WALNUT HILL — Melvin O. Braddy, 92, of Walnut Hill passed away Monday, August 3, 2015, at Nature Trail Nursing Home in Mt. Vernon. He was born on February 25, 1923 near Bluford. He was the son of Harvey and Alta (Loyd) Braddy. He married the love of his life, his wife, Ruby (Robinett) Braddy in 1953, and she preceded him in death in 1999.
Mr. Braddy is survived by a son John (Cheryl) Braddy; three daughters Elizabeth “Betsy” Foutch, Julie Tippit and husband Wade, Cheryl Dagg Short and husband Dave, all of Centralia; grandchildren Richard Foutch Jr., Jeffrey Foutch, Michael Foutch, Brittany Braddy, Cory Braddy, Charles Johnson, Shannon Marlow, Aaron Marlow, April Snow, Candace Sloat, Jacob Bond, Clarissa Dagg, Nickolas Dagg; three step-daughters Karen Page, Charlotte Burns, and Nancy Crenshaw; three brothers Larry Braddy and wife Linda, Dennis Braddy and wife Marlene, and Donald Braddy and wife Mildred; 20 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, and friends who loved him dearly.
Melvin was preceded in death by his wife of 46 years and his parents, he was also preceded in death by five brothers Wilney Braddy, Kenneth Braddy, Vernon Braddy, Gene Braddy, and Stanley Braddy; step-daughter Kay Hawkey; step-son Richard Friend, and son-in-law Richard Foutch.
Mr. Braddy worked for Lear Seigler in Centralia for over 20 years, and he enjoyed repairing and selling bicycles, and lawnmowers for many years.
He loved traveling, camping, and the great outdoors, and had seen much of the United States. He enjoyed fishing, especially trout fishing in the Current River in Missouri, and in Rocky Mountain Streams. In recent years, he enjoyed and always looked forward to annual reunions of the 324th Infantry.
He was part of the “Greatest Generation”, and was a proud and patriotic veteran. He served as a T/Sgt. in the Army during WW II, as part of the 44TH Division, 324th Infantry “Fighting Wildcats”. He joined the Army in 1943 and landed off the coast of France shortly following the D-Day invasion. He moved to the front lines where he fought for 144 consecutive days before being relieved and eventually crossed into Germany where he was wounded along the Rhine River in Germany. He spent 6 months in the Army hospital before returning home. His heroic acts earned him the Silver Star, Purple Heart, Bronze Star, along with the WW II Victory European Campaign Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and Good Conduct Medal. In 2012, he was awarded the French National Order of the Legion of Honor Award for his defense of the French Homeland during WW II. He never saw himself as a hero, he thought the heroes were the ones who never made it home. He was a member of Blaze Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, Retired Teamster local 50, and Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #2055.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, August 6, 2015 at the Irvin Macz Funeral Home in Centralia, with Brother Lee Redfern officiating. Interment will be in the Elmwood Cemetery in Centralia with military graveside rites by the Centralia American Legion Post #446 and V.F.W. Post #2055.
Friends may call from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, August 5, 2015 at Irvin Macz Funeral Home. Memorials may be made to Donor’s Choice.
Online condolences and memories of Melvin may be shared with the family at maczfuneralhomes.com and/or on the funeral home’s Facebook page.