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in the United States, Howard said there wasn’t much fanfare from the Navy, though that he could recall. They were simply thanked for their service and then headed down the gangplank to get on with their lives.
By that time, Officer Oedel, who first boarded the battleship four years earlier, had moved up to become Lt. JG Oedel.
Howard went on to marry his wife, Carolyn, the girl he met in 5th grade and whose dad actually did some of the finishing touches on the USS Massachusetts before it set off to the high seas. He also achieved a Doctorate degree and taught history for several years.
Together, he and Carolyn had two children who they raised in Connecticut. His father, in the meantime, had managed to pur- chase a home and property in He- bron, where Howard remembers skiing down the hillside as a child.
“My family then summered here in Hebron when I was teaching,” he explained.
Approximately fifty years
November 2023
 ago, when his dad passed away, Howard and Carolyn retired from teaching and moved from their home in Connecticut to the house in Hebron, where they lived together until she, too, passed away just a few years later.
Still living today in the house they loved, Howard said he is one who believes in staying busy (his secret to longevity, he confessed) and had, therefore, begun an- other phase of his life after his retirement.
With his love for antiques and the history they contain, he founded the N.H. Antiques Associ- ation. Through the NHAA, he has helped organize events for the sale of antiques and remains an active part of the association still today.
“We started this with 12 mem- bers and now have 200 today,” Howard said with pride.
Through friends, he began to take part in the “Saturday Night Supper Club,” and toward the end of this summer, they all had a sur- prise for him. The members an- nounced that they wanted to take him to Fall River, Mass., to visit the battleship he served on, which is now a memorial to WWII, as
Howard Oedel of Hebron was thrilled when his friends of the local Saturday Night Supper Club at the Bridgewater Inn took him to see the USS Massachusetts over Labor Day. He served aboard the battleship for four years during WWII.
well as a museum. Hearing this, Howard was stunned. “I just thought it would be too rough to get down there,” he said.
Sherry Webber, Mary East- wood, and the others assured him it would be a fun trip, however. When he asked how he would ever get there, Webber said they would take him in a limousine, and when his eyes lit up, they ar- ranged to do just that.
“We’re just so glad we could get him down there,” said Webber. Seeing the USS Massachu- setts after all these years was heartwarming to both Howard and the group of friends who watched his reaction. Webber said it was “moving” when he first laid eyes on his battleship
after all these years.
Due to his age, Howard was
not able to make his way through many levels of the ship, but East- wood, his friend, and caregiver, was quick to video all the places he wasn’t able to get to so she could share it with him.
What amazed Howard most about the trip, however, was to discover that besides two sur- viving crewmen, he is the last

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