Bataan Death March survivor Rue dies

obituaries for Nov. 30

November 30, 2004

HARRODSBURG - Edwin W. "Skip" Rue's death Sunday at the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center reduced to six the number of survivors of the Bataan Death March from the National Guard unit formed in Harrodsburg.

"With what they went through, it's remarkable that there are that many still living,'' said Howard Howells.

Rue, 94 at the time of his death, was one of the first members when he enlisted in 1934. He was soon made an officer and was the group's leader.

"He was a fine man, a fine officer and a gentleman," said Bland Moore, of Nicholasville, one of the six veterans of the Harrodsburg unit still alive. The National Guard unit here was put into the regular Army and arrived on the Philippines in 1941, not long before the island nation was attacked by the Japanese.

"We were bombed on the same day as Pearl Harbor," Moore said. Of the 66 men in the unit from Harrodsburg, only 37 made it home.


The American and Filipino armed forces on the Philippines held out as long as they could against the Japanese army and navy, but were forced to surrender in April 1942. That's when some of the worst brutality of World War II began.

The Japanese marched the men about 100 miles to a POW camp, but along the way the men were beaten and tortured and died of starvation and disease. Any man that fell behind was executed and the men who survived were used as slave labor by the Japanese.

It became known as the Bataan Death March as the line of men 70 miles long were marched off the Bataan peninsula of the Philippines. Moore said the group was separated and he had no contact with Rue during the march.

Rue was the first commander of the Bataan Memorial Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars here. "He got people together and helped organize it," Howells said. He remained in Harrodsburg after being liberated by the U.S. Army after the war.

"He worked in the hardware business with my father-in-law, Col. George Chinn," said Howells, a veterans leader in Mercer County. He later went to work in Lexington and lived there until the end of his life.

"They were a fine family,'' he said of Rue's family. Rue was the oldest of 13 children. While members of the Harrodsburg unit came to live in other places, they have maintained contact with each other over the years, Moore said.

Born May 31, 1910, Rue was the son of the late Insco W. and Charlotte Forbes Rue. He attained the rank of major during his military service. He was former owner and operator of the Rue Hardware Store on Main Street and a former salesman for C. Worth in Lexington.

Survivors include his wife, Frances True Brown Rue; two daughters, Linda Rue Allen of New York, N.Y., and Joan Rue of Lexington; two brothers, Leslie Rue of Harrodsburg and Clarence Rue of Amarillo, Texas; a sister, Aileen Doehler of Littleton, Colo.; and two granddaughters.

Services will be 2 p.m. Wednesday at Ransdell Funeral Chapel by Don Chase. Burial will be in Spring Hill Cemetery with military rites.

Visitation will be after noon Wednesday. The family will receive friends 4-6 p.m. Tuesday at his residence, 850 Tremont Ave., Lexington.

Memorials may go to Disabled American Veterans.

Georgia F. Tate

Georgia F. Tate, 82, of Hughes Lane, died Sunday at Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center.

Born Nov. 14, 1922, in Boyle County, she was the daughter of the late Garfield and Rosa Shearer Hunt. She was a former employee of Corning Glass Co. and a member of Gethsemane Baptist Church. She was the widow of William Tate.

Survivors include a daughter, Jewell Gordon of Danville; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday at Stith Funeral Home. Burial will be in Bellevue Cemetery.

Visitation is after 4 p.m. today.

Memorials may go to Heritage Hospice.

Lois Baker

PERRYVILLE - Lois Baker, 94, of Charleston Health Care Center, formerly of Perryville, died Monday. Arrangements are incomplete at Wilder Funeral Home.

Betty C. Courtwright

LEBANON - Betty Carol Courtwright, 64, of Lebanon, died Thursday at Central Baptist Hospital.

She was born Jan 25, 1940, in Marion County.

Survivors include her husband, Donald Courtwright; four sons, Eric and Alex Courtwright, both of Richmond, Kerry Courtwright of Danville and Adam Courtwright of Richmond, Va.; three sisters, Peggy Wilcher of Bradfordsville, Mary Ann Hardin and Sam Hayes, both of Campbellsville; and four grandchildren.

Services were Sunday at Campbell DeWitt Funeral Home by Shannon Franklin. Burial was in Old Liberty Cemetery.

Donnie L. Peavler

HARRODSBURG - Donnie Lee Peavler, 59, of Harrodsburg, died Sunday at James B. Haggin Memorial Hospital. Arrangements are incomplete at Alexander & Royalty Funeral Home.


Hazel O. Robinson

Hazel Ogg Robinson, 94, of Louisville, formerly of Danville, will be 1 p.m. Thursday at Preston-Pruitt Funeral Home by the Rev. Bill Curwood. Burial will be in Bellevue Cemetery.

She died Sunday at Norton Healthcare Pavilion in Louisville.

Born April 11, 1910, in Rockcastle County, she was the daughter of the late Egbert and Matilda Gill Ogg. She was widow of Lawrence E. Robinson. She was owner and operator of the former Robinson Paint Store in Danville and a member of First Christian Church.

Survivors include a son, Wendell Robinson of Louisville; two daughters, Wilmagene Shannon and Connie Rankin, both of Sebring, Fla.; seven grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be after 11 a.m. Thursday.

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