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John H. Velez


   John H. Velez, 89, of Vernon, died Monday, Nov. 17, 2014 in Vernon.  Mr. Velez was born May 15, 1925 in Rock Springs, Texas to Sabino and Maria Hernandez Velez. He married Ramona Rivas Velez on June 9, 1946.  He was a life time member of VFW Post 4747, chairman of the Buddy Poppy campaign for many years, a lifetime member of the American Legion in Vernon, and an active member of Holy Family Catholic Church.  He worked farm land in Crowell and Margaret, Texas communities, worked at Christ the King Hospital in Vernon and retired from Gibson Discount Center in 1991.
    He was a member of the Great Generation that defended our country during WWII.  He served with the 5th Marine Division, 28th Marines, 11th Amtrak Battalion and on Feb. 19, 1945, he went ashore on the beaches of Iwo Jima.  He served on Iwo Jima for 36 days and saw the raising of two U.S. flags on Mount Surabachi.  His best friend, Sam Ed Carpenter, whom he always remembered was killed at Iwo Jima.  His hobby was working on cars, supporting the veterans and flying his flag.
   He is survived by his spouse, Ramona Velez of 68 years; five daughters and three sons, Lita and Mike Martinez, Denver, Colo., Eva and Keno Lopez, Wichita Falls, Olga and Ruben Armendarez, Fort Worth,   Rita and Randy Patrick, Rowlett, Stella and Ben Centeno, Vernon,  and  Adam and Elizabeth Velez, Texarkana, Ricky and Mary Velez, Wichita Falls, and Tony and Nita Velez of Davidson, Okla.; 23 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren; one brother, Procopio and wife Esperanza Velez, Longview;  one sister, Rose Jimenez, Houston, and several nephews and nieces.
   He was preceded in death by his parents,  Sabino and Maria Velez; daughter Mary De La Rosa, and three sisters,  Josie Castaneda, Patsy Quintero, and Julia Quintero.
   Rosary will be held on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 at 6 p.m., at Sullivan Funeral Home with Deacon Art Casias officiating.
   Funeral mass will be held on Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 at 10 a.m. at the Holy Family Catholic Church with Father Jack McKone and Father Joy Joseph officiating. Interment will follow at Crestview Memorial Cemetery in Wichita Falls. Arrangements are under the direction of Sullivan Funeral Home, Vernon, Texas.
   Pallbearers will be Christopher Martinez, Patrick Velez, Jack Velez, Bo Armendarez, Arther Embers, Eric Velez, Marlon Brown and Steve De La Rosa. Honorary pallbearers will be Dedric Martinez, Michael Velez, Tim Lopez, Paul Armendarez, Hienrick Embers, Matthew Velez, Justin Patrick and Johnny De La Rosa.
   Online condolences may be made at

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