CHAPTER CHATTER Page 5

The Official Newsletter of the
Shenandoah Valley Chapter #313
Korean War Veterans Association
Volume 13, Issue 04
Paul E. Bombardier,  Editor
April, 2020

Member Bio- Gary L. Fletcher

( Editor’s Note: This Biography is being edited and reprinted from the Oct. 2011 Issue of the Chatter for the benefit of our newer members joining since then.)

         Gary Fletcher was born in Hardy County, WV. He was the older of two  sons of Earl and Golda Fletcher. He lived just two “Hollows” from our former POW member Ed Reel. When just eight months old, his family moved to Bayfield, Wisconsin, a small fishing and farming community. He graduated from Bayfield     High School with sports letters in baseball and basketball. At the age of 16, he was indentured to his father and the Bricklayers local #10. Gary has been involved in Masonry for his entire life.

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In July 1951, Gary volunteered for the Navy before the draft. Living next to Lake Superior, he trained at the Great Lakes training center. He transferred to New London,  where he was

assigned to submarine squadron six. He served on three ships, the USS Razorback, the Sub tender USS Orion and the Sub rescue ship USS Kittiwake.

Gary attended the de-commissioning ceremony of the USS Orion on Sep 30, 1993 in Norfolk, VA. Gary credits the Navy with changing his life, and any success he has achieved is the result of his time in the service.

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Gary met his wife, Neva Yates in 1952 while on liberty visiting relatives in the Winchester area. They were married on Dec 26th, Together, Gary and Neva were blessed with five sons and one daughter.  

 

After his discharge in 1953, they moved to Bayfield, WI 1953 where he worked as a stone mason and bricklayer. They then moved to Stephens City in 1958 where he worked as a bricklayer. In 1970, at the Dowel J. Howard  Vocational Center, he had the good fortune to meet and work with Herb Taylor and they have been long time friends since.  

 

In 1979, he went to work  for the Brick Institute of America in McLean, VA. Gary is a very active member of the Salem Church of the Brethren in Stephens City.

Gary’s wife Neva passed away February 5, 2017.