Arthur C. Sharpe
Services for Arthur C. Sharpe will be Wednesday, April 7, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. from McClain-Hays Funeral home. Visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m. until time of service. Burial will follow in Eastlawn Cemetery.
Arthur C. Sharpe passed away on Easter, April 4, 2021, age 92, of “too many birthdays.” He was born on September 5, 1928, in the Bethsaida community as the youngest child of Joseph Columbus Sharp and Amanda Bates Sharp. He is survived by his wife of almost 64 years, Wanda (Stuart) Sharpe, a son, Art Sharpe, a daughter, Judy Sharpe Luke, seven grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a son, John Stuart Sharpe, and by his siblings Jim, Kurt, Claude, Sadie, Lonnie, Lovie, and Velma. He had a host of in-laws, nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, and quite a few great-great nieces and nephews.
Arthur enlisted in the Army in 1950, serving in Korea during the Korean War in Echo Company, Fifth Infantry Regiment where he was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Korean Service Medal with Bronze Service Star and the United Nations Service Medal. He rose in rank from private to sergeant first class in seven months, replacing leaders killed in action. Another survivor not in that group was the driver of the lead tank that rescued the remnants of his unit from a frozen piece of Korea called “The Punch Bowl.” He and Herman remained lifelong friends.
When he returned from Korea, he began working for F.W. Woolworth and Company as a “set-up” manager. He traveled the East Coast opening Woolworth stores, and managed the F.W. Woolworth and Company store in Meridian, Mississippi. Later, he met and married the love of his life, Wanda Stuart. To begin life together, Arthur moved back to Philadelphia, working for Hooper Hardware and Furniture Company, and later for Mars Brothers Department Store.
In the early 1960’s, the Mississippi National Guard organized A Company, 1st of the 198th Armor, and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 198th Armor Battalion at Philadelphia. Arthur and a group of veterans met the train down at the bottom of the hill on Oak Street and drove the Patton Tanks off the railcars and up the street to the Armory. He became the first administrative support technician for A Company (later the 367th Maintenance Company (DS)), and later was the Operations, Training and Readiness NCO for the 298th Maintenance Battalion (DS/GS). He was instrumental in founding the Region 3 Non-Commissioned Officer School, and remained an instructor until his retirement in 1988. He was also a perennial instructor for the Mississippi National Guard’s Officer Candidate School. During the Vietnam War, he enlisted dozens of Neshoba Countians, many of whom would otherwise have been drafted for Vietnam service. He held multiple Military Occupational Specialties, and was a graduate of two different Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) schools.
Arthur retired from the Mississippi National Guard in 1988 as a Chief Warrant Officer. In retirement, he was employed by Choctaw Electronics as a human resources manager. He and Wanda started “River Road Originals” and enjoyed meeting customers and fellow craftsmen in arts and crafts shows.
In 1956, Arthur joined several others as some of the first members of the Philadelphia Church of Christ. He remained active as the Church Treasurer, an elder, and as a Bible study teacher for many years. After retirement he avidly followed politics, supporting conservative candidates. He was a Mason, a Shriner, a Knight Templar, and a life member of both the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.