KINGSTON — The children of Albert Q. Ebel II of DeKalb, are hosting an open house from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 at the Kingston Friendship Center, 120 S. Main St., in honor of Albert’s 95th birthday.
Albert was born Jan. 3, 1918, the seventh child out of eight to Albert Q. and Jenny (Larson) Ebel of Algonquin. He attended first through eighth grade at the Ford School in Algonquin and graduated from Dundee High School.
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Dec. 8, 1941 and was one of the seven out of 700 who went to Washington, D.C. for six months studying fire control for advance fire control and he graduated with high honors and with the rank of 3rd Class. He was assigned to the USS Iowa 61 on Feb. 22, 1943 where he served his country firing the first shell and 1999 shells until his transfer to the switch board. He was discharged August 1945 at the end of World War II.
He married Elwanda Marie Pilcher on Aug. 29, 1942 at the Pastor’s Parsonage of the Baptist Church in Kahoka, Mo. where he continued to serve his country. Albert and Elwanda have three children, Albert Q. (Lindakay) Ebel III of Kingston and Lake Tomahawk, Wis.; Dorene (Milan) Reimer of Leoiti, Kan. and Carla (Richard) Walter of Rockford. They have 10 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.
Through the years, Albert farmed in the Fox River Grove, Marengo and Genoa areas until his retirement in 2009 He now resides at Heritage Woods of DeKalb.
Albert was very active on the school board of District 17, and the executive committee of Farmer Home Administration. He served as master of Marengo Grange and Pomona Grange and on the executive committee of Marengo Grange as well as serving as secretary, master of McHenry Pomona Grange and executive committee of McHenry County Pomona Grange.
Albert also served as trustee and moderator at the First Baptist Church of Marengo, and on the advisory board of Production Credit Association and the Federal Land Bank.
Albert served as commander of Marengo VFW 1978-1980 and served on the executive committee of the Marengo VFW. In 1984, he reorganized the Coon Creek drainage district.
Albert served on the executive board in 1985 and served as president of the USS Iowa Association 1986-1988 and was chairman of the USS Iowa Association Museum Committee from 1990 to 1999. He attended 35 of the 36 USS Iowa 61 Battleship reunions, and in July 2012, he was accompanied by his son, Albert Q. and wife Lindakay Ebel of Kingston to San Pedro, Calif. for the commission of the USS Iowa 61 Battleship.
The ship was open to only plank owners for a week for this commission. Albert is a plank owner, having served on the ship from 1942-1945 and during this time, he fired the 16 inch guns and maintained the computer that made the guns accurate at a 24-mile range.
This opening came just a month after the USS Iowa, one of the largest battleships ever, arrived in Los Angeles harbor and just 10 months after the Navy elected San Pedro as the site of the museum. Built in 1940, the Iowa was an important part of the Navy fleet for five decades. It ferried President Franklin D. Roosevelt to Casablanca during World War II and later fought in the Pacific, sailing victoriously into Tokyo Bay. The Iowa served in the Korean War and the Persian Gulf in the 1980s. The USS Iowa was the most prestigious ship in the Navy.