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NameJoyce Ena STROMAN
Birth26 Jul 1932, Elmhurst, Dupage Co. IL
OccupationHousewife, Jounalist , Musician , Business Owner3,4,5
FatherErvin Carl STROMAN (1908-)
MotherEna BRINKMAN (1906-1984)
Birth20 Mar 1930, Chicago, Cook Co., IL
OccupationProf Of Civil Engineering , Musician1,2
EducationBSCE, Purdue 1954; MS&PhD Theo & Appl Mechanics, NU 58 & 63
FatherJohn Ira ELY (1893-1958)
MotherBessie MARR (1894-1960)
Marriage1 Mar 1953, West Lafayette, IN
ChildrenTerry Joy (1953-1996)
 Echo Dale (1954-)
 Carole Anne (1956-)
 Carlton Marr (1965-)
Notes for John Frederick (Spouse 1)
1931-39 My first recollections are when I was about 1 or 2 yrs old at 10213 Peoria St., Chicago, IL. . I can also recall my first dog, Tootsie, a Toy Bulldog.
When I visited the Chicago area in 1997, the house was there and in great condition. The neighborhood however is surrounded by slums and demolished buildings

I can recall when I was 3 years old and dancing the Highland Fling at the 1933-34 Century of Progress in Chicago. My mother had to escort me off the stage when I never stopped dancing the sword dance. One of the famous performers at British Day was Ruth Pryor. I took dance lessons from Jessie Charleston and performed all over Chicago until I was about 7 years old.
I then started to play the drums and later the trumpet in the Mount Vernon Grade School Band. School Principal was Mrs. Swanee, and Mrs. Springer was the 4th grade teacher who helped me to skip the second part of 3rd grade. Mrs. Gallagher (I think) was the Kindergarten teacher and Mrs. Bone and VerHoven taught English.

1939-44 During the depression and thereafter it was tough going on income, and my father was unable to keep up the payments on the house on Peoria Street. We moved to a very large old house and yard rental at 1261 W. 102nd Place, Chicago. We had a Victory Garden during WW2, and I cut the large lawn with a push reel mower. During the 1997 visit I discovered that the house was gone and that the area was now a highway. Same for the 7351 Lafayette address mentioned below.

I lived at 1261 through 8th grade, 1st year at Fenger HS (which was held in the Mount Vernon School building), and then started 2nd year at Tilden Tech HS 4747 Union, Chicago. I used my grandfather’s address at 7351 Lafayette, which was in the Tilden district (I later found out it didn’t make any difference). After the dog Tootsie died, we purchased a registered collie, Laddy. He was my first collie.

1944-1947 We moved again to a cottage that we purchased on the Kankakee River 6 miles East of Momence. IL off State Rd 114. In 1997 the cottage was still there and not much changed except it did now have an inside bathroom and running water. We put in electricity after a year with kerosene lamps. My father worked as a welder at Burnside Steel, a foundry on about 95th street in Chicago. We drove the 66 miles each way from Momence to Chicago for my last three years at Tilden Tech HS at 4747 Union in Chicago. I graduated in June 1947. I was in the Tilden Band and took trumpet lessons from Forest Nicola at 208 S. Wabash Avenue, Chicago. Even before we put in the electricity, I had a battery operated portable radio that was able to bring WWL from New Orleans. The jazz came from the Roosevelt Hotel.

In 1947 I worked for a short time in Kankakee at A. O. Smith, on assembly line for hot water heaters and next to 120-degree ovens. I also played with a couple of dance bands. One was Earl Betourne out of Kankakee.
My father left Burnside and started at A. O Smith as well.

1947-1950 In the fall of 1947 I received a letter from Byron Nelson, my drafting teacher at Tilden, and he advised me to go for an interview at American Bridge Company of US Steel in Gary Indiana. I did and started a training program at American Bridge. One of their rules was waived, as I was not yet 18 years old.
I rented a room in Gary on Roosevelt Street, and made shop drawings for the fabrication of steel bridges and buildings.
Later my father started working at American Bridge as a welder, and we moved into a trailer at Bob’s Trailer Park, East of Gary, IN. I kept on playing with small combos in Cedar lake Indiana, Momence, and some small towns in Indiana. Started to improvise a bit more on the horn.

