DARDANELLE, Ark. – People from around the state fathered in Dardanelle to honor the life of a man who was on the front lines of the D-Day Invasion in 1944.
98-year-old Deman Wolfe, died January 30th surrounded by family. Wolfe was born in Jackson, Kentucky but Arkansas soon became his homes. Wolfe joined the army in 1940 and served for 22 years.
“Great mentor, he was a great father,” Wolfe’s son Kenny Williams said.
His family said he’s the reason they joined the army too.
“Deman was extremely proud to be an army ranger, he produced three generations of military,” Wolfe’s son David Williams said. “My brother served, my sister served, and both of us all serving and retiring.”
Wolfe was the last surviving Arkansas based member of the World War II U.S. Army Rangers Unit. They were the ones who attacked the beaches of Normandy, France in 1944. He was also one of the last surviving Rangers in the United States.
“Anybody that knew him, knew he had an open hear and was just a good man,” Wolfe’s daughter Lease Crowell said.
Later Wolfe retired but was called back to active duty during the Korean Conflict and remained on active duty until 1964. His brother said he remembers it all.
“I served with brother in Korea, I visited him when he was in Italy,” Wolfe’s brother Robert J. Wolfe said. “I visited him in Japan when I was in Korea with my first tour.”
He died from natural causes. Many of the people who showed up Saturday, calling him a hero. The family said although he’s gone, his legacy will live on, but they will always miss him.
“I’m going to miss my brother, because he’s the only brother I had, and we had a lot of fun together at times, but we were never together that much,” Wolfe said.
The family said they want to thank everyone for their love and support. They also encourage everyone to spend more time with local veterans because they’re like walking history books.