Claude Theodore Roark © Cheyenne Star 04 Dec 2003 Submitted by: Wanda Purcell
Claude Theodore Roark was born January 28, 1917, in Mountain View, Oklahoma, and died November 8, 2003, in a nursing home in Vernon, Texas.
After graduating from Cheyenne High School in Cheyenne, Oklahoma, and working for three years, he attended Oklahoma Panhandle A&M for three years before joining the Army in 1941.
Transferring into the Army Air Corps, in 1943, he served in the China-India/Burma Theater in World War II and flew 88 missions over the Hump delivering supplies to U.S. ally Chang Kai-Shek. For his service, he received the Distinguished Fllying Cross, the Air Medal, and the Distinguished Unit badge.
He married Joyce Smith of Milford, Texas after the war and completed his degree at Texas Tech University.
In 1952, he was called back to serve in Korea during the Korean Conflict. He received the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal and attained the rank of Major.
Following his discharge, he worked for the U.S. Postal Service in Milford, Texas, before moving to Fort Worth and beginning a 25 year career in meat inspection with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
He lived in Vernon from 1968 until the present.
Claude was a life long member of the Hump Pilots' Association.
A loving husband and father, Claude always had a ready smile and a twinkle in his eye. Generous to his family, he expected no accolades or anything in return. He was a favorite customer of any child with a fund-raising project and a genial neighbor to those who knew him.
He loved to be outdoors, camping, gardening, and walking were his favorite activities.
He also was a prolific reader and an avid student of history.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father; a brother, Clyde Roark, who died in the Batan Death march in World War II; his sister, Helen Lackey; and a half brother and sister, Edwin Roark and Doris Barry; and his double cousin, Lee Roark.
He is survived by his wife, Joyce; his son and daughter-in-law, David and Laura Roark of Hurst, Texas; his daughter and son-in-law, Margaret and Sam Millsap of San Antonio; his grandchildren, Adam Millsap, Andrew Millsap, Sarah Roark, Alex Roard, and Lauren Roark; and two cousins with whom he grew up with, Maydell Purvis of Tucson, Arizona; and Pauline Galindo of Clinton, Oklahoma.
Graveside services were Wednesday, November 12, 2003 at 1:00 p.m. at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.
Visitation was held Tuesday, November 11, 2003 from 5-6 p.m., at Sullivan Funeral Home.
Memorials may be made to National Parkinson Foundation or Wilbarger General Hospital Auxillary.
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