Benjamin “Pete” Franklin Whitfield Sr., 100, was born February 1, 1913 to Sam and Lula Whitfield. On Thursday, August 22, 2013 he passed away at the Jefferson Regional Medical Center.
Benjamin loyally served his country as an enlisted man in the United States Army from May 26, 1942- November 20, 1945. While enlisted , PCF Benjamin F. Whitfield was a combat infantryman. He entered military service at Camp Robinson, Ark. He served his country in the following World War II battles/ campaigns in the Southwest Pacific: Bismarck Archipelago, New Guinea (one of the most violent Campaigns), Northern Solomons, and Southern Philippines. While enlisted he was a highly decorated war hero. Under the leadership of General Douglas McArthur, he received the following decorations and citations: Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Ribbon, Philippines Liberation Ribbon, four bronze stars, the Asiatic Pacific (AP) Theater Campaign Ribbon and the American Theater Campaign Ribbon.
After his time in the armed forces he lived in Arkansas, Chicago, and in California. Professionally he worked most of his life as a successful farmer, spending some years laboring as a skilled mill and factory worker.
In April 1946 he joined in holy matrimony with Lucy Dale and to their union three sons and three daughters were born.
Benjamin confessed a hope in Christ at an early age. Even after his health failed he remained a loyal member and a cherished deacon of Jericho Baptist Church. He remained faithful to his beloved church home until his death.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 67 years, Lucy Dale Whitfield; four sons, Benjamin F. Whitfield Jr., of Pine Bluff, Sherman L. Whitfield (Paula) of Zionsville, Ind., Larry D. Whitfield (Lois) of Dumas and Samuel Davis of California; three daughters, Sender Reatha Perry of Milwaukee, Wis., Narma Johnson of Collins, Miss., and Levette Whitfield of Crossett; 15 grandchildren; a host of great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. And one very special niece, Brenda Coleman. Gone before him are his parents, his four sisters, Ida Bell, Rosie, Evelyn and Lula and his brother J.D.
Known all over the for his wonderful smile, joke telling, gift giving and generous spirit he will be greatly missed by family and friends.
Services will be Tuesday, August 27, 2013 11:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Gould, Ark.
Service entrusted to Davis Strickland Funeral Home of Dermott.