Sunday, February 20, 2011

J. T. Stiles, United States Navy Veteran

J. T. Stiles was born May 24, 1930 in Maxdale, Texas, and named Jackson Thomas Stiles by his parents Arthur and Lillie Belle. He passed away on February 13, 2011, at the age of 80, at his residence in Briggs, Texas, just 14 miles from his birth place.

J.T. proudly served his country in the United States Navy and served in World War II. He was retired from civil service at Fort Hood, Texas and was a long time rancher in Burnet County, Texas.

A graveside memorial service was held on February 15 at the Mount Moriah Cemetery in Briggs. The service could fairly be described as a “cowboy” service, as the preferred attire for the men was cowboy hats and boots, and denim jeans.

In attendance were the Patriot Guard Riders, who formed a line of American flags alone the side of the grave-site, to honor yet another fallen veteran.

The Reverend Jackie Mabe presided over the service and spoke of J.T.’s life. He read passages from the bible, John 14:1 and the 23rd Psalm, and offered the final prayers.

J.T.’s younger daughter told of how her father had raised his daughters as a single parent, passed on to them his values, and was always there for them.

A solo guitarist performed “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” and “The Old Rugged Cross”.

The services concluded with the presentation of an American flag, folded into the traditional triangle, to J.T.’s older daughter, on behalf of the United States Navy and a grateful nation, as thanks for his years of service.

J.T. was then laid to rest in the Stiles family plot. Left to cherish his memory are his daughters, Debbie and Diane, four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, his brother, two sisters and numerous nieces, nephews and close friends.

The Memory of Me

I’d like the memory of me
to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an afterglow
of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly
down the ways, of happy times,
and laughing times,
and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve
to dry before the sun
of happy memories I leave
when life is done.

With thanks to the Austin American-Statesman for biographical information.

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