05 February 2011

Obituary--Carl Reynolds

When our local history room here at the library first started collecting information on members of the military, I was struck by all the deaths of servicemen in 1918 who never even left the shores of the United States, due to the flu and pneumonia.  Perhaps at the time, people didn't realize it was such a huge epidemic, but these stories stayed with me.  Here is the story of one such soldier.

From the 3 October 1918 Fremont TimesIndicator:


Death Takes Carl Reynolds From the Service of His Country.---Dies at Great Lakes

This community was greatly shocked and grieved Thursday afternoon when the message came that Carl Reynolds had died with influenza and pneumonia at the Great Lakes Training station after an illness of only a few days.
A telegram came Tuesday saying that he was seriously ill and in Wednesday another wire saying "condition critical."  Mr. Reynolds left immediately after the first telegram came but we understand that he was unable to see him after arriving there.
Carl was well known in athletic circles, having won many honors in the county along various lines.  His highest ambition, as those of all other noble young men, was to serve his country, for which cause he gave his life.
Only two weeks ago he was home on a ten day furlough and appeared so well and happy that we can hardly realize that he has been called away from us so soon.
The entire community deeply  feels the loss of this fine young man and express their sympatny to the family during this their dark hour of bereavement.--Hesperia Union
The young man, who was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Reynolds, was 22 years of age and was home the first part of September to celebrate his birthday.  he was one of Newaygo county's finest young men.

I just knew, while reading this, that this had to be another obituary written by Mrs. Robertson.  Her name doesn't appear on a byline, and the hometown does not appear in the obituary.  But, there near the end, the words stating this was a reprint from the Hesperia Union.  And all of Mrs. Robertson's obituaries are from Hesperia, or the Denver/West Dayton area.   And of course all her catch phrases are in this obituary: greatly shocked, community deeply feels, noble young man....  And then, after the Fremont paper reprinted it, they still had to add his parents' names and his age.  So typically Mrs Robertson.

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