In December, our community lost an upstanding citizen and I lost a dear friend with the passing of Martha Loeffler.
I met Martha in the early '90s when she wrote an article for The Bee regarding the Holocaust. She asked any survivors or liberators to contact her. Thus began a friendship in which Martha and I joined forces to speak at schools, service clubs, etc., hoping to keep alive the memory of those who lost their lives in the Holocaust. It was our hope to prevent such atrocities from ever happening again.
After being widowed, Martha started a successful writing career. As I entered my 80s, I felt compelled to record my experiences as an ambulance driver in Europe during World War II. I asked Martha if she would consider doing it. She replied, "Yes, Jim, but I am 90 and you're 84, so we've got to get with it." After many exchanges of email snippets and the skillful editing of Mark Haskett, I self-published "Saving Lives, Saving Memories." It's an attractive paperback book, and about 1,500 copies have been sold. Martha later told me she thought it was her best book.