This year there will be a great deal of hoopla over the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the British liner Titanic on her first voyage (see story, p. 48). My father, Carl Stillwell, felt a kinship with that event for the rest of his life, because he was born on 30 March 1912, a little more than two weeks before the great ship sank. For years, his mother noted that he was the same age as whatever anniversary was being observed.
He grew up very much a product of the Depression—creating a habit of frugality that lasted a lifetime. After he graduated from high school in 1930, he worked in a bank in New York City for four years to save money for college. During the summer vacations from undergraduate school at Elmhurst College—and later Eden Seminary—he served as a Merchant Marine officer. I still have his blue blouse with four faded gold stripes on each sleeve. Drawing on his business background, he was purser for Great Lakes cruise ships. As my brother, Mark, and I grew up, we heard his tales of being under way, taking care of passengers, seeing the Northern Lights, and steering the ship for fun when he got the opportunity.