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Dr. Earl Trevathan looks through a collection of old letters that he and his wife wrote back and forth during WWII at his home last week. (Rhett Butler/The Daily Reflector)
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Dr. Earl Trevathan looks through a collection of old letters that he and his wife wrote back and forth during WWII at his home last week. (Rhett Butler/The Daily Reflector)

Handwritten history lesson

By Kim Grizzard

The Daily Reflector

4 Comments | Leave a Comment


There are hundreds of them, packed in more than a dozen tidy bundles, one for each month Trevathan spent a world apart from his beloved Ruth. Their wartime correspondence is largely responsible for helping to turn a six-month courtship into a 60-year marriage.

Gordon Earl Trevathan met Ruth Emily Franke in 1944 at the Naval School of Aviation Medicine in Pensacola, Fla. Trevathan, of Fountain, had joined the Navy after the invasion of Pearl Harbor. Ruth, from Wyoming, was among the Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service).


“We had a budding romance for six months,” Trevathan, 89, said in an interview in his Greenville home. “I gave her a ring and left for the South Pacific. We corresponded nearly daily until we each were discharged in April of 1946.”

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Dr. Earl Trevathan

Wonderful man, doctor and friend. Eternally grateful for his friendship and medical services. Brilliant doctor.

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Bless your heart
Bless your heart