McCUNE — On a cold, snowy January day, a Navy veteran was honored at graveside services with full military honors. The crisp sound of taps echoed through the trees from the bright gold bugle.
Navy Gunner’s Mate First Class Jackie Depue, 77 was laid to rest on Jan. 2 at Monmouth Cemetery, near where he grew up in southern Crawford County close to McCune. He died on Dec. 30 from several medical complications.
Military services, including flag folding, taps and flag procession were provided by the U.S. Navy and the Patriot Guard Riders. Just over 40 mourners attended the service.
“The temperature is 17 degrees,” said son Jack Depue, one of six Depue relatives who served as pallbearers.
Jackie Depue retired from the military with 21 years of service.
“He originally joined the Marines,” said brother Donald Depue. “But he went on to serve in the Navy as a torpedoman and later a gunner’s mate.”
Depue attended high school in McCune. Following his military service, he lived in Weir and later Fairland, Okla.
“We were married for five years,” said Carolyn Depue. “They were short but wonderful. His boys became my boys.”
Relatives told an interesting ghost story from Jackie Depue’s youth, with each relating a portion of the memory.
“His father Merle was quite a prankster. Us kids, including Jackie were on our way back from the movie theater in McCune. Merle had cut holes in a bed sheet to see out of and hid in the cemetery. As we walked past the tombstones suddenly a white ghost appeared and chased us all the way back to the house,” said the grinning Depue family.