Author Archives: Sandy Shinn

Military History – December 2018

The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory, on the morning of December 7, 1941. The attack, also known as the Battle of Pearl Harbor, led to the United States’ entry into World War II. The Japanese military leadership referred to the attack as the Hawaii Operation and Operation AI, and as Operation Z during its planning.

Japan intended the attack as a preventive action to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions they planned in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States. Over the next seven hours there were coordinated Japanese attacks on the U.S.-held Philippines, Guam and Wake Island and on the British Empire in Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

The attack commenced at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time (18:18 UTC). The base was attacked by 353 Imperial Japanese aircraft (including fighters, level and dive bombers, and torpedo bombers) in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four sunk. All but the USS Arizona were later raised, and six were returned to service and went on to fight in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. One hundred eighty-eight U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded. Important base installations such as the power station, dry dock, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section), were not attacked. Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 64 servicemen killed. One Japanese sailor, Kazuo Sakamaki, was captured.

The surprise attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. The following day, December 8, the United States declared war on Japan, and several days later, on December 11, Germany and Italy declared war on the U.S. The U.S. responded with a declaration of war against Germany and Italy. Domestic support for non-interventionism, which had been fading since the Fall of France in 1940, disappeared..

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Sharon Kay Sebilsky

Sharon K. Sebilsky, 77, of Waverly, Iowa passed away on Saturday, September 22, 2018 at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo, Iowa.

Sharon Kay Sebilsky was born on May 5, 1941, the daughter of Lawrence William and Caroline Winona (Rewerts) Moeller in Waverly, Iowa. She was baptized on June 29, 1941 and confirmed on March 25, 1956, both at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Waverly. She attended Wapsie Valley Community Schools and graduated from Readlyn High School on May 19, 1959. On July 28, 1962, she was united in marriage to Leon “Bob” Sebilsky at St. Mary Catholic Church in Waverly, Iowa. Sharon was employed at Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community, Shell Rock Care Center and then for the City of Waverly from 1979 until retiring on March 28, 1997. Following her retirement, she worked at Frontline Gear & Specialties and at WalMart.

She was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church. Sharon enjoyed baking chocolate chip cookies, attending Waterloo Black Hawks Hockey games, but most especially, spending time with her family and friends.

Survivors are her daughter, Kimberly (Jeffry) Traeger of Waverly, Iowa; son, Brian Sebilsky of Waverly, Iowa; two granddaughters, Katie Traeger and Samantha (Donnie) Soash; great grandson, Bentley Soash; two sisters, Carol (Jim) Kattelman of Cedar Falls, Iowa and Pam (Howard) Simonds of Oelwein, Iowa; brother, David Moeller of Cedar Falls, Iowa and faithful companion, Chloe. She was preceded in death by her parents; and husband, Leon “Bob” Sebilsky on May 5, 2005.

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Roger William Metzger

Roger William Metzger, 80, of Waverly, Iowa, and formerly of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, passed away on Sunday evening, 11 November 2018 (Veterans Day) at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics following a brief illness.

Roger was born on 7 September 1938, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of William B. and Emma (Wiederhold) Metzger. He attended the Boys Technical High School in Milwaukee and in December of 1955, while a student he joined the U.S. Marine reserves. Roger graduated from high school in January of 1957 and on 14 September 1957, he was united in marriage to Judith D. Reinke in Milwaukee. With Roger’s military career the family lived in California, Virginia, Arizona, moving to Waverly in 1973. In February of 1957, Roger went to boot camp in MCRD, California and in April of 1957, Roger was discharged from the reserves and enlisted as a regular Marine, serving on the U.S.S. Shangri-La Aircraft Carrier in 1957-58, served overseas and a tour and a half in Vietnam. Roger transferred to the Fleet Marine Corps Reserves based in Waterloo, Iowa, where he retired from the service on 31 August 1976. Following his 21 years of service to his country in the U.S. Marine Corps, Roger then worked for Dales DX Service Station in Waverly from 1976 until he retired in 2001.

Roger was baptized in October of 2014 in Waverly and is currently a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. He was a longtime member of the Marine Corps League, American Legion Post #176 and V.F.W. Post #2208 (now known as the Waverly Area Veterans Post) where he held several offices, currently was on the Board of Directors and responsible for all honor and color guards. In his spare time Roger enjoyed reading, shooting, and spending time with his family and friends. Roger was a very faithful member of the Waverly Area Veterans Honor Guard – helping pay respect to many many veterans that have gone before us.

