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Archive for Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Oldest K.C.-area veteran of World War I dies

January 13, 2004

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— Paul Sunderland, the oldest World War I veteran in the Kansas City area, died Friday at his home. He was 107.

Sunderland made the crossing to Europe seven times during World War I, but he never got off the boat. His Navy ship, the cruiser USS Charleston, was part of a continuous convoy that delivered soldiers and supplies to the Allied war effort.

Sunderland was born in Omaha, Neb., and moved to Kansas City in 1910 when his father began working for Ash Grove Cement Co. He attended the University of Wisconsin before and after serving in the U.S. Navy.

A succession of jobs with the Ash Grove Cement Co., from Omaha to Springfield, Mo., eventually led him back to Kansas City, where he served as president and chairman of the company before retiring more than 30 years ago.

His two sons, Robert, 80, and James, 74, each followed as chairman and also have retired. The company is now run by his grandson, Charles T. Sunderland.

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