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ROBERT "Bob" FULLENWIDER
THANKS TO DAVE for this awesome picture :)
The Fullenwiders were our neighbors, and we had lots of fun. I admired Betty for her beauty; enjoyed Bobbi Ann playing my "mommy" as we poured over the Sears catalog buying clothes, things for our room in pretend and just as soon as it arrived each time (lots of hours rocking on her porch); collected bugs for the Biology project (incidentally I got a B+ and a year later, same project, he got an A) with Jim and have become historical buddies with little Dave.
Also, went to Bob for about 15 years with my historical questions. I greatly appreciated him. Mainly, he knew the answers, but if he didn't he'd just say, "I'm sorry, Karen, but I don't know that one but you might try ....." Sometimes he'd just call me up and say, "Hey, come on over, I have something to show you," and it might be something his family-oriented but usually in general with Waveland in mind. Once or twice, it was WWII oriented as he knew I loved that history because of my father having been a Medic in that war.
Bob graduated from Waveland High School, where many Fullenwiders tred before and after his 1932 graduation. He went on to Purdue but did not finish. When he enlisted into the service 1 October 1941 at Ft. Ben Harrison, he is listed as having two years of college and was a General farmer. Although I always thought Bob was very tall, he is listed as 69" (5'9") and weighing 153 pounds. Could be his thinness that made him seem so much taller.
During the war, Bob commanded the radar stations, that tracked subs and registered any problems or possibilities of subs. He was only two miles from the USS Indianapolis when it went down. Bob told the tale several times that he was lucky as he was just ready to be shipped out when the bomb was dropped so he credits the atomic bomb for saving his life. Once he saw an American GI in a Japanese cooking pot. The poor soul was eaten so I can imagine the war horrors Bob witnessed. Bob tallied six campaign ribbons and five battle stars and one of his most exciting times was actually meeting General Douglas MacArthur.
I knew Robert (Bob) Elliot Fullenwider's brother, Terry (Wallace Terry) well, too. He had been away from Waveland for some years but came back and I enjoyed talking history with him, as well. They had one sister, Betty Lou Banner, and they were the children of Henry Newton Fullenwider (Newt) and his wife, Rosalie Durham Fullenwider. Although Bob was the oldest, they were all three very close in age.
Bob fell in love with Lena Rivers, a beautiful and capitivating Russellville gal and would walk over to see her in the dead of the night many times from the family farm over to the Henry Waller (and Elizabeth Hunt) Rivers farm which was about three miles. I believe Lena was the youngest of their nine children.
Bob and Lena were married 14 September 1941 and would parent four wonderful kids, mentioned above, Betty Rose; Roberta Ann; James Robert and David Elliott. The family spent most of their years at 202 E. Howard Street just around the corner from my house, 204 E. Green. My twin brothers were in Bobbi Ann's class and I was a year ahead of Jim (we were in band together and may have spent a few years with Bobbi in band, too). It was a great place to live.
Dave is the only one of the kids still in the area and he and his family are quite active keeping the town going, Waveland Strong members, fire fighters ....
Bob spent about a half dozen or so years as the town marshall, flew a plane up to about age 90. He passed away on the last day of October in 2011 at St. Vincent Hospital of renal failure. He was born, raised and remained a Baptist, and was active in the American Legion, serving as Commander at least one time. He was also in UFO and AOPA. For many years (I'd guess 40 or more) he owned and operated a TV Sales and Repair business and then a grain dryer repair service which son Dave still runs today, along with his son-in-law.
Eight generations of Fullenwiders have lived right here in Brown Township, Montgomery County, Indiana beginning with Eleazor and wife, Lavinia Allen who came to the county in 1830 from Shelby County, Kentucky.
Bob and his brother were both in the service. With a high security clearance, Bob wrote home that, "No papers are taken in or out of the building," where he worked. He was in command of the Radar Camps in the Southeast Pacific and retired from Army life as a Lt. Colonel. He was in WWII in Australia, New Guinea and the Phillipines.
Bob remained active in Guards afterwards, being instrumental bringing the Waveland Army Reserve Armory to town. Many reading this biographical piece will remember it on the East end far up where the Waveland apartments are now.
Bob passed away 1 November 2011, after having lived a pretty great life. Rest In Peace, Bob - I miss ya'.
Bob's son, Dave has been such a great help in almost any endeaBob's son, Dave, has been awesome to help in almost every one of my endeavors of an historical nature - he sends this awesome picture of his dad (in Australia 1943 when he was probably a 1st Lt, Radar Base Commander) standing in front of a field mess tent.
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Citation: The INGenWeb Project, Copyright ©1997-2017 (and beyond), Montgomery County GenWeb site http://www.ingenweb.org/inmontgomery/