Arch Francis Bruntlett (John), one of America's Greatest Generation and long time resident of Jackson and most recently of Flowood, MS died Wednesday, July 28, 2010.
Born February 21, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, he later moved from Waco, TX to Terry, MS as a young boy, graduating from high school in Terry in 1943. He was the only son of Arch O. Bruntlett and Rose Quinn Bruntlett (Mancil) and step-son of Elmer L. (Red) Mancil. Immediately upon completing high school he joined the U.S. Marine Corps in the midst of WWII. He was trained as an artilleryman yet was assigned to and fought with 1st Platoon, B. Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd Marine Regiment, of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade of the 6th Marine Division as a Browning Automatic Rifleman (BAR man). His combat operations included many "no-name" islands in the South Pacific but concluded with the major battles of Guam and Okinawa where he saw extensive combat. When the war ended he became a "China Marine" serving as part of the occupation forces in Tsingtao, China returning home in early 1946. Shortly after returning home he married his high school sweetheart, Evelyn Hinson of Crystal Springs, MS. After WWII he attended Hinds Jr. College and after re-enlisting for active duty for Korea, he graduated from Mississippi State University with a BS in Agriculture and moved to Jackson in 1954.
In time he became a MS state employee with the Dept of Agriculture and then transferred to Hudspeth Center as Maintenance Director, retiring 23 years ago. He was a co-founder of the MS Model A Ford Restorer's Club and instrumental in achieving legislation creating the Antique Car license plate in MS. An avid cross-word puzzle solver, fly fisherman, and patriot, he enjoyed his retirement years until diagnosed with Alzheimer's. He and his wife were active with the 22nd Marines Association and the 6th Marine Division Association, attending annual reunions for many years. He has spent the past year in the MS State Veterans Home.
His wife of 64 years preceded him in death on June 3, 2010.
He is survived by two sons, Arch Steven Bruntlett (Montez) of Raleigh, MS, and Johnny Bruntlett of Tallahassee, FL, as well as five grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, and his sisters: Rilza Mae Nall (Dorris) of Lucedale, MS, Sandra Jean Young of Pascagoula, MS, and Jacquetta Rose Watters of Lucedale, MS and numerous nieces, nephews and their children.
He was a long time member of St. James Episcopal Church in Jackson where he found faith, understanding, and peace for his place in this world and God's. A memorial service is planned at Lakewood Memorial Funeral Home on Clinton Blvd. in Jackson, MS on Saturday, July 31, 2010. Family visitation begins at 9:30 AM, visitation at 10:00 AM, service at 11:00 AM, with a graveside service at Crystal Springs City Cemetery at 1:30 PM.
Semper Fi, Pop!
Published in Clarion Ledger on Jul. 30, 2010.