Harry Linwood Surface, 97, of Pulaski Virginia, passed away peacefully in his sleep at home with his wife Doris by his side on January 7th, 2023. He was born April 23rd,1925 in Pulaski, Virginia. preceding are parents Irene Dixson Surface. James Ezra Surface, sisters – Beatrice, Mary brothers – Hensel, Bill, Bryce and brother-in-law and life long friend – Lonnie Mel Cash.
Left to cherish his memory is his loving wife Doris Pratt Surface, two daughters: Linda Payne and her husband Posey, Nancy Ridley and her husband Dennis, his brother: Earl Surface and wife Liz, sister in law Dorothy Pratt Cash, grandchildren: Mike Payne and wife Reyn, Sherry Boone and husband Robbie, Bo Ridley and wife Holly, Justin Ridley, great grandchildren: Campbell Payne and wife Lina, Elise Payne, Anderson Payne, Bryce, Josh, Jackson, Ava, and London Ridley.
He met his lifelong loving wife Doris Surface through correspondence letters as part of the war effort to raise the spirits of the men serving in distant foreign lands. After returning from the war they met and were happily married for 77 years.
Before the Normandy invasion, he left life on the farm to join the Army and train in Ireland and England at the age of 17. He was assigned to the US Army’s Infantry 2nd Division, 2nd Engineering Combat Battalion, Company C. His team was assigned to the initial assault force targeting Omaha Beach in Normandy, France clearing landmines, obstacles and disabling the reported large naval guns hidden in the cliffs of Pointe Du Hoc at age 19. His unit chased the German Army throughout all of France, Belgium, Germany, and Czechoslovakia liberating France. No more will he suffer from the nightmares of that war. He is believed to be the last known survivor of his unit.
Exemplifying the spirit of the Greatest Generation, he downplayed his role and avoided special recognitions stating, “the real heroes were those left behind on the beaches.” He rarely spoke of the war and avoided travel. At his first Great Grandson’s Eagle Ceremony, he was presented a US Flag flown over the US Capitol, presented by an Army Ranger.
Returning from the war he served as a demolition specialist clearing a path through the mountains for Highway 81. He later leveraged his technical skills as a machinist at Virginia Hosiery. After 30 years he retired as an equipment specialist/machinist from Xaloy. He attended First Baptist Church faithfully, and often was known throughout the community for helping bring meals or doing yard work for neighbors. He enjoyed woodworking, gardening, yardwork, friends, and family, especially his grandkids. On a nice day you could find him with his wife on their back patio watching the Blue Birds. He was always a ray of sunshine and always had soft spoken, kind words for all. He loved desserts, always ordering a little sample of everything on the menu and still kept a full set of teeth to smile with.
Visitation will be at Seagle Funeral Home, 415 Jefferson Ave N, Pulaski, VA 24301 Thursday, January 12, 2023 12:30-1:30 followed by a celebration of life service, then 3:00 burial at Southwest Veterans Cemetery 5550 Bagging Plant Rd, Dublin, VA 24084.
Officiating will be Minister Terri Sternberg, and speakers Sherry & Mike Payne, Pallbearers include: Matt and Skip Stevens, Asa Burchett, Posey and Mike Payne, Robbie Boone.
The family expresses their gratitude to family and friends, especially caregiver Traci Delap.
Donations in lieu of flowers to Wounded Warriors or St. Jude’s
Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting wwwseaglefuneralhome.com Arrangements by Seagle Funeral Home, Pulaski. 540-980-1700