Oct. 10, 2012
Lieutenant General Retired Fletcher C. Booker Jr., 92, of Tequesta, Fla., and Craigville, Mass., passed away Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, at Hospice of Palm Beach County in Jupiter, Fla.
He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on July 5, 1920, to Mildred and Fletcher C. Booker Sr., who later settled in Wilkes-Barre.
Mr. Booker began his military career at Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, Va. He later attended Virginia Military Institute and after graduating in 1941, entered active service as a second lieutenant.
During World War II, he served in the European theater of operations. He left the Army in 1946 as a major in the field artillery. After serving in the Army Reserve, he was transferred to the Pennsylvania National Guard in 1948.
During the Korean War, Major Booker served as an artillery advisor to the Republic of Korea Army.
Mr. Booker was appointed executive officer of the 109th Field Artillery Battalion in May of 1955. He served at that capacity until being promoted to lieutenant colonel in charge of the 1st and 2nd battalions, which made up the complete battalion. Later, Mr. Booker was promoted to brigadier general as assistant division commander of the 42nd Infantry (Rainbow) Division with headquarters in New York City.
In 1977, Brigadier General Booker was named commanding general of the 28th Division and was subsequently promoted to Major General. General Booker became the first local man to head the famous Keystone Division, which saw action in World Wars I and II, and was active in the Korean Conflict. Upon his retirement from the National Guard, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general by the State of Pennsylvania.
During his military career, General Booker earned numerous medals and citations, including the Bronze Star, Korean Presidential Citation Medal, Pennsylvania Meritorious Service Medal and the New York Meritorious Medal.
In civilian life, General Booker was President of Booker Brothers Inc., a local brokerage firm, which was founded by his father in the late 1920s, and was later sold to a subsidiary of Merrill Lynch. He was married to the former Val Jean Relph of Waverly, and later to the former Helen Carter Hall of Danville, Va.
He is survived by his son, Fletcher; his daughter, Sally; and granddaughter, Anne.
General Booker was the past president of the Wilkes-Barre Chapter of the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind, president of the 109th Artillery Historical and War Museum Inc., director of the Wyoming Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross and former president of the Penn Mountain Boy Scout Council. He was also a member of the Masons 33rd degree. He was a member of the Beach Club, Centerville, Mass.
General Booker will be buried at a private ceremony in Dallas. A memorial service will be at a later date. Online condolences may be made at www.aycockfuneralhomejupiter.com.