Mr. Austin Gatlin of Daleville and formerly of Waynesboro, Miss., passed away Thursday, Oct. 25, 2007, at his residence. He was 88. Funeral services will be held at Wright Funeral Home, (601) 776-2103, in Quitman, Miss., with burial following at the Evergreen Cemetery in Waynesboro, Miss. Sorrells Funeral Home in Enterprise is in charge of local arrangements. Flowers will be accepted at Wright Funeral Home or memorial gifts may be made to the Daleville Volunteer Rescue Squad, Daleville, AL 36322. Mr. Gatlin was born April 16, 1919, in Waynesboro, Miss., to the late Edd an Epsie Snellgrove Gatlin in a log cabin with a dirt floor. A retired U.S. Army Sergeant (E-8), he served his country for nearly 24 years, retiring in 1967. He enlisted in the army after two years as a student at Mississippi State College in Starkville, Miss. He served in WWII in the European theater of operations. He was captured by the Germans just before the battle of the Bulge, in the Huertgen Forest, and was held a prisoner of war for seven months. After WWII, he reenlisted in the U.S. Army and had tours of duty in Frankfurt and Bonn, Germany and Paris, France. His last tour was at Fort Rucker as Sergeant Major of the newly formed Warrant Officer Candidate School. Among his medals, he coveted the Silver Star and Bronze Star, each with two oak leaf clusters, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Prisoner of War Medal, and the Purple Heart. Mr. Gatlin was a staunch Republican for many years, and contributed to Republican Party requests. He was a personal friend of U.S. Rep. Terry Everett and Alabama State Rep. Steve Clouse. Before his illness and death he enjoyed attending the Daleville City Council meetings, the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) dinner meetings, and in particular, his morning breakfast get-togethers with Daleville Mayor Wess Etheredge and city and state employees. At the first city council meeting of each month, the Pledge of Allegiance was said, due to Mr. Gatlins request to the mayor and city council. At the AUSA dinner meetings, Mr. Gatlin was called upon to lead the members in the Pledge of Allegiance. He was a 32nd degree Shriner, Scottish Rite. In addition to his parents, his brothers, Ulmer, Ollie and Otis Gatlin, as well as his sisters, Eunie and Mabel, preceded Mr. Gatlin in death. Survivors include two sons, Hugh E. Gatlin, Wetumpka, and Charles F. Gatlin, Tampa, Fla.; one sister, Walter Mae Faulkner, Hueytown; one brother, Earl Gatlin, Quitman, Miss.; a niece, Eminora Pittman; a nephew, Charles Faulkner III; his ex-wife and dear friend, Marianne G. Jackson, Daleville. Sorrells Funeral Home of Enterprise, (334) 347-9598, is in charge of arrangements.
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