Romans 8:8