Hundreds Attend Funeral For Oklahoma Navy Veteran With No Surviving Family
PERRY, Oklahoma - Hundreds of community members, motorcycle riders and Navy members descended to the City of Perry to lay a World War II veteran to rest.
Herman White, 97, passed away August 11.
White’s wife, Evelyn, died of pneumonia at 80. His only son, Mickey, lost his battle to cancer at 47.
White had lived alone for approximately two decades.
The Brown-Duggan Funeral Home in Perry invited the public to the funeral service.
White, born in December 1929 in Wayside, Oklahoma, joined the Navy in 1945 to fight in World War II as a second-class seaman. He served in the Navy from 1945 to 1946.
“He was able to do anything for himself,” said Mike Ewy, White’s neighbor who took him to the hospital in his final hours. “He was very self-independent. He could cook, clean, every day.”
Ewy was White’s neighbor for over 13 years. A funeral to this magnitude is something Ewy never dreamed of.
“He (White) would have liked it, but he probably would have (also thought) ‘too much attention’ because he just liked to live his life,” said Ewy. “The funeral home, they were tremendous. I can't be grateful enough for what they have done.”
A custom-built motorcycle hearse brought White to his final resting place.
Patroit Guard Riders led the funeral procession through downtown Perry.
Also, school kids took a break from class to say goodbye.
“The generation of World War II is known as the greatest generation,” said Petty Officer Second Class Arielle Jackson, who help spread word of White’s funeral services on social media. “No veteran should have no one show up for his funeral.”
State senators and representatives were in attendance. Letters were also read from Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt and President Donald Trump.
“It put a really big smile on my face,” said Jackson. “I know funerals are supposed to be sad and everything like that, but I was very proud and happy that something good came from social media.”
If you've never heard of White, now you have. A reminder our veterans should never be forgotten.
“Give them (veterans) the respect that they are due to be given because they have fought for this country for what we have, and we should be grateful,” said Ewy.
The flag and some memorabilia from Wednesday’s service will be on display at the American Legion in Perry.
Watch full service below: