While in school to become a teacher Jean Clark met her husband, Louis.
He was in one of my psych classes and he was a year ahead of me. He had grown up in Corvallis (Oregon) on the farm there, and he decided that he needed to earn some money, some extra money for school, so he joined the National Guard. He was the youngest of six in his family and he had four brothers who were in the National Guard. He wanted to be in and as soon as he was 16 he joined the National Guard. He was still in in college, at Monmouth. In 1940, the United States decided to mobilize the Guard because of the trouble in Europe. So he spent a year in training. In the meantime we had developed a sort of a relationship. When I was teaching at Brownsville (Oregon), we became engaged in 1940. So I was waiting for him to come back from his training.
They got married in July of 1941. Jean was just 19 years old.
This photograph comes from the collection of Jean Clark.
My mom and dad dated, then my dad enlisted in the army air corps and was in the Pacific theater. My mom enlisted in the SPARS in 1944. I have their letters to each other during that time and my dad’s Western Union telegram notification of this return to San Diego, after the war ended, in my mom’s scrap book.
My Mom was still in the SPARS in 1946. My dad took her to Chicago after a leave for her to return to Florida where she was stationed. He proposed but she refused saying in a letter back that she loved him and he was so good to her but they needed to get to know each other better “… as civilians”. Evidently they did as they were married in June, 1948.
My mom couldn’t understand why he didn’t write to her more during the war…my Dad couldn’t and wouldn’t expose her to the horror. My mom thought he had lost interest. My dad also disapproved of her enlisting in the SPARS. Am glad they were able to communicate about their experiences. They were married 54 years, before my dad died.