Thursday, March 27, 2014

Linda, Judy and Bat ~ 1962 MWHS Grads and Fort Wolters PX Employees

Originally posted in Genealogy Traces in March 2012

U.S. Army and Air Force
Exchange Service Employees
1962 - 1966

  Dorothy Culwell Cox Calhoun, Office Manager

Jeff Jeffries, Store Manager, and Delores Foley
Elfreida Blocker Hinshaw and Florence Grimes
Judith "Judy" Richards
Wayne Blocker, and Winford "Bat" Masterson
Elfreida Blocker Hinshaw in Front of Fort Wolters PX

Following graduation from Mineral Wells High School, Winford "Bat" Masterson, Linda Ashford and Judith "Judy" Richards, all of the Class of 1962, took jobs with the U.S. Army and Air Force Exchange Service at nearby Fort Wolters. In 1962, Mineral Wells, Texas and Fort Wolters was the destination of thousands of helicopter pilot trainees and other military personnel who in time would find themselves embroiled in the Vietnam war.
We were a close-knit bunch at the PX and we enjoyed getting to know one another as we learned a new job. The older employees took the younger ones under their wings and made us feel that this, our first job, was a very important one. They taught us a great work ethic that I carry with me even today, and I'm sure Winford, Linda, and Wayne do, as well.
 SP4 Winford Masterson, U.S. Army
Winford worked for the Exchange Service at Fort Wolters for four years until he was drafted into the U.S. Army July 26, 1966. After he completed Basic Training in Fort Polk, Louisiana, he was assigned to the 5th Administration Co., Special Services section of the 5th Infantry Division, Mech. at Fort Carson, Colorado. After having two sets of orders canceled over a period of two years, one to Samara Ethiopia and another to Schofield Barracks on Hawaii, he was discharged from the Army in July of 1968. By December of 1968, the 5th Infantry Division was in Vietnam.
Winford returned to Mineral Wells and took a job with True Value Hardware Store, which at that time was owned by Hollis and Mary Ashford, parents of our classmate, Linda Ashford. Winford stayed with that store for over thirty-six years and retired in December 2004.
 Mr. & Mrs. Ben Van Etten

Linda later married Benjamin Van Etten, US Army helicopter pilot whom she met there at Fort Wolters. They have had a wonderful life full of travel, children, and grandchildren, finally choosing to retire near the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Mr. Jeffries, the Fort Wolters Base Exchange store manager in 1964, died suddenly of a heart attack two days after Winford came home for Christmas from Fort Carson in December of 1966. Everyone called him Jeff. Winford believes he was only 33 years old when he died.
Elfreida and Wayne Blocker were sister and brother. Elfreida worked in the PX office and Wayne worked in the shipping and receiving department. Elfreida later married and lived in the Mineral Wells area. She died during the fall of 2011. Wayne is now married to the former Charlsie Sparks and they own and operate Blocker's Bargain Barn and Beauty Salon on South Oak in Mineral Wells. Elfreida, Wayne and Charlsie are all graduates of Mineral Wells High School.
Dorothy Foley died of cancer not long after Winford got out of the service in 1968, and Florence Grimes passed away in a nursing home in Mineral Wells later in her life. Dorothy Calhoun died after a massive stroke in 1991. She had retired from the Base Exchange and was happily remarried to William Paul "Bill" Trump. He died in 1993.
At the time these pictures were taken in 1964, Judy was engaged to be married to a soldier she had met on a "blind-date" arranged by friends at the PX, Kay and David Hotson. David was in her fiance's unit on the base and he thought his friend needed to get away from his desk! Judy and Robert Allen "Bob" Shubert got married April 4, 1964 at the Eastside Church of Christ in Mineral Wells. Her uncle, Raymond R. Stone, married them, and her grandfather, James Dolphus "Doc" Gailey, gave her hand in marriage.
 PFC Robert A. Shubert, U.S. Army, 1962
Shubert was a SP5 with the 303rd ASA BN when he and Judy left to make their home in Tennessee, and he returned to finish school at Tennessee Tech University. They have been married 48 years and have three children and six grandchildren. Fort Wolters played a huge part in their lives; indeed, in all of the lives of those pictured above!
On the occasion of our 50th graduation anniversary, Winford waxes nostalgic, "The years have passed quickly. It hardly seems possible that it has been fifty years and we have all grown old; but life has been good, and the Lord has blessed."
Black and white photos privately owned by Judith Richards Shubert and held by her. Digital format. Digital copies in this collection given to Boyce Ditto Library with her permission and permission of only known living persons in photographs. March 15, 2012
Van Etten, Linda and Ben, Privately owned by the Van Ettens, Digital format used with permission, Judith Richards Shubert, March 15, 2012 
Masterson, Winford, Privately owned by Winford Masterson, Digital format used with permission. Judith Richards Shubert March 15, 2012
Shubert, Robert, Privately owned by Robert Shubert, Digital format used with permission. Judith Richards Shubert March 15, 2012

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