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Obituaries > BRITT, HENRY A.

SAN DIEGO — Henry Alcus Britt “Al,” born on a farm in rural Lincoln County, Mississippi on August 13, 1921, passed away on September 14, 2013, following a brief illness. Al was raised on the family farm where he supplemented his family diet by hunting squirrels and subsequently became an expert marksman. Following completion of high school in 1941 in Lincoln County, MS, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps one week before Pearl Harbor and the outbreak of WWII. His skill as a marksman became evident during his Marine boot camp training and he was selected, with seven other Marines, to become rifle instructors training new Marine recruits at Camp Elliott and Camp Matthews in San Diego. In 1943, Al volunteered for overseas service in the Pacific Theater and underwent additional training as a scout/sniper and successfully completed additional rigorous training earning the privilege of joining Carlson’s Raiders, the first elite Raider Battalion of the U.S. Marine Corps, an honor of which he was very proud. Deployed to the Pacific Theater, he underwent additional training and participated in the unopposed occupation of Emirau Island (St. Matthias Islands) in 1944. He also participated in the invasion of Guam on July 21, 1944 and was severely wounded in action against the enemy on July 22, 1944. Evacuated to medical aid stations in the Pacific, he eventually was evacuated to the U.S. Naval Medical Center, San Diego where he spent the next 18 months receiving treatment and recovering from his wounds. It was during his medical recuperation that Al met Faith Shirley Peterson who was a Hospital Apprentice First Class in the U.S. Navy WAVES. They married in 1945 and permanently settled in San Diego at the conclusion of WWII. He worked as a retail sales clerk in the sporting goods business in San Diego and eventually retired in 1981. Al was a committed and dedicated husband and father whose devotion and love for his family came first in all things. He was an unpretentious and selfless man who was not prone to self-aggrandizement or rancor. He enjoyed simple pleasures in life including his family and all things sports. He was also an inveterate “teaser” who enjoyed a good joke and a laugh. Throughout his life, he understood what “Semper Fidelis” meant and by practicing it, honored himself, his family and country. His wife of 64 years, Faith Shirley Britt; parents, Elon Britt and Caroline Walker Britt; his sisters, Edna and Ola; and his brother, Marcus preceded him in death. His surviving family, wishing to honor his loving memory, include his sons, Allan (Katharine), Jeffrey and Dennis (Lisa); daughter, Karen Britt Haye (Les); and grandchildren, Karen Ann, Elon, Alida, Travis and Hanna. The family wishes to thank his caregivers, Ofelia and Stacy; and the staff and personnel of the U.S. Navy Medical Corps and the Veterans Administration who provided him with lifelong medical care. A memorial service will be held 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 16, 2013, at Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3060 54th Street, San Diego, CA 92105, followed by a reception. Private interment will be conducted with U.S. Marine Corps honors at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on November 18, 2013. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, Inc., 7008 Little River Turnpike, P.O. Box 49, Annandale, VA 22003. Merkley-Mitchell Mortuary