Funeral Services will be held on Saturday Nov 1st, 2014 for longtime Rawlins resident Howard Fletcher Hembree Jr. who died October 22 in Scottsdale, Arizona from causes incident to age. He was 88 years old. Howard was born February 10, 1926 in Jasper, Alabama, the son of Howard F. Hembree Sr. and Lucy Fleeta Rutledge. He was the youngest of seven children. Howard attended schools in Jasper. He was drafted into WWII near the end of his Senior year in high school and on May 30, 1944, one week after graduating, he left for Navy Combat Training in Camp Wallace, Texas where he trained with the Navy Seabees - a Navy Construction Battalion. His three older brothers and a brother-in-law were all serving with the US Forces at the time. After 3 months training, Howard participated in the 1944 invasion of Iwo Jima in the Pacific. He lived in a fox hole on the island for 30 days until the island was secured. Howard spent 10 months on Iwo Jima where he helped build an air strip and assisted in guarding the atomic bomb that was later dropped on Nagasaki. He also helped search the extensive underground tunnel system the Japanese had built on the island. He was an eye witness to the raising of the American flag on Mt. Suribachi on February 23, 1945. The photograph taken of this flag raising was one of the most recognizable images of the war and possibly one of the most reproduced photographs of all time. In the conflict for the strategic island, 6,000 Americans and 20,000 Japanese lost their lives. After the war, Howard returned to his home in Jasper, Alabama. His three brothers and brother in law had all returned uninjured as well. In 1950, Howard came to Rawlins to join his sister, Evelyn Aman and brother, Carl Hembree to work in his sister's business Karl's Clothes Shop. Howard worked at Karl's Clothes Shop for 23 years. He had a faithful following of customers. He knew many of his customer sizes and preferences my memory. Howard also worked for McMahon Motors for 14 years and Quality Motors for 2 years. Howard loved being with people, loved to fish for brookie trout in the Snowy Range mountains, and was a devoted husband, father and friend. Howard was active in the Rawlins Jaycees, Boy Scouts, and is a past president of the Rawlins Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the Methodist Church. In addition to his parents, Howard was preceded in death by sisters: Evelyn Aman, Martelle Stookey, Elemese Smith and brothers: Preston Hembree, Hugh Hembree, and Carl Hembree. Howard is survived by his wife of 60 years, Shirley, of Scottsdale, Arizona; son, Tom and wife Elizabeth of Laramie; daughter Jayne Oldroyd and husband Doug of Mesa, Arizona; grandchildren; Lance and Lauren, college students in Provo, Utah, grandson Trenton, serving as a LDS missionary in Malaga, Spain, and grandson David Howard of Mesa, Arizona. Howard is also survived by nieces, Kress Hembree of Rawlins, Becky Hembree of Kittery, Maine, Sue Gehlback of Salem, Wisconsin, and nephew Bill Stookey of Colorado, Springs, Colorado. Funeral Services will be conducted on Saturday, November 1, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. at the Carbon County Funeral Home in Rawlins with Bishop Dale Anderson officiating. An interment and honor guard service will follow at the Rawlins Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Howard's memory to the Rawlins Chamber of Commerce.
Saturday, November 1, 2014 10:00am
915 Third St.