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July 2, 2014

Donald Robert Lettis

Donald Robert Lettis

COOPERSTOWN — Donald Robert (Bob) Lettis, a World War II veteran, passed away early Monday morning, June 30, 2014, at his home. He was 88.

Born July 29, 1925, in Cooperstown, he was a son of Donald F. and Charlotte (Hall) Lettis.

Raised in Cooperstown, Bob graduated from Cooperstown High School with the Class of 1943. Following graduation, he enlisted in United States Army and served in Europe. He was involved in the Battle of the Bulge, the crossing of the Rhine River at Remagan, Germany, and the drive to the Danube River, which ended the war.

He received the Bronze Star for his work during the Rhine Crossing for establishing several observation posts that located German artillery that was trying to knock out the Remagan Bridge. He was honorably discharged on March 10, 1946.

Upon his return to Cooperstown, he enrolled in the Art Education Program at Syracuse University.

In 1947, he married Grace Annamay (Gae) Carlsen while he was a student at Syracuse. Following his graduation from Syracuse University in 1950, the Lettises moved to Worcester.

After teaching for only one month at Worcester Central School, Bob was called back into the Army for the Korean Conflict. Fortunately, by the time he was ready to embark for Korea, the war appeared to be over when the United States Marines drove into North Korea, ending at the Chinese border. (Later the Chinese entered the war.)

Rather than being released, he was sent to Europe and served at the Seventh Army Headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, for a year. He was discharged a second time from service in 1951. While he was away, his daughter, Charlotte was born.

Upon his return he taught art in Worcester and Schenevus Central Schools for five years. In 1956, he returned to Cooperstown and taught high school art at Cooperstown Central School until 1964. During his years in Cooperstown he was involved with Boy Scouting and amateur theatre productions. He also joined the Lions Club of Cooperstown on Feb. 2, 1958, and served as club president in 1963.

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