Kids these days don't know how lucky they are. (That is the most "old guy" sentence I've ever written.)

When we get in the car, Ayla and Hailey think it's their job to tune the radio. If I'd tried that when I was a kid, my dad would have slapped my hand and asked, "What the heck do you think you're doing?"

With Dad behind the wheel, it was either the classical music station (not classic rock, but Beethoven and Bach) or it was what passed for talk radio in the 1970s. That meant a lot of Paul Harvey.

So, my formative years were spent listening to some smooth-voiced man say, "And now ... the rest of the story."

A Sailor's Tale

For the Jan. 7 Post Bulletin, I wrote a story about a sailor from Kellogg who died during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that started our country's involvement in World War II. Lloyd Timm died along with a couple of hundred of his fellow crewmen aboard the USS Oklahoma on Dec. 7, 1941.

I learned about this – and the fact that his body had been identified and will be returned to Kellogg for burial – on Jan. 6, 2020. In the process of writing my story, I tried to find some next of kin to talk to about Lloyd, but was unsuccessful before deadline. 

Well, last Wednesday one of those family members – Lloyd Ness of Woodbury – called me back. 

"I was supposed to call you about Lloyd Timm," Lloyd Ness said. "Does that ring a bell?"

Yes. Yes it did. And, now, I'm going to tell you ... the rest of the story.

Step Aside, Paul Harvey

Here's what I learned from Lloyd Ness. First, he's the nephew of Lloyd Timm, son of LaVonne, who was the youngest of the Timm siblings and probably about 4 years old when her big brother died at Pearl Harbor.

Second, Ness said his memories of his Uncle Lloyd come from a few stories he, his siblings and his cousins heard from their parents. But most were stories about a kid, not a young man. 

"He was a kid," Ness said. "He died at 19."

Being named for his uncle, Ness said he did think about him from time to time. If he was having a bad day or a tough time in life, he said, "I’d think how would it be to be 19 and be killed by a torpedo?"

Things could be worse. I can still go on. That was a lesson from Uncle Lloyd. 

Family Connections

Ness said he and three relatives submitted DNA samples about four years ago, and those samples were matched to a few remains belonging to Lloyd Timm: an arm, a leg, his skull.

Those remains will be returned to Minnesota for a burial on Memorial Day. Uncle Lloyd will be buried at Greenfield Cemetery in Kellogg. There's no room to bury him next to his own parents there, so he'll be buried next to Ness' sister, Jeanie Lienke, who was the one who went to all the family reunions and learned as much as she could about the family both in her present time and from back in the day.

"She would go to the survivor reunions, so I think it's fitting he'll be buried next to her," Ness said, not that Jeanie, who was born in 1959, would have ever met her Uncle Lloyd. 

Jeanie, like Lloyd Ness, grew up in Rochester. Both graduated from John Marshall High School, so the family certainly has roots across the area. But not all the cousins stayed in the area. 

Thanks, Uncle Lloyd

Lloyd Timm came from a fairly big family. He was one of six siblings – all of whom have passed away at this point – including four boys and two girls. But, like many families, the offspring of the Timm family has begun to spread out in the world.

Lloyd Ness said the military will fly in up to three relatives for the burial in May. Two of the relatives who plan to come are cousins Ness said he hasn't seen in about 30 years. So, even though he's gone, Uncle Lloyd is still bringing the family together.

"It also adds a lot of closure to this," Lloyd Ness said. "We had a choice of where we wanted to do this. We decided Kellogg was where he grew up and Kellogg is where he should be buried."

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