War Vets To Be Honored At Aurora Farmers Fair

The presentation will take place during Thursday night's festivities.

Don Seamon (top left clockwise), Jim Cole, Joe Schuman, Jim Dole, Ollie Willoughby and Clifford "Dutch" Hoffmeier. Photos provided. 

(Aurora, Ind.) – Seven local military Veterans will be honored at the annual Aurora Farmers Fair.

The Aurora Farmers Fair gets underway on Wednesday, October 3 and runs through Saturday, October 6.

On Thursday, a War Veterans Presentation will take place on Stage 1 at 6:05 p.m.

This year’s honorees are Jim Dole, Clifford “Dutch” Hoffmeier, Jim Cole, Ollie Willoughby, Joe Schuman and Don Seamon. World War II Veteran and Purple Heart Recipient Wilbur Rolfes will also be honored. Rolfes just turned 100 years old on September 16.

Wilbur Rolfes. Photo provided. 

All seven plaque recipients will receive their plaque, a Quilt of Valor and an American Flag that flew over the State Capital in Indianapolis from State Rep. Randy Frye.

Bio’s for this year’s Farmers Fair War Veterans are provided by P.G. Gentrup.

 

Jim Cole - Jim was born on April 12, 1929 in Aurora, IN to Samuel D. and Sylvia (Mockbee) Cole on Moore St.  Jim had one sister, Janet.  He attended Aurora Grade School and then moved to Cleves, OH after the devastating 1937 Flood.  During that major flood, they were living on Johnson St. and when the water came up so fast they had to be rescued thru a second floor window.  It was a very harrowing experience.  A row boat took them to safety at a Red Cross Refugee Camp.  He graduated from Taylor High School in 1947.  Jim was inducted into the United States Army in January of 1951 in Cincinnati, OH and was sent to Ft. Knox, KY for his induction and then was  sent to Ft. Leonard Wood, MO for basic training.  He then went to Orlando Air Force Base in Florida and was still in the Army but attached to the Air Force.  He was sent to Korea in late 1951 and was at the K-13 Air Base where they built and maintained the Landing Field. On his way to Korea, he was at Camp Stoneman, California  where he met his cousin, Tom Largent, and they spent about three weeks together.  He attained the rank of Corporal (E-3).  He left Korea and returned to the USA in late 1952 and after a 30 day leave went to Camp Carson, CO for his discharge where he was released from active duty and sent to the Active Reserves for 5 years. Jim married his first wife, Irene, in June 1954 and was married for 51 years until her death in 2005.  Jim and Irene had one son, Scott, who lives in Gobles, Michigan.  He married his current wife, Betty Sue, in December of 2011.  In 1956, Jim quit his job at General Electric in Cincinnati and Irene quit her job at National Lead in Fernald.  They headed to the greener pastures of California and were able to land jobs at North American Aviation and subsequently both retired from North American Rockwell. Jim worked there for 38 years and Irene just a little less.  They worked on the Apollo Space Program and also the Space Shuttle.   They returned to Indiana and built a new home in Hidden Valley Lake.  The old saying is  “ You can’t go home again” but we did.  Jim was happy to be able to spend a few years with his mother, who still lived in Cleves, until her passing at age 96 in 2000. He wanted to mention that his sister, Janet Daniels, lives in Punta Gorda, Florida and she is the widow of a World War II Navy Veteran.  She is also the mother of a son, Bruce, a Vietnam Veteran and Ned, a Navy Veteran.  She also has a grandson, Kelly, who is a 1st Lieutenant in the Army and veteran of the Persian Gulf War. Jim was awarded the National Defense Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Korean War Service Medal and UN Korean War Service Medal. Jim attends the Methodist Church.  He is a Life Member of the Korean War Veterans Chapter 4 in Aurora and a Charter Member. He is also a  member of American Legion Post 485 in Cleves, OH. Jim is proud of his service to our great nation.

