SIKESTON - Richard Van Duson, 79, died at 6:05 a.m. Oct. 17, 2002, at Missouri Delta Medical Center.
Born Feb. 15, 1923, in Cleveland, Ohio, son of the late Richard and Lucille Malesky Van Duson, he lived in Marietta, Ohio, most of his life, where he was a member of St. Luke's Lutheran Church. He attended Marietta College and was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.
Van Dusen enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in June 1941 and upon the onset of World War II, he served in the Pacific Theater completing chemical warfare schooling prior to his involvement in the battle at Iwo Jima. He continued his service as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps Band and attained the rank of staff sergeant before his discharge in 1947. Following his military service, Van Duson was employed with Marietta Ignition Inc. and Vadakin Inc. at Marietta. He moved to Sikeston in 1975 and was employed with Noranda Aluminum in New Madrid until retiring in November 1978.
A skilled musician, he played trumpet, alto saxophone and drums, traveling with the Ronnie Singer Orchestra and Bill Peterson Orchestra for several years. He was a licensed private aircraft pilot and member of VFW Post 3174, American Legion Post 114 and Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 3319, all in Sikeston.
On Feb. 5, 1976, he married Emma Jean Branum who survives of the home.
Other survivors include: two sons and daughters-in-law, Bill and Mary Katherine Branum of Charleston and Greg and Jeanie Branum of Columbia; two daughters and sons-in-law, Julie and Randy Norman of Searcy, Ark., and Mona and Rob Porter of Sikeston; six grandchildren, Alisa Branum and Kristin Branum of Cape Girardeau, Matthew Branum of Bismark, Jason Porter of Sikeston, Paige Norman of Searcy and Blake Branum of Charleston.
He was preceded in death by one brother, George Van Duson.
Visitation is from noon Thursday until service time at 2 p.m. at McMikle Funeral Home in Charleston. The Rev. Gerald Collier, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Charleston, will officiate.
The U.S. Marine Corps will conduct full military graveside rites at Garden of Memories Cemetery in Sikeston.
Pallbearers will be: Brad Fornkohl, Jason Porter, Matthew Branum, Blake Branum, Randy Norman and Rob Porter.
Memorial contributions may be sent to:
Boys and Girls Town of Missouri P.O. Box 189 St. James, Mo. 65559-9980