For the McLain family, March 7, 1935 was a big day. That day, in Leon, Iowa, Darrell Lee McLain was born, and a whole new list of potentials was created for him. No one would have guessed that he would do so many things and make a lasting impact on the world. He mainly lived in Des Moines, Iowa, attended school there and graduated.
Through all the years that my grandpa has been living, he has experienced many things. He has inspired so many people. My grandpa is one of the smartest people I know when it comes to things like history, business, data processing, sales, and military. He served in the military for 2 years as US army military police during the Korean War. He worked as a computer systems analyst for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and as a Letter Carrier for the US Postal Service. For part of his life, he lived in Aurora, Illinois where he attended church at First Methodist Episcopal Church.
But, one of his most famous things in our family is his pure love of genealogy. Genealogy is the study of family history. He has been devoting time to it since he retired in 1991. He had always wanted to do something for the world and was looking for an idea. After attending a church service in the historic limestone church located on 60 South Lincoln, he came upon the church records in a leather binder penned with a quill. Suddenly, the idea popped into his head. Armed with knowledge of his family tree since the 1600's, he spent the next 2 ½ years re-assembling the church records. One thing he said was "This is my dues to the genealogy society". This massive project though, he called volunteer work because he only ended up doing 70% of it. One of his greatest world contributions is writing the book "The Descendants of Benjamin and Anna [Cornell] Reynolds" Complied by Darrell and Karolyn Kendig McLain.
Through his life, my grandpa has experienced tons of ups and downs. One of the scariest moments in his life was when he had a heart attack. Against all the odds, he somehow survived the dreadful trauma and is still here to tell the tale.
Some of the people that Darrell met, he got along with, while others, not so much. On my grandpa's part, this took a while to think back (more than 60 years!). The teacher that really gave that spark to my grandpa was Mrs. Tullis. The person my grandpa despised was Fred Sehuler. And true to my grandpa's sense of humor, when you ask him who his best friend was, you'll get the answer, "my wife, who else?" My grandpa has always been the one to ask for an amusing story (that's true). For example, when he graduated high school, he decided he wanted to explore and see the country. So, because he didn't have means of transportation, he hitchhiked all the way from Des Moines, Iowa to San Francisco, California. That's hitchhiking 1,801 miles or 2,898 km. After college, my granddad was 1 of 30 people from the entire state of Iowa invited to try outs for professional baseball with the Chicago Cubs. Sadly, he wasn't accepted.
My "great" grandpa is a role model for me, and is the best family member I could ever wish for. He has always been so nice to me and we both have a sense of humor, so we get along well. He has gotten me into so many things like coin collecting and genealogy. To me, my grandpa is a kind, welcoming, fun-loving character who will always be in my heart. Written by grandson Scott McLain February 28, 2013 at age 11.
Alta Darlene Ross McLain
Arthur Wayne McLain
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