Last Updated on December 19, 2022 by Fisher Funeral Chapel
Arlis Sizemore, 99, of Logansport, was surrounded by his family when he passed away Saturday afternoon, December 17, 2022, at home.
Born August 27, 1923, in Harlan, Kentucky, he was the son of the late Abner and Mary (Cornett) Sizemore.
On June 5, 1964, at the Helm Street Church of God, he was united in marriage with the love of his life, Clara “Evelyn” (Centers) Sizemore, who survives.
Arlis did not want to work in the coal mines of Kentucky, like his father had labored all of his life, so in the early 1940’s, at age the age of 16, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps. He was sent to Peru where he worked building the runway at the former Bunker Hill Naval Station – now known as Grissom Air Force Base.
Arlis was proud to have served his country during World War II as a heavy mortar crewman fighting with the U.S. Army’s Company D 142nd Infantry Regiment 36th Infantry Division in the European African Middle Eastern Theater. He spent over 23 months in constant battle at the frontlines in Italy, Southern France and Germany. On Thanksgiving Day 2002, after 47 years of keeping the memories of the many horrors he saw in combat, Arlis began sharing bits and pieces about his experiences during WWII. With the encouragement of his family and the help of his daughter, Pam, his memories and photos were published in a book entitled, “Hidden Memories of World War II.” Arlis often talked of the 1944 Valentine’s Day battle where he thought he would die in a foxhole after suffering a concussion and temporary hearing loss on Rapido River. His Regiment suffered major casualties after being bombarded with shells coming from the mountains of Germany, but they fought back – pushing the Germans back and caused several to surrender. The church steeple in St Etienne in France, again an area where his Regiment saw action; the screams of dying soldiers, and the stench of death at the concentration camp in Landsberg, Germany.
For his bravery and for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy displaying gallantry, determination, and esprit de corps in accomplishing its mission under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions he and his brothers in arms received the “Distinguished Unit Badge” now called the Presidential Unit Citation. When a unit performs to such a high standard that if it were a single soldier, the soldier would be entitled to the Distinguished Service Cross, all members of this unit receive this high honor. In addition to his Good Conduct award and 5 bronze stars, in 2007, Arlis was inducted by the Government of France into the Knights of the French Legion of Honor for his part in liberating France during WWII.
Arlis was in Austria when WWII ended but spent the next five months serving in the Occupation of Germany. Seventy-seven years ago this week, on Christmas Eve, he was honorably discharged – heading home a humble hero – thankful to be alive.
After returning from the war, Arlis returned to Peru where he worked at the Foundry as a crane operator. Following his retirement, he kept busy working as a custodian at Hamilton Standard/White Rodgers in Logansport. Arlis was also a talented craftsman. He did woodworking while Evelyn finished designs with customized paintings. He was best known for making wooden rocking chairs.
Arlis was proud to be a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3790, the American Legion Post 60, and the Disabled Veterans of America. In 1993, Arlis visited Italy and toured the area where he served during the war. More recently, he traveled on the Honor Flight to see the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. For many years, Arlis and Evelyn traveled to Company D reunions all across the United States. In 2017, he was honored to be the Grand Marshal of the Logansport Veterans Day Parade.
As a member of our Nation’s “Greatest Generation”, Arlis had faith in God, a strong work ethic, and a devotion to his family – leaving a lasting legacy that is immeasurable. His hobbies revolved around spending time with his family, whether it was on one of many camping trips, a good day of fishing or the joy of hunting mushrooms every spring. He was the much-loved patriarch of a large, blended family who he raised to carry on his best qualities.
Surviving with his wife Evelyn, are eight children, Colleen Sizemore (Earl) Farmer, of Americus, Georgia, Pamela J Roller, Rebecca Roller (Terry) Homburg, Ronald (Caroline) Roller, Kathleen Roller (Steven) Black, all of Logansport, Jeffrey (Lori) Roller, Walton, Tamara Sizemore (Bobby) Exmeyer, Forest, Indiana, and Arlis “Annette” Sizemore (David) Spear, also of Logansport; one brother, Joseph Sizemore, Puerto Rico; grandchildren, Colleen’s – Stacey (Kevin) Brown, Matt (Liz) Farmer, Becky’s – Brett (Allison) Spencer, Heather Spencer, Holly (Bobby) Bridge, Tony (Jane) Homburg, Ryan (Stephanie) Homburg, Matt (April) Homburg, Ike (Sara) Homburg, Ron’s – Caleb Roller (Katherine Howe), Lindsay Roller, Kathleen’s – Christopher Black, (Laura Criss), Michelle D. (Kyle) Walker, Jeff’s – Chad Roller, Samantha (Donny) Auten, KyLeigh Roller, Tamara’s – Amanda (Ryan) Inman, Sandy (Clint) Meeks, Carina Street, Keith Exmeyer, and Annette’s – Kaitlyn (Andrew) Vetter, twins Ashley (James) Allen, and Amy Spear; great-grandchildren, Zach Brown, Jordan Brown, Rachel Brown, Abby Brown, Rowan Farmer, Sutton Farmer, Tyler Spencer, Derek Klimes, Jalyn Louthain, Mary Jane Homburg, Keaton Mills, Bryce Mills, Max Mills, Mattingly Bridge, Case Bridge, Claudia Homburg, Trenton Bear, Jenna (Orion) Price, Hunter Homburg, Harland Homburg, Paisley Homburg, Charlotte Homburg, Henry Homburg, Chase Walker, Owen Walker, Gage (Paulina) Lytle, Elijah Auten, Isaiah Auten, Samuel Auten, Mia Roller, Brayon Roller, Quinton (Delaney) Inman, August Meeks, Carolyn Meeks, Noelina Lummis, Trenton Exmeyer, Bylee Exmeyer, and Hazel Vetter; great-great-grandchildren, Brynlynn Spencer, Oreana Weldy, Memphis Klimes, C.J. Roller, and Roman Lytle; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two sisters, Betty Christian and Becky Fields; one brother, Willard Sizemore; one granddaughter, Misty Roller; one great-grandson, Grayson Collins, and one great-great-grandson, Bastian Weldy.
A visitation will be held from 3-7 p.m. Tuesday, December 20 at Fisher Funeral Chapel.
A funeral service celebrating Arlis’ life will be held 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21 in the funeral chapel with Pastor Jeff Martin, of DeMotte, officiating.
Interment, with full military honors, will follow in Ever-Rest Memorial Park.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Cass County Honor Guard through their Cass County Community Foundation fund, or to any organization that supports disabled veterans.
You may share memories of Arlis and offer your condolences on his Tribute Wall at www.fisherfuneralchapel.com.