|Birth: ||Sep. 14, 1949|
|Death: ||Apr. 13, 1991, Saudi Arabia|
Commercial Appeal, The (Memphis, TN) - April 18, 1991
Deceased Name: FORMER ARKANSAN DIES IN GULF; RITES FRIDAY
Services will be Friday for a former Paragould, Ark., man who died last weekend while on duty with the U.S. Army Reserve in the Persian Gulf.
Sgt. 1C Earnest Frank Mitchem of St. Louis died Saturday of natural causes while serving as an adminstrative supervisor for an Army Reserve unit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, said Lois Mitchem, his wife.
He was 41.
Mitchem, a reservist since 1978, was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who was decorated with the Silver Star while serving in the Vietnam War. The Silver Star is considered the third-highest U.S. military decoration, below only the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross.
Mrs. Mitchem said her husband was decorated for risking his life while his platoon was involved in a firefight in Vietnam in 1970. Mitchem's platoon was pinned down in a bunker when enemy bullets ruptured cannisters containing potentially fatal gases.
Mitchem was awarded for running across an open area under fire to pick up gas masks and bring them back for the soldiers in the bunker, she said.
Mitchem, who had been in the Persian Gulf since last fall, was to return home May 9.
Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at Heath Funeral Home with burial in Providence Cemetery in Lafe.
Mitchem was a member of the Church of Christ. Besides his wife, he leaves a daughter, Ms. Lindsey Diane Mitchem of Peoria, Ill.; two stepdaughters, Ms. Linda Damrath and Ms. Pamela Bogard, and three stepsons, Edward Hugh Damrath, Paul Damrath and Jeffery Damrath, all of Granite City; his mother, Ms. Vivian Mitchem of Marmaduke; two sisters, Ms. Alice Faye Panhorst of Marmaduke and Ms. Carolyn Jane Steele of Fort Smith; a brother, Donald Gene Mitchem of Paragould, and four grandchildren.
Note: The obituary is incorrect - He received the Bronze Star and not the Silver Star
Created by: Pennsylvania Lady
Record added: Jan 06, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 63808852
Honoring #USArmy SFC Earnest Frank Mitchem Jr, died 4/13/1991 in Saudi Arabia|
Charles Robin Rauch
Added: Apr. 13, 2016
Added: Jan. 6, 2011