Join us as we say goodbye to those we have loved and lost.

Elliott Sortillo

Posted by on Jun 24, 2021 in Deceased | 0 comments

On January 1, 2021, Elliott Sortillo, 86, said his goodbyes, surrendered his fight, and passed peacefully.  He left under a glorious sunset and was bid a hero’s farewell, his flags waving in unison.  With grace and humility, he bravely walked to meet his maker, and to reunite with loved ones and his POW brothers in arms.

Born on July 3rd, 1934 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to parents Francisco Sortillo and Catherine McGuire, Elliott was the second child and the only son in the family.  He and his sister Nancy were raised primarily by their grandmother and under the watchful eye and guidance of his uncles.

He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Sondra, son Terry and his wife Laurie, his daughter Sherry and husband Gary Jones, 9 grandchildren, 1 great grandchild, sister and brother-in-law, Cindy & Tony Watson, brother-in-law & wife Robert & Patricia Stewart, and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. 

Elliott will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors on a future date.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Korean War Veterans Memorial Foundation at or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at

The family would like to thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers.

Elliott Sortillo, Ed Smith
Elliott Sortillo, Ed Smith

Franklin Jack Chapman

Posted by on Feb 1, 2020 in Deceased | 0 comments

Franklin Jack Chapman

Franklin Jack Chapman, Sr. of Santa Fe, NM, died on January 17, 2020. He is survived by his wife, Claudette, and children: Debbie DeMarais, Jack Jr. (Rob Howe), Cindy (Mano Jones), and Patrick.

Jack was born on January 24, 1932, in Wagoner, OK. At 16, he enlisted in the Army and in 1950 was sent to Korea. On November 30, 1950, as part of the Heavy Weapons Platoon, Company D, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, Jack was captured by the Chinese during the Chosin Reservoir battle. He had sustained shrapnel wounds to his left arm and both legs, bullets in his right arm and leg, and a bullet in his forehead. He distinguished himself by taking over a 75mm recoilless rifle when no one else would. He manned it until he was wounded in his forehead. Jack was a P.O.W. for 32 months and 20 days, he was released on August 21, 1953.

In January 1955, Jack enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served for 15 years. It was during this time, while he was stationed in France, he met and married the love of his life, Claudette. Jack retired from military service on June 1, 1970, after serving his last five years with the Inspecting General’s Team and assisting Scotland Yard. He worked as the Director of Security at Highline Community College, in Midway, WA, until he retired after 21 years.

Jack served as the President of the Korean War Ex-POW Association from 2003 – 2006 and served on their Board of Directors for many years. He made it his mission to recount P.O.W.’s experiences during the Korean War, and keep the Korean War from being forgotten. He also spent his time advocating for veterans and surviving spouses.

For his outstanding service to both the Army and Air Force, Jack received the following medals:
Bronze Star with V Device for Acts of Valor in Combat
2 Purple Hearts with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
AF Commendation Medal
AF Longevity Service Award Ribbon w/ 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Presidential Unit Citation Korea
Army of Occupation Medal – Japan
National Defense Service Medal w/Bronze Star
Korean Service Medal w/4 Bronze Stars and 1 Silver Star
United Nations Service Medal
Combat Infantry Badge
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
P.O.W. Medal
State of Oklahoma Cross of Valor
Korean Service Medal – 50th Anniversary
Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal

In 2018, he was honored by the New Mexico House of Representatives for exemplary service to the citizens of New Mexico and the United States of America.

A memorial service will be held on March 30, 2020, at 2:15pm at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations to are requested.

Franklin Jack Chapman September 5, 1953

Robert W. Fleming

Posted by on Jan 21, 2020 in Deceased | 0 comments

Robert W. Fleming

Robert W. Fleming, Sr. of Memphis, TN the first Korean POW to be released in Operation Little Switch has gone to his eternal home – Robert W. Fleming, Sr., 88, passed away December 6, 2018 at VA Hospital, Memphis from numerous illnesses. He was a BAR man with the 2nd Infantry Indianhead Division and captured when Chinese over ran their position. Status unknown for almost 1 1/2 years, released in 1953. Came home to a grateful family whose prayers were answered and after rehab married his fiance Dorothy in 1954. He is survived by her after 64 years of marriage, son Bob Jr., daughter Rhonda, Granddaughter Ashley, older brother Arthur Jr., three sisters, Betty, Jane and JoAnn. He was active in two churches as a Deacon, Choir member, and Scout Leader Troop (278) – Highland Heights and Woodland Presbyterian. He worked 45 years as a Brickmason trained at an early age by Uncles, Morgan brothers and ended his career with Duncan Masonry (repaired Elvis Presley wall at this time). 

Robert Fleming

Bill Norwood

Posted by on Mar 3, 2018 in Deceased | 0 comments

Bill Norwood

Bill & Liz Norwood

William Kenneth “Bill” Norwood, 87, of Cleveland, TN passed away Wednesday at his home surrounded by family. A native of Polk County and a resident of Cleveland for 34 years, he was the eldest of three children born to William J. Norwood and Alice Stone Burnette, both of whom preceded him in death, along with his brother, Franklin R. Norwood.

Survivors include his beloved wife of 63 years, Elizabeth Lyons Norwood; one son, Dennis Norwood (Mary Jo) of Matthews, NC; one daughter, Paula Norwood of Dayton, OH; one grandson, Daniel Norwood (Laura) and two great-grandsons, William and Anderson Norwood of Lake Wylie, SC; one sister, Mary Ellen Norwood Janes (James) of Benton, TN; several nieces, nephews and a host of friends and fellow veterans, including numerous Ex-POW’s and their families.

