Richard Mathes Fenker1,2,3

ID# 1, (1910 - 1999)
FatherHoward Wieman Fenker4,5,6 (5 Apr 1883 - 17 Sep 1974)
MotherIrma Aurelia Sander4,7,6 (17 Jun 1883 - 25 Sep 1971)

Key Events:

Birth: 8 Oct 1910, 264 Hosea Ave., Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., Ohio4,8
Marriage: 12 Aug 1938, Nashville, Tennessee, Martha Watson Cobb (3 Oct 1909 - 26 Dec 1999)9,10
Death: 2 Jun 1999, Fort Worth, Tarrant Co., Texas11
Burial: Gallatin City Cemetery, Gallatin, Tennessee12
ChartsDescendants of Dr. Davis Green Tuck
Descendants of David Dutt/Toot

Copyright Notice

Narrative:

     Richard Mathes Fenker was born on 8 Oct 1910 in 264 Hosea Ave., Cincinnati, Hamilton Co., Ohio.4,8
     He moved about 1919 to Minneola, Florida, with his parents.13,14 He appeared on the 1920 Federal Census of Clermont, Lake Co., Florida, in the household of his parents, Howard Wieman Fenker and Irma Aurelia Sander.5
     Richard moved to Nashville, Tennessee, with his parents about 1924.14
Richard M. Fenker
photo by Calvert - Nashville
He graduated from Peabody Demonstration School, Nashville, Tennessee, in 1928.15,16
     He appeared on the 1930 Federal Census of Nashville, Davidson Co., Tennessee, in the household of his parents.6
     He graduated from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, in 1934, with a Bacholer of Arts degree in mathematics. He had attended the University of North Carolina from 1928 until 1932, and then one year at Vanderbilt.17
     Richard married Martha Watson Cobb, daughter of Dr. Robert Linah Cobb Jr. and Mary Louisa Logan, on 12 Aug 1938 in Nashville, Tennessee, in the presence of the immediate families and a few intimate friends. The ceremony was performed by the bride's uncle, Rev. William H. McIntosh, of Hatiesburg, Mississippi.9,10

Becoming an Actuary --- Text Stolen from ReigelRidge.com !! ---


     He was employed by Life & Casualty Insurance Company as an actuary until he joined the Navy in 1943. In 1940 he reported he had worked 44 hours the last week of March, and had worked 52 weeks the prior year, earning $1,300.15,18
     Richard and Martha appeared on the 1940 Federal Census of Nashville, Davidson Co., Tennessee, at 2405 21st Ave. South, enumerated 6 Apr 1940, reporting that they were renting their home, for $35 per month, and each had lived in the same city in 1935.19

A Naval Navigtor --- Text Stolen from ReigelRidge.com !! ---

Beechcraft SNB-1 Trainer
Naval History and Heritage Command photo20

     Richard enlisted in the Naval Reserve, and was commissioned as a Lieutenant Junior Grade 15 Jan 1943.21 He began active duty 2 Aug 1943 and entered the Navy Air Navigation School in Hollywood, Florida, a 16-week program. From Jun 1943 until Dec of that year he was an instructor at that school. During this time he was flying in Beechcraft SNB trainers. He was promoted to lieutenant 1 May 1944.22,17
     Martha joined him for at least part of his tour of duty in Hollywood. In Sep 1943 they were living there at 701 No. Ocean Dr.23
Martin PBM-3R Mariner taking off
Official U.S. Navy photo24
     From Dec 1943 to Nov 1944 he was assigned to the Naval Air Transport Service's Atlantic Wing, squadron VR-8, which provided seaplane service. While there he flew in Martin PBM-3R Mariner seaplanes, recording some 500 flying hours flying to Bermuda, the Caribbean, and South America.25,26
     He was transferred to the VR-11 squadran in Nov 1944, based at Naval Air Station Oakland in California, now Oakland International Airport. In the Pacific he flew in Douglas R5D Skymasters, the Navy transport version of the Douglas DC-4 airliner, logging some 1,500 hours.27,28
     Martha joined him for at least part of his tour at Oakland Naval Air Station. He drove the family across the country from Nashville in the fall of 1944 to a house he had rented in Berkeley, California.29,30
Douglas R5D Taking Off from Guam 25 Nov 1944
National Archives photo20

     A wounded evacuation squadron, VRE-1, was formed in Mar 1945, based in Guam, and he became a part of that squadron.His last duties were flying casualties out of Okinawa and POWs from Japan. He served with VRE-1 until Sep 1945.27,28,31
     He remained in the Naval Reserve after he left active service. He was promoted to Lt. Commander 1 Aug 1946. He was placed on inactive status 1 Jul 1952.32,33

Returning to Civilian Life --- Text Stolen from ReigelRidge.com !! ---


     After the war he was loaned by National Life to American Life Convention, a trade association of life insurance companies with head office in Chicago.15
     He became Actuary for the Department of Insurance and Banking for the state of Tennessee in Feb 1947.34
     He became Actuary for the Insurance Department of Mississippi in Nov 1947. He and Martha moved their family to 4444 Newton Dr., Jackson, Mississippi.35
     In Feb 1950 became actuary for Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company of Columbia South Carolina. He and Martha moved their family to an apartment at 23A-A3 Myron Manor, Columbia, South Carolina.36 While there they built a home on a wooded lot.37
     In 1951 Richard and Martha moved their family to Gallatin, Tennessee, so he could manage Rail Oil Company, a business established by his father. It was a distributor of Shell Oil Products in Macon, Sumner and Trousdale Counties. He eventually bought the entire business, which was sold in 1976 when he retired from active business.15
     He was elected to city council in Gallatin, Tennessee in 1969, and reelected in 1973 and 1977. While there, he served as Chairman of the Finance Committee from 1970 until the end of his term, and was appointed to the Power Board in 1970, later becoming its chairman. He was elected by the city council to one of Gallatin's memberships on the board of the Resource Authority (which built and operated a waste fired thermal plant), and reelected to a six year term 1981. In 1974 he was appointed to the planning commission.15
     Richard died on 2 Jun 1999 in Fort Worth, Tarrant Co., Texas, at age 88.11 He was buried in Gallatin City Cemetery, Gallatin, Tennessee.12

Children:
     Children with Martha Watson Cobb:

The children of Richard and Martha are still living.