Jim Dole - Jim was born on February 26, 1933 in Harrison, OH to Fred and Margaret Dole. He had four brothers: Edward, Robert, Joseph and Fred along with two sisters: Jean and Joan.  Joan is a twin to Jim. He attended St. John’s Grade School in Harrison and graduated from Harrison High School in 1951. He attended college for one year at the University of Louisville on a football scholarship and played tailback. He was a teammate of Johnny Unitas. Jim entered the United States Army in 1953 and served until 1955. He took his basic training at Camp Pickett, VA and was trained as a combat medic. He served in Korea for two years and attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. Most of his service time was spent in the area of the 38th Parallel.  He remembers the bitter cold weather in that area.  It was so nice to be able to return back to the United States and be home again. Jim married his wife, Geraldine, in 1958 and she has passed away. They had four children: Mike, Mark, Doug and Linda. There are 9 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. Jim retired from General Motors (GM) in Norwood after 35 years.  He was a Material Superintendent for 28 years. He is a life member of the Korean War Veterans (KWVA) Chapter 4 in Aurora, IN; life member of American Legion Post 199 in  Harrison and Post 464 in St. Leon; life member of VFW Post 7570 in Harrison and American Veterans (AmVets) #13 in Harrison. He is proud to be a member of the Color Guards for these for over 55 years. They mainly serve Ross, Cleves, Bright, Harrison and St. Leon. Jim figures he has helped at over 1000 funerals to help pay that final respect to a fellow departed comrade. It’s an honor to be a part of the firing of the three volleys, folding and presenting the burial flag and playing TAPS. He was awarded the National Defense Medal, Korean War Service Medal, UN Korean War Service Medal and the Army Good Conduct Medal. He wants us to remember and pray for the over 7000 service members still Missing In Action in Korea. He is proud of his service to our great nation and continues to serve today.

Dutch Hoffmeier - was born on October 4, 1933 to Frank and Catherine Hoffmeier in Yorkville, IN.  He had  three brothers: Francis “Blackie”, Lester and Loren. There were two sisters, Mary Barbara and Helen Ann. He attended St. Martin’s Grade School in Yorkville and graduated from Guilford High School in 1952. Dutch entered the United States Army on March 11, 1954 and was discharged on February 29, 1956 at Ft. Sheridan, IL. He took basic training at Camp Chaffe, Arkansas and then went to Ft. Eustis, VA. He went to Japan on the USS Mann and returned home on the USS Freeman. He served in Japan for 11 months as a Harbor Craft Boatswain and then went to Korea for 8 months where he continued that job of delivering troops and supplies to the beach when the ships were unloaded. He married his wife, Wilma (Kuhn) on October 25, 1958 at St. Peters Church in Franklin County. They have four children: Jeffrey, Ronald, Beverly and Sheila.  There are 10 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. Dutch’s Uncle Victor Hoffmeier was killed in action while serving in the United States Navy in World War II when the ship was attacked by enemy planes. He is a Life Member of the Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA) Chapter 4 in Aurora, IN, the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 75, Knights of Columbus (K of C) 1231 and former member of American Legion Post # 452 in New Alsace. They attend St. Lawrence Church in Lawrenceburg. Dutch is proud of his service in the Army to our great nation.

Wilbur Rolfes - Wilbur was born on September 16, 1918 in Cincinnati, Ohio to William Edward Rolfes and Emma Ruf Rolfes Zorn. His dad died when he was still an infant so he lived with his grandparents on Calhoun St. in the Clifton area of Cincinnati.  He had one brother, Paul Rolfes Sr., and one half sister, Audrey Zorn Hudepohl and a step brother, August Zorn. He attended St. Aloysius Boarding School and then St. Andrews Grade School in Cincinnati. He graduated from Roger Bacon High School in 1936 and then attended Electrical School. Wilbur just celebrated his 100th birthday on Sept. 16. He married Christine Green Rolfes in 1937. Wilbur was drafted into the U.S. Army on December 14, 1942 at Ft. Thomas, KY. He was trained as a medic and surgical technician to the Medical Detachment, 394th Infantry of the 99th Infantry at Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi. In August 1943 he completed maneuvers in Louisiana and then went to Camp Maxi, Texas and left there September 29, 1943 and arrived in the European Theater in October 1943. He was wounded in action in Belgium at the Battle of the Bulge on January 13, 1944 while attending to fellow wounded soldiers and was shot in the hand by enemy fire and lost a finger. He was discharged at Gardiner General Hospital in Chicago, IL on October 10, 1945. Back on December 18, 1944 he was listed as Missing In Action for awhile. Wilbur’s rank was Technician Fourth Grade. He has one daughter, Eva Rolfes Roll, from his first marriage to Christine Rolfes. Eva married Mark Roll. There are three grandchildren: Christine Marie Roll, Jonathan Zachary Roll and Jacob Mark Roll. Jonathan married Christina Rose and they have the two great grandchildren, Aliza Rose Roll and Cohen Vincent Roll. Wilbur was married to Laura Hubbard Rolfes in 1995. He was awarded the Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, European-African Middle Eastern Campaign (EAME) Medal, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and the Ruptured Duck (Honorable Discharge) pin. Wilbur worked at American Bakeries starting in 1937 and retired after 47 years of service. Wilbur is a member of Mt. Washington American Legion Post 484. He resides in Bright, Indiana. As a World War II Veteran, member of America’s Greatest Generation, a combat wounded warrior and Purple Heart Recipient, he has proven himself as a True American Hero. He exemplifies the words: Duty—Honor—Country. He is an American Treasure. Wilbur Frank Rolfes is one True American Patriot.

