EAST PRAIRIE -- Phonzie William Brown, 95, died Jan. 22, 2013.
Born March 3, 1917, in Boles, Ill., to the late Clyde Dewitt and Avis Howells Brown, he was a retired businessman and rural letter carrier. He served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Theater during World War II and was an Iwo Jima survivor, a participant in the battle for Okinawa and was part of the occupying forces of Japan. He was later awarded the World War II Veteran Award for Patriotic Service in recognition of bravery and selfless sacrifice to the state of Missouri and the country.
In 1937, he married June LaPlant who preceded him in death.
Survivors include: one son and daughter-in-law, Phonzie William and Nezalee Brown Jr. of Nashville and Linda Brown Coker of The Villages, Fla.; one sister, Maxine Ferguson of Oklahoma City; and three granddaughters and five great-grandchildren.
Services were conducted Thursday at the Shelby Funeral Home in East Prairie with Fred Girdwood and Mark Ford officiating.
Burial with full military rites conducted by the Missouri Funeral Honors Program followed in the I.O.O.F. Cemetery near Charleston.
Pallbearers were: John D. Ray, Kevin Brown, Rick LaPlant, David Haynes, Terry Lee and Peter Malone.
Online condolences may be made at: www.shelbyfuneral.com.a