AUGUSTA, Ga. - Colonel (Chaplain) Earl Sperry Bloxham died May 13, 2001, at Windermere Nursing Home. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 48 years, Veronica Ann Bloxham, who died in May of 1994. The funeral service will be held at 4:30 p.m. Monday, May 21st, at St. Augustine Episcopal Church with the Very Reverend Neal Phelps and Dr. Wayne Hunsucker officiating. A celebration of his life will be held at his daughters home immediately after the service. Interment with military honors will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 22nd, for family at Westover Memorial Park. As a native of New York and a veteran of three wars, Earl S. Bloxham served in the U.S. Army for over 34 years, retiring in 1974. During World War II, he served under Pattons 6th Armored Division seeing action at Normandy, Bastogne, the Battle of the Bulge, the Crossing of the Rhine, as well as being one of the first Allied soldiers to enter and liberate Buchenwald concentration camp. During the Korean Conflict, Earl S. Bloxham served as a Chaplain and participated in Chipyong, the Battle for Old Baldy, and the Battle of Pork Chop Hill. He served in Vietnam and participated in the Tet Offensive of 1968. Additionally, as an Army Chaplain, he smuggled Bibles through Czechoslovakia to the Iron Curtain countries during the height of the Cold War and served as Post Chaplain at Fort Gordon from 1965 to 1967. Col. Bloxhams military medals and decorations include the Combat Infantry Badge, the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star with Two Oak Leaf clusters, European Campaign with Five Battle Stars, Korean Service with Three Battle Stars, and Vietnam Campaign with Four Battle Stars, and the Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm. Following his retirement from active duty, Reverend Bloxham taught in the Richmond County Education System from 1976 to 1985. Reverend Bloxham also remained active in the ministry and frequently preached at Presbyterian churches throughout the local area. Earl S. Bloxham held the respect, trust, and confidence of all who knew him. A man of God, a muddy boots soldier, a dedicated husband and a good neighbor; he was a man of sterling integrity. He loved his wife Ronnie with all his heart. He always gave generously to his community and church. He is revered by his children and grandchildren as a hero, mentor and a role model that has patterned their lives. Earl S. Bloxham will be deeply missed by all the lives he so deeply touched. Survivors include a daughter, Mrs. Ronnie Bloxham Merry, Augusta; a son, Col. Garth T. Bloxham (ret), Huntsville, Alabama; a sister, Anna Mae MacLaren, Levittown, New York; a brother-in-law, Stanley J. Sochon, Augusta; four grandchildren, Lee Merry, Augusta, Earl Howard Merry, Augusta, Erin S. Bloxham, Huntsville, and Ian T. Bloxham, Huntsville; and two great-grandchildren, Hudson Henderson Merry, Augusta; and Daniel Rainsford Merry, Augusta. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Joseph Hospice, 2260 Wrightsboro Road, Augusta, Ga. 30904; St. Augustine Episcopal Church Building Fund, 3321 Wheeler Road, Augusta, Ga. 30904; or First Baptist Church of Augusta, P.O. Box 14489, Augusta, Ga. 30904. Platts Funeral Home, 721 Crawford Ave., Augusta, (706) 733-3636.
The Augusta Chronicle-May 15, 2001