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U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Jerry Clay Marks, CMSgt., USAF (Retired)December 02, 1929 – May 11, 2011
Jerry Clay Marks, 81, of Grove, Oklahoma passed away Wednesday, May 11, 2011, at Integris Grove Hospital, Grove, Oklahoma. Mr. Marks was born on December 2, 1929 in Wyandotte, Oklahoma to Oscar Raymond and Juanita May (Brown) Ervin.
Jerry served in the military from 1948 through 1977 in the Navy and the Air Force. Jerry enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1948 and served for nine years. He changed to the U.S. Air Force in 1957, serving 20 years. He retired with a total of 29 years military service. He served during the Korean War while in the Navy and in Vietnam while in the United States Air Force. Most of his service was with the Air Rescue helicopters. He participated in the rescue of several downed pilots here in the states and overseas. Jerry served aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Valley Forge. He was part of the helicopter crew that rescued the first jet pilot to go in the drink after the start of the Korean War. While in Vietnam he was stationed at Ubon, Thailand with Air Rescue. Air strikes were launched from there. Many helicopter rescue missions for pilots down in enemy territory came from Thailand. He retired as Chief Master Sergeant.
He was a charter member of the Wyandotte Nation Color Guard and until his declining health prevented him, he was the bearer of the Eagle Staff.
After retiring from the military, Jerry owned and operated Guarantee Muffler Shop in Miami for many years. He especially enjoyed his dogs, NASCAR, flying, motorcycle riding, and Pow Wows. He enjoyed racing his midget race car and was the Oklahoma Midget/Sprint Racecar Association State Champion in 1995. A devoted fan of the Oklahoma University (OU) football team, he could be found in his favorite chair cheering for his favorite team.
He is survived by his wife, Rita, Grove, sister, Barbara Holland, California, three sons, John Marks, Oklahoma, Keith Yount, Kansas, and Dan Yount, California, nephews, Guy and Jay Holland, California, David Beyer, Kentucky, and niece, Linda Wedel, Oklahoma, and several foster children; 4 grandchildren; 9 great grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by both sets of parents, Oscar and Juanita Ervin, and Leo and Freda Marks.
Special thanks to Dr. Bechtol, Good Shepherd Hospice, staff at Grove Hospital, and Regency Hospice. Visitation for family and friends from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Friday, May 13, 2011, at Paul Thomas Funeral Home, Miami, Oklahoma. Graveside service and military rites at Wyandotte Cemetery, Wyandotte, Oklahoma at 1:00 pm, Saturday, May 14, 2011.
In Lieu of flowers you may donation to Humane Society of Grove and Grand Lake Inc.
Paul Thomas Funeral Home, Miami, Oklahoma, is in charge of arrangements. On line condolences may be sent to www.paulthomasfuneralhomes.com.
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