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Melvin H. Neighbors (Hank) Major U.S. Army (Ret.)

Hank passed away December 8, 2012 at the age of 91. He was born to Melvin Elmer Neighbors and Della Buttrey Neighbors on November 11, 1921 in Leachville, Arkansas.

After high school, Hank enlisted in the Army and became a part of the 82nd Airborne Division in the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment. On June 6, 1944 Hank parachuted into Normandy near Ste. Mere Eglise. Wounded July 4, 1944, he was evacuated to England for hospitalization. Later he fought in the Ardennes Campaign and the Rhineland Campaign. Remaining in the Army following WWII, he fought up the Korean peninsula to the Chosin Reservoir with the 7th Infantry Division's 31st Infantry Regiment. Peacetime service after the Korean Conflict eventually brought Hank and his family to Ft. Lewis, where he retired in 1962. He then worked at the American Lake Veterans Hospital for several years.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Pat Webb Neighbors. In 2004, Hank married Edna Fountain. They had nine wonderful years together as Edna dedicated herself to his care and happiness. Hank was a loving, compassionate, generous Christian; a true gentleman. He will be dearly missed and cherished by his very large family.

He is survived by his wife Edna, and children Melvin N. Neighbors (Patty), David Neighbors (Kerry), Nancy Neighbors, and Dennis Fountain (Judy). Hank had 14 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Friday, December 14, 2012, 11:00 AM, at Lakewood Baptist Temple, 10710 Military Rd. SW. Interment will be 3:00 PM at Tahoma National Cemetery near Kent, WA. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Grace Baptist Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 563, Dupont, WA 98327. Arrangements by Mountain View Funeral Home.

[Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on Dec. 12, 2012]

(courtesy of Donald Miller)

(Courtesy of "Cemetery Wanderer")

SSgt Neighbors was a member of Hq 2nd when he parachuted into Normandy.

He was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Bronze Service Arrowhead device for his participation in the Normandy assault.

Wounded on 4 July 1944, he was evacuated.  He returned to duty on 8 November 1944.

Following WWII he was commissioned and retired as a Major.

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