Citations

  1. [S178] Richard Fenker, Certificate of Birth, shows name as Richard Fenker.
  2. [S182] Nancy Logan Fenker, Certificate of Live Birth, shows name as Richard Mathes Fenker.
  3. [S428] Howard W. Fenker household, 1920 U.S. Census, Lake Co., Florida, shows name as Richard M. Fenker.
  4. [S178] Richard Fenker, Certificate of Birth.
  5. [S428] Howard W. Fenker household, 1920 U.S. Census, Lake Co., Florida.
  6. [S485] Howard W. Fenker household, 1930 U.S. Census, Davidson Co., Tennessee.
  7. [S428] Howard W. Fenker household, 1920 U.S. Census, Lake Co., Florida, shows him as the son of her husband.
  8. [S428] Howard W. Fenker household, 1920 U.S. Census, Lake Co., Florida, shows age 9 and state.
  9. [S1997] Richard M. Fenker and Martha Cobb, marriage bond and return, shows date, county, state, and officiant.
  10. [S91] Martha Fenker, personal notes, typed list prepared by MCF, shows date.
  11. [S1995] Richard Mathes Fenker, Certificate of Death.
  12. [S110] Personal knowledge of author.
  13. [S250] Interview, Emilou Fenker Frazier, 3 & 5 Jul 2000, recalling they moved to Florida before she started in school, and story of health issues and schooling.
  14. [S260] Richard M. Fenker, Sr., "Richard M. Fenker Sr. biography", shows moved to Florida after First World War, then to Nashville 1924.
  15. [S260] Richard M. Fenker, Sr., "Richard M. Fenker Sr. biography."
  16. [S250] Interview, Emilou Fenker Frazier, 3 & 5 Jul 2000, recalling that she graduated from Peabody a year after her brother.
  17. [S8682] Richard Mathes Fenker, "Officer Service Record, USNR", Officer Qualifications Questionnaire, 25 May 1950.
  18. [S5287] Richard M. Fenker household, 1940 U.S. Census, Davidson Co., Tennessee, shows occupation as actuarial, industry as life ins. co.
  19. [S5287] Richard M. Fenker household, 1940 U.S. Census, Davidson Co., Tennessee.
  20. [S8684] Naval History and Heritage Command, online.
  21. [S8682] Richard Mathes Fenker, "Officer Service Record, USNR", Appointment in Naval Reserve, 29 Jn 1943.
  22. [S8683] Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Naval Reserve, 1 Jul 1944, pg 392, shows pay entry base as 2/08/43, date of precedence as 5/01/44.
  23. [S180] Martha Watson Cobb, Special Certificate of Birth and Affidavits, shows address.
  24. [S3458] Wikimedia Commons, online, Official U.S. Navy photo 80-G-K-13496.
  25. [S8682] Richard Mathes Fenker, "Officer Service Record, USNR", Officer Qualifications Questionnaire, 25 May 1950, shows dates, squadron, aircraft and hours.
  26. [S110] Personal knowledge of author, recalling stories Richard told of his flights in the region.
  27. [S8682] Richard Mathes Fenker, "Officer Service Record, USNR", Officer Qualifications Questionnaire, 25 May 1950, shows dates, squadrons, aircraft and hours.
  28. [S1265] Wikipedia, online, "Naval Air Transport Service," viewed Apr 2019, shows history of squadrans.
  29. [S8688] Taylor, "Terry & Nancy's Family History - Richard Mathes Fenker," e-mail to author, 30 Jun 2012, provided text from a 3 Dec 1944 letter from his father, J. Eugene Taylor, recounting his conversation with Dick Fenker in which he described taking the family to a rented house in Berkley.
  30. [S110] Personal knowledge of author, recalling stories Martha told of living and Berkeley and the arduous trip home.
  31. [S260] Richard M. Fenker, Sr., "Richard M. Fenker Sr. biography", shows last missions.
  32. [S8683] Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Naval Reserve, 1 Jul 1955, pg 224, shows rank and date.
  33. [S8682] Richard Mathes Fenker, "Officer Service Record, USNR", letter Commandant, Sixth Naval District to LCDR Richard Mathes Fenker, 31 Oct 1952, provides notification of transfer to inactive status.
  34. [S8682] Richard Mathes Fenker, "Officer Service Record, USNR", Officer Qualifications Questionnaire, 30 Aug 1947.
  35. [S8682] Richard Mathes Fenker, "Officer Service Record, USNR", Officer Qualifications Questionnaire, 1 Jun 1948.
  36. [S8682] Richard Mathes Fenker, "Officer Service Record, USNR", Officer Qualifications Questionnaire, 28 Aug 1950, shows address and details of job; Questionnaire of 25 May 1950 shows date.
  37. [S83] Personal knowledge of Nancy Fenker Reigel, recalling moving to the new house.