SUMMERVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – Seventy-three years after he was killed in action in the village of Yongdong, South Korea, the body of US Army Sergeant Richard “Dick” Marvin Sharrow landed in Pittsburgh and was driven by motorcade to Summerville.
(Photos by Gavin Fish)
Sergeant Sharrow was born on March 4, 1928, to Charles R. and Effie S. Sharrow in Marienville. He was 22 years old at the time of his death.
The following is a photo essay of the penultimate leg of the journey to bring Sergeant Sharrow’s remains home and lay them to rest in Marienville.
Community members including Skye Peterson, Lilly Peterson, Linnea, Peterson, Jack Peterson, State Senator Cris Dush, Terry Cassatt, Tim and Colleen Cooney, Bill Littlefield, Lenard Nicholas, Bob and Teresa Wolfgang, Mike Smith, and John and Beth Bauer boarded a bus provided by Greg and Cheryl Furlong of Furlong Funeral home, along with journalists Patti Slaughter of the Jefferson County Democrat and Gavin Fish of EYT Media at Furlong Funeral Home in Summerville.
The bus followed a hearse driven by Greg Furlong from Summerville to the Air Reserve Station near Pittsburgh International Airport.
Skye Peterson donated blood along with her grandmother, and sister to Sergeant Sharrow, in 1997 hoping that someday her great uncle’s remains would be identified.
“My grandmother approached me and asked if I would go with her to have blood samples taken so, should any remains be located, they could use our DNA to identify them,” she said. The blood was taken at a local doctor’s office in Kane, PA.
“She just never gave up. She always wanted to know what happened to him,” said Peterson of her grandmother, one of Sergeant Sharrow’s ten siblings.
Twin Pines Tavern in Kittaning displayed a welcome home sign for Sergeant Sharrow on their marquis.
Upon arrival at the Air Reserve Station, the group was welcomed by members of the military who had worked to bring Sergeant Sharrow home, along with personnel from the USO, who worked to ensure that the group would be given access to the airport.
While at the Air Reserve Station, Sky Peterson’s sister, Cassie Stevens, and her children Sophie, Cora, and Hayden met up with the group.
Joining the growing group of honored guests and visitors were members of the Patriot Guard Riders, who were to escort the motorcade back to Summerville following the ceremony at the airport.
“This stuff is personal to me whenever we have something like this,” said State Senator Cris Dush. “Listening to the family members in the back of the bus on the way down, hearing the stories they had, looking at the copies of the letters they had, I got to witness these young kids making a multi-generational connection. For them to see the solemn nature of this type of ceremony puts things into perspective that I don’t think they’d otherwise have.”
Only about 25 guests were allowed on the airport property due to security regulations. Most of the members of the Patriot Guard Riders stood on each side of the roadway leading to the airport ramp holding American flags.
The hearse was staged beneath gate 36 at Pittsburgh International Airport, awaiting an American Airlines flight coming from Honolulu that was scheduled to land at 4:32 p.m.
Officers from the Moon Township Police Department and the Allegheny County Police Department joined for the arrival of Sergeant Sharrow’s remains.
Members of the honor guard staged themselves and practiced their part in the ceremony minutes before Sergeant Sharrow’s arrival.
Sergeant Sharrow’s grandnieces, along with their children, watch as the plane carrying Sergeant Sharrow’s remains taxis toward gate 34.
Sergeant Sharrow’s family watches the arrival of the plane that carries his remains.
The honor guard salutes as the plane carrying Sergeant Sharrow’s remains taxis to the gate.
Members of the Patriot Guard Riders join in saluting as the plane carrying Sergeant Sharrow’s remains arrives at gate 34.
Law enforcement officers from the Allegheny County Police Department and the Moon Township Police Department reverently watch the arrival of the plane.
Sergeant Sharrow’s family awaits the opening of the cargo door of the American Airlines plane carrying their great uncle.
Members of the community join Sergeant Sharrow’s family as they await the opening of the cargo door.
With the cargo door open, the honor guard awaits Sergeant Sharrow’s remains.
Passengers sitting inside the airplane take the opportunity to capture what’s going on outside on the ramp.
American Airlines workers carefully extract Sergeant Sharrow’s casket from the cargo hold of the airplane.
The honor guard approaches the airplane.
The honor guard salutes as Sergeant Sharrow’s remains are lowered from the cargo bay of the aircraft.
The honor guard carries Sergeant Sharrow’s casket from the airplane.
The honor guard places Sergeant Sharrow’s casket onto a trolley.
State Senator Cris Dush leads the Peterson and Stevens families in prayer beside Sergeant Sharrow’s casket.
Following the brief family prayer, Sergeant Sharrow’s casket is taken by the honor guard to the hearse.
The honor guard places Sergeant Sharrow’s casket into the hearse.
Family and community members watch in reverence as Sergeant Sharrow’s remains are placed into the hearse.
Hollie Phillips (in uniform on the right), sister of Skye Peterson and Cassie Stevens, accompanied Sergeant Sharrow on the flight from Hawaii to Pittsburgh.
Family and community members spend a few minutes together on the ramp following the ceremony.
Greg and Cheryl Furlong speak to Major Gass of the honor guard.
A view from the bus of the motorcade after leaving the airport on the way to Summerville.
The motorcade is greeted while passing through Kittaning.
The motorcade arrived at Furlong Funeral Home in Summerville.
The hearse carrying Sergeant Sharrow’s remains was parked behind a Marienville Volunteer Fire Department fire truck in front of Furlong Funeral Home.
The motorcade lines the street in front of Furlong Funeral Home.
The flag-draped casket holding Sergeant Sharrow’s remains inside the Furlong Funeral Home hearse.
Members of the Patriot Guard Riders carefully remove the casket from the hearse.
Patriot Guard Riders honor Sergeant Sharrow with a salute as his remains are removed from the hearse.
Patriot Guard Riders take Sergeant Sharrow’s remains inside the funeral home.
Patriot Guard Riders reverently salute Sergeant Sharrow’s casket after placing his remains inside the funeral home.
Hollie Phillips and Cris Dush watch as Patriot Guard Riders pay their respects to Sergeant Sharrow.
Sergeant Sharrow’s flag-draped casket.
Sergeant Sharrow’s dog tag, which is attached to his casket, is reverently inspected by a member of the community.
A large processional will be held on Saturday, September 23. Anyone wishing to honor Sergeant Sharrow may join this processional that will take him home to Marienville by meeting at Furlong Funeral Home located at 50 Broad Street in Summerville. Please arrive by 2:30 p.m.
The processional will be leaving at 3:00 p.m. precisely. His arrival in Marienville will be at 4:00 p.m.
Visitation will be at Furlong Funeral Home located at 140 Cherry Street, Marienville, Pa., on Sunday, September 24, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at St. Ann Cemetery in Marienville.
Graveside services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, September 25, 2023, at St. Ann Cemetery, in Jenks Township, Forest County, with Father Cory Pius, pastor, presiding.
Sgt. Sharrow will be laid to rest with full military honors accorded by active duty members of the U.S. Military.