19 April 2012

Obituaries--Pvt. Paul Davis (Gilbert)

My previous post was about my first cousin, twice removed: Paul Davis.  As I explained there, his widowed mother Delia Samis Davis, married my widowed Great Grandfather.  One of my "discovered" cousins explained to me he had taken Grandpa Roy's last name when he went in the service.  And while this isn't exactly an obituary, it tells about his life and death, when his body was returned to Michigan. 

This clipping was found in July 2003, from an undated 1948 Muskegon Chronicle

Private Gilbert Arrives Home, Rites Saturday

The body of Pvt. Paul Davis Gilbert, 25 years old, Muskegon soldier who died Oct 18, 1944 of wounds received six days previous during General Patton's drive toward Germany arrived in Reed City yesterday.

Private Gilbert was the son of Mrs. Delia Gilbert who lived at 3787 Bolt highway, R.R.5, prior to her death two years ago, and the step-son of Roy Gilbert, now of Ravenna.  Mrs. Gilbert was the first Gold Star mother of Muskegon to die.

Attached to Company L, 11th Infantry division, Third Army, Private Gilbert received the Purple Heart decoration and citation.

The infantryman was born in Newaygo county, March 21, 1919.  His father Monroe Davis, died in Reed City in 1924.  Private Davis came to Muskegon when nine years old and attended Bunker school.  He had been employed by the Norge division, Muskegon Heights.

The soldier enlisted Dec 19, 1939 and trained at Ft. Wayne Ind. And Fort Custer.  In March 1942, he was sent to Iceland.  After 16 months he was moved to England, North Ireland and then to France, in August 1944.

Memorial service will be held Saturday at 2 p.m., at the Livingston Funeral Home in Reed City.  The VFW post of Reed City will be in charge and the Rev. D D Dermyer, pastor of the Church of the Nazarene, Reed City will officiate.  Burial will be at the Chase Baptist cemetery, where his mother and father are buried.

Private Gilbert leaves besides his step-father of Ravenna, twin sisters, Mrs. Alice Houtman and Mrs. Sarah Wright, and two brothers, Russell and Milo Davis, all of Muskegon.

His mother, father and brother Milo are all buried near him in the Chase cemetery, Lake county, Michigan.  I found the fact that he was able to enlist under a name other than his legal name quite interesting.  Nothing on the grave shows the assumed surname, just his legal name.

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