Dempsey Thompson Sharp, age 91 of Nelsonville, Ohio, passed away Sunday March 3, 2019, at O’Bleness Hospital in Athens, Ohio, following a long battle with chronic health problems.
Born on June 15, 1927, near Marlinton, he was a son of the late Charles Jack and Ora Belle Thompson Sharp.
Dempsey was a retired Soil Conservation Technician for the USDA and a Disabled American Veteran. He left home at the age of 14 and joined the United States Navy in 1941 to serve during World War II. He was trained for and served as a radio telegraph operator, and upon graduation from Great Lakes Naval Training Center, served in the Pacific Theater. He participated in the relay of high speed key from ship to shore on the United States Mainland following the signing of the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri on September 2, 1945, which was commemorated in a letter from President Truman.
He was called on to serve again during the Korean Conflict and participated in the LST landing of troops on Inchon. Following his World War II service, Dempsey completed graduation requirements at Marlinton High School and began a distinguished career with the USDA in West Virginia, which was interrupted by his Korean service.
His accomplishments included participating in the design and construction of the Big Ditch and Camp Caesar lakes catchment and drainage basins, and the design and layout of Webster County High School’s and Cowen Elementary School’s tracks and athletic fields.
Dempsey lived a long and meaningful life and will be sadly missed by family and friends alike.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his loving wife of 62 years, Jean Catherine Walton Sharp; and four brothers, Jack Sharp, Earl Sharp, Lew Sharp and Charles “Hub” Sharp.
He is survived by three children, Jeffrey (Susan) Sharp, of Salisbury, North Carolina, Jane (William) Cogar, of Richwood, and Jeremy (April) Sharp, of Nelsonville, Ohio; five grandchildren, Kathryn (Chris) Frazier, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Sarah (Nick) Brooks, of San Antonio, Texas, Jeremy “Tommy” Sharp, of Nelsonville, Ohio, Diana Sanders, of Asheville, North Carolina, and Ami Sharp, of Knoxville, Tennessee; two great-grandchildren, Violet Frazier, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Bodhi Brooks, of San Antonio, Texas; five sisters; Catherine “Sis” Baechtel, of Derwood, Maryland, Patricia “Pat” Lamoureux, of Alpine, Utah, Brenda “Cookie” Doss, and Charlotte “Chot” (Kenneth) Slagle, all of Marlinton, and Louise “Kay” (Sam) Burke, of Millboro, Virginia; four brothers, Craig (Betty) Sharp, of Chester, Virginia, Donald (Mildred) Sharp, of Berkley Springs, Tommie (Garnet) Sharp, of Marlinton, and Leslie “Doug” (Jean) Sharp, of Lahmansville; and numerous nieces, nephews and in-laws.
The family will receive friends Thursday, March 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Souers-Cardaras Funeral Home in Nelsonville, Ohio.
Funeral services will be held Friday, March 8, 2 p.m. at Souers-Cardaras Funeral Home, 46 Fayette Street, Nelsonville, Ohio, with Pastor Mike Thomas officiating. Burial will follow in Connett Cemetery in Nelsonville where the Combined Color Guard Unit will conduct Military Rites.
Online condolences may be made at www.cardaras.com