Rex Waters, believed to be Pembroke’s last surviving veteran of World War II, died Wednesday. He was 95.
Word of his death came from Pembroke City Administrator Alex Floyd, followed shortly afterward by an email from Pembroke American Legion Post 164 Commander Marvin Miller to post members.
“It is with heavy heart to be informed that we have lost our longest serving member of our post. Rex Waters has been a member of our Post for over 70 years. He will be missed. May he Rest in Peace,” the email said.
There were 496,777 World War II veterans alive in 2018, according to the National World War II Museum, out of 16 million who served. It’s estimated that 348 World War II veterans die each day, and Waters is the second World War II veteran from North Bryan to die this month.
Ellabell native Robert Frederick Greene passed away Jan. 18 at the age of 96. Greene was a Seabee in the U.S. Navy and served in the Battle of Okinawa before coming home to raise a family.
Waters also served in the Pacific the Navy, where he drove beach landing craft.
“He drove into at least four of the major battles,” said American Legion Post 164 member Ernie Mitchell, who is retired Navy and a Vietnam veteran. “He was clear of mind until the end.”
Floyd said Waters was part of Pembroke history.
“Rex Waters moved to the corner of Lanier and Railroad Streets with his family in 1927,” Floyd said. “That kind of history and experience doesn’t come often. His wealth of information, storytelling ability and great smile will be sorely missed. He served his community, his city and his country faithfully.”
Waters was profiled in May by the Bryan County News.
See his obituary here.