An Oklahoma funeral home is inviting the public to help give a World War II veteran a hero’s goodbye.
Herman White, 97, died August 11 at the hospital after a fall. His wife and son died several years ago, they were the only family he had left.
The Brown-Duggan Funeral Home in Perry is inviting the public to a funeral service they’re making final preparations for.
White, born in December 1929 in Wayside, Oklahoma, joined the Navy in 1945 to fight World War II as a second-class seaman. He served in the Navy from 1945 to 1946.
White’s wife, Evelyn, died of pneumonia at 80. His only son, Mickey, lost his battle to cancer at 47.
White spent many years alone.
“I knew he had really been through a lot, this is coming after the bombing of Pearl Harbor,” said Rebecca Rains, manager at Brown-Duggan Funeral Home. “He rushed out and joined, felt patriotic, swelling of pride and joined the Navy. Even though the Navy had been bombed, and I thought that was really sweet.”
A public funeral is now being planned complete with bagpipes, a dove release, even a live bugler. Raines is prepared to give White the funeral he deserves.
“We just keep getting phones calls from people across the state and across the nation wanting to come, wanting their group to come and wanting to speak,” said Raines. “One of our local senators wants to speak now.”
As preparations begin to say goodbye, a community holds out hope that this celebration of life is one for the history books.
“I hope it's packed, I hope there is red right and blue flags for miles, I hope there is military men saluting as we come in,” said Raines. “I hope it is nothing like this country has never seen because I think he deserves it.”
White’s funeral services will be held Wednesday, September 4 at Grace Hill Cemetery located in Perry at 500 Memorial Drive. Services are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.
Parking may be difficult. Funeral home management suggests visitors to arrive early.
The Brown-Duggan Funeral Home will hand out American flags to anyone who may need them.