Lee Edward Merworth

Mena, AR

1929 - 2013

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Published: February 16, 2013

Lee Edward Merworth, age 83, of Mena passed away Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, at his home. He was born Sept. 10, 1929, in Big Spring, Texas, to the late Hawley Harrison "H.H." Merworth and the late Rada Devoy Dennington Merworth.

Lee was with the 38th Regiment of the Second Infantry Division in the United States Army during the Korean conflict. While fighting along the Yalu River, he was wounded on the eve of his 21st birthday. Listed as missing in action, Lee's family worried until news came of his capture by the Chinese on Nov. 28, 1950. He spent 34 months in a Korean POW camp; of the 5,000 prisoners held there, he was one of only 1,500 to have survived. Upon returning home, Lee was given an engraved watch and a hometown hero's parade in Midland, Texas, in 1953. He was a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, American POW Association and the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

He was a bricklayer by profession and a member of the Salem Baptist Church. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and friend.

Survivors are sons, Michael "Mike" Merworth and wife, Jo Ann, of Rogers, Ark., Anthony "Tony" Merworth and wife, Tammie, of Gentry, Ark., Roger Solomon of Mena, Ark.; daughters, GiGi Nina Francis of Midland, Texas, Tawana Gilbert and husband, David, of Mena, Ark.; granddaughter and caregiver, Sonja Birtcher and husband, Robby, of Mena, Ark.; sister, Jean Phillips of Weatherford, Texas; 11 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild; and a host of friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, H.H. and Rada Merworth; his wife, Sara Merworth; his wife, Mary Jo Merworth; his brothers, Glen Merworth and Roy Lee Merworth; his sisters, Allene Burnett and Lou Wooten; and his son, Jeffery Wade Merworth.

Funeral services will be Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, at 10 a.m. at the Salem Baptist Church, with Brother Joe Cornelison and Brother Jack Schoeppey officiating. Interment will follow in the Board Camp Cemetery under the direction of the Beasley-Wood Funeral Home.

Pallbearers will be Kevin Spurgin, Scotty Solomon, Ryan Gilbert, Charles Francis, Tony Merworth, Lambert Foster and Robert Hutchison. Honorary pallbearers are Aaron Marshall, J. Dodd and members of the American Legion.

Military honors will be rendered by the Veterans Organizations of Polk County and the United States Army.

Online obituary available at

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