Ron's aunt and uncle
Whittier, California  (1953)
Left:  Charley Madison Plummer (1904-1973)
Right:  Virginia (Kaczmarek) Plummer  (1909-2002)
Uncle Charley, born and raised in Los Angeles, California, often marveled at the rapid growth of that great metropolis.  During his childhood,
he said, the city extended a mere eight blocks in all directions.  Beyond that, stretched nothing but rutted dirt roads and rolling countryside.
Charley left home before his sixteenth birthday, lied about his age, and joined the U.S. Navy.  Eventually, he made it a career, rising to the
top enlisted rank of Chief Quartermaster.  Charley spent nearly his entire career at sea, with only a few months at a time on shore, between
ship assignments.  His first tour afloat, aboard the battleship USS Texas, lasted seven years.  In December 1928, Charley was reassigned
to the USS Tulsa, a patrol gunboat, and spent the next six years cruising the coastlines and rivers of China.  Charley retired from the Navy
in December 1936, at age thirty-two.  In those days, enlisted men could transfer to the Fleet Reserve with sixteen years of active duty, and
Charley exercised that option; however, he was recalled to active duty in July 1940, as the Navy prepared for the inevitability of war.  Charley
spent the duration of World War II at sea, in both the Pacific and Atlantic theaters of operation, first aboard the destroyer USS Schley and
later aboard the escort carrier USS Wake Island.  In October 1945, with the war over and much of the fleet in mothballs, Charley once again
retired.  Virginia had been married twice before, first with Leslie N. Vincent (Aug 1926-Jun 1940) and later with Thomas Stevens (Jul 1940-
Jul 1943).  With Vincent, Virginia had two daughters, Yvonne Helen (1929-1997) and Virginia (Chryss) (1931).  Together, Leslie and Virginia
ran a small photography business in New York, quite successfully; however, Vincent's infidelity ruined the marriage, resulting in divorce and
his deportation back to Canada.  Virginia's second husband, Navy Chief Water Tender Thomas Stephens (1909-1943), the love of her life and
an ideal soul mate and father-figure for the two girls, tragically went down with his ship, the USS Maddox, off the coast of Sicily in July 1943.
Charley and Virginia met in San Pedro, California, and married there in 1946.  In the early 1950's, they moved to the nearby city of Whittier.
In 1956, they moved with their young son, James Lincoln (1950-1978), to tiny Gold Hill, Oregon.  There, in a tidy house perched a hundred
yards above a bend in the Rogue River, Charley finally found peace in the solitude of the scenic Northwest.  Virginia, meanwhile, not quite
ready for retirement, became a successful real estate broker, serving a large portion of southern Oregon during the 1960's and 1970's.

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