SIKESTON - Fred Donald Black, 90, died at 7:35 a.m. April 17, 2002, at Missouri Delta Medical Center.
Born Oct. 23, 1911, in Vanduser, son of the late Fred Emerson and Mable W. Tomlinson Black, he attended grade school and high school in Vanduser. He graduated in 1937 from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau with a bachelor of science degree in education. After enlisting with the U.S. Army Air Corps on Dec. 22, 1942, he served in the European Theater, African Theater and Middle Eastern Theater during World War II and was discharged as a sergeant on Dec. 14, 1945. As a weather observer during the war, he also served as a statistical draftsman for the U.S. Weather Bureau in Washington, D.C., and London, England, during the war. He was a member of the 8th Air Force Historical Society.
In 1938, he and his father opened the Black and Son Grocery and Hardware Store in Vanduser. Black continued as owner and operator of the business until his retirement in 1978. Also a landowner and farmer, he moved from Vanduser to Sikeston in 1949, where he became a member of the First Baptist Church in 1951.
On Nov. 13, 1949, in Sikeston, he married Thelma L. Johnson who preceded him in death on April 13, 1995.
Survivors include: one son and daughter-in-law, Philip and Sharon Black of Sikeston; one daughter and son-in-law, Karen and John Mathes of Alpharetta, Ga.; two sisters, Imogene Mason of Westview, Fla., and Virginia Geer of Vanduser; and five grandchildren, Zachary Black, Colton Black and Cody Black of Sikeston and Lucy Mathes and Andrew Mathes of Alpharetta.
Visitation is from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Nunnelee Funeral Chapel, where services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday. The Rev. William "Bill" Koch, pastor of the First United Methodist Church, and the Rev. Sandy Schaller, associate pastor, will officiate.
The Missouri Honor Guard will conduct graveside military rites at Memorial Park Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to:
the First Baptist Church
1101 N. Main St.
Sikeston, Mo. 63801
Sikeston Area Youth Baseball
P.O. Box 1845
Sikeston, Mo. 63801