Roger is survived by his loving wife, Judy Metzger of Waverly, Iowa; two sons, William (Deb) Metzger of Waterloo, Iowa, Douglas (Tammy) Metzger of Norwalk, Iowa; one daughter, Sherri (Mike) Boomgarden of Allison, Iowa; 11 grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; 1 great great grandchild; and a sister, Ruth Metzger of Milwaukee. He was preceded in death by his parents; a grandson William; granddaughter Ashleigh; a brother and his wife, Bernie and Deanne; a sister and her husband, Irene and Bob Zuback; his mother and father-in-law; 1 brother-in-law and a sister-in-law.

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Richard Paul Oberheu

Richard “Dick” Paul Oberheu, 81, of Janesville, died Thursday, October 25, 2018, at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown.

Dick was born April 4, 1937, in Waverly, Iowa, the son of Arnold and Hilda (Roloff) Oberheu. He was baptized April 25, 1937 and confirmed May 18, 1951, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Waverly. He graduated from Waverly High School with the class of 1955. He served in the United States Navy from January 16, 1961 until his honorable discharge on January 14, 1963. On June 12, 1965, he was united in marriage to Marilyn J. Walther at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Waverly. He worked for Ramker Construction in Waverly until starting his own construction company, R.P. Oberheu Construction Inc, which he ran until 1993. He then switched careers and became a realtor and started Dick Oberheu Realty, a company he ran from 1995 until 2014. Marilyn died December 3, 2013, and Dick continued to live in Janesville until entering the Iowa Veterans Home in 2016 due to declining health.

Dick was a longtime member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Waverly. He was also an active member of the Waverly Rotary Club, serving in many capacities over the years. He was an avid bird watcher, nature lover, and could fix about anything. Dick thoroughly enjoyed his group of friends, known to themselves as the “Steak Group”, that would gather each month for food and conversation. He cherished all the moments he had with friends and family.

Dick is survived by his son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren, Jason, Deveny, Logan and Locklynn Oberheu of Janesville, one sister, Norma DeLavergne of Cedar Falls, one brother, Howard Oberheu of Warrenton, Virginia. He is preceded in death by his parents, wife Marilyn, two brothers, Vernon (Donna Kay) Oberheu and Robert Oberheu, and one brother-in-law, Rex DeLavergne.

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Bernard E. “B.E.” Mick

Bernard “B.E.” Mick, 94, of Waverly, Iowa passed away on Thursday, August 30, 2018 at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa.

Bernard Eugene Mick was born on March 14, 1924 in Bussey, Iowa, the son of Fred Lyman and Sylvia L. (Olson) Mick. Bernie attended school and graduated in 1941 from Bussey High School. He then attended Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa for two years, followed by Northwest Missouri State, at Maryville, Missouri, in a Navy V12 unit. From there he was sent to Wellesly College in Massachusetts in a Navy Midshipman School. In September of 1944, he received his commission as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy Supply Corp., receiving orders to be Asst. Supply Officer on the U.S.S. Rigel AR 11, a repair ship. He went aboard ship on Thanksgiving 1944 in Hollandia, New Guinea and then moved up to Leyte Gulf in the Philippines. He spent 12 months there repairing landing craft that were damaged. At the end of WWII he spent six weeks in Manila and then returned to San Francisco. Following separation from the service in Sept. 1946, he attended the University of Iowa, graduating in 1947 with a B.S. in Commerce Degree.

On February 14, 1948 he was united in marriage to Patricia A. Wood in Diagonal, Iowa. He had met Patricia while at Simpson College.

Bernie became associated with Spurgeon Mercantile Co., a chain of ladies Jr. dept. stores in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, and Wisconsin. He trained in stores at Fairfield and Marshalltown, Ia., and managed stores in Albia, Ia. and Portage, Wis. In 1952 he became a buyer in Chicago, living in Skokie, IL., for 10 years. In 1962, Bernie and Pat purchased the Schlutsmeyer Ladies Dept. Store in Waverly. Over the years they expanded to other stores in Waverly including Patricia Fashion Fabrics, Elegant Woman, The Denim Patch, The Bridal Gallery and Home at Heart, as well as stores in Cedar Falls and New Hampton. The stores have always been a family business with all of the family involved. To date, only the original store, B.E. Mick’s in Waverly is operating. It has been purchased and is operated by Robert and Ruth.

