Francis Wescott, 83

Francis Lloyd Wescott was born Nov. 19, 1925, at his grandmother's house a mile and half north of Brewster, just one half mile from where he lived most of his life. He attended school at Dunning and then Brewster. He went peacefully into the arms of his Savior Jan. 6, 2012.He rode his horse to Ogallala when he was 16 all by himself. He then worked around Lisco, working cattle.He joined the Marines at the start of WWII, and was part of the 6h Marine Division. He fought in a famous battle on Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, during the South Pacific Invasion of Okinawa. He was part of the third wave. The ship he was on was the SS Sea Bass, renamed the USS Bayfield in 1943. He was one of four or five who survived from his platoon. He was a lineman and had to string communication wires. He fought all the way across Okinawa.He would not talk much about it but the horror of death and the heat stuck with him all his life. The beach was littered with dead Americans and Japanese. He said it was just something we had to do. He lost a buddy he had spent a 3-day pass with in San Diego before shipping out.He was with the force getting ready to invade Japan when Japan surrendered. He went by train to Nagasaki and saw it after the atomic bomb hit. He saw a lot and probably thought 'if I ever get home, I'll never leave.' He didn't.He made pets out of his cows, horses, chickens, guineas and dogs. He loved ranching and enjoyed his life. He was a friend to all who stopped by. He loved to hunt and fish, and was a crack shot right up to his hospital stay recently. He did very little hunting, but could really hit his target.Francis married June Woodward Dec 19, 1951. Their 60th anniversary was Dec. 19, 2011.His greatest pride and joy were his children: Rozan (CJ) Anderson and Kevin (April) Wescott, and his 'adopted' child Peggy (Roy) Spencer. He took great enjoyment in his grandkids; Nikki (Dave) Myers, Brittany (Tim) Godsell, Heather (Isaac) Costley, Rachel (Tyson) Cox, Grant (Mar) Anderson, Adrien (Jake) Youngblood, Cameron (Laura) Anderson, and Ashley Wescott; and great-grandkids, Andrew, Alison, Thomas, and Daniel Godsell, Kyle and Kallan Cox, and Ellie and Steve Myers (and step-grandchildren Bekah, Jake, Rachel and Zeke he had not met yet.) He also helped care for his sisters children, Sallie and Tom Backlund. They thought of him as “dad.”He accepted Christ into his heart in the Dunning Open Bible Church at an early age and renewed his commitment to the Lord while in the hospital.Published in Custer County Chief, Jan. 12, 2012