World War II vet's home in need of repair in Lookout Valley

World War II vet's home in need of repair in Lookout Valley

November 2nd, 2013 by Jeff LaFave in Local Regional News

Disabled World War II veteran Frank Cordell, left, watches as Harvey Appleberry, center, and City Councilman Chip Henderson install a fence in the back yard of his home on Friday.

Photo by Doug Strickland/Times Free Press.

HOW TO HELP

Those interested in helping with their time, monetary donations or with building materials should contact Joe Manning, vice president of the homeowner's association, at 423-667-4480. Work will start at 8 a.m. today.

The roof may have caved in, but Frank Cordell still calls it home.

The 93-year-old veteran of World War II has limited use of his legs, and his residence at 3445 Franklin Drive in Lookout Valley is in danger of being condemned by the city.

Cordell, who neighbors describe as "jolly" and "easygoing," lives with his seven dogs under a roof that has nearly fallen in.

"I don't know how he's able to live there," said Ray Adkins, who met Cordell's son Charles in school nearly 65 years ago. "It's just awful."

Adkins said the roof on the house is likely the original one from when the home was built in the 1950s.

"We know water is leaking inside, but we don't know what it's like in there," said Joe Manning, vice president of the Lookout Valley Neighborhood Association. "I imagine it's just as bad on the inside as it is on the outside."

Even if neighbors can't quite get Cordell out of that home, they've been trying to find shelter for his seven dogs.

"We've been trying to get him to get rid of them," Manning said. "It's just creating a worse situation."

This weekend, Cordell will have help on his side. Adkins organized a group of volunteers, along with Chattanooga City Councilman Chip Henderson and the Lookout Valley Neighborhood Administration, to assist with refurbishing the tattered home.

The work started Friday. Adkins said 25 to 30 volunteers already are lined up to help with the construction, as well as two roofing companies, but more helping hands are always welcome.

Friday's main goal was to get new rafters and decking to protect the house from weather. Today, the crew hopes to start undoing any damage on the inside.

Contact staff writer Jeff LaFave at jlafave@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592.