Military veteran

Melvin Clay DeWitt, 74, passed away Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, after a long battle with Parkinson disease.

He was born Feb. 20, 1943, in Gillespie, Ill., son of Melvin and Sylvia L. Cole DeWitt. He and Petra Wagner were married Jan. 21, 1983, in Karlsruhe, Germany.

He grew up in the Raymondville area. He entered the Army in August 1966. He served two tours of duty in South Vietnam with the Fourth Infantry Division and earned the Bronze Star and Combat Infantry Badge while there.

After retirement from the military, he returned to Texas County and began his second career as a tower guard at South Central Correctional Center in Licking with the Missouri Department of Corrections.

He loved the outdoors. He enjoyed watching birds and squirrels and gardening.

He was a lifetime member of the VFW and American Legion.

He was preceded in death by his parents; four brothers, Wilbert Clyde DeWitt, Elvis Clise DeWitt, Jerry Lynn DeWitt and Peter David DeWitt, seven sisters Velma Lucille Settles, Mary Pearl DeWitt, Selma Nadine DeWitt, Katy Mae McGuire, Joyce Marie Amburn, Patsy Loretta Drake and Shirley Jean Bradshaw; and two daughters Laurie Jeannene McDade and Roberta DeWitt.

Survivors include his wife, Petra of the home; four children, Georgia Venus of Landstuhl, Germany, Mary Elizabeth Hollie of Keota, Okla., Barbara Clark of Spiro, Okla., and Steven Louis DeWitt of Sacramento, Calif.; and many grandchildren and other family members.

Services are Wednesday, Oct. 4, at the Rolla Chapel of the James and Gahr Mortuary. Burial with full military honors is 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, in Friendship Cemetery, Raymondville.

In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the South Central Regional Veterans Group for the Veterans Memorial Park in Rolla.

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