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Lancaster, Ohio Obituary – Charles Richard “Dick” Waits

February 4th, 2010 1 comment

This obituary is of my great grand uncle, Charles Richard “Dick” Waits. At the time, he was the 90th Fairfield County, Ohio serviceman killed in action, and the 109th war death from that county since Pearl Harbor. The article was featured in the 4/20/1945 edition of the Lancaster Eagle Gazette:

Three Lancastrians Lose Lives At War

… T-5 Corporal Charles Richard (Dick) Waits, 25, husband of Mrs. Margaret Ann Waits, 111 North Pearl-av, and only son of Mr. and Mrs. Harmon C. Waits, 702 Eastwood-av. A tank gunner in an armored division of the Seventh Army, Cpl. Waits was reported by the War Department as killed in action April 6 in Germany.

T-5 Corporal Waits, who would have been 26 years old on April 27, has been reported by the War Department as killed in action April 6, somewhere in Germany. His wife is the former Margaret Ann Phillips, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ross Phillips of the Pearl-av address. For the past year, Mrs. Waits has been helping her sister, Mrs. Paul Hang (Betty Phillips) operate the Isaly Company store in Circleville during the absence of Paul Hang, formerly of Lancaster, who has been serving overseas. Twice wounded, Pvt. Hang has been returned to the States and is now visiting his family in Circleville.

Cpl. Waits entered the Army here December 9, 1941, received training at Fort Knox, Ky. and Camp Polk, La., in the Armored Force, then was at Temple, Texas, Camp Hood, Texas, receiving further instruction in tank and tank destroyer operation and maintenance, and also at Camp Pickett, Va. He sailed overseas in April, 1943, two years ago; arriving in North Africa where he served in the North African campaign.

Waits took part in the invasion of Sicily in July, 1943 and also in the invasion of Italy at Salerno in September, 1943, attached to a unit of the 45th Division, then a part of the U.S. 5th Army.

He also saw service at Cassino, Gela, Palermo and during the drive on Rome with the armored force. Last August Waits participated in the invasion of Southern France. He was in maintenance, then a half-track crew member, then a tank driver, and at the time of his death was a tank gunner attached to the 753rd Tank battalion of an armored division in the 7th Army, possibly in the Nuermberg (sic) sector of Germany.

Battalion Honored

Cpl. Waits and other members of the battalion had received the French Croix de Guerre, and the Vermillion Star recently for their outstanding operations with French units during a phase of the Italian campaign last year.

Prior to his induction T/5 Cpl. Waits was employed at the Sohio filling station, corner Broad and Chestnut-sts. He was a graduate of Lancaster High School, where he played football.

In addition to his wife and parents, Cpl. Waits leaves three sisters, Miss May Waits, chief telephone operator here, Mrs. Ernest Miller, Muskegon, Mich., and Mrs. Ralph Williams, Columbus.

The last letter Mrs. Waits received from her husband was dated March 30, from somewhere inside Germany.

I’d also like to mention the other two servicemen mentioned in the article:

First Lieutenant William S. Massey (5/9/1917 – 3/26/1945), 187th Glider Infantry, 11th Airborne, United States Army, died of battle wounds in the Philippines. He is buried in the Manila American Cemetery.

Corporal Kenneth Kinney Metcalf (8/15/1922 – 4/5/1945), 6th Division, United States Marine Corps, was KIA at Okinawa in the Ryukyu Islands, 350 miles from Japan. He is buried in Forest Rose Cemetery in Lancaster, Ohio.

Through my many internet wanderings and various Ohio contacts, I had never been able to locate this newspaper article. Many, many thanks to Jane Mason (Miller) for locating and mailing a copy!

Brian Davis – Christine Davis (Williams) – Ralph Scott Williams Jr. – Nellie Ruth Williams (Waits/sister of Charles Richard Waits)

Categories: Military, Williams

Tombstone Tuesday – Margie Leaine Davis (1908-1933)

December 8th, 2009 1 comment

Margie Leaine Davis (Kirkpatrick), my great grandmother, was born 10/29/1908  in Bridgeport, Texas (northwest of Dallas/Fort Worth).  She died of peritonitis (abdominal inflammation), which was caused by an infection from an appendectomy.  Margie was 25 years-old at the time of her death, and had three children: Woody, James, and Annell.  Her gravesite is located at Forest Glade Cemetery in Mexia, Texas.