Bernie was Cub Scout Master in Skokie, Il., and a member of the American Legion and Amvets. He was a Rotarian for over 40 years, serving as president from 1981 to 1982, and received the Paul Harris Fellow recognition. He served 20 years as Rotary Goodfellows Chairman. He was also director of the Corwin Co. in Kansas City, Mo. Locally, Bernie was an active member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, the Waverly Community Symphony, and a member for the Bremwood Lutheran Children’s Home. He also served as a member and director for the Waverly Chamber of Commerce and the Waverly Public Library. Bernie was a big sports fan, supporting the Waverly-Shell Rock Go Hawks, Iowa Hawkeyes, Wartburg Knights, and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Bernie was a proud service man, accomplished businessman, and a good citizen, however, his number one priority was his family. Above all, he enjoyed spending time with his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Bernie is survived by his four sons, Stephen E. (Cynthia L.) Mick of Waverly, Ia., Gary L (Marie A.) Mick of Guttenberg, Ia., Robert C (Ruth A.) Mick of Waverly, Ia., and Jeffrey W. (Lore’ A.) Mick of Waverly, Ia.; and 12 grandchildren, Valerie and Dan Aguilera, Natalie and Colton Wears, Ryan & Verity Mick, Brandon & Abigail Mick, Laura & Samuel Rosa, Christina & John Erickson, Neil & Joy Mick, Elizabeth Mick and Alex Wyrick, Leah and Nate Edwards, Reed and Malinda Mick, Drew Mick, Hannah Mick; and nineteen great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Pat in 2007, and three brothers F. Wayne, E. Raymond and Harold L.

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Irene May Brinkman

Irene May Brinkman, age 90, of Waverly, Iowa, and formerly of Allison, Iowa, died on Tuesday, July 31, 2018, at University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa.

Irene was born on May 26, 1928, in Allison, Iowa, the daughter of Henry and Effie (Ahrens) Dickman. She attended country school in rural Allison and then attended and graduated from Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Irene then returned to Allison and taught country school. On October 17, 1947, Irene was united in marriage to Harvey Brinkman at the Little Brown Church in Nashua. In 1950, the couple moved to Waverly, Iowa. While living there Irene worked at State Bank of Waverly and in 1972, the couple bought the Waverly Bowl Inn. During their retirement, the couple spent winters in Arizona. They moved to Lake City, Minnesota in 1982, and later moved back to Waverly in 1998.

Irene was a member of Peace United Church of Christ in Waverly and the Waverly AMVETS Auxiliary. She enjoyed playing bridge with friends, fishing, golfing, and traveling, however, what Irene enjoyed most was time with family, especially her grandchildren.

Irene’s memory is honored by: a daughter, Joyce (Mike) Vermace of Coralville, Iowa; a son, Steve (Tammy) Brinkman of Mitchell, South Dakota; six grandchildren, Jennifer (Scott) Matthiesen, Johanna (Ryan) Wasileski, Andrew Brinkman, Ashley (Ryan) Carrison, Jennifer (Brandon) Goergen, and Valerie (Nathan) Ruml; nine great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; a sister, Faythe Fox of Allison, Iowa; and a brother-in-law; Dean (Marge) Brinkman of Ackley, Iowa. She was preceded in death by: her parents; her husband, Harvey on January 1, 2005; and a brother, Emery Dickman.

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Military History – August 2018

Berlin Wall, 1961 – 1989

The Berlin Wall (German: Berliner Mauer) was a barrier that divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. Constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany), starting on 13 August 1961, the wall completely cut off (by land) West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin until it was opened in November 1989. Its demolition officially began on 13 June 1990 and was completed in 1992. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, which circumscribed a wide area (later known as the “death strip”) that contained anti-vehicle trenches, “fakir beds” and other defenses. The Eastern Bloc claimed that the wall was erected to protect its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the “will of the people” in building a socialist state in East Germany. In practice, the Wall served to prevent the massive emigration and defection that marked East Germany and the communist Eastern Bloc during the post-World War II period.

The Berlin Wall was officially referred to as the “Anti-Fascist Protective Wall” (German: Antifaschistischer Schutzwall) by GDR authorities, implying that the NATO countries and West Germany in particular were “fascists” by GDR propaganda. The West Berlin city government sometimes referred to it as the “Wall of Shame“—a term coined by mayor Willy Brandt—while condemning the Wall’s restriction on freedom of movement. Along with the separate and much longer Inner German border (IGB), which demarcated the border between East and West Germany, it came to symbolize the “Iron Curtain” that separated Western Europe and the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War.

