Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Dad, Had He Lived to be One Hundred

Today is the100th  anniversary of my father birth.
Chester Lee and Ida Stevens Clemens, 50th Wedding Anniversary, 1984

He was born into a large family, the fifth child into what would become eleven.  The house he was born in no longer exists in Lawton, Carter, Kentucky, but he often showed me where it was located.  It wasn't really close to anything.
Chester as a baby in a dress.
Chester as a young farm boy, right around the time he married in 1932.
Chester, after working in the coal mines in West Virginia, early 1940's.
Chester in the U.S. Navy.  He served in Pearl Harbor.
He was baptized into the Mormon Church in 1951, later serving as a Bishop.
When he served as Bishop, he baptized me in 1963.

He spent his later years serving as a temple worker in Washington, DC.

Instead of going over a prologue of his life and accomplishments, I chose to go to the website: and see what was going on in the world during his lifetime.

1912:             He was born during a worldwide cholera pandemic.
                     William Howard Taft was President.
                     The Titanic sunk the month before he was born.
1914:            WWI began when he was 2 years old until he was 7.  He had relatives who served.
1918-1920:   He survived the Spanish flu pandemic.  Others in his family did not.
1920:            Women received the right to vote when he was 8 years old.
1922:            Insulin was made available to diabetics.  This would have great bearing on his family, as many  were diabetics.
1926:            Movies with sound were beginning to be made.
1927:            Charles Lindberg made the first Transatlantic flight.
1928:            Television was invented. 
                     Penicillin was invented.
1929:            The Stock Market crashed.  The Great Depression begins.
1930:            Pluto was discovered.  Dad always loved astronomy.
1939-1945:  WWII years.  Dad served in the Navy at Pearl Harbor, the only coalminer from the coal camp in West Virginia to be drafted.
1948:            They began to make 33 1/3 records.  Dad LOVED music.  I get my love of all types of music from him.
1955:            The Sale Polio Vaccine becomes available.  One of his children would become mildly afflicted with polio.
1969:            The moon landing!  Dad was fastened to the television, not believing his eyes.

Dad died in 2002.  He was born in the days of horses, mules and wagons, yet lived long enough to see men walk on the moon.

Some of the above events may or may not have directly affected his life.  I have listed the ones that I remember talking to him about.  He was an avid reader, always having a book or a magazine or a newspaper in his hand.  As a matter of fact, ten years after his death we are still receiving some of his magazines in the mail.  He had them paid that far ahead so as to not expire.

Dad was a poor boy that was born in poverty in the eastern hills of Kentucky - but what a rich life he lived.  He saw quite a lot during his 90 years.  

We miss you, Dad...

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