Leo Isaac Brumley is my uncle and was born on July 12, 1922, in Kansas City, Wyandotte, Kansas. His parents are John Leo Brumley and Nellie Opal Sells. His siblings are Nancy Gertrude (my mother) 1920, John Brumley, Jr. 1925, Gerald Raymond 1928 and Shirley Ann Brumley 1938.
Leo and his siblings grew up in Kansas City, Kansas living in different neighborhoods as their father went from job to job working as a carpenter. Times were tough and everyone had to pitch in to do their part. Leo went through the Great Depression of the 1930s and saw his father struggle to stay employed in bad times. Many times he watched his father stand in line waiting for bread or anything to keep his family fed. He and his siblings learned a lot of valuable lessons during that time.
The 1940 Kansas Census of Wyandotte County shows he was a truck driver and he was seventeen at the time living at home. Two years later he meant and married Rose Ann Ratkey on May 9, 1942, in Kansas City, Kansas. On June 30, 1942, at the age of nineteen, he signed up for the WWII Draft.
Rose was welcomed into the Brumley family as Leo went off to war along with his brother John Brumley, Jr. He served from January 25, 1943, until January 29, 1946. He was a TEC5 in the United States Army. Those who held this rank were addressed as corporal, though were often called a “tech corporal”. Technicians possessed specialized skills that were rewarded with a higher pay grade. The pay grade number corresponded with the technician’s rank. T/5 was under the pay grade 5, along with corporal. Technicians were easily distinguished by the “T” imprinted on the standard chevron design for that pay grade.
He returned home after the war and he and Rose moved to Denver, Colorado sometime around 1957. They finally settled down around Wheatridge, Jefferson, Colorado where he had a tow truck business. They never had any children.
I remember one summer when my family took a summer vacation to Denver and we stopped to see Leo and Rose. My uncle took us to visit Central City, Colorado and to see the horse he had bought and boarded. It was a black stallion and he let it run free in a beautiful green valley. Even now I remember that valley and how it would have been perfect for a ranch style house.
Leo had diabetes and after a heart attack and a foot amputated he died on January 13, 1992. He was sixty-nine years old and was buried in Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver, Colorado. Rose never remarried and lived the remainder of her life in Wheatridge and died in 2010, she was ninety-one years old.
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