Brian Davis – James Michael Davis – James Nead Davis – Margie Leaine Davis (Kirkpatrick)

Categories: Davis, Tombstone

Pearl Harbor Day 2009 – John Cameron “Jack” Parsons Obituary

December 7th, 2009 No comments

Today is the 68th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  I’ve posted the obituary of my great grand uncle, John Cameron “Jack” Parsons, which was featured in the 11/23/1989 edition of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.  “Big Jack” was married to my great grand aunt, Erby Katheryn Parsons (Davis) and a Pearl Harbor survivor. He served with the United States Navy during World War II and the Korean War.  Erby was a “Rosie the Riveter”, a term used to describe the women who worked in the maufacturing plants during World War II, bulding munitions and materiel, in Fort Worth, Texas:

 John Cameron (Jack) Parsons, 73, died November 21, 1989 at his residence.

He was a member of the Lily Baptist Church of Lily, Kentucky.

Mr. Parsons had been a resident of Corpus Christi since 1953.  He was a veteran of WWII and the Korean Conflict and retired from the Navy with the following decorations: American Heart Defense Medal, American Theatre Medal and the Korean Service Ribbon.

He was the President of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Member of the Fleet Reserve Association in Flour Bluff, Member of American Legion Bill Roper Post #364, Past Commander of American Legion Gragg-Sherrill Post #248, and a member of the Mayor’s Veterans Council.

He is survived by his wife, Erby Parsons, his son, Jack Cameron Parsons, his daughter, Carolyn Jean Sullivan, all of Corpus Christi, two brothers, Bill Parsons of Fairfield, Ohio and Harold Parsons of Hamilton, Ohio, four sisters, Lucy Hopkins of Lily, Kentucky, Evelyn Martin of Oceanside, California, Doris Jean Grimes and Allie [illegible] of Hamilton, Ohio, one stepdaughter, Janice Pate of Mexia, Texas, 11 grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Thursday evening, November 23, 1989 at the Everhart Chapel.  Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Friday, November 24, 1989 at the Everhart Chapel with Chaplain Richard C. Hettish, Dr. Loren White, Rev. Richard D. Worden and Chaplain Abel Chapa officiating.

Members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association will act as Honorary Pallbearers.

For those wishing to make donations, the family has designated the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, Local Chapter #5, c/o A.J. Dunn, Treasurer, 3105 Seafoam, Corpus Christi, Texas 78418.

Brian Davis – James Michael Davis – James Nead Davis – Sherman Harry Davis (brother-in-law of John Cameron Parsons)

Categories: Davis, Military

Thanksgiving 2009 – Lufkin, Texas

December 1st, 2009 No comments
Thanksgiving 2009 - Lufkin, Texas

Thanksgiving 2009 - Lufkin, Texas

Click here to view the complete set of Thanksgiving 2009 pictures taken at my parents’ house in Lufkin, Texas.  Pictured are: Charlyn Davis (Cajipe/wife), Brian Michael Davis (me), Jackson Scott Davis (son), Christine Davis (Williams/mother), Kaylyn Michelle Davis (daughter), James Michael Davis (father), Kathleen Sui (future sister-in-law), and Scott Williams Davis (brother).

Categories: Davis, Williams

Tombstone Tuesday – Annell Dorsett (1903-1921)

December 1st, 2009 No comments

Annell Dorsett (Davis), my great grand aunt, was born 1/16/1903  in Mexia, Texas.  She died of complications from a miscarriage at the Baptist Sanitarium in Dallas, Texas on 6/3/1921.  Annell was 18 years-old at the time of her death.  She had recently married R. Dorsett.  I am still searching for information on her husband.  Her gravesite is located at Forest Glade Cemetery in Mexia, Texas, alongside other members of the Davis family.

Brian Davis – James Michael Davis – James Nead Davis – Sherman Harry Davis (brother of Annell Davis)

Categories: Davis, Tombstone

Tombstone Tuesday – Woody Burl Davis (1925 – 2001)

November 17th, 2009 No comments

Woody Burl Davis, my grand uncle, was born 9/26/1925 in Mexia, Texas, to Sherman and Margie Davis (Kirkpatrick.)  The oldest of four children, Woody served as a Private with the United States Marine Corps during World War II (see earlier post.) 

