On March 1, 2014 Richard Usher, my father in law, passed away
after a short stay in the hospital preceded by several months of
declining health. It was expected, yet unexpected.
We sent him off exactly as he would have wanted.
A brief viewing at the local funeral parlor
with the Marine Corps Pass in Review.
Then to Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery
for the gun salute and flag presentation to my daughter, Becky.
I began dating my husband when I was 14 years old so I've been with the family for a very long time. We lived in the same subdivision, about six houses apart, since we were in second grade. Dick was a great story teller and over the years we listened to his stories of growing up in Kerry Patch located in North St Louis - back then a very poor neighborhood of Irish, immigrants with a smattering of Jewish, Polish and Italian folks. He worked as tile setter's helper after dropping out of school at age 16 but joined the Marines at age 21, serving until the end of the war. He met my mother in law "in a 3.2 tavern" and it was the beginning of a journey that lasted a lifetime and produced many great stories, in addition to a couple of great brothers: Tom and Dan
Arden Ruth Mueller Usher
Before he shipped out to Korea, Dick hitchhiked across to country for a visit home. Finally arriving, he had only 4 pennies left in his pocket. His mother kept those pennies and to this day they hang in his bar area displayed in a simple frame.
His crew fired the last round in the war -- These are his words . . .
The Real Story of the Last Round Fired in Korea
I was the Section Chief of gun 5 in H-3-11. On the morning of 27 July,
1953, I left the Battery to go on R&R in Japan. Sgt. Jerry Lannert
was my assistant Section Chief and left in charge.
At 2138, when the firing mission was fired, and the guns checked in,
“check #1, check #2, etc.” When they got to # 5, Jerry reported a misfire on #5. “I THINK I GOT A HANG FIRE!”
The exec pit said to try to fire it out. With a big grin on his face, he
said, “This is the last round.”
Jerry died some years ago, but the 105mm brass is engraved and polished in his family room.
Husband to Arden Usher
Father to Tom and Dan Usher,
Grandfather to Becky and Sean Usher,
Great Grandfather to Taylor Usher and
Father in Law to Kathy and Gina Usher.
We sent him off in style.
A last toast to Dick Usher.
Jim Beam shed a tear
but the angels rejoiced.