Alice M. Hawkes was born 1916 in Poughkeepsie, New York the daughter of Leonard R. Hawks and Margaret “Maggie” Connolley. In 1936 Alice married Eugene R. Buechele in Poughkeepsie. Their son and my brother Alvin was born in 1939.You will see Alice referred to as Alice, Al, Sis and Sweetheart in these letters. My father will be referred to as Gene and Pal and my brother Alvin, as Alvie, Pal and Butch. Herbert M. Hawkes was born 1923 and his brother Foster L. Hawkes was born 1906. When both her brothers went off to war in 1942, Alice’s Baby Brother and her Big Brother were never far from her heart and always in her prayers. Herb was only 19 and Foss was 36. When I found these letters I knew they had a story to tell me. Since the majority of the letters I found were from Herb, I knew that my mother and Herb had a special family bond. Shortly after finding these letters, I became an avid genealogist with the guidance of a “second cousin twice removed” in California whose father and my mother were first cousins. I doubt my mother ever knew this cousin but when my “second cousin twice removed” and I met, a wonderful family history began to unfold before my eyes and I knew these letters would play an important part in that history.
As I began to transcribe these letters, the family trials and emotional upheavals of WWII as well as the war itself and the changes it brought in peoples lives began to reveal itself to me. Mom had already lived through the “Great Depression” and now was to experience the heartbreak of war and its repercussions. As I cleaned out my mother’s attic, the memories cried out, “Please Someone Remember Me”. Step by Step as I sorted through over 50 years of memories in my Mom’s house I found almost every item mentioned in the letters from Herb that had been sent to my Mother, Father and Brother and came across pictures depicting my Uncles in their uniforms, pictures with my brother, my grandmother, my mother. I knew that somehow I had to put all this together so I would know what it was like for them all in the days, months and years just before my birth in 1946 and further to preserve this history for family records and future generations. I firmly believe that we can’t know where we are going unless we know from where we came. I wish to thank Footnote.com for the opportunity to preserve these letters in digital form and to share these letters not only with family but with others who may find their historical nature of interest.
Family Ties are Lasting Bonds, Woven in Each Heart - To Keep a Family Close in Thought, Together or Apart.
With Love From Ginny - Yes Uncle Herb - I Remember Both You and Mom Fondly
Daughter of “Gene” and Alice Buechele
Granddaughter of Leonard and “Maggie” Hawkes
Niece of Herbert "Hawkeye" and Foster "Foss" Hawkes