June 2, 1923 - Jan. 14, 2011
Frank D. Denton of Milton-Freewater passed away Jan. 14, 2011, at the
Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla, at the age of 87 years. Funeral services will be Friday, Jan. 21, 2011, at 2 p.m., at the First Christian Church in Milton-Freewater with Pastor Steve Lyons officiating. Concluding services and interment will be in the Milton-Freewater Cemetery. Those wishing to pay their respects may call at the funeral home Wednesday 1-5 p.m., Thursday 9-12, 1-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m., and Friday 9 a.m.-noon. Memorial contributions may be made to the Veterans Administration Medical Center (Veteran Activities) through the Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home, 902 S. Main, Milton-Freewater, OR 97862.
Mr. Denton was born June 2, 1923 in Enterprise, Ore., seventh of 11 children born to Edgar and Nettie Crawford Denton. He was raised in the small town of Promise, Ore., the Wallowa Mountains. He moved to Milton-Freewater, where he attended McLoughlin Union High School. After his schooling, he went to work for the Condon-Kinzua Southern Railroad for a time, then at the age of 20, he joined the U.S. Army.
He spent a little over two years in the South Pacific during World War II, serving in the Solomon Islands and The Philippines. He received the Philippine Liberation Medal with one Bronze Star, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and the Victory Medal. On Dec. 18, 1945, he was discharged from the Army. Promptly upon his return to Milton-Freewater, he married the woman, who had faithfully
corresponded with him throughout his tour of duty, Bethene Swanson, on Dec. 28, 1945, in Walla Walla. Mr. Denton went back to work for the railroad for the next 18 years in Kinzua, Ore., where he and Bethene raised both of their sons. He moved to the Southern Oregon coast for about 17 years, working for Brookings Plywood, until finally returning to Eastern Oregon, where he lived the rest of his life. The couple owned and operated the Neighborhood Grocery in Freewater for many years. He was a member of the First Christian Church, Good Sams Club and a past member of VFW Post #4567 and American Legion Post #24. He enjoyed his church, RV camping , hunting and fishing.
Mr. Denton is survived by his wife, Bethene Denton of Milton-Freewater; two sons, Verlin Denton of Pendleton and David Denton of Hermiston; a sister, Norma French of Pendleton; a brother, Howard Denton of Richland, Wash.; four grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.