John Dorval Minatra
April 4, 1935 – March 7, 2018
John Dorval Minatra, age 82, died quietly and peacefully Wednesday, March 7, 2018, at Community Care of Rutherford County in Murfreesboro, TN.
He was born in Giles County, TN on April 4, 1935. He attended Campbellsville High School where he was a star football player. Minatra voluntarily enlisted in the United States Army in 1954, where he completed his education, and began a career which lasted 20+ years, becoming one of the most decorated soldiers from the state of Tennessee to serve in Vietnam, and one of the most decorated soldiers in Giles County history. He served honorably with the 101st Airborne Division and with the elite soldiers of the U.S. Army Rangers. He was veteran of the Korean War and the Vietnam War, where he volunteered for three tours. He received, among other awards for gallantry and valor in combat, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and the Army Commendation Medal. In 2001, following his retirement from the Army, Minatra was inducted into the prestigious Army Ranger Hall Of Fame (RHOF) located at their headquarters at Fort Benning, GA. More recently in September 2017, Minatra’s military service was highlighted in a submission for the U.S. Congressional Record by Congressman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, followed by a celebration with family, friends, and retired members of the 75th Ranger Regiment from Tennessee.
Dorval Minatra was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Christine Hutton Minatra of Pulaski, and by his parents, David W. and Aileen Cardin Minatra and his youngest brother Phil Minatra.
Survivors include three children - their twin sons, Barry Minatra and wife Renee of Memphis, TN, Larry Minatra of Pulaski, and their daughter, Melissa Firetti and husband Mike of Rehoboth Beach, DE. Minatra is also survived by his brother Charles Lane Minatra of Rockvale, TN, and by 9 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren, along with numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church of Pulaski at 407 South 1st Street Pulaski, TN 38478
Visitation will be on Friday, March 9, 2018, from 12:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. at Carr & Erwin Funeral Home in Pulaski.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, March 9, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. at Carr & Erwin Funeral Home in Pulaski. Burial to follow in Giles Memory Gardens.
Carr & Erwin Funeral Home 1228 East College Street Pulaski, Tennessee 931-363-1533
- Visitation Friday, March 9, 2018
- Funeral Service Friday, March 9, 2018
John Dorval Minatra
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Jeanette Smith Hargrove
March 9, 2018
During school days at Campbellsville, I was best friends with Christine. I cheered Dorval on during the football games. Yes, he was also a tough, outstanding player. My mother was friends with Aileen, Dorval's mother. I have so many fond memories of our high school friendship. I remember attending Dorval Minatra Day in Pulaski. I moved away and we lost touch, but I never forgot the good times that we had. Barry, I'm glad we became Facebook friends; and I was in contact again through you. My deepest sympathy to all of the family. Lane, I hope you remember me. I am so proud of Dorval and what he did for our country. He was a real HERO. He is with Christine now and I know it was a joyous reunion. They are laughing because that's what they always did.
March 8, 2018
It was my honor to attend Dorval's induction ceremony into the Ranger Hall of Fame. He is a true hero and his brother, Phil, my stepdad, was very proud of him. They say "Rangers lead the way" but Phil was waiting for Dorval when he got to heaven! My thoughts and prayers are with their family.
March 8, 2018
Dorval ,you were the one l called the night my husband Gene Chapman had a massive brain hemorrhage at 2:30a.m. and you carried me to the hospital and stayed with us. Then you helped load him in the helicopter that carried him to St. Thomas. Know this it was your face that was the last other than mine that he fully recognized before he died. I am forever grateful and in your debt, my kitchen window that you had to break for me to get back into the house nearly 8 years ago is still broken, (l locked the keys in the house) l don' have the heart to fix it. Loved you and Christine from day one and appreciate all the memories. Live alone in that house now, so counting memories and blessings will always include you both. Thanks for all the kindness. Your children were fortunate for Mom and Dad. Love Louise Chapman