ELKINS, W.Va. – On Friday residents in Elkins came together to celebrate women who worked during war times.
Sixteen women had their names on certificates as Mayor Jerry A. Marco of Elkins handed them out at the Randolph Elkins Public Library. Every woman worked in some capacity during war times, earning them the nickname of Rosie the Riveter.
“Elenore Roosevelt started this incitive and she urged young women to get involved in the war effort and she encouraged companies to hire these young women because the man force had left because they were fighting the war, the actual war,” Joan Tacy, niece of Josephine Cutright, a certificate recipient, said. “So, the women came along, and they filled the positions that the men used to hold.”
Some certificates were accepted by family members, but some were also accepted by the Rosie’s themselves.
“We are talking about women that are well into their 90’s,” Bobbi Trimboli, volunteer for Our Town, said. “We want to make sure to them that we can express how we feel about their service and to keep the movement going so they can be recognized for a lifetime.”
“I was a typist,” Ruby Coberly said. “I went to work looking at pictures to tell what they were for a while, and they found out that I could type and so they made me a typist and I typed cards to put on pieces of the equipment and parts of the airplane and they were shipped farther out… I think it’s nice that the people that really did do a lot to be in these books, but I didn’t do as much as lots of the women did.”
Josephine Cutright served as Rosie the Riveter during World War II. Cutright worked at Bendix Radio which was a Division of Bender Aviation Corporation. There she sewed aircraft upholstery, painted radium on tiny measurements so pilots could see in the dark and ran massive hydraulic presses to cut metal parts.
“She didn’t talk a whole lot about what her job was during that period of time,” Tacy said. “However, we do know at one period of time she helped or assisted with putting in the rivets within the airplanes. She done a lot of tasks with organizing and getting things ready for production… It’s just important to recognize that women did play a part in that part of the war.”
Tula Pearl Karickhoff Curkendall worked in a factory and helped to make parts for airplanes and helped fold parachutes. She said she feels honored to be a part of the Rosie group.
“I’m glad I did it,” Curkendall said. “I didn’t work very hard, but I enjoyed it. I had two sisters that worked there with me, and we had a nice time.”
Rachel Tingley calls herself a pre-Rosie. She started in the Airforce in 1953 during the Korean war and said she feels a little bit younger than some of the other Rosies.
“We kept the planes in the air. It didn’t feel like we was in a war because I was state side and so it didn’t feel too much different than what you did if you was in any time,” Tingley said.
Organizers hope to make the Rosie the Riveter appreciation an annual event.
The certificates went to:
- Ruby Coberly
- Tula Pearl Karickhoff Curkendall
- Verla Kathryn “Bobbie” Lamb
- Virginia Cassells
- Leona M. Phares
- Edyth K. Hinkle Furhman
- Stella Monahan Godwin
- Juanita Suder Morgan
- Helen Monahan Godwin
- Josephine Cutright
- Gwendolin Irene Ward Wood
- Vera Catherine Sheets Mullins
- Rachel Pingley
- Mary Doris Brooks
- Arlene McCullough Taylor Snyder
- Neva Lee Ree Snyder