Joe Schuman - was born on March 3, 1932 at St. Leon, Indiana to Joe G. and Rose Schuman. He had five brothers: Lawrence, William, Walter, Harold and Richard. There were five sisters: Viola, Matilda, Frances, Loretta and Alberta. He attended St. Joseph  Grade School at St. Leon and graduated from Guilford High School in 1951. Joe entered the Ohio National Guard in April 1951 and then entered the United States Army in October of 1951 and took basic training at Camp Polk, Louisiana.  He had a 30 day leave and then reported to Camp Stoneman, California where he boarded a ship to Japan and then on to Korea. He served there from Sept. 1952 to Sept. 1953 in the Panmunjom area. He attained the rank of Sgt. (E-5). He was discharged to the National Guard on April 1, 1954. The Korean War lasted from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953. There is a Korean War Memorial in Washington, DC to commemorate that war. A total of 36,914 American Forces died in that war out of the 1.8 million who served there. He was awarded the National Defense Medal, Korean War Service Medal, UN Korean War Service Medal and the Army Good Conduct Medal. Joe married Martha (Dall) on October 26, 1957. They had 5 girls: Teresa, Mary Jayne, Sharon, Sue and Donna.  Three boys: David, Dale and Larry.  Donna and Larry are twins. There are 13 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. He attends All Saints Church (St. Joseph). Hi is a Life Member of the Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA) Chapter 4 in Aurora, IN, Knights of Columbus (K of C), Disabled American Veterans (DAV) 75 in Dearborn County, 40&8 and St. Leon American Legion Post 464 for over 66 years. Joe worked on the family farm and then started his own business for Electric, Heating & Plumbing for 40 years. Joe is proud of his service to our great nation and today he keeps on serving his fellow veterans whenever he can.  He supports our troops wherever they may be serving.  

Don Seamon - was born on March 31, 1930 in Dearborn County, Indiana to Henry and Anna Seamon.  He had two brothers: Harold and Edward. He had one sister, Gertrude. Don married his wife, Jean (Jones) on September 9, 1950. They have one son, Greg, and one daughter, Kimberly (Lautman). There are four grandchildren. He attended Barker Grade School at Dover and Pella Grade School. He graduated from Guilford High School in 1948. Don entered the United States Navy in 1948 and was honorably discharged in 1952.  He took his basic at Great Lakes, Illinois and then was sent to Norfolk, VA to Trade School. He was assigned to the USS Loftberg DD-759 and patrolled both sides of the Korean Peninsula for nine months in 1950 during the early days of the Korean War. They were in the Sea of Japan, thru the Korea Strait and Jeju Strait and to the Yellow Sea. The ship went to several places in the Pacific Ocean while on its tour of duty.  He attained the rank of VN-2, Yeoman Second Class. He attends St. John’s Lutheran Church at Hubbel’s Corner. Don lived in Bright, Indiana for 50 years before moving  to the East Side of Cincinnati. Don is a Charter Member of the Southeastern Indiana Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA) Chapter 4 in Aurora, Indiana. His awards include the National Defense Medal, Korean War Service Medal, United Nations Korean Service Medal and Navy Good Conduct Medal. Don is very proud of his service in the United States Navy and for serving our great nation and helping the people of South Korea remain independent. May God Bless our troops serving around the world today and God Bless America.

Ollie Willoughby - was born on December 20, 1929 in Indianapolis, IN to Ollie “Pop” and Clara Willoughby.  He has one brother, Donald Lee. He attended grade school at Bluff Avenue #9 in Indianapolis and graduated from Arsenal Tech High School. He entered the United States Air Force in 1950 during the Korean War and served until his discharge in 1953. He took basic training at Camp Atterbury in Columbus, IN.  He went to Ft. Benning, GA for AIT and stayed there for 1 ½ years. They installed the radios for the C-46 airplanes that took the paratroopers up for their first five jumps as part of the airborne training. He stayed at Ft. Benning until his discharge. He enjoyed the work and eventually it led to his career for the rest of his life. His rank was Airman Second Class. Ollie worked for RCA in Indianapolis for eight years and then left there to come to Cincinnati to work for AT&T because it was a better paying job and he stayed for 34 years until his retirement. He worked his way up in the company, having started as a Service Man and eventually becoming Supervisor and Manager of the Purchasing Department. He married Betty L. Tharp in December of 1949 and they had three children: Ollie D., Clifton and Sylvia Lynn. There are 10 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. Ollie is a member of the Southeastern Indiana Korean War Veterans Association (KWVA) Chapter 4 in Aurora, IN; the Eastern Star, Masons and Purdue Homemakers.  He enjoys woodworking and uses that hobby to spend quality time with the grandkids. Ollie is proud to have served our great nation and supports our troops serving around the world today.

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