Paul Bernard Little
March 23, 1925 – April 20, 2021
Collierville, TN ¬¬-- Paul Bernard Little, 96, former resident of Brighton, Covington, and Memphis, Tennessee passed away of natural causes on April 20, 2021 surrounded by his family at his son’s home in Collierville. He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Anna E. Little, his brothers Earl and Bill Little, sister Florence Reese, and parents, Walter E. Little and Virginia Little.
He is survived by his brother Bob Little of Muncy, Pa., sister Alice Miller of Montgomery, Pa., and his children: Ocean County Freeholder Gerry and Lee Little of Surf City, New Jersey, Paula and Dr. Travis Bolton of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Dr. Gregory and Dr. Lora Little of Collierville, Tennessee. He has four grandchildren, Elizabeth, Trevor, Matthew, and Lindsey.
Paul was born on March 23, 1925 on a farm in Strawbridge, Pennsylvania, which had neither running water or electricity. Several years later his family moved to Muncy, Pennsylvania where he became a standout wrestler, football player, and baseball player at Muncy High School. At age 17 he went to spring training in Florida for the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team, but he joined the U. S. Navy in August of 1942. He was assigned to train as a naval airman for amphibious PBY airplanes. After briefly serving on the East coast and in the Caribbean, he was stationed in the South Pacific in the Solomon Islands region in 1943-4 as a member of the famed “Rankins Raiders” PBY group, also known as the Black Cats. Among other citations and medals, he was awarded a Bronze Star by Admiral C. A. Nimitz in 1944. He was then sent to flight school, and when the war ended he completed specialized engineering training and returned to Muncy, Pa. and married. He and his wife Anna moved to Hughesville, Pennsylvania. He was an active volunteer in Little League baseball and various other civic projects. He worked for Sylvania in Montoursville, Pa. until 1964 when he moved his family to Huntsville, Alabama to work for an engineering firm at Redstone Arsenal on NASA’s Project Gemini. There he was involved with the communication system wiring on the space capsules. One of his tasks was to help develop, tune, and test a crystal-based technology that would allow light beams to be used as a means of communication between Earth-based centers and the space capsules. He then worked on various engineering projects in Lakeland, Florida, Mobile, Alabama, and Greenville, South Carolina. In the 1970s he moved to the Memphis area eventually working for Colonial Fiber Co. in Covington, TN as plant engineer, from which he retired in 1987. He was a founding member of the Cooper Mills Hunting Club near White Deer, PA and active in VFW and American Legion groups in Covington and Germantown, Tn. He also provided assistance to the Veteran’s Park project in Surf City, New Jersey. During his last 5 years he resided at The Heritage at Irene Woods in Memphis.
The family expresses deep appreciation to Dr. Nidal Rahal and the staff at the Heritage at Irene Woods for making Paul’s past 5 years so friendly and enjoyable. In addition, one of Paul’s wishes was to specifically thank the Memphis Veteran’s Administration Hospital for decades of quality help. Drs. Swims, Flatman, Rodriguez, and Sheridan as well as all of the other attending staff performed a commendable job of assisting and treating Paul. He often expressed gratitude for the outstanding treatment he received at the VA Hospital.
His remains will be interred in Hughesville, Pennsylvania in a family plot. In lieu of flowers or memorials, the family requests that any donations should be sent to the Wounded Warriors Project, local VFW organizations, or any other Veteran support group.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Paul Bernard Little
April 22, 2021
Nothing but love and the utmost respect for Paul and his family. I am proud to say he was my friend. God speed. Rest in peace.
April 22, 2021
Uncle Paul- the first time I saw you (when I was an adult) was at Pappy Littles Funeral and gathering at Aunt Florence's house. I will never forget this as long as I live--- I turned the corner and I thought I saw my Dad, who had passed away oh too young years b4. It was you. I grabbed you and hugged you. I missed my Dad so much. I told you how I thought you were him and you were so loving and kind to me.
I never spent much time with you but the few memories of visiting when you stayed at a friend's house in Muncy...were priceless. You were always busy, always working, always fixing. My Dad had that quality as do a few brothers and I.
You lived a long life. You have great kids n grandkids. You are with your love Aunt Anna now.
Hugs Uncle Paul. I love you and all of those who passed b4 you. Please pass on my big bear hugs to them all.
April 21, 2021
He was a kind and loving man and I know he will be missed by his family and many others. Ken Robinson