Those 70ish girls…The stock I came from, pt 2

Uncle Jeff was born a couple years after my Mom. The doctor had to break his arm delivering him breach since he was a chubby big baby. He was named Melvin but as I wrote earlier, his nickname of JEFF stuck.

Jeff was a handsome young schoolboy

He was a lover of family, his town, his country and sports, as well as fishing and hunting. He joined the Marines as a young man shortly after Pearl Harbor was attacked. His mother, my Grandma Mary, who rarely left her home in Murdo, SD, made the trip to California to see her Jeff. She traveled alone by train and was hoping to get there before Jeff was shipped out. Her daughters, Ella and Loretta, met her at the train station and had to break the news that Jeff and already left. Her daughters said that Grandma wouldn’t look at the ocean the whole time she was in California because it took her Jeff away.

This picture of Grandma and my mother was taken when Grandma visited California. Her sad expression was no doubt because she missed seeing her son before he shipped out.

Jeff worked up to being a Staff Sergeant, and the only one in his family who served in WWII. Any time we visited my Mom’s home town, he was there to help us find a place to stay, and take us to lunch or to come visit and chat for hours. We were eating at the Star Cafe with him one summer visit. We all sat talking and when our food came, he asked if anyone wanted some of his French fries because he had about “a thousand fries” and couldn’t eat them all. He loved to kid around and have fun. He hung out with his brother, Wayne, since they were always good friends as well as good brothers. Jeff was the one who, as a young boy, unknowingly walked past the rattler first  before the snake struck out at Wayne.

Uncle Wayne, on the left, and Uncle Jeff often had coffee together at a local Murdo Cafe.

Everyone liked JEFF who owned SANDERSONS General Store for years and later worked for the rural utility company. He voluntarily managed Murdo’s youth baseball program for 12 years. He was man of the year in South Dakota one year as a senior. Quite an honor. And I cannot forget about his jeep that he used to haul hundreds of kids to different baseball games. The old Willis Jeep was towed out to the cemetery during his funeral procession. He loved his old jeep which now sits at Murdo Auto Museum. He would like that.

Me visiting the Jeep at the Pioneer Auto Museum

As I said before, Uncle Jeff was dedicated to family and community. He lived next door to Grandma and Grandpa and More often than not, he spent his noon hour visiting with them in their home.

8 thoughts on “Those 70ish girls…The stock I came from, pt 2

  1. lifelessons November 17, 2022 / 9:53 pm

    I never saw Jeff in a bad mood. He had his kids “buy” me in our MYF sale to clean up the house before Irma got home from vacation once..More to that story but it has been told before…


  2. Mary Francis McNinch November 17, 2022 / 7:00 pm

    Love this beautiful story about an amazing man. Thanks for sharing it all in such a heartfelt way.


    • Valerie Halla November 17, 2022 / 7:47 pm

      It’s tough putting highlights of a wonderful person’s life into a few paragraphs but the pictures are worth a thousand words each. He was a one in a million so there you have it. Such a good human.


  3. grinchy44 November 17, 2022 / 6:58 pm

    “Uncle Jeff was born after our mom?


    • Anonymous November 17, 2022 / 7:05 pm

      Valerie wrote this! See author name attached to story


      • grinchy44 November 17, 2022 / 7:09 pm

        My bad!


      • Valerie Halla November 17, 2022 / 7:55 pm

        I didn’t mean to call you a mutt, but you being half Sanderson, must comprehend my vague comment, dear cousin.


Comments are closed.