“W. B.” married Marjorie Ann Johnson and had three children: Judy Kay, Cheryl, and John.  He worked for the Mexia State School, a residential facility for those with developmental disabilities.  Woody passed away on June 22, 2001, in College Station, Texas.  He was buried in Point Enterprise Cemetery, located in Mexia.

I remember visiting the Point Enterprise Cemetery while living in College Station.  My wife and I took a short road trip to visit Woody’s gravesite and took the pictures just before sunset. 

Brian Davis – James Michael Davis – James Nead Davis (brother of Woody Burl Davis)

Categories: Davis, Military, Tombstone

Tombstone Tuesday – James Isaac Kirkpatrick (1827-1912)

November 10th, 2009 No comments
James Isaac Kirkpatrick Military Headstone

James Isaac Kirkpatrick Military Headstone

James Isaac Kirkpatrick, my 4th great grandfather, was born 10/13/1827 in Tennessee.  He later moved to Cherokee County, Texas and married Martha Margaret Fulton there on 12/9/1949.  “Isaac”, as he was known, lived in Cherokee County the rest of his life.  He prospered as a farmer, and, according to the 1860 United States Federal Census, owned a 12 year-old female house slave.

Isaac served as a Private in the 17th Texas Cavalry (Confederate States of America) during the Civil War.  He passed away on 4/15/1912 at the age of 84 and was buried in Union Grove Cemetery in Jacksonville, Texas. 

To this point, I have been unable to locate any information on his lineage.  I hope to visit the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research in the near future, with the hopes of uncovering more information.

Brian Davis – James Michael Davis – James Nead Davis – Marjorie Leaine Davis (Kirkpatrick) – Woodie Tarrant Kirkpatrick – John Marion Kirkpatrick – James Isaac Kirkpatrick

Categories: Davis, Military, Tombstone

Treasure Chest Thursday – Sherman Harry Davis Pocket Watch

October 29th, 2009 No comments
Sherman Harry Davis Pocket Watch

Sherman Harry Davis Pocket Watch

This pocket watch was given to me by my uncle, Sherman Patrick Davis, when I graduated from the University of Delaware in 1999.  It belonged to my great grandfather, Sherman Harry Davis.  He passed away 5/5/1992 in Tyler, Smith County, Texas.  I am lucky to have this among my family belongings.  I’ve kept it locked away for many years and will pass it down to my son when he graduates from Texas A&M University in 2027.  If you have any family treasures you’d like to contribute, please take a picture of the item and email it to me.

Brian Davis – James Michael Davis – James Nead Davis – Sherman Harry Davis

Categories: Davis, Treasure

ancestry.com Comment

October 28th, 2009 No comments
Wiley Berry and Leta Louise Gibson (McKinney) Headstone

Wiley Berry and Leta Louise Gibson (McKinney) Headstone

I recently received the following comment on ancestry.com regarding the above picture, taken in the Noonday Cemetery in Noonday, Smith County, Texas:

Her actual birthdate was October 22, 1911. Years ago, I found her birth certificate entry made by her father, Samuel McKinney filed at the Smith County Courthouse in a large book. I’ve been told that when this headstone was made, the year 1911 was put on (or was to be put on) the stone, but she thought she was born in 1912 and made them change it. She was my grandmother; I’m the daughter of her eldest daughter. I gave her a copy of her birth certificate at her birthday party one year – I think it made her mad because she said that made her one year older! We all still smile when someone mentions that story.

The comment was submitted by Barbara Purdue (Massey), a distant cousin through the Gibson family (see post below regarding Eliza Ruth Gibson (Harris).  I’ve replied to her comment and hope to post more information soon.

Brian Davis – James Michael Davis – James Nead Davis – Marjorie Leaine Davis  (Kirkpatrick) – Burla Eugene Kirkpatrick (Gibson) – Berrien Wiley Gibson (common ancestor)

Categories: Davis, Tombstone

Wordless Wednesday – Backus Family Portrait

October 27th, 2009 No comments
Arthur, Jennie, and Florence Backus Portrait

Arthur, Jennie, and Florence Backus Portrait

Portrait of my 2nd great grandfather, Arthur Bernard Backus (Backhouse), his first wife, Jennie Maria (Sarles), and their daughter, Florence Emma Backus, taken approx. 1893 in Gainesville, Cooke County, Texas.

Brian Davis – James Michael Davis – Georgia Lou Davis (Barlow) – Katie Maybelle Barlow (Backus) – Arthur Bernard Backus (Backhouse)

Categories: Davis, Wordless