Before the Wall’s erection, 3.5 million East Germans circumvented Eastern Bloc emigration restrictions and defected from the GDR, many by crossing over the border from East Berlin into West Berlin; from which they could then travel to West Germany and other Western European countries. Between 1961 and 1989, the wall prevented almost all such emigration. During this period, around 5,000 people attempted to escape over the wall, with an estimated death toll ranging from 136 to more than 200 in and around Berlin.

In 1989, a series of radical political changes occurred in the Eastern Bloc, associated with the liberalization of the Eastern Bloc’s authoritarian systems and the erosion of political power in the pro-Soviet governments in nearby Poland and Hungary. After several weeks of civil unrest, the East German government announced on 9 November 1989 that all GDR citizens could visit West Germany and West Berlin. Crowds of East Germans crossed and climbed onto the wall, joined by West Germans on the other side in a celebratory atmosphere. Over the next few weeks, euphoric people and souvenir hunters chipped away parts of the wall; the governments later used industrial equipment to remove most of what was left. Contrary to popular belief the wall’s actual demolition did not begin until the summer of 1990 and was not completed until 1992. The fall of the Berlin Wall paved the way for German reunification, which was formally concluded on 3 October 1990.


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Marlys Ann Ellison

Marlys Ellison, 93, of Waverly, Iowa passed away on Wednesday, July 18, 2018 in the ER at Mercy West Lakes Hospital in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Marlys Ann Ellison was born on January 9, 1925, the daughter of Richard and Agnes (Krueger) Platte in Bremer County, Iowa. She was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Bremer, Iowa. Marlys graduated from Waverly High School in 1942. On September 20, 1942, she was united in marriage to Milan C. Ellison at Trinity Lutheran Church in Bremer, Iowa. After their marriage, the couple farmed north of Bremer until 1961, when they moved to a farm in Western Douglas Township.

She was a member of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Waverly. She was a great cook, gardener, loved to read, crossword puzzles and an avid sports lover, especially the Chicago Cubs and the Iowa Hawkeyes. Her greatest passion was spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Survivors are her daughter, Sandi (Bill) Garner of Mountain Home, Arkansas; son, Dr. Steve (Bonny) Ellison of Des Moines Iowa; six grandchildren, Beth Garner (Jeff Coghlan), Michael (Roxanne) Garner, Laura Lee (Wolfe) Tone, Jennifer (David) Carpenter, Mark (Melanie) Ellison and Becky (Kevin) Sanft; 14 great grandchildren, Amber Garner, Garrett Garner, Katie Carpenter, David Carpenter, Ellie Carpenter, Regan Vandiver, Kailey Vandiver, Eli Sanft, Hank Ellison, Marlee Ellison, Nyah Ellison, Rowan Tone, Wolfie Tone and Avery Coghlan. She was preceded in death by her parents, Richard and Agnes Platte; her husband, Milan C. Ellison on April 22, 2006; sister, Arlene Kincaid and brother, Wayne Platte.


