The following article was found in the Jan. 14, 1943, Lowell Tribune on
page 4, columns 1-2:
For the first time in the past several months, Mrs. Emma Fleener has received word from her son, Pvt. Ralph Fleener, who is in the U.S. infantry "somewhere overseas." Ralph states that everything is going along fine and sent his mother a picture of the barracks he is stationed in.
The following April 15, 1943, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 6, column 4:
Pvt. Ralph Fleener, writes from "somewhere overseas" and says he is in the best of health and just received his last gift box from home before writing the letter.
This February 17, 1944, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 1:
Pfc. Ralph, who is stationed at Camp Robinson, Ark., is home on a 20-day furlough.
This December 14, 1944, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 1:
Fleener Boys Overseas
Word received by Mrs. Emma Fleener informs her that her two sons, Pvt. Marvin Fleener and Col. Robert Fleener, are now overseas with their outfits. Marvin recently has been transferred from England to France, and Ralph has just landed in England. Both boys were O.K. when the letters were written.
Note that while this article is supposed to be about only two of the Fleener sons, three of them are named.
This Lowell Tribune article was found in the January 18, 1945, issue (page 7, column 3):
Sgt. Ralph Fleener, who served 26 months overseas in the European theatre, phoned his mother Sunday from a port of embarkation in California, that he will get a crack at the Japs, too.
This February 22, 1945, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 1:
Mrs. Emma Fleener has received letters the past few days from three of her sons, who are serving overseas.
Pfc. Marvin writes that he is now in Luxembourg, Cpl. Ralph is in Holland, and Sgt. Ralph is in the Philippines. All of the boys said they were well and their one hope was that this war would soon be over so they could come home once more. They all sent regards to their many buddies here at home.
Note that "Ralph" is mentioned as being in two places at once and two ranks at once in this article, an obvious error in the paper. There were six Fleener brothers who served in the war.
This April 19, 1945, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 2:
A letter received by Mrs. Emma Fleener informs her that her son, Cpl. Ralph Fleener, has been awarded the Purple Heart for a slight wound he received last February. Ralph is with the 9th army in the heavy fighting now going on inside Germany.
This April 26, 1945, Lowell Tribune article was found on page 2, column 1:
We were in error last week in stating the T/Sgt. Ralph Fleener had received the Purple Heart. It should have been Cpl. Robert Fleener, his brother, who is with the U.S. forces in Germany, where he was wounded. Ralph is with U.S. forces in the Philippines.
The following article from the Times, Feb. 26, 1996, can be found in the Local History Files at Lowell Public Library (LH--Vital Statistics, vol. 4, page 115):
Ralph William Fleener, 81, of Lowell, IN, passed away at St. Anthony's Medical Center on Friday, February 23, 1996.
He is survived by daughters Carolyn Jane (George) Wells of Barringron, IL. and Judith (Bill) Bickel of Daytona Beach, FL.; granddaughter Kimberly Justis of Daytona Beach, FL.; brothers, Marvin (Pat) and Joe (Ruth) of Lowell, Thayne (Marge) of Indianapolis, Dan (Rose) of Remington, IN; sisters, Grace Loman of Hebron, Inez Sampson of Brevard, N.C. and Fan Barbara Sutton of San Antonio, TX and his friend and caregiver, Bethel Vanderipe and numerous nieces, nephews and the Drinski family in-laws. He was preceded in death by his wife of 40 years, Cecelia in 1987, his parents, Richard and Emma, brothers, Walter "Bud," Orville "Dutch," Robert and Richard Jr. and sister, Jane Allison.
Born in Manson, Iowa, Mr. Fleener spent most of life in the Lowell area, calling Creston his home for nearly 50 years. He entered the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1934 and traveled western states building roads.
A veteran of World War II, he served the U.S. Army as a construction equipment mechanic and was involved in military maneuvers in Iceland, Japan, Philippines and Europe. He retired from Calumet Construction in 1983. He was a 51 year member of American Legion Post #101 and the Carpenters Union Local #599.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, February 27, 1996 at 11 a.m. at the Sheets Funeral Home, 604 E. Commercial, Ave., Lowell, IN. with Pastor Bill Kortokrak officiating. Burial will be in the Lowell Memorial Cemetery. Friends are invited to call at the funeral home on Monday 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m.
The following article from the Times, Feb. 29, 1996, can be found in the Local History Files at Lowell Public Library (LH--Vital Statistics, vol. 4, page 115):
Ralph Fleener shared the bounty of his garden
BY SUSAN BERO
LOWELL - For 50 years, the residents of Lowell and the rural area formerly known as Creston sampled the many fruits of Ralph W. Fleener's labors.
"His large garden was the community garden," said daughter Carolyn Wells.
Her father, dubbed the "mayor of Creston" by the townspeople, always gave away vegetables and surplus corn from his fields.
He also supplied family and friends with beef from his cattle and brown eggs from his chickens. "Nobody left empty-handed," Wells said.
"He was proud of what he did and loved sharing it," she added.
Mr. Fleener, 81, who was a Lowell resident, died Feb. 23 at St. Anthony Medical Center in Crown Point.
Daughter Judith Bickel said her father enjoyed chatting with the many neighbors that stopped each day and spending time with his granddaughter, Kimberly Justis.
He also liked the state's premier sporting event, the Indianapolis 500, and attended the race from the 1930s until his health prevented him from traveling in 1992.