After a year or so at American Bridge I began designing steel connections and checking drawings of the Purdue students and recent graduates who came up to Gary for work and to gain experience. Eventually I had a standing appointment after each payday with the Chief Engineer, Marvin Leeper. I thought I should get as much pay as the people who made the drawings that I checked. Finally, after many conferences, he told me that without a degree, company policy would not allow me to make any more money for the time I had been there. This did it, and I told him I would go to Purdue and get a Degree. As I recall, I think I made $1.25 per hour.

1950-1954 In Jan 1950 I entered Civil Engineering at Purdue at midterm. Never had a course in Trigonometry as taught in HS and tested at Purdue, so I had to enter a noncredit math class. Got credit for all the drafting classes except Descriptive Geometry.
Got a room near campus at a cooperative house.

One Sunday afternoon I went to the Purdue Student Union to study, and I heard some music, the likes of which I had not heard in person, but it did sound a lot like the New Orleans music I had heard on the radio years before while in Momence. The ballroom was filled with a crowd of several thousand students, and after they finished a set of their concert I cornered one of them and asked about the band. They called themselves the Salty Dogs. That was it for me, and shortly I was a Phi Sigma Kappa pledge because all of the band were members of that fraternity. After Howy Simpson, the cornet player, graduated I began to play with the Dogs. My parents visited the campus and brought Laddy, who got himself photographed in the fraternity picture for the 1950 Debris, the Purdue Annual.

Classes went well. First summer I went home to Gary, played in a band at Cedar Lake and another at Momence. The next summer was spent at Surveying Camp as a requirement of the curriculum. I worked part time for professors by drafting and working in the structures and materials laboratories. I also was playing quite a bit with the Salty Dogs. During the next summer I worked on a research project in Gary Indiana. Several Ore Bridges had failed in Pennsylvania, and we were testing for dynamic loadings as the ore was moved.
Working on narrow angles a couple of hundred feet above the ore pile made me aware of the value of tying off on a steel member (when possible). It also gave me a lot of respect for iron workers.

In 1952 I met a wonderful girl, Joyce Stroman, who was studying English, Journalism, and Spanish. She was from Elmhurst Illinois, so when I was in Gary working on the bridges, it was possible to make a trip to Elmhurst and or Chicago where I played with the Salty Dogs at the Red Arrow on Sunday afternoons.

On March 1, 1953 Joyce and I were married. The last summer at Purdue was then spent with Joyce in Braddock, Pennsylvania where another ore bridge investigation was taking place. In May 1954 I graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and prepared to attend ROTC Summer Camp at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. After that I was a 2nd Lt. In the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.

1954-1956 With our daughter Terry and our black dog Salty, we headed for Fort Belvoir Virginia in our 1946 Plymouth while pulling the 14-foot boat with a 10 HP Mercury motor. An apartment in Alexandria Virginia was found, and the rent sucked out about all the money we had. Garbage cans with lids served as chairs for a while. A part-time job selling encyclopedias door-to-door got us out of the cash flow problem, but just barely. Basic Officers Training Course was completed, and then I was assigned duty as an instructor in fixed bridges. Enjoyed the duty, including most of the temporary assignment to replace bridges that were washed out in Connecticut and Rhode Island by Hurricane Connie.

Two more daughters, Echo Dale Ely and Carole Anne Ely were born while we were at Fort Belvoir.

1956-1963 The decision was made to return to graduate school at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. I liked teaching, and I decided too enter the graduate program in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics while teaching the Statics, Dynamics, and Strength of materials courses to undergraduates. Working on the Truss bridge Research Project was another of my duties.

My father and mother had moved to Homestead Florida where my father died of lung cancer in July 1958. My mother was having difficulties with memory and managing herself, so she went to a rest home. After a fall that broke her hip, she died during the operation on her hip. We moved from Elmhurst to Deerfield, Illinois.

