Friday, January 8, 2010

Robert Leo Jones and Mary Berluti

Robert Leo Jones, born July 15, 1918, was the 3rd child and second son born to Fred and Norine Jones.  Historically, he was born while our country was involved in World War I which ended June 29, 1919.  As a mother I cannot imagine looking into the eyes of my newborn infant son and imagining that eventually he would have to go to war -- and one even larger than the one the country was fighting.  Yet this is exactly what happened to all three sons of Fred and Norine.

The war had to be a defining moment in Bob's life.  Here he is pictured with his parents as he prepares to leave.

Our mothers were part of that group of marriageable women who had no one to date.  My mother used to say that the only men not away at the war were older, married, or had some medical disability.  I can't imagine all of the pent-up demand when all of the "boys" returned home.

Bob married Mary Berluti on January 25, 1947 at St. Andrew's Church.  The couple to the right of Bob are Alma and Emmit Shcwartz.  (Emmit was Bob's best friend and eventually became the Godfather to Mary and Bob's son, Bob. The bridesmaid on the left is Dina, sister of the bride, and her future husband, Larry.  Rose verified that the bridesmaid on the far right is Margaret Ann.  What a handsome couple they made!

To this union was born Bob and Gina.  Of course my childhood memories of Uncle Bob were our rather frequent visits to the "Pony Keg" in Silverton that he owned with his brother-in-law.  My brothers remember a lot more than that.

Mary worked for the Rosenthall Printing Company from the time she graduated from secretarial school until she had her first-born, Bob. After becoming a mother, Mary worked on the side for Aaron Matheu who had been her former boss and a writer. At the age of 47, Bob died leaving his widowed wife with two very young children -- Bob was only 10 years old and Gina was 8. Mary went back to work for Rosenthall until the early 70's when she was able to get a job with 5th/3rd Bank.  She eventually supported her family by working as an assistant to the President of 5th/3rd Bank.

 A few years ago, Gina tried to get more understanding about the father who had died when she was so young.  Knowing that he had served in World War II, she contacted our State Representative at the time, Steve Chabot, who had an aide research Bob's war record and get duplicates of the medals he had earned.

Several of us attended the event where Gina received these medals. I hope to be able to find out more (or have other cousins comment on this post).  We have plans to get together and share stories and pictures at the end of this month.  I hope to be able to add more then.

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