By Sam Jack
CLEARWATER – On Monday, the Clearwater Ole Sew ‘N Sews quilting club held its fifth annual Quilts of Valor presentation, giving nine handmade quilts to local area military veterans.
The Ole Sew ‘N Sews spend several hours each Friday creating quilts, and they put in countless hours of work on the Quilts of Valor each year, using supplies and services donated by community supporters.
Clearwater’s Trail Life Troop KS-264 opened the presentation with a flag ceremony, and Clearwater High School’s Bel Canto Choir performed the national anthem.
One quilt recipient, Jim Pessig, was not present for the ceremony. Here is some of what Ole Sew ‘N Sews members shared about the other eight recipients and their military service.
• Charles Daniels, Sr., joined the U.S. Navy in 1951. After boot camp in San Diego, he studied aviation technical subjects in Jacksonville, Fla., and Memphis, Tenn.
He served on the U.S.S. Leyte aircraft carrier, stationed in Norfolk, Va. The ship left Norfolk and patrolled the Mediterranean Sea for nine months.
He was later attached to a seaplane patrol bomber squadron as a radioman. The squadron patrolled the east coast of the United States, doing anti-submarine duty.
He was discharged from the Navy in 1955. He then returned to Wichita, where he worked at Cessna for the next 40 years. He moved to Clearwater in 2001. He was married to Arietta (LaRue) Daniels from 1953 until her death in 2009. He has four children, 10 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
• Jim Leibold served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1957. He was stationed at Fort Sill, Okla., where he was an automobile mechanic.
After his service, Leibold returned to Iowa. He married his wife, Maggie, in 1959.
After college, he got a job at Cessna, and he and Maggie chose Clearwater as their hometown, since it reminded him of their hometown in Iowa. They had six children, of whom two still live in the local area.
Leibold retired from his career at Cessna in 1991.
• Paul Schmeissner was drafted June 3, 1955. After training, he was sent to Frankfurt, Germany. From there, he went to other towns in Germany to train as an auto mechanic.
Schmeissner received a marksmanship award and good conduct medals. He was discharged May 23, 1957.
After his service, he worked for the Sedgwick County Highway Department and farmed. He married Helen in 1958.
• T.L. Pearson, who turns 80 this year, served in the Navy for 10 years. He served on the U.S.S. Navasota during the Korean War and said his military service took him “around the world.”
• Michael Robinson enlisted in the U.S. Army reserve in June 1966 and was assigned to the USAR 89th Training Division in Wichita. The division’s mission was to train recruits who were going to basic training during the Vietnam conflict.
He married his wife, Chris, in 1965.
In spring of 1968, Robinson was honored as Citizen Soldier of the Year by the Wichita Area Chamber of Commerce.
In June of 1976, Robinson finished his Army Reserve obligation, having re-enlisted for three extra years in 1972. “The military gave me the discipline and maturity that guided me during all my working career,” Robinson said.
Robinson has two children, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
• Marvin Schauf joined a U.S. Army Reserve medical unit in 1966. After completing training in Minnesota and Texas, he was sent to train as a nurse at St. Francis Hospital in Wichita.
“We were there until St. Francis got a new supervisor, and he didn’t want us in there,” Schauf said. “We were then able to do our training at the air base hospital on weekends.”
In addition to weekend training sessions, Schauf participated in summer camps where he worked in hospitals. He was working at Fort Carson, Colo., when two soldiers there were badly burned, and Schauf helped take care of them.
After six years of service, Schauf was discharged in 1972.
Schauf started with the Clearwater Ambulance Service in 1963. He served on the EMS service until 2002, and continued to serve as the city’s fire chief for a number of years after that.
He met his wife, Mary, in 1960, and they married in 1963. The pair have two children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
• George Henry Rudy, Jr., was drafted in 1967 and joined the U.S. Air Force. During basic training, he played basketball for Lackland Air Force Base’s intermural team. After basic, he continued to play for Ellsworth Air Force Base.
In the service, he was a marksman and became an electrician for missile silos. After being transferred to McConnell Air Force Base, he did inspections of three missile sites west of Wichita.
“I served four years stateside and was one of the lucky ones not to go to Vietnam,” Rudy said.
After his military service, he met a Clearwater resident, Larry Nickels, and partnered to form Tri County Electric in 1973. “I am still in business today,” Rudy said.
• Rick Ives enlisted in the Marines in 1975, and started duty shortly after marrying his wife, Jan.
Ives served in Okinawa, Japan, as a bandman. Son Tyler Ives was born there. He later served as a bandman in El Toro, Calif.
After his service, Ives went back to Fort Hays State University to finish his degree in music education. He taught music in Larned for 23 years, then taught at Clearwater for 13 years before retiring.