Gerald Brooks Marrs, son of Willey Brooks Marrs and Maude Elsie Golden, was born 27 Feb 1913 in Grove Center, Union Co., Kentucky. He married Mabel Vivian Carr 18 Jan 1936 in Waterloo, Monroe Co., Illinois. Gerry died 24 Jan 2000 in Vancouver, Washington.
Gerald's birth certificate was written by a clerk who erroneously spelled his name just the way she heard it "Jurl". He did not know this until he had the occasion to obtain his birth certificate for entry to the U.S. Navy during WWI. Pat Carr thereafter addressed correspondence to him as "Jurl", just to tease him.
Gerald was broken hearted when his sister, Almeta, was sent to live with their aunt and uncle after their mother's death. He told his daughter Malina that he saved every dime he could to buy bus tickets to go visit her when she (Almeta) was little.
In the Navy he became a ship's mechanic, he latter used the GI bill to train for a profession in engineering.
Part of his obituary in "The Columbian", Vancouver, WA, Weds, Jan 26, 2000 read:
"A civil engineer who lived in Vancouver, WA since 1945, Gerald B. Marrs died in Vancouver on Monday, Jan 24, 2000. He was 86. Mr. Marrs worked for the state highway department for 25 years." ... "He graduated from Tri-State College in Indiana and served in the Navy during World War II. Mr. Marrs was a member of the American Legion, Smith-Reynolds Post 14, and the Battle Ground Elks Lodge. He enjoyed music, watching television and crossword puzzles."
This story is told by his daughter Malinda Marrs: "Dad never talked about the war much and I never pried because I thought he didn't want to talk about it. But when my boys were older and much enamored of the military, they asked him all kinds of questions about it, and this is one story he told. The ship he was on had engine problems and they simple could not fix it. Finally the captain called for a whole new engine and after some time the engine was brought out on a huge ship. The ships anchored near each other and a tug boat was deployed to carry the engine from one ship to the other. My dad was on the tug that went over to get the engine, which was loaded and they reached his ship fine, but before they unloaded the engine, the captain called down to someone on the tug :Did you bring my box of cigars?". The seaman said no and the captain was mad and told them to go right back to the other ship and get his cigars. So they turned around and went back and almost made it to the other ship when something went wrong and the tug began taking on water. The men got out in life boats, but the tug with the new engine went down. My dad was quite emotional when he said "I'll never forget seeing that beautiful new engine, so shiny and beautiful sink into the ocean, and all for a box of cigars!". I thought it was interesting that he thought an engine was so beautiful (a true mechanic) and that he was angry at the waste. He got shore leave after this incident, AND got a new captain."
Here is another great story from Marlinda: "During the war the GI's letters were censored in order to conceal from the enemy any location of troops, but before my dad left, he and my mother worked out a code using the middle initial of her name, so that she would know where he was. Each letter of the alphabet represented a different region of the world, So her middle initial would change when his location changed. My mom said "They never cracked our code". When I was cleaning out the house after my dad died, I found the list of codes."
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