Bethel’s World War II Veteran laid to rest

by Greg Lincoln

The skies cleared up last Saturday, making it a beautiful day as the family of David Trantham Jr. laid their beloved father to rest at the Bethel Veterans Memorial Cemetery – the cemetery that he helped build. Adjacent to the cemetery is the Alaska Territorial Guard Memorial, which David worked hard to also get established. His handiwork is there for all generations to see.

Lifelong friends, family members, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10041, and community members waited at the cemetery while his family gave him one last ride around Bethel before heading to the ceremony. Everyone gathered around while a family designee read scriptures from God’s word – John 11:25, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, and 1 Peter 1:24 and ended with prayer.

Also attending the memorial ceremony were two members of the Honor Guard – PFC Joshua Jurva and SSG Emmanuel Nfonoyim in full military uniform who flew to Bethel from JBER to perform the Military Funeral Honors and pay their last respects to Dave. They performed the flag folding ceremony, opening up the American Flag and folding it 13 times. PFC Jurva presented the flag to Dave’s wife Sue.

“On behalf of the President of the United States, and a grateful Nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one’s honorable and faithful service,” he said as he passed the flag into her hands.

SSG Nfonoyim played Taps on his cornet. Pallbearers gently laid his remains in his resting place. Family members placed flowers alongside and all around. Everyone was invited to say farewell as they sprinkled a handful of earth over his ashes.

We are honored to have known Dave, he was always so kind, hardworking, and wanted the best for everyone. He supported us all throughout our years of running this paper, we are so grateful. Thank you for your many years of service to our community, you will be missed.

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