Oklahoma Sailor Killed In Pearl Harbor Attack Finally Laid To Rest
FORT GIBSON, Oklahoma - A World War II veteran from Coweta is buried at home nearly 80 years after he died. Family along with more than 100 people honored Eugene Wicker's life at his funeral on Saturday.
After decades buried at a grave marked "unknown," Eugene Wicker is now laid to rest with his name displayed on his headstone at the Fort Gibson National Cemetery.
The Fort Gibson High School softball team thought about his life as they waited for his motorcade. Maddi Jo Williams and her teammates waited on one knee proud to take time out of their day to honor him.
"My grandpa, he was actually in WWII. He was with the Coast Guard. And he's like 96 years old, so it's kind of, it kind of means a lot because he was in there too," said Maddi Jo Williams.
Eugene Wicker grew up in Coweta. His family says he wanted to go to college but faced hard times during the depression and decided to join the Navy.
"He wanted to be a school teacher. He wanted to be a woodshop teacher. Back then, they had woodshop and carpentry. He wanted to be a teacher," said Eugene’s Nephew Woody.
After years of work to get his remains back to Oklahoma Wicker's nephew feels a sense of closure and pride.
"We got him home. Granny can be proud. We got her son home," said Woody.
More than 100 others packed the funeral service saluting the sailor. Wicker died at Pearl Harbor aboard the USS Oklahoma along with 428 others. He was 20 years old.
The cemetery director says Wicker is one of only a handful of USS Oklahoma sailors buried here.
If you'd like to visit his grave click here for more information.