Saturday, November 18, 2006

WILD RICE NEWS - November/December 2006 - Sgt. Melvin Moudahl

Remembering my uncle, Melvin Maudal (Moudahl) he was the second oldest of the six Maudal children, born in February 28, 1914. As a Marine, he would receive the purple heart and other medals. He enlisted in the Marines and was stationed at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack. Melvin fought the war on various islands in the South Pacific, including Guam where he died trying to rescue drowning sailors.

Mevlin died before I was born, but his niece remembers him bouncing her and her sister on his knee. On the cover, Melvin is with his brother-in-law, Elmer Westmark, and his sister, Emma Maudal.

Melvin was confirmed with his brother, Thomas, in 1930 by B.L.Opdahl at the Wild Rice Children's Home. Emma Maudal, born on March 13, 1913, was confirmed in 1929. Once they were confirmed, the children left the Home.

Lloyd Aronson sent this picture of him with his brothers, Milton and Reuben, on the steps of the Wild Rice Children's Home in March of 1925. His mother was a cook at the home. Lloyd writes "My family is spread out all over, I have a son and two daughters in Michigan, a daughter and son in Arizona, and a son in Wyoming. I have 18 grand children, 27 great grand children, and 9 great great grandchildren. We had a family reunion last summer with other 150 people, and some couldn't make it. It sure was nice to see everyone,a some I had never see before or for many years.

"I am now 90 years old, so I am thankful for what I can do, and I am always puttering with something. That keeps me going."

Florence Mortensen is doing very well, after her successful surgery at the Mayo Clinic. She sent the following picture from the Wild Rice Children's Home News, November 1931. (She is sitting on the right side of the couch).

This issue also contains a letter written to one and a half-year-old Donna Orvedahl, (the daughter of Superintendent Orvedahl) by Caroline Ness and Alma Maudal (Margie Westmark) both who were at the home at the time of the fire:

"Dear Donna,

We haven't written to you for a long time so thought we would drop you a few lines.

How are you getting along Donna? I hope you will never forget Caroline and I. We miss you so much. We hope we can come down and play with you again some time. When you get big we hope you will help your mama and daddy with every little thing, and be a good little girl as we know you will.

You will have to try and come down this fall. It is so long since we have seen you. I bet you have gotten big, and we supposed you can say quite a few words now.

Donna, what do you do all the time when you haven't anyone to play with? I presume you play with your daddy.

Many times Caroline and I sit and talk about all the good times we used to have down there at the Home. We sure hope they build up the Home again. We miss it so much. When you go down to South Dakota you must be sure to come and see us. I suppose you have been away most of this summer, haven't you?

We have received letters from the girls at Lake Park. It seems that they are having lots of fun. Well we too are having lots of fun. We are getting along fine in school and in Sunday School, too. Why didn't you come down for the Fall Festival? I presume you went to Lake Park. The Ladies' Aid from Fairview served dinner. It sure was a big feast, that is what all us kids call it.

Last year do you remember how after school Caroline and I would come running down and ask if we could play with you, and we would have lots of fun, wouldn't we, Donna? We hope we can get to play with you again even if they don't build up the Home again.

May God bless you little Donna and your mama and daddy and all the rest.

Lots of love, your everlasting friends,

Caroline (Ness) and Alma (Maudal)

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