George H Aden, age 96, of Solon Springs, WI passed away on Sunday, April 18, 2021 at Maple Ridge Care Center in Spooner, WI.
George Herman Aden born May 8, 1924 in Solon Springs, WI, the son of Henry and Anna (Schoone) Aden. George’s dad, Henry, lived by a seaport named Emden, Germany. His dad Henry came to the United States in 1912 and worked on a farm in Iowa before finding land in a Minneapolis cattleman’s magazine. He moved and settled on his property in Solon Springs in 1919. Henry married Anna M. Schoone on April 12, 1922. George is very proud of the fact that the land has been in his family’s name for 102 year.
While living in Solon Springs his dad was a stone mason, brick layer, and carpenter. George always said he was a good mason and always mixed his concrete correctly so it would last a long time, one shovel of mix to three shovels of sand. George was proud of his family, he said they were all hard workers and were kind and helpful to others. His mother worked hard everyday taking care of the family, gardening, keeping the house and helping with chores. His sister Emma was 14 months older, and was Valedictorian of her graduating class in High School. She moved to Oregon where she lived and worked until her death on June 25, 2020. George told me that when he was a kid there was a grocery store named, “The Fairway Store”, near where the grocery store is now in Solon.
One of George’s prized Christmas gifts when he was young was a runner sled that he kept all his life. His favorite candy was jelly beans and said he first tasted them at 8 years old and has liked them ever since. We made sure to keep him in jelly beans ever since we found this out up to his last day. George remembered being 9 years old when highway 53, then 2 lanes, was first paved with concrete in 1933. He remembered many a time before it was paved that they helped people whose vehicles got stuck. George planted one of the first trees in the school forest on May 10, 1934. He was 10 years old at that time.
The United States government called a then 18-year-old George to serve his country in WWII. He was drafted on February 14, 1942 and served in the 87th Infantry, 5th Infantry Division. He served 2 years 9 months. During his service he saw the following European countries; Ireland where he trained for 7 months, France, Holland, Belgium and England. He never made it into Germany because he was wounded. In 1942 George boarded the ship, Cape Town Castle, which was in a fleet of four ships bound across the Atlantic. He said each ship was filled with double its capacity. After training in Ireland, he again boarded a ship that landed in Normandy, France on Utah beach on July 10, 1942. Sixteen million American men were drafted into WWII. The battle began. George told how the German machine guns could shoot 1,300 rounds per minute compared to the American machine gun that shot 450 rounds per minute. Not a fair fight. At only, 19-20 years old George told of seeing things no one should see. One event that stayed in his mind all his life was about a wounded soldier on a stretcher being carried by four other soldiers. He and others saw the soldier on the stretcher hit in the stomach by a German artillery shell and all five men were blown to pieces. George said he saw legs hanging 60 feet up in a tree, body parts and blood all over. And they were told to march on. He saw fellow soldiers and friends shot right between the eyes. I’m certain that George suffered “Shell Shock” as it was referred to then or as it is referred to now, PTSD which was never diagnosed and he never got help to process. This is why he lived a very private life, not letting others in, and never marrying. On September 11, 1944 George was shot through his upper thigh of his right leg at about 3 a.m., in Metz, France. The German soldier was about 20 feet away on the other side of a barbed wire fence when he shot George. A soldier named Chester Farrell helped George to get medical attention after he was wounded. He was taken to a hospital in France where they found he had gangrene in the wound. The doctors talked about amputating, but decided to make four incisions hip to knee to drain the infection. Those were left open to drain for a month before being sutured. This saved his leg and his life. He was then sent to England to a hospital to recover for 3 months before being honorable discharged and sent home. George is a Purple Heart recipient and a true war hero!!
George worked at Nyrook Manufacturing in St. Paul, MN where he used a chop saw to cut pieces to make furniture. He worked at Superwood in Duluth, MN where he made pallets and one other company where he assembled wooden counsel TV cabinets.
George will be sorely missed by his friends in the Solon Springs Community. He loved Solon Springs and was very proud to call it his home.
He will be laid to rest at 2:00 P.M. on Monday, May 10, 2021 at Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spooner, where full military honors will be accorded.
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