Maj. Venon Harrison (Vic) Ison, Ret., of Covington, passed away at the age of 90 on January 13, 2014. Maj. Ison was born Nov. 19, 1923, in Cumberland, Ky. He was the son of the late Nick and Jane Ison.
Maj. Ison joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1940 at the age of 17. He fought his way across the Pacific in World War II, experiencing several close calls along the way. In 1945, he was in the third wave to land on Iwo Jima - a member of the Fourth Marine Division, the Fighting Fourth. Iwo Jima provided an iconic moment in Marine Corps and American history: the flag raising on Mount Suribachi. Maj. Ison was critically wounded at Iwo Jima when a B-29 bomber landed in the foxhole with him. During World War II, he also served on Saipan and in other campaigns. Maj. Vic Ison earned a Purple Heart on Saipan after volunteering for a detail to recover troops lost in enemy fire. He was wounded by a sniper, but stayed to complete his mission of recovering the bodies of American soldiers.
Maj. Ison left the Marines in 1946 to enroll in school for membership in the Special Services under President Harry Truman, but returned to serve his country during the Korean War, this time as a commissioned lieutenant in the U.S. Army. During his tenure in Korea, he was critically wounded a second time, this time in a Jeep wrecked while being fired on by the enemy. In this incident, the "Major" sustained a crushed pelvis. Vic Ison continued to serve his country, achieving the rank of major before his retirement in 1962.
Following his retirement from military service, Maj. Ison began a second career with the state of Georgia in the role of Supervisor of Examiners for the Industrial Loan Department in 1963. He retired from state government in 1988 with 25 years of service.
Maj. Vic Ison was a faithful member of Oxford Baptist Church. It was important to him to be in church every Sunday until his last days. He was preceded in death by his wife, Fran Ison; his parents, Nick and Jane Ison; brothers, Manous (Matilda) Ison and Henry (Florence) Ison; and sisters, Goldie Barnes, Cledia (Arnold) Ison, and Mary (Ben) Kirby; and son-in-law, Harold Brown.
Maj. Ison is survived by four daughters, Teresa (Alan) Tabor, Sandi (Tom) Woodall, Becky Brown, and Karen (John) Carroll; grandson, Matt Loper and grandchildren, Tammy (Brown) and Matt Schroeder, Kyle Woodall, Alisa (Tabor) and Ed Hofmann; and great-grandchildren, Collin and Carson Schroeder and Inara Hofmann.
He and his family are grateful to his devoted caregivers, Vera Hendrix, Latoya Cooksey and Catherine Smith; and to his best friend, Ron Barker. Also, a special thanks goes to Dr. Jim Stillerman and his staff, along with the staff at Abbey Hospice, for the kindness and concern shown to the "Major" and his family.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Jan. 17 at Oxford Baptist Church, with the Rev. Andy Brown, Dr. Tracey Brinson and Dr. Alan Posey officiating, and entombment following in Memory Chapel Mausoleum at Lawnwood Memorial Park. The family will receive friends from 5-8 p.m. Jan. 16 at Caldwell & Cowan Funeral Home, 3134 Floyd St., Covington. Flowers are accepted, or donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kan. 66675 or firstname.lastname@example.org
To place online condolences, visit www.caldwellandcowan.com.