Memorial Day observances planned in area communities

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Memorial Day observances in Carrollton begin with a parade May 30 at 10 a.m., followed by a ceremony at Westview Cemetery.

The parade forms on Third St. NE in front of Carrollton High School. The parade steps off at 10 a.m., traveling south on N. Lisbon St., on the west side of Public Square and south on S. Lisbon St. where it will disburse.

Charles “Chuck” Pearson is the featured speaker at the Westview Cemetery observance. Jim Fisher, commander of Fighing McCooks VFW Post 3301, said the ceremony will begin no later than 11:30 or “when they see the crowd from the parade has arrived.”

The Carrollton High School band is scheduled to participate and play Taps. Toby Davis will serve as officer of the day.

Pearson refers to himself as “an old retired Marine who married his high school sweetheart.” The Malvern High School graduate enlisted in the Marines in 1950, rose through the enlisted ranks and became an officer.

He retired in 1971 and enrolled in college, receiving a teaching degree from Malone College in 1974. He taught one year at Malone and seven years at Sandy Valley.

Pearson is a member of a small group of Carroll County veterans who volunteer to provide military funeral services for deceased veterans, often traveling outside the county. He plays Taps at the services, a musical piece he has perfected and has played at hundreds of services and events.

He is a member and chaplain of Malvern American Legion Post 375, member and past commander of Carrollton VFW Post 3301 and recently retired as a member of Carroll County Veterans Service Commission. He is also a member and past president of the Marine Corps Musicians Association, member of the Marine Corps Officers Association and Marine Corps Association, member and past president of the East Central Ohio Forestry Association and a lay leader at Minerva United Methodist Church.

He and his wife, Vernice, have three children, nine grandchildren and several great grandchildren.

MALVERN

Memorial Day events begin in Malvern with a breakfast at the American Legion Valley Post 375 post home with a breakfast from 7-8:30 a.m. May 30. The public is invited.

The annual parade begins at 9 a.m. at Malvern High School, marches to the Malvern Historical Society for a brief ceremony, progresses to St. Francis Xavier Church for a brief ceremony and on to Bethlehem Cemetery where Carroll County Municipal Court Judge Gary Willen is scheduled to speak.

All area veterans are invited to participate in the parade and join in ceremonies. Members of the Sons of the American Legion, Detachment #375 are also invited to march in a group similar to what has been done in recent years.

The public is invited to visit the post home following the ceremonies for a complimentary lunch. The post home is located at the corner of Bridge and Grant streets.

MINERVA

The West Twp. Memorial Associaton will conduct its annual Memorial Day service May 30 at Moultrie Chapel, located two miles east of New Franklin, north of Minerva.

The march to decorate graves begins at 2 p.m., led by Don V. Cross American Legion Post #357 from Minerva. Hera Hoffee, a fifth grade student from Minerva elementary, will recite the Gettysburg Address. Patriotic Music and the playing of Taps will be provided by the Minerva Community Band.

Stephen G. Smith, a West Twp. resident and combat veteran from the Vietnam era (Navy). He will tell the story of 1st Lt. Ashley White-Stumpf of Marlboro Twp., a graduate of Marlington High School and Kent State University. She was killed in action in the Kandahar Providence of Afghanistan in October 2011 while attached to the US Army Ranger Battalion. Lt White was there as part of the Army’s elite Cultural Support Team, a highly trained group of women soldiers who work with US Special Forces as they deal with the delicate and difficult issues of the presence of Muslin women and children near fighting.

Special music will be provided by Deriree Pesko. Congregational signing will follow. Ice cream will be served at the conclusion of the service.