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David Wes 'D.W.' Harry

Jul 25, 2014 - Staff

David Wes "D.W." Harry died Sunday, July 20, 2014, at New Horizons Care Center in Lovell. He was 91 years old.

A viewing will be at 1 p.m. Monday, July 28, at Davis Funeral Home. A funeral service will follow at 2 p.m. Inurnment will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 29, at Mountain View Cemetery in Riverton.

D.W. Harry was born Oct. 1, 1922, in Wellston, Ohio, the oldest son of David Wesley Harry Sr. and Lucille (Davis) Harry.

He graduated from Clay City Community High School in 1940 and received awards for penmanship and accounting.

After high school, he traveled daily from Clay City, Ill., to Olney, Ill., where he worked as a general clerk/delivery boy at a grocery store. During one of his deliveries, he met a young lady from Oklahoma. They later married.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp on Nov. 2, 1942, in Chicago. That same year he graduated boot camp with the 1026th Platoon in San Diego, Calif. He was stationed for a short time at the Marine Corps Air Station in El Centro, Calif.

Tech. Sgt. Harry received specialized training in aviation machine mate at Memphis, aerial gunner at Purcell, Okla., and combat air crewman at Cherry Point, N.C. His specialties were that of mechanic gunner, mechanic turret gunner and mechanic air. During his time in the Marines, he flew with Bombing Squadron VMB 443 in a PBJ Mitchell B25 and operated the top turret gun. Squadron VMB 443 flew missions in the Bismarck Archipelago area in the Pacific Ocean, concentrating on the areas of Emirau and Rabaul.

In December 1945, he was honorably discharged and awarded the Air Medal in connection with military operations against the Japanese forces in the Bismarck Archipelago area, World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with two Bronze Stars, Rifle - MM Badge, Honorable Service Lapel Pin (Ruptured Duck) and the USMC Discharge Button.

On March 27, 1943, he married Annabett J. Whitten at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis.

During their more than 64 years together, they lived in numerous states but finally called Wyoming "home."

He worked numerous jobs in various states in the oil and gas fields. He retired from Montana Dakota Utilities, a subsidiary of the Williston Basin Interstate Pipeline.

His family said while living at New Horizons Care Center, he kept staff and residents entertained with his yodeling. It was there that he met and befriended emergency medical technician Todd Nunn. They developed a special friendship, were always talking about flying and on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010, a dream came true for Mr. Harry. In celebration of his 88th birthday, he was able to take flight in a 1947 Aeronca L-16A Champion airplane courtesy of pilot Todd Nunn.

On Tuesday, July 3, 2012, Mr. Harry had another dream realized when Jack and Diane Martin of the Cody Patriots arranged for veterans to fly in "Grumpy," a B-25 from the World War II-era. So during the Cody Stampede festivities, and in early celebration of his 90th birthday, he took to the skies once again.

His family said he enjoyed writing poetry, hunting, fishing, boating, camping, horses and his specialty "tinker-ritis." He also had a love for listening to old time music and traveling. His dream was to become a "professional tourist" in his senior years. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Masons, Veterans Association and the Friday-Truan Marine Corp League Detachment 683.

He is survived by his children, Dan Harry and his wife Becky of Boyd, Mont., and Darla and her husband Tom of Lovell; grandsons Zachariah Harry of Boyd, Mont., Senior Master Sgt. Aaron Harry (U.S. Air Force) and his wife Tisha of Witchita, Texas, Danny Wood and his fiancee Mindy McKee of Shoshoni; Sgt. James R. Wood (U.S. Marine Corp) and his girlfriend Kristi Bills of Riverton, and Todd Wood and his wife Michayla of Pahrump, Nev.; step-grandchildren Stormy Heinrich and her husband Frank of Lovell and stepgrandson Billey Kleiner of Rawlins; great-grandchildren Davin and Ethan of Shoshoni, Jacob of Florida, Fischer of Riverton, Carter, Quinton, Grayson of Pahrump, Nev., Whitney and Becca of Witchita, Texas, and Abby of Pahrump, Nev.; step great-grandchildren Tameka and Chante' of Lovell, Trinity of Lovell and Brenton of Shoshoni; brother James Harry and his wife Marge of Illinois; and numerous nieces and nephews and their families.R32;He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, and granddaughter Shannon Harry.R32;Arrangements are under the direction of Davis Funeral Home of Riverton. Online condolences may be left at www.thedavisfuneralhome.com.

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