Working with these priceless archives I can't help but begin to feel closer to relatives I had not known in life. Even the anecdotes which survive, however factually muddied they may have become with the sands of time, do not distract from the clarity of an expression on a face caught in a moment of light and printed on each of these visual treasures.
Sometimes I imagine which of Grandpa Gordon's character traits I may touch when I interact with my own mother, my Aunt Betty or one of my cousins. Either way, what a wonderful thought to know we can live on through each other as long as no one remains an island.
|Second Seaman Co. - U.S. Naval Training Camp, Seattle, WA|
As best I know Grandpa went into the Navy because of the United States' involvement in the Great War (1917-18). I'll let him tell you in his own words (found written on the back of the above image) where he can be located in the photograph.
|Gordon R. Findahl|
I am so happy to have found another copy of this photo used initially in my Facebook Album for Grandpa. This has reproduced so much better. (Please visit Gordon's photos at:
There is a news clip from his obituary that says he came to Detroit, MI from Galesburg, IL in 1918.
We don't know much about his Navy service and up until now all we knew was written in his "Memorial Tribute" book which states he was a World War 1 veteran discharged September 30, 1921.
Just recently I found a copy of "Knox County, Illinois - The Honor Roll 1917-1918-1919" on the internet (digitized by Google) published in 1920 stating Gordon was a "Seaman, Second Class, U.S.N.. Entered the service at Chicago, June 3, 1918; to U.S. Naval Training Station, Seattle, Wash.; in service 6 months; discharged Dec. 9, 1919. The link to this information is here:
Grandparents & Friends:
|Friend Al Nystrom & Grandpa Gordon (ca. early 1920s)|
|Back Row: Charles Heidel, Edna Wendler, and others we can not identify at this time.|
Front Row: Anna Heidel, my Grandma Martha & Grandpa Gordon
This is a companion photo to one that can be found here in my Grandmother's photo album: http://tinyurl.com/286dssy
There is a 'companion' photo to this (located here: http://tinyurl.com/26ll9o3) and upon close inspection I can see they are taken at different times, although same location. This looks like a Halloween party. Also, I feel certain we incorrectly believed this was taken in Galesburg, IL. Instead it looks like the living room at a friend's home in Detroit.
At the very center of the photo is my Grandmother's good friends Edna Wendler & her sister Adelaide Boike who were Detroit people. (I'd mentioned earlier that I knew Adelaide's daughter Dorothy through my mother.)
In the front row there is my Grandmother with her hand on Grandpa and the fellow next to them front and center kind of ducking down a bit still looks very much like Carl Swanson, a Galesburg friend of my Grandpa's, which threw us off as to the location of the photo originally.
|Grandpa Gordon and Grandma Martha's Marriage Certificate (December 23rd, 1922) although Grandma's last name Kulick is misspelled|
|Gordon & Martha Findahl|
|Good friend Cecil Little and Grandpa|
|Gordon & (most likely) a friend from work (October 1938)|
Grandpa Gordon came to Detroit from Galesburg and began working at Ford Motor Company around 1920. Of some documents that have survived I wanted to share this interesting recognition of a proposal Grandpa made for process improvement. Grandpa made other proposals throughout his career at Ford.
This letter was included because the signature of Henry Ford II was hand written. (Later anniversary recognition letters were not as personalized.) Grandpa would go on to work at Ford until his death in 1958.
|Grandpa was a foreman at Ford Motor Company, shown here being recognized for his years of service.|
|Grandpa Gordon with daughters Betty and Marjorie|
|Grandpa at home with a cousin from California and daughter Marjorie|
|Grandpa with daughter Betty, mother Jessie & Granddaughter Joanne (early 1950s)|
|Grandpa Gordon and Grandma Martha (late 1950s in front of my parents' home in Detroit.)|
|Gordon Findahl at home in an early color photo (1951)|
Grandpa Gordon died in 1958 but he still lives on in our hearts.
* * *