Member for
8 years · 11 months · 2 days
Find A Grave ID


I endorse the wisdom of an ancient Egyptian proverb: To speak of the dead is to make them live again.

Today I'm a retired Historian, a trained, experienced photographer, and genealogist. I got my PhD in History at Ohio State in 1983.

Family: I have recently remarried. Several years after my first wife passed away. I was fortunate to meet a wonderful woman who had recently lost her husband to a long illness... and we hit it off. We met while I was doing genealogical research and finding graves. (For Find a Grave, of course) in the town where my father was born in 1910. It just so happened that she was in town that weekend, helping to organize the town's sesquicentennial.

In 1917, my grandfather was fatally injured in a coal mine accident. He lived in the hospital for 18 days but ultimately dies either from a reopened wound or from infection. So my dad, his mother, and three brothers soon moved away... so I should never have met this lady. Yet I did.

We found we have many more things in common than just her hometown, and we got married November 2018.

Since the 1970s I've moved a lot: Ohio to Virginia (Madison), back to Ohio, back to Virginia (Independent Hill), and back to Ohio again. For a while my life story could've been called 'there and back again.' (Apologies to Prof. Tolkien.) Thus the name 'Shiredweller.'

Then Ohio to California (Anaheim, 4 blocks from Disneyland) to Indiana (West Lafayette), to Texas (San Antonio), and back (yet again) to Virginia (Richmond). Since being married I split time between Virginia, Pennsylvania, Los Angeles, Ohio ( for family reunions) and wherever my wife and I decide to travel next. We have spent some time in Lithuania and plan to go back soon.

I taught a lot of college history courses along the way. Assembled graphic plotters for Calcomp in Anaheim, California. Worked for the USAF at Kelly AFB, Texas. Spent 25 years with the Defense Dept. at Fort Lee, Va. Wrote 100+ published articles and a two-volume military history.

I have been to lots of islands (the Azores, Sicily, Crete, and the West Indies... Santa Catalina, too). On the mainland, have been to Turkey, which I enjoyed much more than I thought I would; Germany, Greece, Panama, Mexico, Canada, and 44 of the 50 states. I agree with Mark Twain's assessment: Travel is a sure cure for ignorance and prejudice. It's true, but only if you keep an open mind... and open your eyes and ears, too.

Old movies got me involved with Find A Grave, looking up locations of movie stars' last resting places. Then, realizing my relatives and friends were not represented on Find a Grave, I started building memorials for them. One thing led to another; now I have a lot of bios to write, and a lot of photos to shoot and post.

Search memorial contributions by Shiredweller