Oct. 1, 1922 – July 19, 2014
Mr. Harry (aka: David, Wes, DW) died on Sunday, July 19, 2014, at the New Horizons Care Center in Lovell. He was 91 years young.
A viewing took place on Monday, July 28, at 1 p.m. at Davis Funeral Home in Riverton. The funeral service was followed with interment on Tuesday, July 29, at Mountain View Cemetery.
DW was born in Wellston, Ohio, on Oct. 1, 1922, the oldest son of David Wesley Harry, Sr. and Lucille (Davis) Harry. He graduated from Clay City Community High School with the Class of 1940, receiving awards for penmanship and accounting. After high school, he traveled daily from Clay City to Olney, where he worked as a general clerk/delivery boy at a grocery store. On one of his deliveries of groceries to a local family, he met a young lady from Oklahoma, who he later married.
On Nov. 2, 1942, in Chicago, DW enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. That same year he graduated from boot camp with the 1026th Platoon in San Diego, Calif. He was stationed for a short time at the Marine Corps Air Station in El Centro, Calif. As a technical sergeant, DW received specialized training as an aviation machine mate in Memphis, aerial gunner in Purcell, Okla. and combat air crewman in Cherry Point, N.C. His specialties were that of mechanic gunner, mechanic turret gunner and mechanic air.
During his time in the U.S. Marine Corps, DW flew with the Bombing Squadron VMB 443 in a PBJ Mitchell B25 and operated the top turret gun. Squadron VMB 443 flew missions in the Bismarck Archipelago area, concentrating on the areas of Emirau and Rabaul.
In December of 1945, TSgt. Harry was honorably discharged and awarded the Air Medal in connection with military operations against the enemy Japanese forces in the Bismarck Archipelago area Dec. 10-31, 1944; the World War II Victory Medal; the American Campaign Medal; the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with two bronze stars; the Rifle – MM Badge; the Honorable Service Lapel Pin (Ruptured Duck) and the USMC discharge button.
The young lady that he met while delivering groceries years earlier was Annabett J. Whitten, and on March 27, 1943, they married at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis. During more than 64 years together, they lived in numerous states but finally called Wyoming their home. DW worked numerous jobs in various states in the oil and gas fields. He retired from Montana Dakota Utilities.
His family said that DW enjoyed writing poetry, hunting, fishing, boating, camping, horses and his specialty “tinker-itis.” He also had a love for listening to old time music and traveling. His dream was to become a “professional tourist” in his senior years. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Masons, Veterans Association and the Friday – Traun Marine Corp League, Detachment No. 683.
While living at the New Horizons Care Center, he kept staff and residents entertained with his yodeling. It was there that he met an EMT by the name of Todd Nunn, who befriended him. They developed a special friendship, were always talking about flying and on Tuesday, October 5, 2010 a dream came true for D. W. In celebration of his 88th birthday, he was able to take flight in a vintage 1947 Aeronca L-16A Champion airplane courtesy of pilot Todd.
On Tuesday, July 3, 2012, DW had another dream realized when Jack and Diane Martin of the Cody Patriots arranged for veterans to fly in “Grumpy,” a B-25 from the World War II era. So during the Cody Stampede festivities and in early celebration of his 90th birthday, DW took to the skies once again.
DW is survived by son Dan (Becky) Harry of Boyd, Mont.; daughter Darla (Tom) Kleiner of Lovell; grandsons Zachariah Harry of Boyd, SMSgt. Aaron Harry, USAF (Tisha) of Wichita, Texas, Danny Wood (fiancee’ Mindy McKee) of Shoshoni, Sgt. James R. Wood, USMC, and girlfriend Kristi Bills of Riverton and Todd (Michayla) Wood of Pahrump, Nev.; step-granddaughter Stormy (Frank) Heinrich of Lovell; step-grandson Billey Kleiner of Rawlins; seven great-grandsons, Davin and Ethan of Shoshoni, Jacob of Florida, Fischer of Riverton, Carter, Quinton and Grayson of Pahrump, NV.; three great-granddaughters, Whitney and Becca of Wichita, Texas, Abby of Pahrump, Nev., step great-granddaughters Tameka and Chante’ of Lovell and step great-grandsons Trinity of Lovell, Brenton of Shoshoni; his brother James (Marge) Harry of Illinois and numerous nieces and nephews and their families.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife of more than 64 years, Annabett; parents, David and Lucille Harry, Sr. and granddaughter Shannon Harry.
On-line obituaries are available and condolences for the family may be made at the davisfuneralhome.com. Services are under the direction of the Davis Funeral Home.