Graveside memorial service for Phillip "Sonny" Dempsey, 75, will be at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, at McKnight Cemetery in Cushing, Texas. He passed away Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, in Nacogdoches. He was born in Caro, Texas on June 15, 1938, to Eugene and Nolie (Matlock) Dempsey. Phillip married Brigitte Gertich from Germany in 1962. He had one adopted son, Hans-Joachim. They made their home in Germany. Phillip proudly served his country in the United States Army during the Korean and Vietnam wars. He was wounded during his third phase of duty in Vietnam receiving a Bronze Medal and a Commendation Medal for meritorious service against communist aggression in the Republic of Vietnam. Phillip was a Sergeant E-9. He worked as a combat engineer, a bridge specialist and a facilities engineer. He retired from the military in 1981 after 25 years of service. He then worked and retired from the civil service and the German government. Phillip helped the U.S. military phase out U.S. bases in order to turn them back over to the German government. Phillip was a lifetime member of the D.A.V. and V.F.W. Chapter 3893. After being abroad 53 years, Phillip returned to the states in 2007 to find many changes. He enjoyed spending time with his friends, driving country roads, going out to eat and reading books. Phillip is preceded in death by his parents, Eugene and Nolie Dempsey; wife, Brigitte; son, Hans; brother, Jack Allen Dempsey Sr.; sisters, Catherine Potter and Cleo Leger; brothers-in-law, Melton "Snow" Williams and Billy Frank Davis; and sister-in-law, Carolyn Dempsey. Survivors include his brother, James Mack Dempsey of Longview; sisters, Imogene Williams of Cushing and Faye Davis of Flint; brother-in-law, Albert Potter of Mineral Wells; sister-in-law, Betty Dempsey of Nacogdoches; and numerous nieces and nephews. Honorary pallbearers will be Glen Fuller, Robert Sitton, Jerry Whitaker, Bruce Richards, Jack Birdwell and Pat Moore. No visitation is scheduled. Dickie Allen Funeral Home.
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Published in The Daily Sentinel on Jan. 30, 2014