John Alpheaus Straight Jr.
September 22, 1920 – January 30, 2013
John Alpheaus Straight, Jr. of Abilene, passed away Wednesday, January 30, 2013.
A graveside service will be 10:00 a.m. Monday, February 4, 2013, in Elmwood Memorial Park Cemetery, Abilene, with Dr. Jeff Reid and Dr. Jack Ridlehoover officiating. A memorial service will follow at 11:00 a.m. at Elliott-Hamil Funeral Home Chapel of Faith, 5701 Highway 277 South, Abilene, directed by Elliott-Hamil Funeral Home. The family will receive friends at a visitation 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.
John was born September 22, 1920 in Lance Creek, Wyoming to John and Fala Michael Straight. The family moved to northern Colorado when John was 4 years old. He lived there until graduating from Ft. Collins High School. John enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1939 and was stationed at Hickam Field, Hawaii. He trained as an aerial radio operator/gunner on combat crew in B-17 heavy bomber. John was at Hickam Field when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and Hickam Field on December 7, 1941. He spent the next year in the Southwest Pacific theater of operations and flew as radio operator on B-17’s from Australia and New Guinea. John was with the 435th Bomb Squadron of the famous 19th Bomb Group. He was part of the flight that evacuated General MacArthur, family and staff from the Philippines, and also on the flight that evacuated President Quezon one week later. John was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with 2 oak leaf clusters, the Air Medal, Asiatic Pacific Theater Campaign Medal with 2 bronze stars, American Defense Service Medal with 1 bronze star, Good Conduct Medal and World War II Victory Medal. John later received the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal. After 57 missions in the Combat Zone, he was returned to the United and stationed in Pyote, Texas as radio operator instructor on B-17’s and B-29’s. John left the Air Force in 1945 with the rank of Tech Sergeant.
In 1943, John married Wilda Rose Stoneking in Monahans. He began work for Shell Oil Company in 1950, working in West Texas, New Mexico and Michigan. John started on a drilling rig as roughneck and then worked in drilling, engineering, production and construction operations. He retired from Shell after 34 years of service as Construction Foreman. After retirement, John and Wilda moved to Abilene, where he played a lot of golf and worked on genealogy. He traced his and Wilda’s paternal and maternal family lines as far back as 1612 in Wales for his Straight lines and Wilda’s back to 1707 in Germany. John was a member of Pioneer Drive Baptist Church.
John was preceded in death by his parents (1974, 1975); a sister (1971); a brother (1978); and his wife, Wilda, in February 2005.
He is survived by a daughter, Carol Stone of Abilene; a son, David and wife, Jill, of Kalamazoo, Michigan; five granddaughters, Melissa Stone Ware (Carl) of Midland, Texas, Shellee Stone Cochran of Flower Mound, Texas, Sterling Straight Guidry of Traverse City, Michigan, and Lacey Straight and Whitney Straight, both of Rapids, Michigan; three great-granddaughters, Hannah Ware, Grace Ware, and Heidi Straight; four great-grandsons, Jackson Ware, Marcus Guidry, Reece Cochran, and Tyler Cochran.
Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Gideon Sunday School Department at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church.
Memorials may be made to Pioneer Drive Arise and Build Fund (701 South Pioneer Drive, Abilene, Texas 79605) or Minister’s Mentoring and Consulting Service (301 South Pioneer Drive, Abilene, Texas 79605).
You may view and sign the guestbook at www.elliott-hamil.com
- Memorial Service Monday, February 4, 2013
John Alpheaus Straight Jr.
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February 13, 2013
i just found out about your father. I am sorry for your loss and understand how difficult this is. i am glad he was given full military honors. You are in our prayers.
February 12, 2013
Dear Johnny Straight,
My condolences to you and you family.
Amanda and Brad Ellis
February 4, 2013
Our family sends our deepest condolences. Peace be with you all.
February 4, 2013
You have my deepest sympathy in the loss of your father and my prayers are with you and your family as you celebrate his homegoing today. My mom, Jo Anne McCafferty, sends her condolences also. Love, Karen Burney
Jim & Kay Mathews
February 3, 2013
There was never a nicer and kinder person in our family and he will be greatly missed by all of us. Our prayers are with the family at this time.