Grandpa Loren The Family Man

Grandpa & Grandma outside their home in California (early 1940's)

Grandpa Loren married Darlyne Luhman on May 16, 1942 in Riverside, California.  Nine short months later they had their first daughter, Joanna.  Soon afterwards, Grandpa was drafted into the army to help fight in World War II.  By that time, the war was nearly over but Grandpa said, “They were scraping the bottom of the barrel.”  Because he was registered for the draft in Des Moines, he packed his bags and moved the family back to Iowa.  He was sent to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri for basic training but with a weak back, he didn’t last long.  He was honorably discharged after only serving ten months.

Rather than returning to the “glitz and glam” of California, Grandpa decided to help his father-in-law with his farm in Lohrville, Iowa.  It took some convincing but good old Papa Luhman did it; he convinced Grandpa to be a farmer.  This was no small task for a city slicker like my Grandpa.  I can’t even imagine what it was like for him to go from show business in California to farming in nowheresville, Iowa.  What a drastic turn of events!  Nevertheless, Grandpa pursued farming, even after his farming neighbors would poke fun at him from time to time.  On December 9, 1947 Darlyne gave birth to their second child Kathryn, expanding the family to four.

Farming was a modest living and quite frankly didn’t make Grandpa enough money to support his family.  He tried boring, part time jobs here and there.  He was everything from an assistant county tax assessor (fun), to car salesman, to finally teaching vocal music classes at the local high school.  Grandpa did anything and everything he could to support his growing family; which got even bigger in 1954 with the final addition being my dad, Kenneth, named after Grandpa’s older brother. Although his professional singing career was over, Grandpa was often asked to sing at weddings and funerals. He had been out of practice for a while and was reluctant to sing but his family eventually talked him into it.

The Family in 1960


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