In recognition of the Marine Corps’ 236th birthday on Nov. 10, 2011, and Veterans Day today, we give an ooh-rah to a handful of former Marines who died in recent weeks.
In recognition of the Marine Corps’ 236th birthday on Nov. 10, 2011, and Veterans Day today, we give an ooh-rah to a handful of former Marines who died in recent weeks:
Arthur Riley Hickle came from a family with a rich Marine Corps tradition, according to the obituary in the Bryan-College Station (Texas) Eagle. He enlisted in the Marines on his 17th birthday. During his 27-year career with the Corps, he served in the Korean and Vietnam wars. He was a decorated veteran and served three tours as a Naval Aviator in Vietnam, the last as Squadron commander of VMA 311. He rose from the rank of Private to his permanent retired rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Arthur’s last duty station was with the NROTC unit at Texas A&M in 1974.
Ronnie Elliott retired from the Marines as a Sergeant after serving in the Vietnam War and at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. His obituary in The Virginian Pilot lists his many awards and decorations: National Defense Service medal, Vietnam service medal, Republic of Vietnam campaign medal, Air Force meritorious service medal.
David Kratochvil, 61, of Kailua, Oahu, retired as a lieutenant colonel with the Marine Corps, per the obit in the San Antonio (Texas) Express-News. Dave graduated from Annapolis in 1972 and was commissioned in the US Marines Corps. During his service career, he assisted with the evacuation at the fall of South Vietnam, participated in drug interdiction joint operations with forces in South America, and served in staff positions in Washington, California, and Hawaii. After retiring from the Marine Corps in 1992, Dave became a defense contractor and continued with that until his death.
Joyce Hoffman served in the U.S. Marine Corps before taking on a career as an teacher in the Gloucester County (VA) Public Schools, according to her obituary in the Daily Press. Her love for teaching extended past her retirement, as she continued employment with the school division as a substitute teacher and a teacher in the RASP program. She had also worked as an administrative assistant in the office of the Chief of Police for the District of Columbia.
Bobby Lynch, 71, served with the Marine Corps for 26 years before retiring with the rank of sergeant major, according to the Sun Herald of Biloxi and Gulfport, Mississippi. He served 2 tours of duty in Vietnam and was a recipient of the Purple Heart. He was the Marine Corps JROTC Instructor at Gulfport High School for 21 years.
Alonzo Guyton served with the Marines for four years after high school. The music lover then enrolled at Howard University, majoring in Music Composition. The obituary in the Gainesville Sun lovingly remembers the young man: He was affectionately known to family and friends as a lover of music, being joyful and kind.
Thomas S. Johns served in the Marine Corps flying C-130s and medical evacuation helicopters in Vietnam, where he earned four Purple Hearts for aiding and protecting the wounded until help arrived, according to the obit in the Syracuse (New York) Post Standard. In addition, he received the Silver Star from President Johnson; two Bronze Stars; the Vietnamese Award for saving civilians; and numerous other awards and medals.
Ellen Long was inspired to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. Joining up in 1944, she served for the “duration of National Emergency,” and served at Cherry Point, North Carolina, according to her obituary in the Times Leader. After her service, Mrs. Long was employed for many years by the Wyalusing Valley School District, and she was later a partner in a children’s clothing store in Towanda, Pennsylvania. When she and her husband had retired, they traveled the USA with a van and travel trailer for several years.
Benjamin Edward Macha 77, served his country as a major in the United States Marine Corps and served three tours of duty in Vietnam, according to the obit published in the Post Register of Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Visit Legacy.com’s Marines Memorial Site to read more than 25,000 obituaries of people who served with the Marine Corps.
This post was contributed by Alana Baranick, a freelance obituary writer. She was the director of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers and chief author of Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers before she passed away in 2015.