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DEATHS ; Notable Passings; The Thread to Pay Last Respects

dhermann1

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Jackie Cooper was more than a Little Rascal - Our Gang kid (don't know if he was the last, but I doubt it.) He was successful as a teen aged actor, and later on had a hot sitcom in the 60's called Hennessy, in which he played a Navy Doctor. And the younger generation know him as Perry White in the Chris Reeve Superman films. He was also very active in Democratic politics for many years. Quite a guy.
 

Story

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"Hunnicutt, Richard Pearce 84 June 15, 1926 April 29, 2011 Our Dad, Richard Pearce Hunnicutt was born amidst the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains in Asheville, N.C., to James Ballard Hunnicutt and Ida Belle Black. During the Great Depression the family lost their home and had to move in with relatives. Despite the hardships, Dad excelled in school, especially chemistry. When World War II came, he altered his birth certificate and enlisted in the U.S. Army in September 1943. In October 1944 he joined the 7th Infantry Division and participated in the invasion of Leyte where he witnessed the filming of one of Gen. Douglas MacArthur's famed "returns" to the Philippines. April 1945 found him at Okinawa's Kadena Field where he met Ernie Pyle, who singled him out for a photograph because of his boyish appearance.

On April 30, 1945, Private First Class Hunnicutt, acting leader of an infantry machine gun squad, dug his guns in along a rocky escarpment known as Hacksaw Ridge. That night the squad helped repulse multiple Japanese attacks. Enemy fire killed three squad members and Dad had an eardrum shattered and took mortar fragments to his arms, but the American defenders held. The next morning, May 1, 1945, the Tenth Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Simon Buckner, unexpectedly arrived at the ridge and questioned the 18 year-old soldier on what had transpired. Lt. Gen. Buckner ordered Dad promoted to sergeant and personally pinned the Silver Star on his chest.


Dad almost never spoke of his war experiences. He always insisted he was just "war time help" and had no desire to become a "professional veteran." Following the end of the war, Dad did occupation duty in Frankfurt, Germany, and then attended Stanford University under the GI Bill. He went on to earn a master's degree in engineering from Stanford and then took a job at General Motors working under the legendary Charles "Boss" Kettering. While in Detroit, Dad met and married Susan Haight, who would be his wife for 57 years. Dad's career eventually led him to partner in an engineering firm, ANAMET Laboratories, in Berkeley, Calif. His work involved analytical testing and consulting, though he was occasionally hired as an expert witness in court cases involving metal fatigue. In one notable civil case his testimony led to the largest monetary award in the world at that time. In addition to being one of the most highly respected metallurgists in the state of California, Dad researched and wrote a 10-volume history of the development and employment of American armored fighting vehicles. The series is the definitive work on this subject and he is widely regarded as one of the nation's leading experts in this field. He is also one of the founders of the U.S. Army Ordnance Museum at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., and has been a close friend and frequent contributor to the Patton Museum at Fort Knox, Ky. Dad had two groups of acquaintances: His professional engineering colleagues, and his "tank buddies" who included much of the senior leadership of the U.S. Army. Few knew the other existed. To his four children he was a loving father who would do anything to help us out. Though he was not a spiritual man, he was an extraordinary role model in moral and ethical behavior. During the recession of the early 80s he and his two partners secretly took no pay for over a year so none of their 40 employees at the lab were laid off. We never knew of the stress and enormous pressures he often dealt with. A profanity or complaint never left his lips in our presence. He was always modest, sincere and generous in his actions, both public and private. Simply put, he was a man of enormous dignity, who never forgot his mountain roots. Selfless in all things, he was blessed with a wonderful sense of humor and gratitude for all that life had given him. We are profoundly grateful to have had such a man in our lives. Richard Hunnicutt is survived by his wife, Susan; sister, Barbara Cleveland; children, Barbara Marshall, Beverly Olson (Jay), Geoff Hunnicutt (Sandy) and Anne Millar (Alan); 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 7, 2011, at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, 2201 S.W. Vermont St., Portland, OR 97219. Arrangements by Autumn Funerals, Cremation & Burial."
 
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Story
Wonderful reflections about a truley exceptional man...and sure stands out on this thread IMHO. I'm not so sure that they make them quite like that any more. My condolences..and you were sure blessed to know such a man.
HD
 

Prairie Dog

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RIP Jackie Cooper, a true Hollywood legend. The John Voight/Rick Schroeder Champ is third rate when compared to the Wallace Beary/Jackie Cooper original. I challenge anyone to watch this classic w/o sheading a tear. Treasure Island another Cooper favorite of mine. And of course "The Little Rascals", where he had a crush on his lovely teacher, Miss Crabtree.[video=youtube;FpTjewKE-J4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpTjewKE-J4[/video]
 

K.D. Lightner

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Just learned that the last WWI combat veteran, Claude Choules died today at age 110. He fought for England.

Only one veteran is left, a woman named Florence Green, also 110, who served as a waitress for the Women's Royal Air Force.

There is also a Polish man who is a WWI-era veteran, but was not in the Great War.

The last of the last.

-- karol
 

Widebrim

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Story,

Mr. Hunnicutt was an incredible person; a Soldier, scholar, and gentleman. Do they truly make them like that anymore, that is to say, does our culture still produce such men as he? My father, who passed away in December of 2009, also served with the 7th ID (17 Inf. Reg.) on Leyte (where he, too, saw MacArthur's return) and Okinawa.
 
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Story

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ALCON,
Added actual italics to the Hunnicutt obituary, sorry the quotes weren't very noticeable.
However, RP Hunnicutt was not my father - although from what I understand through those that did know him, the text above was spot on.
 

skyvue

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Arthur Laurents, Playwright and Director on Broadway, Dies at 93

Arthur Laurents, the playwright, screenwriter and director who wrote and ultimately transformed two of Broadway’s landmark shows, “Gypsy” and “West Side Story,” and created one of Hollywood’s most well-known romances, “The Way We Were,” died on Thursday at his home in Manhattan. He was 93....

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cookie

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I had no idea he was still alive! http://www.washingtonpost.com/local...er-dies-at-100/2011/04/19/AFHKu47D_story.html

A little over a year ago, I put on some vintage music for my 90 year-old mother, and the song "Oh Johnny, Oh Johhny, Oh!" came on with Wee Bonnie Baker. My mom started to softly sing along with the tune, despite the fact that she likely had not heard the song in many decades...

My Mum (DOB 1920) was a big band singer (she called herself a crooner) in the 40/50s and that was one of the songs she recorded - in a Cockney musical hall accent. I still have the 78. Her stuff is all in our national archives and my brother has it put on CD.
 

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