As previously mentioned, my father LeRoy was the second child and only son of Joseph and Lillian (Hungler) Kubler. He was born 29 June 1917. His older sister Ethel was 4 at the time. His mother treated him no differently than his older sister, so by the time the other two girls came along Roy, as he was called by his family, could cook and clean as well as the women in his house. He attended whatever Catholic elementary school happened to be closest to the family home at the time, and he very much enjoyed music. He could be found playing a musical instrument and singing with the band whenever his father's current job offered the opportunity to do so. His love of music stayed with him his entire life.
|Railway Express Agency|
As a teenager, Roy worked many different jobs including employment with the Cincinnati Reds and as a pin setter at a bowling alley. Following graduation from Elder High School, Roy went to work for the Railway Express Agency, a company established by the U.S. government in 1917 to provide small package and parcel transportation using existing railways. Roy's position as an assorter entailed routing packages through the express terminal. This position would launch his career in the freight industry, which he worked in for the next several decades.
The 1940 federal census indicates that Roy was living at home with his parents and two younger sisters. His older sister, Ethel, had gotten married the previous year.
|Roy and Catherine|
He met his future wife when he was out driving with a friend one pretty spring afternoon in 1941. Catherine Crusham, age 20, was standing on a street corner with her cousin Joan when the two young men happened to pass by. As Roy's friend was acquainted with Joan, they stopped the car to chat. The rest, as they say, is history. Roy was immediately attracted to Catherine's red hair and sparkling green eyes, and she to his tall stature and quick wit. The two began dating, and Roy was quickly swept up in the boisterous Crusham clan. Catherine was the third oldest of 8 children. She had dropped out of high school after completing her junior year in order to help support the family. She worked at a sporting goods manufacturing factory sewing basketballs.
But 1941 was not all fun and happy times. World War II was ever-present on the minds of Americans, and Roy registered for the draft that year. His draft card was #317. The Selective Service Training and Service Act of 1940 created the country's first peacetime draft. All males ages 21-36 were required to register for service, complete a physical, and take a written exam to determine who was qualified for military duty. After the testing was complete, the men were placed into categories, or classes, with Class I being the best qualified.
With the bombing of Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 it became abundantly clear to everyone that the United States was going to enter the war. Roy proposed to Catherine, and on 10 January 1942 the couple applied for a marriage license. Roy and Catherine were married quietly, or so they thought, on 17 January 1942 at Resurrection Church in Cincinnati, with only Catherine’s sister Margaret Crusham and their brother-in-law Lawrence Wambaugh in attendance. They soon found that there are no secrets in the Crusham household. One of the siblings had seen the required announcement in the newspaper and alerted the rest of the family. A wedding reception was quickly put together by the family, lasting into the wee hours of the morning.
The bride and groom retired to the home of Joseph and Lillian (Hungler) Kubler. But they did not get to stay together for too long.
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