|Birth: ||Jan. 2, 1903|
|Death: ||Apr. 28, 2009|
United States Army,
World War I,
Robley Henry Rex, 106 years, 3 months and 26 days of age, Kentucky's last World War I Army veteran, renowned and beloved for his volunteer service to other veterans, departed this life peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday, April 28th, 2009 at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, Kentucky.
He was born on January 2nd, 1903 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. He was the oldest resident of Kentucky. He credited his longevity to his wife of 69 years, the former Gracie Bivins, who died in 1992 at the age of 91 years. Rex always said "I married the right woman,". He called her "the smartest woman in the world." They met at Camp Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky in 1919 before he was sent overseas with the Army. They married in 1922 when he returned to the United States.
He was delightful to be around, energetic an fun. Robley always said "You've all heard the Psalm, God will take care of you. Now you see the fellow that God has taken care of, it's me, Robley Rex".
He not only had a long life, but a quality life. He was well-known to staff and patients at the Veterans Center, where he was still volunteering three days a week when he was 105 years old. He had logged more than 14,000 volunteer hours at the hospital since 1986, delivering charts and records along with the mail. He often chatted with patients or, being an ordained Methodist minister, shared a prayer with them. He was very much a role model to veterans often being more of a inspiration to them than anything else. At his 107th birthday party on May 2nd, 2008, He was presented with the Kentucky Governor's Award for Outstanding Service. He was named National Volunteer of the Year in 2005 by the national Veterans of Foreign Wars organization.
Although he never saw combat, Robley enlisted after the armistice was signed. He was assigned to a military intelligence unit at the 3rd Army Headquarters in Germany, he was an 18-year-old, 115-pound Army private. He boxed as an Army flyweight in Europe against other U.S. soldiers and was given the name "Kid Rex." He said he lost more fights than he won. Once back home and married, Rex farmed for 23 years in Daviess County, Kentucky growing tobacco, corn and hay. He and his wife later moved to Louisville, Kentucky where he retired as a railway postal clerk. Robley had lived in Okolona until the past few years, when he moved back to Louisville, Kentucky.
THIS IS A TRIBUTE IN MEMORY OF ROBLEY REX,
I'd like the memory of me
to be a happy one.
I'd like to leave an after glow
of smiles when life is done.
I'd like to leave an echo
whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times
and bright and sunny days.
I'd like the tears of those who grieve,
to dry before the sun
of happy memories
that I leave when my life is done.
Robley was cremated, his aches were buried in the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky. On April 10th, 2010 the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, Kentucky was renamed the Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Gracie Bivins Rex (1901 - 1992)
Note: Thank you to John and Kim Galloway for sponsoring this memorial for Robley Rex.
Zachary Taylor National Cemetery
Plot: D, O, 2191
GPS (lat/lon): 38.27853, -85.6431
Created by: Cadmus
Record added: Apr 29, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 36549756