Thursday, September 20, 2018

Philip Rush Haley, Jr.

Philip Rush Haley, Jr.
Posted: Mar 8, 2018
Categories: Obits
Comments: 0

Seale Funeral Home

On March 6, 2018, Philip Rush Haley, Jr. died at age 96 at his home in Denham Springs. Phil was born in Baton Rouge on October 1, 1921, to Philip Rush Haley, Sr., and Lessie Clement Haley. In 1940, he joined the United States Marine Corps and was stationed in Manila, Philippines. When the Japanese invaded the Philippines, Phil's unit retreated to the island of Corregidor. In 1942, he became a prisoner of war and was held captive by the Japanese at Bilibid and Cabanatuan prison camps in the Philippines, before spending the remaining years of the war at Mukden POW camp in Manchuria, China. The local paper reported him as "Missing in Action," and most of his family presumed he was dead. Phil often said that the prayers of his family and his faith in the Lord were what sustained him in the POW camp and throughout his life. In 1946, Phil married Velma Rollins and they had two sons. After he retired from work at Allied Chemical and Rubicon, he faithfully served others in his community through his active involvement at First Baptist Church of Denham Springs, where he also served as a deacon. Phil personified the Marine motto, "always faithful." He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service against an armed enemy and the Ex-POW medal. He received congratulatory letters from President Harry Truman, President George H.W. Bush, and Governor Edwin Edwards. He was a proud and active member of the American Ex-POWS Red Stick chapter. He is survived by his two sons, Rusty Haley (Carol) of Germantown, TN; and Randy Haley (Ashley) of Leesville, LA; his wife of 22 years, Ruth Johnson Haley; and her son, Butch Johnson (Paula) of Baton Rouge; seven grandchildren: Sarah Haley Cannon (Seth), Rachel Haley Dickens (Jon), Anna Haley, Elizabeth Haley, Benjamin Haley, Kyle Johnson (Christina), and Holly Johnson; and one great-grandson, Everett Cannon. Phil was preceded in death by his wife of 42 years, Velma Rollins Haley; two brothers, Bobby Lynn Haley and Douglas Leslie Haley; and one sister, Wilda Lucille ("Boots") Haley Pettigrew. Visitation will be Friday, March 9 from 6-8 p.m. and on Saturday, March 10, from 11-1 p.m., followed by a funeral service at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 10 with all venues located at First Baptist Church Denham Springs. Burial will take place immediately following the funeral at Greenoaks Memorial Park Cemetery in Baton Rouge.
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