Otto Kuxhaus World War II collection
Access to Materials
Collection is open for research use.Materials may be accessed by request at Special Collections and University Archives in Seidman House. Materials do not circulate.
For information on copyright or permissions for this collection, contact Grand Valley State University Special Collections.
In September 1945 he married Ruth Esther Kotowski. They had three children: Byron (1947), David (1949), and Valeria (1951). Otto enrolled in the Nursery and Landscape Management Short Course Program at what was then Michigan State College (now Michigan State University) in East Lansing, Michigan on the G.I. Bill. During the week he lived in a WW II Quonset hut repurposed into student housing along with other returning veterans. When he wasn't in class, he worked at General Motors’ Lansing Oldsmobile assembly plant and traveled back to Ferndale on weekends. He started his own landscaping business following completion of the program. In the early 1950s he became employed by the General Motors Corporation to help direct the landscaping for its Eero Saarinen-designed technical center being built in Warren, Michigan.
The day after Thanksgiving 1952 Otto was hospitalized with what at first was thought to be malaria, as he had contracted the disease when he was in the service. He was later diagnosed with poliomyelitis and was not expected to live as he was paralyzed from the neck down. He was hospitalized for over a year, seven months of which were spent in an iron lung. He was gradually weaned from the iron lung and ventilator. Although he was not expected to walk again, through years of intense physical therapy and persistence he regained partial use of his legs and arms and was able to walk. Despite his handicap he returned to his work at the GM Tech Center and served as supervisor of its service section until his death. He died on May 9, 1973, two days after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage.
1.5 Linear feet (1 box and 2 flat boxes)
Source of Acquisition
Acquired from Valeria Long, daughter and Grand Valley State University Libraries librarian.
Alternative Format Available
- India Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Newspapers Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Photographs Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Postcards Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Realia Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- World War, 1939-1945 Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Africa, North Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Italy Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Otto Kuxhaus World War II collection, RHC-57
- Special Collections & University Archives
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