Jon and I met in a church youth group at Pacific Hills Lutheran in Omaha. He was such a fun-loving kid and a character. And he had a Beatles haircut! We dated through high school at Westside High School in Omaha. His father was a Doctor, an OB in Omaha. Yes, Dr. Doolittle, so he had a nice new red Camaro. He loved that car, which he called “Betsy”.
I was younger than Jon and he “offered” to help me learn how to drive a stick on his beloved Betsy. It was dark, after youth group and in our neighborhood. I was chugging, killing the engine etc. and laughing. I was laughing because Jon was screaming and grabbing the dashboard and yelling, “My Betsy, my poor Betsy!” His reaction makes this my favorite story!
I went to college and he went to war. We wrote a lot of heartfelt letters. Toward the end, his letters became very sad and depressing; largely focusing on the illnesses they had and losing members and friends. In his last letter, which I received after his death, he stated that he wanted us to be married as soon as he got home, and if not he didn’t want to come home.
My heart was broken when he did not return. He fought hard and loved hard and I miss him every day. I have taken care of his grave since he died and sadly, I believe, I am the only one. I have lost track of his sister. I hope no one forgets that war and how hard our men fought. I know I will always remember that character in the Beatles haircut!
Written by Barb Johnson