31 May 2012

Obituary--Pvt. Dale DeVere Whitney

As promised, on this the original Memorial Day/Decoration Day, I have the obituary of our area heroes.  This one is different, not a veteran, but a fallen soldier from World War I.  And a very ironic one because, he received the fatal wound just one hour before the armistice.  
Here is the obituary of Pvt. Dale Devere Whitney, from the 11 August 1921 Fremont TimesIndicator, as reprinted from the Grant Herald.
Funeral of Former Fremont Boy Held in Grant July 31--Died in France November 12, 1918
(Grant Herald)
The funeral of Pvt. Dale DeVere Whitney was held Sunday at 2:30 p.m. from the Grant Community church, Rev. Livingstone officiating.  The church was crowded to the doors while two hundred people unable to even find standing room within, stood outside.  Approximately 60 ex-service men were in uniform attended in a body, representing Ensley, Newaygo and Grant American Legion Posts with a firing squad from Kent City.
About 100 automobiles formed in the procession to the Shippy cemetery where, under the direction of Lieut. DeBoer, of the Carl Johnson Post, Grand Rapids, the impressive military service was conducted.  After the committal service was read the firing squad fired three volleys over the grave, then as a hush fell upon all, from far away the sad sweet notes of "Taps" and once more the brave wearer of the khaki was "at ease."
Dale DeVere Whitney was born at Shelby, April 8th, 1898.  He attended Grant public school in 1908.  At the age of 13 Dale took the eighth grade examination and had the highest standing of any person in the county.  He later attended Fremont high school, from which he graduated in 1915 at the age of 17.  While in high school Dale was very much interested in athletics, being a member of both the football and the track teams.  He was also a member of the glee club and by his cherry manner was a general favorite in the school and community.
On May 14, 1915, he enlisted in the Muskegon National Guards and left with Co. G. for Grayling and from there to Waco, Texas, where he was assigned to Co. I, 126th infantry, Sept. 23, 1917.  After reaching Franch he was transferred to Co. F, 107 supply train.  Here he distinguished himself for daring as a truck driver, his officers stating that there was never a dangerous commission that he hesitated in taking and where other drivers failed to get thru he accomplished the task assigned him.
It was on the morning of the armistice, at ten o'clock that he was wounded by a bursting shell.  He died the following day, Nov. 12, 1918.
Blessed Memorial Day.  Remember those who fought and died for us.  As well as those who fought and survived.

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