WILMINGTON — Clinton County residents and many others showed support for the military Monday when U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War — known by few in Wilmington and surrounding communities — received a well-deserved “hero’s farewell.”
Clyde Kimber Boyle’s obituary listed his only friends as members of St. Anthony Episcopal Church and the staff at Wilmington Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
However, an estimated 150-plus new friends attended his funeral and celebration of life at Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church along with friend of 50 years, Donna Thorp, who, with the professional assistance of Brian James of Edgington Funeral Home and a St. Anthony’s parishioner, made the final arrangements.
Rev. Gerhard Kraus, Faith Lutheran Pastor, began his message by commenting, “I am amazed at the number of veterans in attendance” and “Look at this turnout.”
He went on to say of Mr. Boyle, “Even as contentious as the Vietnam War was, Kim made the choice to put country ahead of self.”
Then, in reference to his position of Lay Reader at St. Anthony’s, “Kim’s service to country was exceeded only by his service to God.” Rev. Kraus went on to proclaim, “No veteran should be, or is ever, alone.”
Members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6710 and Auxiliary Unit 6710, American Legion Riders Chapter 49, Wilmington Veterans Post 49, its Honor Guard and Auxiliary Unit 49, Marion Post 179 Honor Guard, Blanchester, Clinton County Commander, American Legion District 4 Charlie Rose and many more veterans including uniformed servicemen representing the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Marines were all present to pay their final respects to a “brother in-arms.”
Prior to the service, members of several veterans’ motorcycle organizations including the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association Chapters 12-1 and 12-8, Rolling Thunder Chapter 3 and Iron Horse Tankers 1st Buckeye Battalion joined the Ride Captain of the Patriot Guard, District 8 in a “final salute.”
After the service, almost everyone present stayed until Ride Captain Scott and about a dozen motorcycle riders departed the church directly in front of the hearse and behind a City of Wilmington police cruiser, a Clinton County Sheriff’s cruiser and two Dayton Police and two Greene County Sheriff’s motorcycle officers as they led the procession to the National Cemetery in Dayton.
Federal, state, county and city governments were well represented including Sherry Stuckert of U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers’ Wilmington office, Ohio Rep. Shane Wilkin, Clinton County Commissioners Kerry Steed, Brenda Woods and Mike McCarty, Veterans Service Commission Executive Director Ray Souder, Veterans Service Officer Jeff Rollins and receptionist Jeanie Longstreth, Clinton County Sheriff Ralph Fizer and deputies, President of Wilmington City Council Mark McKay and other council members, City Administrator Marion Miller representing the Mayor’s Office, City Law Director Brett Rudduck, Chief of Police Ron Cravens, Fire Chief Andy Mason, other elected and appointed officials including the Director and a Veterans Service Officer from the Highland County Veterans Service Commission came together with one accord — to say goodbye and pay a final tribute to an American hero.
Final expenses, over and above Mr. Boyle’s savings, were covered partially by the Veterans Administration with the bulk of the expense coming from the Clinton County Veterans Service Commission.
Paul Butler of Wilmington is a local veteran active in veterans’ organizations include as chaplain.