RAPID RIVER - Brothers, Gerald T. St. Jacques and William J. St. Jacques, will be honored during a Veteran of the Month ceremony Tuesday at the Walter W. Cole American Legion Post 301 of Rapid River.
Patterned after a national program established by the American Legion, a new Veteran of the Month is honored each month in a formal service at the Legion. The program will begin at 7:15 p.m.
The sons of Thomas and Alphonsine (Houle) St. Jacques, Gerald was born Aug. 7, 1917, and William was born Dec. 1, 1921, both in Escanaba. The pair attended Escanaba High School and Gerald graduated from there in 1934.
Gerald St. Jacques
William St. Jacques
During World War II, Gerald served in the U.S. Army with the 32nd Division in the New Guinea Campaign. He was badly burned on his legs by a stove explosion. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, William served in the Pacific 8th Fleet aboard the Battleship Missouri. While onboard the Missouri, William witnessed the signing of the Japanese surrender that ended the war.
On May 1, 1948, Gerald married the former Lillian Lambert. She died on Dec. 14, 1986. Gerald worked for Eckrich Meats in Kalamazoo until his retirement. He died July 26, 1988 in Kalamazoo where he is buried.
William married the former Mary Vogel on Sept. 23, 1954 and she died on Nov. 6, 2002. The veteran retired from the Harnischfeger Corp. in Escanaba where he was employed as a security guard.
The brothers were preceded in death by their parents, their wives, brother Robert St. Jacques of Riverside, Calif., and sister, Marceline Westerberg of Escanaba.
They are survived by a sister, Betty Lafave of Gladstone, and nieces and nephews: Ann, Tom and John St. Jacques of California; Ralph Lafave, Debbie Bengston, and Shurlee Plouff, all of Gladstone; Jim Lafave of New York; Scott Lafave of Texas; Jean Andrew of Kingsford; Joan Ball of Rapid River; Pat Derouin, and Charles and Tom Westerberg, all of Escanaba; Mary Ann Palka of Arlington, Va.; and Kay Westerberg of Traverse City.