The Amazing Gift
Once in a great while something wonderful happens that is so thoughtful it gets your attention! Enter United States Vietnam Veteran Dennis Struble who served four years in the US Marine Corps, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 81 Mortars.
Recently Dennis had a call to remodel a house in Osceola from a lady who was selling her home. When he arrived, she told him to get rid of the two organs in the house that were no longer wanted. Fortunately, he had the heart to look for a new owner.
At first Dennis called a couple of churches to see if anyone was looking for an organ. Neither place needed another organ. Then he thought of his church friend, “Pete,” who might want one. Former Naval Commander Roland Petrie was featured in a 2008 issue of the former New Carlisle News. “Pete” was not only a United States Veteran from World War II, but also served our country in both Korea and Vietnam before retiring in 1970.
Pete was pretty excited with this surprise as one of the organs Dennis was offering was exactly the style he had always wanted—an organ with two separate manuals (keyboards). (For those of us unfamiliar with organ manuals, the largest organ in the world is in Atlantic City in the Bay Auditorium and has seven manuals or separate keyboards.)
Another friend of Pete’s who is knowledgeable about organs checked out the newly found organ. Other than needing tuning, this wonderful gift was in very good shape.
Much to Pete’s delight, the organ is now on one side of his home’s living room while his piano is on the other side. Pete’s appreciative wife, Marion, has the additional joy of often hearing beautiful and soothing organ music as she goes about her day. Hansel the Cat seems pretty happy, too!
Church parishioners at Hamilton enjoy Pete’s music where he frequently plays both the piano and organ, by ear! Sometimes when the main organist, Sherry Gray, is playing music on the organ, Pete joins in playing the same music on the piano—an extraordinary treat for all in attendance.
As a teenager, Pete worked at a funeral home learning many of the tasks there. During those early working years, he also taught himself how to play their organ. He also recalls, “Our local theatre had a pipe organ with a gorgeous sound!”
Although Pete always wanted an organ of his own, the opportunity to have one never came about––until now. Many thanks to Dennis Struble!