Mr. Norwood enlisted at the age of 18 and proudly served his country as a Corporal in the US Army (24th Infantry Division). During the Korean War, he was taken prisoner and held captive for 2 ½ years – a period that shaped the balance of his life. Upon his retirement from Top Value Enterprises, Mr. Norwood moved back to Bradley County with his wife, where they both remained active in numerous organizations dedicated to enriching the lives of veterans.
Mr. Norwood’s military decorations included the POW medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, Korean Service Medal with ten battle stars, United Nations Service Medal, South Korean Government Service Medal, South Korean Government Presidential Medallion, and he met the qualifications for a Purple Heart. 

He was the Founder of the Korean War Ex-POW Association and served more than ten years as the organization’s president. He was also a proud recipient of the Raymond Miller Award, the Charles H. Coolidge Veteran of the Year Award and the Bill Norwood Award, which was established in his honor to recognize outstanding service to veteran affairs in the community.

Mr. Norwood was a lifetime member of American Ex-Prisoners of War, Korean War Veterans Association, American Legion Post 81, Disabled American Veterans and VFW Post 2598 where he served as Chaplain, and was an honorary Lifetime Member of the Col. Benjamin Chapter of the National Society of Sons of the American Revolution. He also served on the Bradley County Veteran Funeral Honor Guard for 24 years.

A visitation will be held on Monday from 5p-8p at Shenandoah Baptist Church (138 Osment Rd SE, Cleveland, TN 37323), with a funeral service occurring on Tuesday at 10AM at the same location. Burial will follow at Chattanooga National Cemetery where Mr. Norwood will receive full military honors. Companion Funeral Home of Cleveland will oversee all services (

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Rolling Thunder TN Chapter Two, a supremely honorable group of patriots of which Mr. Norwood was proud to be a member: 
PO Box 91132 East Ridge, TN 37412

Links to articles in the Cleveland TN Newspaper:
Obituary and guest book:

Joseph Q. Tarbuck

Posted by on Feb 15, 2018 in Deceased | 1 comment

Joseph Q. Tarbuck was promoted to Glory on February 7, 2018 at Gulf Breeze, Florida.  He was a Circuit Judge for many years. He was born on September 13, 1931.

Joe joined the Army right after graduating from High School in Harrisburg PA and was assigned to Hq Btry, 63rd FAB of the 24thInfantry Division on the Island of Kyushu, Japan.

Joe went with his unit to Korea when the North invaded the South and was among the first Americans to be committed to battle in that war.  His unit was overwhelmed and he, along with others, was captured on 7 July, 1950 and held until August 30th 1953.  He was with the Tiger Survivors and participated in the Tiger Death March.  58 % of that group perish in captivity from prolonged exposure, being shot, freezing to death and other causes.

Gone from us now and to be really missed, is our dear Joe, beloved by all.

Shorty Estabrook

Fellow POW

Larry Schadler

Posted by on Feb 14, 2018 in Deceased | 0 comments

Larry passed away Tuesday, February 13, 2018. He was 90 years old. He will be cremated and interred in his hometown in Michigan at a later date.

Robert Fletcher

Posted by on Feb 14, 2018 in Deceased | 0 comments

Our Brother, Private First Class Robert Fletcher, US Army, Former Prisoner of War, 27 November 1950 – 8 August 1953 has been issued his Final PCS Orders.

Below you will find the dates and times for services this weekend in Ann Arbor, Michigan as well as Links where you can note your personal Condolences to Mrs. Fletcher (Carol). As noted, his final funeral in Arlington will be later this spring. We will share date & times when we receive them.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Viewing at Nie Funeral Home
3767 W Liberty Rd
Ann Arbor MI 48103
(734) 302-1000
3 – 7 p.m. EST
A link to the funeral home’s website can be found here where electronic condolences can be left.
Monday, February 19, 2018
Memorial Service at First Presbyterian Church
1432 Washtenaw
Ann Arbor MI 48104
(734) 662-4466
2 p.m. EST


Burial will follow in approximately 6-8 weeks at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.  I am happy to provide you, or whomever would be appropriate, with the burial details once things are sorted out with Arlington.
Mr. Fletcher’s obituary will run in MLive (our local online newspaper) on both Thursday, February 15 and Sunday, February 18. A link to the website can be found here.

John E. Meyers. Sr.

Posted by on Feb 13, 2018 in Deceased | 0 comments

Age 88 of Shaler Twp., on Jan. 27, 2018. Husband of Donna McElhaney Meyers; father of John E. Meyers, Jr. (Diane), Sheryl Fiorino (Anthony), Donna Rezzetano (Jeff), and Deborah Glissendaner (Mark); grandfather of Jason, Staci, Sherry, Mark, Samantha, Johnathan, Frankie, and Johnny; great-grandfather of Dominic, Michael, Michael, Jacob, Alyssa, Nickole, and Hannah; eight brothers and two sisters; also nieces and nephews. John was a sergeant in the United States Army and spent 33 months in a Korean prison camp and upon returning he was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart of Valor. He was proud to serve his country. A very special “thank you” to Tamera Vucelich who had once saved John’s life while having a heart attack. Visitation Friday 2-4 and 6-8 pm at NEELY Funeral Home, 2208 Mt. Royal Blvd., Glenshaw. Mass of Christian Burial Saturday 11:00am at St. Joseph Parish, Dorseyville Rd. In lieu of flowers, memorials suggested to Disabled American Veterans, 1100 Liberty Ave. #1606, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.

John (Jack) Powell

Posted by on Feb 13, 2018 in Deceased | 0 comments

John (Jack) Powell in Waltham, Massachusetts passed away on Feb 10,2018. Jack was a member of the 2nd Division. Jack was captured  in December 1950 and released in September 1953. While captured he was in Camp 3 and Camp 5. Funeral services will be on Thursday in Waltham and burial at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.