World War II submariner, cancer survivor and Society client Paul Wittmer is committed to serving his countrymen.
The St. Louis Society for the Blind has presented a 2011 Legacy Award to Paul W. Wittmer, age 87, who is a veteran World War II submariner, cancer survivor, author, publisher and Society client.
Society President David Ekin, ACSW, LCSW, said, "Paul Wittmer is a visually impaired person who has overcome challenges associated with his condition and continues to work as a writer and publisher, serving as an inspiration to many people in our community. We are proud to recognize Paul for his many accomplishments in life and his continuing work as an author.
Mr. Wittmer owns PW-Publications, LLC and resides with his wife Eleanor in Manchester, a St. Louis suburb. He has written detailed books about World War II in the Pacific, including four editions dedicated to more than 3,600 U.S. Navy submariners who lost their lives in the conflict.
Mr. Wittmer joined the Navy at 18 and became a submariner on the U.S.S. Tinosa SS-283, completing six war patrols. Later, with several shipmates, Mr. Wittmer wrote a book about Tinosa called "Encounter" based on researched he compiled at the National Archives and via personal interviews.
Mr. Wittmer continued his quest as an author because he believes national and state memorials dedicated to U.S. submariners who died fighting for their country do not share enough details about their lives. In his books, he focuses on those men and how they fought for freedom.
"Sharing details about the lives of World War II veterans is my way of honoring them," Mr. Wittmer says. "It is a way to keep their memories alive, especially with their families."
Some years ago, Mr. Wittmer was diagnosed with macular degeneration and his eyesight began failing. Society Low Vision Services and Adaptive Technology specialists provided him with magnifiers, a special keyboard and a magnifying screen adapter for his home computer. He continues to work every day in his home office, and conducts research at libraries and archives.
Mr. Wittmer was presented with the 2011 Legacy Award at "Celebrate a Century: EnVISION the Future," the Society's 100th Anniversary gala dinner in April. Mr. Wittmer says he will never quit writing. "The Society has enabled me to continue my research and writing. It is essential for me to have these magnifying tools, and the Society is absolutely terrific." To learn about Mr. Wittmer's work, visit his website www.subvetpaul.com.
Founded in 1911, the Society is a registered 501 C (3) not-for-profit organization. The Society enhances independence, empowers individuals and enriches the lives of people who are blind and visually impaired and their families. It provides older adults who are newly visually impaired or blind due to age-related eye conditions with home-based services, specialized services and community activities. It also renders services to school-age students in Illinois and Missouri. It is the only agency of its kind serving greater St. Louis, and the second oldest of its kind west of the Mississippi River.
For more information about Society activities, programs and services, please see the Society website at slsbvi.org/ or call David Ekin at 314.968.9000. Media relations contact: Jeff Dunlap at 314.993.6925
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