Elmer 'Mac' Golden

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mr. Elmer "Mac" Golden, 84, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, in Steele. Born Feb. 6, 1928 in Antoine, Ark., he was the son of the late Loyd Elmore Golden and Georgia Estelle Dyer.

Over 50 years ago, he was united in marriage to Jean Riddick Golden in Piggott, Ark., and was a member of the Church of Christ.

Mac was a World War II veteran and earned his emergency certification through the military. He left school in the tenth grade to join the military and later earned his high school diploma.

Chief Master Sergeant (Ret.) Golden enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in February 1944. He did his basic training in Biloxi, Miss., then proceeded to Denver, Col., for armament school. Most of his first two years, he trained and served as a gunner and togglier in B-24 bomber aircraft.

In 1946, with the war ended, Mac decided to return to civilian life. That lasted less than three weeks.

He returned to the Army Air Corps and in 1947, had to make another choice. A new branch of the military was formed: the United States Air Force. All members of the Army Air Corps were given the choice to remain in the Army or join the new branch. Mac chose to join the Air Force. Therefore, he was one of the members of the Air Force at its inception.

During his service career, he completed his high school education and went on to complete his Civil Engineering Officer Course.

While in the Air Force, he served tours of duty in Germany, Japan, Alaska, Bermuda and Thailand, as well as in several locations in the United States. During these tours of duty, his primary duty was maintenance, repair and construction of air base facilities. One such base is located nearby, Blytheville Air Force Base, or Eaker Air Force Base, as it was later renamed.

He was a veteran of the World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

He received many awards and commendations during his military service including the World War II Victory Medal, German Occupation Medal, Korean Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Commendation Medal and his highest award, the Bronze Star. He received the Bronze Star during the Vietnam War when he designed a system to expedite the construction and placement of temporary emergency runways for combat aircraft.

After 26-1/2 years, Mac retired from the Air Force and began his new career as a civilian.

With his passing, another member of the "Greatest Generation" was lost.

Mac was preceded in death by one brother, Billy Joe Golden; and six sisters, Verna Newton, Eunice Phillips, Evelyn Leblane, Dorothy Hooper, Loy Dell Downing and Ida Belle Ditto.

He leaves behind two sons, Steve Golden and his wife, Renee, of Steele, and Richard Golden of Kennett, Mo.;

Two daughters, Deborah Burton and her husband, David, of Steele; and Carol Golden of Steele;

Eight grandchildren, Gretchen Golden, Mac and Laura Golden, Rex and Julie Golden, Brett and Amy Burton, Jeremy and Brandy Burton, Aaron and Dee Burton, Adam and Mindy Burton, and Colton Golden;

Eight great-grandchildren, Ellis Golden, Bailey Walker, Kinley Burton, Jacob Burton, Samuel Burton, Noah Burton, J.D. Burton and Micha Burton.

Services were conducted Jan. 24, 2013, at the Powell Funeral Home chapel with Mr. John Mundy officiating. Burial followed in Mount Zion Cemetery in Steele.

Pallbearers included his grandsons and members of the military: Mac Golden, Rex Golden, Brett Burton, Jeremy Burton, Aaron Burton, Adam Burton and Colton Golden.

Powell Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. Please relay condolences at www.powellfuneral.info