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Sharing Pitt Memories

It All Started for Us During World War II


Forrest C. Palmer:

It all started for us during World War II when my future wife was a Pitt senior. She was from Mt. Oliver and her maiden name was Lois Mae Davis (EDU '44).  I had been assigned in to the Army Specialized Training Program for Area and Language Studies. Pitt had been chosen to train future officers in Russian, German, Serbo-Croatian, and Greek.

Company H, of which I was a member, was originally housed on the 11th or 12th floors of the Cathedral of Learning until our permanent quarters were ready at the old Shadyside facilities at Ellsworth and Morewood. So, despite negation many years later by a Nationality Rooms tour guide, the Cathedral has, at one short time, housed Pitt students.

Lo and I met at a USO type canteen at the nearby YM & WHA, where she and other Pitt students acted as junior hostesses. From that day on, our courtship matured, culminating in our marriage on June 12, 1946, once I was honorably discharged from the Army after Pacific combat service and Army of Occupation duty in South Korea. We were married by the President of Geneva College in Beaver Falls, where Lo was on the faculty. We then moved to Valparaiso University in Indiana, where Lo was on the faculty while I completed my undergraduate degree. And, once again, she was on the faculty of George Peabody College (now a part of Vanderbilt University) while I completed the first of my graduate degrees.

Now flash forward to 2012. In June we will celebrate 66 years of marriage. We have three children almost in the “boomer” era, seven grandchildren (four of whom are college grads), and one great-grandchild. We experienced 40 years of higher education positions, culminating in my having been named Professor Emeritus upon retirement.

Lo still proudly wears her Heinz Chapel Choir Key, has a Pitt banner in the front yard, and treats our WVU neighbor with respect, even at the time of the “Backyard Brawl.”

Our lives and experiences have been blessed. None of it would have been possible had it not been for Pitt. We celebrate with you.