Eleven Army veterans who served during World War II and the Korean War were honored Wednesday at the Roseburg National Cemetery Annex in the second of three days of services.
The veterans’ remains were forgotten on a shelf for decades at a local mortuary before being rediscovered by Douglas County Veterans Forum member Carol Hunt and retired Roseburg National Cemetery technician Gigi Grimes Shannon. What the two women found was one of the largest groups of unclaimed veterans remains ever to have been recovered in the state.
In all, 28 veterans will be interred at the Roseburg National Cemetery Annex columbarium over three days of memorials this week.
Several dozen people turned out to Wednesday’s service despite the rainy weather.
One of the veterans honored Wednesday, Darold W. Munion, was represented by his son and daughter-in-law, Terry and Toni Munion. Terry Munion received a flag in his father’s honor following a traditional Honor Guard flag folding ceremony. The service also included an eight bell ceremony, the playing of “Taps”, bagpipes and a flag line.
Terry Munion said the service was fantastic.
“He couldn’t have been honored better, and I really appreciate it very much. For the community to come out here like this and show their support and all that — even though he’s been passed away for 30 years they still come out. It’s a great community to do that,” he said.
Terry Munion said the family had thought the funeral home was going to scatter his dad’s ashes, and said it was a shock to read his dad’s name in The News-Review when the remains were identified.
Accepting the flag for the other 10 veterans was Douglas County Veterans Service Office Director Mary Newman-Keyes, who was named official next-of-kin for those whose families could not be identified.
Newman-Keyes delivered the eulogy, in which she shared what limited information was available about the veterans honored Wednesday, mostly pieced together from obituaries.
“Some were forgotten for up to 43 years. It’s an honor for me to offer a eulogy and a great privilege to be next-of-kin,” Newman-Keyes said.
Paul Loyd was born Oct. 28, 1913, in Idaho. He served in the Army toward the end of World War II and after, from April 19, 1945, to July 20 1946.
In April 1957, he married Willie Andrews in Las Vegas, and they had a daughter Peggy. He lived in Sutherlin and was a member of the VFW post there. He died March 10, 1982, at age 68.
Claude Mott was born Sept. 10, 1906, in California. He served in the Army during World War II from Aug. 1, 1942, to Sept. 20, 1945. He was a 1st Sergeant in the Army Engineers. His wife, Ada, was from Roseburg, and he was a member of the First Conservative Baptist Church. He died Oct. 29, 1984, at age 78.
Chester Pettit was born April 27, 1913, in Portland. He enlisted in the Army Dec. 20, 1941, shortly after World War II started. He was discharged as a private on Jan. 12, 1944. He passed away June 23, 1980 in Roseburg at the age of 67.
Thomas Allsbrook was born Sept. 22, 1915. He served in the Army during World War II from Sept. 18, 1942, to June 12, 1945. In March 1951, he married his wife Bernice. He died in Sutherlin on Oct. 27, 1975.
Earl Gilday was born May 29, 1923, in Iowa. He served in the Army during World War II from Dec. 19, 1941, to Sept. 7, 1945. He died March 3, 1988, in Roseburg at age 64.
Joseph Houston was born Oct. 18, 1912. He served in the Army during World War II from Sept. 8, 1942, to Oct. 28, 1946. He died Oct. 10, 1987 at age 74.
William Taylor was born Aug. 16, 1927, in San Francisco. He served in the Army following World War II from Oct. 4, 1945, to Nov. 12, 1946. He died Oct. 12, 1998, aged 71.
Arthur Tranberg was born Feb. 13, 1915, in Ohio. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps on April 24, 1941, and served until Aug. 20, 1941 as an aviation cadet at Fort Ord. He died Oct. 30, 1983, in Roseburg, aged 68.
Darold Munion was born Nov. 4, 1930 and grew up in South Dakota. He served in the Army during the Korean War, from March 27, 1950, to Dec. 26, 1953. He lived in Roseburg, had two sons Terry and Steven, a daughter Jone, stepsons Corey and Mikel Bidwell, three brothers and two sisters, along with numerous grandchildren, nephews and cousins.
He died Aug. 18, 1989, aged 58.
Frank Clark was born April 13, 1928. He served two enlistments in the Army, the first during the Korean War from Aug. 1, 1951, to Aug. 12, 1952, and then again from Nov. 19, 1954 to May 29, 1956. He died Dec. 21, 1986, at the age of 58.
Robert Connolly was born Jan. 15, 1931, in California and served in the Army during the Korean War. He died March 14, 1984, aged 53.
Army Honor Guard VFW Sgt. Dana Foley said when they heard their country’s call, these veterans answered.
“Self was forgotten in the cause of the greater good. As a brave man they marched away with their abiding faith in their God, country and their flag,” he said.
The third and final service at 1 p.m. Thursday honored Navy and Air Force veterans who served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.