Lt. Col. Claire Patterson Chennault

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Nov. 24, 1920 – Oct. 3, 2011

NATCHEZ — Graveside services with military rites for retired Lt. Col. Claire Patterson Chennault, 90, who died Monday, Oct. 3, 2011, at his residence, will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at Greenlawn Memorial Park Cemetery with the Rev. Clyde Ray Webber officiating.

Burial will follow under the direction of Comer Funeral Home in Ferriday.

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Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home.

Mr. Chennault was born Nov. 24, 1920, in Gilbert, La., the son of General Claire Chennault and Nell Thompson Chennault. He served in the U.S. Army Air Force from January 1943 until his retirement in 1966. He served with the 433rd Squadron, 86th Fighter Wing Eighth Air Force as a lieutenant colonel. His combat experience included more than 300 combat hours over Europe. His awards included Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with Seven Oak Leaf Clusters, European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, three Bronze Stars and credited with destroying two enemy aircraft.

Mr. Chennault was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Hilma Keyes Chennault; his second wife, Grace McKelvey Chennault; one son, John Charles Chennault; four brothers, Jack, Charles, David, Max and Robert Chennault; and one sister, Peggy Lee.

Survivors include four children, Butch Chennault and fiancée, Ronnie, Suzi McGarry and husband, Bill, Patti Smith and husband, Rusty, and Bobby Chennault and wife, Sarah; five grandchildren, Jerry Chennault and wife, Monica, Lee Rae and husband, Butch, Patti Claire Clifton and husband, Brad, Beau Smith and wife, Carie, and Benji Smith; 17 great-grandchildren, Jeremiah, Quaid, Phyllis, Christen, Kaitlin, Hunter, Tara, Adam, Aaron, Drake, Kezlie, Chloe, Gunner, Ryder, Amlih, Cai and Garron; one sister, Rosemary Simrall; three great-great-grandchildren; and a number of nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers will be Jerry Chennault, Beau Smith, Benji Smith, Brad Clifton, Don Arnold and Hunter Havard.

Honored to serve as his “special ladies,” Billie Ruth Lofton, Lois Feltenberger, Geraldine Jefferson, Diane Dickerson, Kim Whitley and Addie McLemore.

Honorary pallbearers will be members of the ladies bridge club at Panola Woods Country Club and Panola Woods Men’s Golf Association.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Concordia Parish Library or the Concordia VFW Lodge.

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