Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veteran's Day in Sumas - featuring lost warrior, Donald Nugen (1918-1942)

 From the Civil War to the present times Sumas had many young men and women have served proudly.  During the early settlement of Sumas many of the men who arrived  were Civil War Veterans trying to start a new life.  The veterans are an important part of our community to this day.

picture 1

photograph taken by Deborah Morgan, November 11, 2015

This monument garden was an Eagle Scout project from several years ago.  The list of the vets buried at the Sumas Cemetery are displayed for all to see.

Unfortunately, not all of the heroes of Sumas are buried in our little cemetery.  Some simply didn't come home.  So it would be difficult to get a true count on how many came from our town.

Who remembers Donald R. Nugen, who was raised in Sumas in the large house on the southeast corner of the intersection of Sumas Avenue (then known as Walnut Street) and Garfield?  His parents were Dr. Dorcie Ray and Naomi Nugen.   They relocated from Indiana and became very well respected members of the Sumas social scene.  Dr. Nugen was a popular physician who served Sumas well.  Their son, Donald joined the army right out of Nooksack High School in 1936.  He served in the 31st. Infantry in the Philippines  Sadly he died in 1942 a prisoner of war on the Bataan.. His body was listed as not recoverable.

Dr. Nugen went into despair after words of his only son death came to him.  According to an interview with Jospehine Fadden (who worked at the bank at the time),  Dr. Nugen came into the bank and demanded angrily that all the war bond posters to be torn down.  He was devastated.
Picture 2 
Source of the clipping is unknown.

Picture 3
Picture posted with permission from Mr. M. Miller's collection

Gold star mother, Naomi Nugen

Naomi threw herself into the works of several community activities.  She received support from the members of the Double A Club.  

After the death of Dr. Dorcie and Noami Nugen, there was a generous scholarship fund put into place at Nooksack Valley High School for lucky college bound recipents.  The Nugens had no heirs to inherit their estate and hopefully many young students were able to benefit from the Dr. D.R. Nugen Scholarship fund. A hollow replacement for losing their son. 

Picture 4
Source of clipping is unknown. (glued in a scrapbook)

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