Julius, Gerald and Annie Laurie Petrus
Gerald Theodore Petrus
Gerald was born March 15th, 1922. He was the third of three children. His father, Julius Raymond Petrus, died of Yellow Fever in the Venezuelan oilfields when Gerald was just 4 years old.
Gerald & Julius Petrus
Gerald's first marriage was to a woman named Ruth whose last name I do not know. Gerald had one daughter from this marriage named Donna. As the story goes, Gerald remarried while Ruth was away at her mother's and never saw his daughter. Gerald's second marriage was to Eilene Joyce Nelson. Their children were:
David Gerald. David married Janet Elise Saint and they had three children. Erin Shawn, Wanda Elizabeth Hess, and Kelsey Diane Petrus.
Diane Joyce Petrus.
As a young man, Gerald served the U.S. Navy in World War II aboard the battleship USS Idaho.
Newspaper clipping (unknown source, probably Beeville, Bee Picayune)
Although only 19 years old, Gerald Petrus has already seen far-off lands and participated in events which have been chronicled in blaring headlines in recent weeks.
A graduate of Skidmore High School, Petrus enlisted in the Navy two years ago and is at present aboard the USS Idaho, a battleship. he visited one day last week with his grandmother, Mrs. Theodore Priour of Skidmore, and with his mother, Mrs. Ella Petrus of Odem. His father died in a South American country when Gerald was only a few months old.
Gerald was able to spend only a day with his relatives and then returned immediately to his station. Relatives said they were not authorized to reveal the city where he is temporarily stationed. the youngster is well acquainted with the present combat zone in the Pacific ocean, having been aboard vessels which were based at Pearl Harbor and in the Philippine Islands. He was later transferred to the Atlantic fleet, so he passed through the Panama Canal Zone.
Petrus was one of the crew which helped rescue survivors of the torpedoed destroyer, Reuben James. He told relatives one of the torpedoes narrowly missed his boat. For some time his ship was anchored in an Iceland port.
U.S.S. Idaho BB-42
Gerald died November 4th, 1994 at Spohn Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas. He burial took place on November 7th, in Ingleside, Texas.
We visited Gerald and Eileen once at their home in Ingleside, Texas. I remember they had the most delicious beef jerky, which if I remember correctly, was made from venison. Uncle Gerald was a farmer and ran a "fruit stand" in Ingleside. He used to come visit my dad and go dove hunting in Skidmore. -- Keith Petrus
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