The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Valley laid to rest


July 16, 2018

Jan Tucker/Daily/Globe

Rear Admiral Katherine McCabe presents the flag which covered the casket of Lowell Valley to his brother Bob who had fought for years to have his brother's remains identified. Sitting next to Bob Valley is World War II veteran Al Smith.


Ontonagon - A solemn line of people waved flags and bowed their heads as the hearse holding the casket of Ontonagon native Lowell Earl Valley was carried through Ontonagon to his final resting place at Holy Family Cemetery Saturday.

Navy Fireman Second Class Valley, was killed December 7, 1941 when his ship, the Oklahoma, was torpedoed at Pearl Harbor. It took 77 years and several graves, before his remains were identified and sent home to Ontonagon. A full contingent of navy personnel, including a Rear Admiral, paid tribute to Valley at the solemn rites.

Religious services were held at Holy Family Catholic Church prior to the burial. The eulogy was given by Ontonagon native Larry Chabot, of Marquette, who was a neighbor and friend of the Valley family. He noted there is no listing of the names of Upper Peninsula men and women who died during World War II, but there were 1,500 who served. He also added that over 80,000 World War II, Korean, and Vietnam military are still missing in action. Chabot also took those attending through the remainder of the life of the Oklahoma, which was raised, refitted and fought again only to be retired and sunk.

At the cemetery, the Navy Pallbearer Unit carried the body of Valley to the gravesite where the Navy Rifle detail gave their salute. Other naval personnel, Rear Admiral Katherine McCabe, the Navy Chaplain, Color Guard and Ontonagon County Veterans Association members stood at attention. It was estimated representatives of 24 Veteran Units in the Upper Peninsula were present.

Following the folding of the burial flag, Admiral McCabe presented the flag to Bob Valley who fought for years to have his brothers remains identified and returned home.

"It's finally over, thank God, he is home," Bob Valley said referring to his long quest. He added that he will continue to be involved with the Oklahoma Family Inc. until all of the missing are identified.


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