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TSGT Raymond LaRue “Ray” Casey

Photo added by Mike Casey

TSGT Raymond LaRue “Ray” Casey

  • Birth 6 Jul 1920 Dover, Pope County, Arkansas, USA
  • Death 24 Sep 1985 North Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas, USA
  • Burial Fort Smith, Sebastian County, Arkansas, USA
  • Plot 14, 0, 845
  • Memorial ID 474745

The second of five children who survived into adulthood, Raymond was born to dirt-poor tenant farmers on a rocky hillside called 'Potato Hill' in northwestern Arkansas. Being the oldest son during the Great Depression, it fell on Raymond to help support the family as best he could. In addition, he continued to work the family farm alongside his parents and younger brothers.

Upon completing the course of study prescribed by the Common Schools of the State of Arkansas, Raymond received his eighth grade certificate on 3 February 1939. Two months later, on 14 April, he enrolled as a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Co. 746 at Lost Corner, Arkansas, from which he received his discharge on 29 March 1941. He afterwards gained employment with the U.S. Dept. of Argriculture, Forest Service, Region 8, at Russellville, Arkansas on 2 February 1942, as a Minor Forest Guard (fire tower lookout) at the Hatley Mtn. Tower, Bayou Road. He also worked the Fairview Tower. Then on 3 June 1942, he was authorized by the local postmaster to carry the U.S. mail between Ozone and Dale, Arkansas. Less than a week later, on 9 June, he entered the U.S. Army.

During WWII, Ray served with the 81st "Wildcat" Division, 323rd Infantry Regiment, Easy Company, as a combat medic in the Pacific Theater, which was under the command of Gen. Paul J. Mueller. His awards include the Combat Medical Badge, Purple Heart and two Bronze Star medals, among others. He shipped off to WWII aboard the USN ship named in the honor of Gen. Hunter Liggett. Ray received his first honorable discharge on 8 December 1945.

He later contiunued his military career with the U.S. Air Force during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, after which he and Addie retired to the family farm at Lamar, Johnson Co., Arkansas in 1973. Health issues notwithstanding, he enjoyed his retirement, often visiting his friends, fishing and attending local fiddle contests and jam sessions. He especially enjoyed visits from and to his children and grandchildren who lived in Oklahoma. Ray also enjoyed dropping in on his lifelong friend and war buddy, Leonard Brown.

Ray had four children by his first wife, Anna Katherine (Waldow) Casey: Michael Ray, Paul Aaron, Priscilla Ann and Mary Jane Casey. Among numerous friends and relations present at Ray and Anna's double ring ceremony in Ozone, Arkansas on 24 December 1946, was his first cousin J.T. Casey.

His subsequent and lasting marriage, which produced no children, was to Miss Adeline Kelly, the love of his life, on 3 August 1963 in Washington, D.C.

He passed away on a Tuesday at the Fort Roots VA Hospital following a lengthy battle with cancer and emphysema. Funeral services were at 12:00 noon on Friday at the Cox Funeral Home Chapel, Clarksville, Arkansas, officiated by John Hall. Iterment with full military honors followed at Fort Smith National Cemetery. Pallbears consisted of nephews, Ron, Terry and Glenn Casey, Steve and Jim Williams (nephew-in-law), Bill Lessly and Rick Houston.


Family Members


Inscription

TSGT / US AIR FORCE / WORLD WAR II / KOREA / VIETNAM

Gravesite Details His original marker was replaced to include spouse, which is SOP.
  • Maintained by: Mike Casey
  • Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Office
  • Added: 25 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 474745
  • Mike Casey
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for TSGT Raymond LaRue “Ray” Casey (6 Jul 1920–24 Sep 1985), Find A Grave Memorial no. 474745, citing Fort Smith National Cemetery, Fort Smith, Sebastian County, Arkansas, USA ; Maintained by Mike Casey (contributor 47002614) .