Ethan Allen “Al” Stewart was born in 1926 in New Jersey. Midway through his undergraduate studies, Stewart worked for over two years as a junior engineer for the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II, and then returned to MIT to complete his degree in mechanical engineering. He worked for Procter & Gamble and as an executive at Ford Saline and the Ford Research Center in Dearborn, MI. He and his wife Connie were married for over sixty years. He passed away on April 22, 2014.
Ethan Stewart was interviewed as part of an internship at Applied Safety and Ergonomics in Ann Arbor in 2008 as part of the Legacies Project.
Gertrude Nickels registers her son, Robert, for selective service, June 1942 Photographer: Attributed to Eck Stanger
Ann Arbor News, June 30, 1942
Of all the volunteer selective service registrars who recorded for Ann Arbor's youths between the ages of 18 and 20 today, probably none realized the full significance of the work more than Mrs. Gertrude Nickels (above) of 1820 Traver St. Widow of a First World war veteran, Mrs. Nickels is shown above registering her son Robert, 18 years old.
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Nelson Freeman was born in 1939 and grew up in Ypsilanti. He remembers being one of the few black children at his elementary school and the transition to high school with white friends. He also recalls how his father made sure local African American children had a night of their own at the local rollerskating rink, where he became one of the best skaters, and other social and business activities in town. Mr. Freeman spent time in the Navy and had a long career as a dental technician.