Art was born in 1931 and was the oldest of four children. He spent time selling shoes while in college in Warrensburg, Mo., where he received a degree in chemistry and math and a teaching certificate.

His family was worried he would get sent to Korea since he had a college degree when he was drafted. He went through boot camp at Camp Chaffee, Ark. Art was called out of boot camp and was deferred from going overseas when the Army found out he had a teaching certificate.

The Army wanted Art to teach soldiers how to read and write so they could stay in the Army. Art was already married when he entered the service. He and his wife Betty were sent to Fort Ord, Calif.

Art was set up in a small classroom setting and was sent soldiers that could only sign their own names and that was about all of their writing skills. There were about 50 soldiers in his classes. Art was very surprised that there were so many men who were unable to read and write.

He ordered books for the men and spread out the classes in order to give the men more personal teaching time.

The Army offered Art a commission to stay in the service and continue doing his teaching, but Betty and Art wanted to start a family and so he ended his time in the military in 1955.

Art was glad to serve his country and knew that he helped a lot of men stay in the service. The military was good to him and his wife.

Art spent time after the military working at Westinghouse as a manager and then got his broker’s license and managed an office in Lee’s Summit.

Art and Betty have four children; eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Art’s hobbies are playing bridge and photography.

Peggy Sowders, a city of Independence staff member, compiles  stories from veterans from around the area at the Truman Memorial Building. Contact her at or 816-325-7979 if you are interested in helping a veteran tell his or her story.