Category Archives: People

Finding Johnnie

Note: I wrote the following a few days ago, before I made contact with his son, Jack, who confirmed that the letters were written by his father.

When I moved my blog from self-hosted to WordPress.com many of the photos were misplaced. I’ve been going through older posts and fixing any missing photos. That’s when I happened upon the Letters from Johnnie posts again. And again I wondered what ever happened to Johnnie Gannon.

I’d searched for him shortly after finding the letters and blogging about them, and again every so often when I remembered him. I was never near successful until recently.

If you recall, in the last letter I posted (I actually found more later but never got around to posting about them), Johnnie mentioned that his tour might be extended. I don’t know if that actually happened, but he ended up making a career in the Naval Medical Service Corps, retiring as a commander.

I know this because I found his obituary. And his Find a Grave page.

He did go back to Washington, DC where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree from The George Washington University. He then earned a Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University.

Then, believe it or not, he lived in Bethesda for a while until he retired to Beaufort, South Carolina.

He was married twice. In 1960 he married Margaret Odessa “Peggy” Pope who was born in Montgomery County, Maryland. She and Johnnie had two sons. I’m thinking he probably met her when he was working in at Bethesda Naval Hospital. (Jack confirmed that Margaret worked at the Naval hospital too, as a business analyst). Margaret died in 2001.

John then married Joyce Anna Nestle but lost her in 2003.

I searched Facebook and think I found one of his sons’ Facebook page. I just now looked again and he’s posted his parents’ graves. And they are the same graves as on Johnnie’s Find a Grave page.

John Gannon died in 2014, two years before my mom died. But he was still alive when I found and posted about the letters. I wish I could have put them in touch before they both died.

Silly Hair Day?

Back row, L-R: Frank Patrick, Ray Choitz, Marge Choitz, Louis “Bud” Choitz, Louis William Choitz
Front Row, L-R: Emily Patrick, Jerry Choitz, Alvera Choitz, Leila Patrick Youngs, Ron Choitz, Anna Marie Nielsen, Grace Choitz, Charlie Choitz.

I scanned this photo on January 29, 2009. I was in possession of my grandmother’s photo albums for a brief period — on loan from my Aunt Corrine. Even though I edited it a bit, I never really looked at it until today when I was trying to figure out who was who. I assumed that the boy in front was my cousin Ron Choitz and noticed his hair was standing up in the middle. I assumed the wind had come by just at the point the photographer was taking the photo. Studying the other faces, I noticed that the boy on the left in the middle row also had hair that was sticking up. Then I noticed the looks on the adults surrounding him. What a hoot!

Grandma Patrick is not pleased, nor is Aunt Alvera or the two men and possibly woman in the back row.
I think that Aunt Leila finds it rather humorous though. Maybe even Great Grandma Nielsen.

Vintage Social Security Brochure

After her death, my mom had a few copies of her Social Security Card in various places in the house. I assume she lost one, then got another. I found this brochure at one point which still has the original stub attached.

What’s cool is that the stub and brochure are in perfect shape. It has to be nearly 70 years old! I assume it was issued around 1952 (only 17 years after the SSA was established).

I love the Monopoly-like illustrations.