James Warren Darrah

James W. Darrah (Jim) 87, of Waverly, Iowa, passed away peacefully Thursday morning, July 12, 2018, at his residence with his family by his side.
Jim was born on September 20, 1930, in Rochester, Minnesota, the son of Clarence and Aletta (Bronner) Darrah. Jim was the first and only son of this marriage. He started school in Rochester. When he was 7 years old his parents moved to a small inland town called Maple Leaf, Iowa. He attended grade school in a one room school house 1 mile from his home. He graduated from Elma High School in 1949. On August 31, 1950, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served during the Korean War. On August 5, 1953, he was united in marriage to Zona Gale Stevens in Cresco, Iowa. Jim was honorably discharged from the Navy on June 1, 1954, in San Francisco, California. He served 18 months on the Island of Guam; and then came back to the states for Damage Control school for 4 months. On completion of his schooling he was assigned to the General J.C. Breckenridge TAP 176, where he finished his time in the Navy.
When Jim and Zona returned to Iowa, he followed in his father’s footsteps, which being a creamery manager/butter maker. He managed 3 creameries before joining The Minnesota Chemical Company in St. Paul, Minnesota. Jim was a salesman for 35 years, selling dry cleaning chemicals and equipment, and was certainly a legend in this industry. He traveled Europe learning the equipment he was selling, along with what was being manufactured here in the U.S. Jim always would tell people he loved getting up in the morning and going to work. He loved not only his work, but he loved the people he serviced over the years. On March 5, 1986, he along with co-owner Charlie Dunlap and manager Sherri Dralle (Jim’s daughter) opened Classic Cleaners on Main Street in Waverly. This was his pride and joy as he showcased it by bringing prospective dry-cleaning customers to see a working cleaning business.
In January of 1999, they sold the business to Sherri and Steve Dralle where they continued operating until the devastating fire on December 27, 2017. Jim retained his title of V.P. of Foreign Affairs (jokingly & lovingly title) until his passing as he continued to advise in decisions.
In 1998 his loving wife of 44 years, Zona, passed away. On January 23, 1999, he was united in marriage to Velda Mae (Lampe) Schaefer in Mesa, Arizona, at the Velda Rose Methodist Church. They traveled to Germany, Ireland, and many other places. Velda passed away 8 years after marriage. In 2008, Jim married Deanna W. Stuart at Trinity United Methodist Church in Waverly.
Jim was a life member of Trinity United Methodist Church and a life member of American Legion, VFW, and Amvets. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge, Eastern Star, El Kahir Shrine and Kiwanis Club of Waverly.
Jim is survived by his wife, Deanna of Waverly, children, Steven (Dawn) Darrah, Sherri (Steve) Dralle, and Sandi Renner all of Waverly. Step-sons, Alan (Val) Schaefer, Kevin (Shannon) Stuart; step-daughters, Becky (Gene) Severson, Elaine (Jeff) Rasmussen, Kathy (Scott) Hamilton. Seven grandchildren, Steve James Darrah, Kiersten (Aaron) Foster, Lauren (Jarod) Peters, Crystal (Brian) Mennenga, Nicole Schneider, Andy (Stacy) Barber and Mandy (Ryan) Brumm. Step-grandchildren, Chad Renner, Robert (Renae) Renner, Ryan and Morgan Kuhrt, Chris Severson, Patrick (Melissa) Severson, Jared Severson, Andrea (Schaefer) McFarlane, Matt and Ryan Rasmussen, Danielle (Tyler) Stoppelmoor, Jon Hamilton, Ben, Anne and Derek Stuart; 23 great grandchildren and 1 great great granddaughter, Hadley. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Zona, wife Velda, sister and brother-in-law, Marilyn and Francis Ott, brother-in-law, Gerald Stevens; grandchildren, Michael and John Darrah, Adam Schneider, and son-in-law, Rand E. Renner on August 7, 2017.

Bonnie Jean Kukral

  • Bonnie J. Kukral, 87, of Waverly, died on Thursday, July 5, 2018 at Clarksville Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Clarksville, Iowa.

    Bonnie Jean Kukral was born on June 29, 1931, in Cresco, Iowa, the daughter of Earl and Caroline (Kapler) Wilson. She attended the Cresco school system, graduating in 1950 from Cresco High School. On June 7, 1950, she was united in marriage to Edward J. Kukral in Cresco. The couple made their home on the family farm until 1956, when they moved into Cresco. In 1959, the family moved to Waverly where Bonnie & Ed owned the Farmer’s Friend from 1960-1962, and Kozy Korner Café from 1970-1972. Bonnie then worked at Fred’s Super Value, Tenenbaum’s Jewelry and 17 years at the First National Bank, retiring in 1990 as the branch manager of the west office. Ed died on November 12, 1992, and Bonnie remained in her home until April 15, 2013, when she became a resident of the Clarksville Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center.
    She was a longtime member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Waverly. Past Matron of O.E.S. (where she was a 50 plus year member), Past President of Hospital Auxiliary, a lifetime member of the V.F.W. Post # 2208 Auxiliary and a member of Amvets Post #79 Auxiliary. In her spare time Bonnie enjoyed working with ceramics, sewing dresses & cloths, baking and canning. But most of all spending time with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren gave her the most joy.
    Bonnie is survived by her four children; William “Bill” (Nancy) Kukral of Waverly, Michael “Mike” (Lisa) Kukral of Waverly, Robert “Rob” (Vicky) Kukral of Nashua; Carol (David) Gomez of Shell Rock; 8 grandchildren, Katie (Troy) Resor, Lindsay (Wyatt) Haukap, Ben (Amy) Gomez, Jessa (Joe) Nichols, Shannon (Jay) Nielsen, Jacob and Jo Kukral and James (Marian) Zapf; 10 great grandchildren, Toby & Tyler Resor, Oscar, Everett and Rye Haukap, Brayden Gomez, Ashley Nielsen, Max, Nick and Mia Zapf; one brother, Henry (Phyllis) Wilson and their children of Tucson, Arizona, nephews, Alan Kukral and Pat (Kim) Wilson. Bonnie was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Edward 1992; son, Charles “Chuck” Kukral and two brothers, Dr. Thomas Wilson and John Wilson.

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