OWENSBORO, Ky. - John B.(Johnny) Westerfield, 91, slipped peacefully into heaven on June 12, 2013 surrounded by his devoted children and loving niece, Loraine.
Johnny held a number of positions in his lifetime-soldier, grocer, garage foreman but the ones he was most proud of were his son, brother, uncle, husband and most of all father.
Born on December 16, 1921 as the eldest son of Tom and Irene Westerfield, he was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers Thomas W. and Charles L. Westerfield and sisters Anna Lois “Sis” Worthington and Sarah Sumner Judge. He was also preceded in death by his loving wife of 58 years, Beatrice, and their beloved daughter, Elizabeth Davies.
Mr. Westerfield was a veteran of the United States Army and spoke of his service with pride throughout his life. He began his active service in 1942 and served during World War II and the Korean War. He trained as a cook and became a regular winner of the Army’s “Best Mess” award of which he was very proud.
In WW II, he served in the European Theater in Company C of the 311th Infantry Regiment, 78th Division and rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant. He saw action on many occasions including the Battle of the Bulge and the Capture of the Ludendorff rail bridge over the Rhine at Remagen in March 1945. Mr. Westerfield won a Bronze Star for his meritorious service in combat and also received a Purple Heart among his many service medals. When called to service in Korea he became a soldier in the 101st Combat Engineers building roads and bridges on the front lines. He was awarded a Bronze Star with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters for his courage and bravery.
Upon returning from his last tour of duty, he started his first grocery, Johnny’s Dollar Saver, which became a staple of the Owensboro business community. The grocery stores, which grew to three locations, provided the first jobs for many young people and to the end he was recognized and remembered by former employees and customers alike.
When not working, Mr. Westerfield enjoyed horses and began riding cutting horses for pleasure and in competition including at the National Championship Rodeo in Fort Worth, Texas. He was a member of the National Cutting Horse Association and active in its local chapter for a number of years. He was also active in politics, along with his wife, and was honored as a KY Colonel for his contributions. In his 70’s, he made his first trip to Las Vegas and from that time it became a favorite vacation destination to share with family and friends.
Closing the doors of Johnny’s Dollar Saver, Mr. Westerfield began another career as the garage foreman for the State Garage located on West Ninth Street. He retired at the age of 84 after 25 years of service and spent the majority of his remaining years on the farm he dearly loved in Stanley, KY.
He is survived by three daughters, Laura (Wayne) Edge, Brenda Westerfield and Madonna Dawn Westerfield, all of Owensboro and one son, John Stephen Westerfield of Phoenix, AZ. He was blessed with six grandchildren and their families including nine and ½ great-grandchildren whom he loved very much, Jason (Shannon) Edge, Jeremy (Sheryl) Edge, Jennifer (Louis) Hayes, Jacob Westerfield all of Owensboro, Chip (Carrie) Davies of Orlando, FL, Jordan (Eric) Blankenship of Paducah. His many nieces, nephews and their families also held a special place in his heart.
We would also like to thank the Sisters and staff of the Carmel Home for taking care of our Daddy these last two years and easing his way into eternal life.
Services will be held at 11:00am. Monday at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, Sorgho, KY.
Visitation will be held at Haley-McGinnis & Owensboro Funeral Home from 2:00 to 8:00pm. Sunday and from 8:00 to 10:00am. Monday at the funeral home. Prayers will be said at 5:00pm. Sunday. Father Mark Buckner will officiate. Burial will follow in St. Peter of Alcantara Catholic Church Cemetery in Stanley, KY, with Military Honors.
Expressions of sympathy may take the form of donations to Special Olympics of KY, 1230 Liberty Bank Lane, Suite 140, Louisville, KY 40222 or to Humane Society of Daviess County, 3101 W 2nd Street, Owensboro, KY 42301. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
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