I was born in a small town in northwest Iowa in 1931, lived and went to school there until I was 17. Dad enlisted in the Army early in 1942, earned a commission and served in Europe until the end of the war. He returned to Iowa, went back to his previous job and started his own business. He didn’t like his job, the business didn’t bring in enough money for the family, one brother and one sister, and Mother and Dad sold most of their belongings and their house and Dad rejoined the Army. After a refresher school he was ordered to Germany. My senior year of high school was in an American dependents’ school in Heidelberg.
Returning to Iowa, I attended Iowa State on a Navy ROTC scholarship. I graduated in 1954 with a degree in zoology and went on active duty as an ensign in the Navy. I served three years on a destroyer in the Pacific, home port Pearl Harbor. I was damage control officer, then assistant engineer officer, then, for a year, engineer officer, perhaps the only ship chief engineer officer the Navy ever had who had a BS in zoology.
I served two more years in the Navy as a Navy ROTC instructor at Cornell University, then fifteen years in the Navy Reserve, achieving the rank of captain and earning a Navy retirement.
After leaving active duty in the Navy I became a student at Cornell and earned an MS in wildlife management. Then I moved to Indiana and worked for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, first as assistant manager of the Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area, then assistant manager of the Upper Wabash Reservoirs, then manager of Salamonie Reservoir. I retired from the IDNR in 1991, bought a home in the country in Noble County and a motor home. Until my wife got cancer, in 2010, we spent about half the year living in our motor home and half at our country home.
My wife and I were married in 1963, raised four children, two girls and two boys, who are all college graduates and self-supporting.
My wife died in July, 2012. My older daughter lives with me and looks after me.
I have always liked the outdoors and birds and am a conservationist and an environmentalist. I don’t write specifically about conservation but mix my opinion in with stories about a bird, a mammal, a plant or other outdoor subject. The editor of one paper using my articles called them soft-sell conservation.