Republican politics and a fight against Modern Community Developers motivated me to become active in the Goldwater for President Campaign with a demonstration at the convention.

While we lived at 904 Forest Avenue, Deerfield, John Frederick Ely, Jr. was born on 22 Oct 1958. Salty, the dog, jumped the fence and ran away, so we purchased our first Laddy, a Collie. We moved then to a larger home in Deerfield at 1421 Somerset Ave.

The MS Degree in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics came in 1958 and the PhD in 1963, at which time I was an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering. I had heard many times that it was usually a good idea to go to another school after the PhD, and the deep snow in Deerfield helped to make the decision to move toward warmer climes. A study of industries and universities led me to either Northrop Aviation in Birmingham or North Carolina Sate University in Raleigh, NC.

1963-1995 In July of 1963, with our new 1964 Oldsmobile wagon, boat trailer, five children, and Laddy, Joyce and I took off for Raleigh, NC. After a one-month stay in Cary with a rent option to buy deal, we decided on purchasing the first house we looked at when we first got to Raleigh. It is our current home in 2004, 1014 Canterbury Road, Raleigh NC 27607.

I began teaching essentially the same courses that I taught at Northwestern, but the class sizes were much different. Instead of maybe 12 to 30 students at NU, the classes were 40 to 200 at NCSU. My appointment was as an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, that is split between two departments. At NCSU I was drawn into the political life of the campus by being elected to the Faculty Senate of the University. This led to being elected as Secretary, Vice-Chairman, then Chairman of the Faculty Senate. Another similar duty was as Secretary to the Faculty Assembly, a body of Faculty from all the public universities in North Carolina.

I started the Salty Dog of Raleigh Dixieland Jazz Band in 1968, and we really had a go at it-still do when we can get a gig. See the other web site for more details about the Salty Dogs.

The Dean of the College of Engineering asked me to fill a position being vacated by retirement, Associate Dean of the College of Engineering. I began this duty in 1975, but always taught at least one course a year so as not to become too much of a paper pusher.

In late fall 1983 the first heart attack struck while I was in my office. In January I returned to work, but the second attack came at night February 4, 1984, and the by pass was performed on March 21, 1984. That really made a difference in my life-besides extending it. After recuperating in May, I started to play the horn again, and returned to work but back this time into the Civil Engineering Department.

After teaching and acting as the Coordinator of Advising for the Civil Engineering Department, I retired from the University in July of 1995.

1995-2004 Retirement was easy to get used to, with every day a Saturday, life looked great. Around the corner however was 1996-the worst year in my life. January 5, 1996 began with our daughter Terry, who lived in Switzerland; being diagnosed with a brain tumor. All our research on cancer, our trips over seas, having Terry in hospitals here in the U. S. A., and everyone’s prayers could not prevent her death in Rheinfelden, Switzerland on Nov. 26, 1996.
Other family members were in and out of hospitals, had automobile wrecks, and two hurricanes hit us-Bertha at the beach and Fran taking out 33 trees in our yard in Raleigh.

After 1996 life began looking a bit brighter and maybe 1996 brought some of us closer together. The Salty Dogs (started at Purdue in 1947) had a 50th reunion at Purdue followed by a concert in Chicago. I played the horn and renewed many old friendships. Take a look at the Joyce & John web site for details.

Golf, yard work, volunteer teaching to K-5th grade classes, and this web site have kept me so busy that it took from 1995 until August 2002 to clean out my office at NCSU.

Joyce talked me into purchasing a home in the mountains. We located one close to the beautiful one my daughter Carole designed and built. Our house is on a golf course (I wish I could play, even as well (ie poorly) as I did 30 years ago, and the temperatures are much cooler than in Raleigh.

Joyce had a bypass operation 13 February 2004, and this has kept us close to Raleigh and her rehab.

That is it for this edition about 1 Aug 2004.
Last Modified 27 Aug 2002Created 13 Nov 2007 using Reunion for Macintosh