Lowell Menchhofer, 75th Infantry Division
Lowell was born in Mercer County, Ohio in 1924 and was drafted into the army on March 29th, 1943. He reported to Fort Thomas, Kentucky for induction, and went to Camp Blanding, Florida for training in meteorology. He was sent to England by ship and landed in Liverpool in late 1944. He drove a Jeep across England to the east coast where he shipped over to France in December and ended up in the Battle of the Bulge. He clearly remembers hearing “battle noises” in the distance on Christmas Eve, 1944. Lowell said he got there after the peak of the fighting when Patton's army was chasing the Germans back to Germany. “We were an infantry outfit and couldn't keep up with Patton, who I guess was trying to get his name in the papers.” He spent the next few months driving his Jeep, delivering supplies and ammunition while helping to evacuate wounded to the rear areas. He said the Jeep was very versatile considering it “was not much bigger than a baby carriage.” He recalls one time when a German tank opened fire on him and he jumped from his Jeep into a side ditch where he found a medic tending to a soldier with a wound to his back. Lowell stated he could hear the German 88 shells flying overhead, but they never hit his Jeep even though they shot 8 to 10 times. Once the tank had stopped firing (presumably it was out of ammo), he and the medic loaded the soldier onto the Jeep and got out of there. Lowell says he was shot at numerous times but “I didn't get scratched.” For his actions during the battle, he was awarded a Bronze Star. Lowell said he resented the medal, and felt it was undeserved. In the spring of 1945, he was sent to a redeployment center located about 90 miles east of Paris where GIs were being transferred back to the States. Lowell had a daughter at home and was able to get “ahead of a lot of guys that probably should have gone home before me.” He returned to the US in December and was released from military service.
Lowell Nevada Menchhofer, 91, of Portland, IN passed away on April 23, 2016 at Parkview Medical Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Lowell was born September 21, 1924 at home in Washington Township, Ohio the son of Daniel and Alice May (Schroyer) Menchhofer.
He graduated from Fort Recovery High School class of 1942. Following graduation, he served with the U.S. Army during WWII. During the war on December 8, 1943 he married his sweetheart, Martha Alberta Somers and they settled in Portland, Indiana.
After the war Lowell took advantage of the GI bill to get a degree from Capitol University, and spent many of his working years as an insurance agent in Portland. He was an active member and positively contributed to Zion Lutheran Church during his life.
Lowell and Alberta lived, raised their children, met their grandchildren and great grandchildren in the home they made in Portland. They celebrated 70 years of marriage before Alberta's passing in 2014.
Friends and family remember Lowell as having a quick wit, delivering clever one liners that brought easy laughter to every moment. He loved a good discussion, a good puzzle, and to spend time with family. He was always available for a wise word of advice.
He and Alberta kept a garden and cooked at home for every meal so of course everyone loved to eat there. Lowell was proud of the family legacy he watched blossom before him over the years and we are proud to call him our Dad, Grandpa and Great Grandpa.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife Alberta Menchhofer (Somers), a sister Leila Maury (Menchhofer), two brothers George Ivan and Albert Irvin Menchhofer and grandson Ben Enyart.
Surviving are his sister Marcell Yarian (Menchhofer) and his four daughters Brenda Bradley (husband Jack), Carol Orr (husband Larry), Marla Laux (husband Jim) and Anita Enyart (husband Don). Also eight grandchildren Heather Kime, Kim Adkins, Sean Enyart, Tansy Williams, Clare Rakestraw, Andrew Orr, Casie Meijome and Missy Orr. Nine great grandchildren Jordan, Trinity, Taylor, Brett, Foss, Dylan, Frederick, Abby and one more on the way (Anna). Finally of course many nieces and nephews who loved him as well.
The family invites relatives and friends to share thoughts and memories during visitation on Thursday from 4:00-7:00 PM in the Baird-Freeman Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be Friday April 29, 2016 at 10:00 AM in the Zion Lutheran Church with Pastor Mark Strietelmeier presiding. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the church. Burial will be in the St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery in Wabash, Ohio.
Memorials can be made to Zion Lutheran Church or Choice of the Donor.
Online condolences at www.bairdfreeman.com.