Lonnie H. McMinn Jr.

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Lonnie H. McMinn Jr.

Lonnie Homer McMinn Jr., 88, of Muscle Shoals, passed away Feb. 4, 2014.

Visitation will be Feb. 7, 2014, from noon-2 p.m. at Colbert Memorial Chapel with funeral services to begin at 2 p.m. in the chapel. Burial will follow at Colbert Memorial Gardens. Officiating is Dr. Tom Whatley and Pastor Eddie Scheler.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Jessie McMinn, sister, Jennie Tomlinson, and brother-in-law, Tommy Tomlinson.

Survivors include sons, Terry McMinn and his wife, Pauline, of Muscle Shoals, and Tony McMinn

and his wife, of Louisiana;

daughter, Carol Mueller (Jimmy), of Decatur, Ala.;

grandchildren, Daryl McMinn (Stacy), Brian Laiche (Chris), Deanna Wall (Jason), Ashley Lawrence (Brad), and Amanda Hendrix (Tracey).

seven great-grandchildren; and two great-great- grandchildren;

brother, Charles McMinn (Madelyn); and a host of loving nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers will be Tommy Mack Tomlinson, Bobby Tomlinson, Brian Laiche, Jason Wall, Tracey Hendrix, and Brad Lawrence. Honorary pallbearers are Albert Mueller, Carlton Hughes, Henry Marthaler, Kyle Goodlett, Gary Robbins, Harold Reed, and Carvel Horton.

Mr. McMinn was a member of Woodward Avenue Baptist Church and retired from TVA after 35 plus years of loyal service.

Lonnie was a veteran of World War II where he served his country faithfully.

Special thanks to Hospice of the Valley, and Pastor Scheler for the love and care given to our dear daddy.

You may sign our online guest book at colbertmemorial.com.

Colbert Memorial Chapel is assisting the family. Let us celebrate a life well lived!

On Sept. 5, 1925, Lonnie Homer McMinn Jr. was born to Lonnie and Emma Makamson McMinn. He grew up where he was born in Sturgis, Miss. He was the first of three children; sister, Jennie, and brother, Charles.

Being raised on a small farm, he learned the value of hard work by planting crops on ground that he plowed with the help of a mule. He planted, chopped and picked cotton. Growing up he was always trying to improve himself physically. He would do chin- ups on the cross-beam at the well house after a hard day's work in the cotton field. He could unload a 50 pound bag of feed from the wagon bed with his teeth. He played end on the Sturgis High School six man football team.

After high school, Lonnie drove a truck for Red Ball Trucking Co. before answering the call to defend his country. Lonnie served in the United States Army Infantry, during World War II. During basic training, his physical abilities were evident; he was the fastest runner in the whole company.

Soon after basic training his outfit was sent to Germany to fight the German Army. While serving as a section leader for the machine gun squadron, he earned the Bronze Star for his heroic efforts on the battle field.

During the Battle of the Bulge, on March 13, 1945, his life was forever changed when he was severely wounded by a German 88 mortar shell. The exploding round so severely wounded Staff Sgt. McMinn, that the blast alone moved his body several feet. He remembered regaining consciousness to find himself laying in a shelter-half and tied to the hood of a jeep for transportation to the field hospital. The wounds he received were severe. He suffered a "sucking wound" to his chest. He had shrapnel in his back side, some of which is still there today. His left leg was so damaged that it could not be saved. The thought occurred to Sgt. McMinn that he might not live. He believed that if he did die that he would go to heaven, because he would have died defending the United States of America. But by the Grace of God and the "intestinal fortitude, grit, and gumption" of Sgt. McMinn, the 19-year-old farm boy from Sturgis, Miss. would live!

Sgt. McMinn not only lived, he went on to live a life that would be the pride of any man. From the battlefields of Germany he was shipped to the Army Medical facility in Atlanta, Ga. for rehabilitation and to be fitted for an artificial left leg. While recovering in the Atlanta hospital two important things happened to Sgt. McMinn. He found that he was still the fastest man, when they had wheel chair races, and he met a beautiful young lady named Jessie.

Jessie Elizabeth Williams had moved from Sheffield, Ala. to Atlanta, Ga. so she could work for the telephone company. Jessie, at 19 years of age, was a widow her husband having been killed in service to our country only months before. Jessie and a girlfriend would come to the Army hospital on a regular basis to visit the sick and wounded G.I.s. We may never know exacty how Miss Jessie and Sgt. McMinn met at the Atlanta Army Hospital, but we do know that they were married the following Dec. 22, 1945.

From that day until this day, this life of Sgt. McMinn has been a source of inspiration for us all. After an honorable discharge from the Army, which included Purple Heart and Bronze Star awards, Lonnie McMinn used his VA benefits to earn a degree from Larimore Business College. He worked at TVA as a clerk office worker and supervisor in chemical stores until retirement in 1988.

He and Jessie raised three children, five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and two great-great- grandchildren. Lonnie McMinn was a Christian having been baptized in a pond as a small boy in Sturgis, Miss. He was a member of Woodward Avenue Baptist Church and Leader of Cub Scouts and Cadets.

His hobbies were woodworking, dancing (especially the jitter-bug) and attending numerous club and societal functions. He was a member of the Sheffield Lodge 503 F and AM, Master Mason, both Scottish Rite and York Rite 52 degree F and AM, Cahaba Temple of the Shrine Club, and was a Potentate in 1995, Board of Directors Hunting Creek Club, member of the Muscle Shoals Lions Club (past president), member of the Elks Lodge, the Jesters and numerous other organizations that did so very much to better this world.
Published in Florence Times Daily on Feb. 6, 2014
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