In Their Own Words:
Letters about
Robert H. Wilds, Jr., 1939

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South Carolina

Friday, Oct. 6

Dear Irene:

Since Harry is writing you and Bob, there is little for me to add, except my very good wishes and a welcome to you as a member of this rather large and complex family. I hope and believe that with your help Bob can achieve the security and purpose he needs for his future happiness -- and, that from now on, both his and your lives will be free from difficulties -- other than those which inevitably accompany living in this extremely troubled world --

Those problems seem part of every existence -- finances, health, and an attempt to steer ones' course wisely -- but with true companionship and a large measure of unselfishness, they can be managed.

From your letter and Bob's I have faith that you are on the right track. So, all the luck in the world to you both.

Yours Affectionately


Eleanor Phelps Wilds
to her stepson Robert H. Wilds, Jr.

South Carolina

Friday, Oct. 6

Dear Bob:

Your news is certainly very startling. I've just written Irene & want to add a word to you, yourself --

Through these long years when it has seemed so hard to give you any of the help you so badly needed, I have hoped that some factor would help you to "resolve" the component parts into unity; the problem was like a picture puzzle of which the parts were sound, but the pattern lost.

Now you have your pattern by which to put the pieces into their respective places. I am sure you and Irene both realize that there are many adjustments to make, unavoidable and unexpected check and pitfalls to overcome and, adding world conditions to personal problems, a future which will exact from you both a considerable amount of courage -- & faith in each other -- & in your joint future. From her letter and yours, I believe you both are trying to think clearly and act wisely. So, whatever plan you adopt and act upon, you can count on my interest sympathy and support.

Much love to you

Julia Wilds Cullum
to her brother R.H. Wilds, Jr.

To Mrs. Norman Cullum
South Carolina

Oct. 12, 1939

Dear Bob,

Please forgive me for not having written to you before but honestly I have felt so punk lately that I just haven't done any of the things that I should. Norman and I were so glad to get your letter and you can't imagine how thrilled we all are about your coming marriage. I know how happy and excited you must be now and thinking of you takes me back a few years myself!

Daddy let me read your letter and also Irene's. Bob, she sounds like a perfectly marvelous girl -- Daddy and Marni think so too and we are all just dying to meet her. It makes me sick that I haven't the money to come out for your wedding but at least we can look forward to seeing you Xmas time. You are a lucky boy to have the love of a fine girl like Irene and you must try hard to make her happy and to show her every consideration.

You are now making a new start on life and I hope from the bottom of my heart that it will be a long, happy and successful one for you both. As you know, Bob, I am not much at writing letters and I never seem to be able to say all the things I'd like to, but I do want you to understand that we, your family, and friends too, are "all for you" -- you have our blessings and we wish you all the luck and happiness that it's possible to have.

Please let us her from you often in the future. Give my love to Irene tell her how much we welcome her into the family.

Much love to you always,

[from an undated sheet of notes]

Robert H. Wilds jr. & Irene Hawkins Clark married Oct. 12, 1939 at Boulder, Colorado
First divorce proceedings started April 1943
Cancelled January 1944
Re-applied for in March 1944
Should have been completed October 1944 but through a technicality was delayed, finally granted on March 7th – Decree dated May 2, 1945 re-troactive to May 27,
Irene re-married March 28th 1945 to ----------- Tiikkainen
Last known address – on letter dated August 11th, 1945

Irene H. Tiikkainen Y/2c USNR-W
G120 Wave Quarters G
Florida Hall
Arlington Farms, Virginia

Bob made his will in June 1945 [sic] here in Aiken, leaving everything to Norman & Eleanor Cullum – Julia to be executrix

[Bob could not have made a will in 1945. Either he made a will in 1944 or the writer meant that the will was probated in 1945.]

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Copyright © 2011 Ellen Wilds, all rights reserved. Redistribution and/or reuse terms of license. Disclaimer for this document: "Letters of Robert H. Wilds are published here with the permission of Irene Clark Wilds Tikanen and transcribed by Ellen S. Wilds, November 2011. The materials published here are presented "as is", without warranty of any kind to the extent permitted by applicable law, and without any promise of validity and/or accuracy."