Born May 9, 1925 in Glendora to Pat Sr. and Byrlie Didlake, Pat H. Didlake, Jr. finished his race on October 19, 2013.
Graveside services were at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery in Teoc at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 22. Wilson and Knight Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
As a boy, he joined the Boy Scouts, earned his Eagle, and successfully led Boy Scout troops for many years, earning the Wood Badge. For his service and dedication to scouting he was awarded the Silver Beaver.
After Pearl Harbor was attacked he joined the Navy. He was selected to serve with the 2nd Marines in special ops as a radio and radar specialist, ARGUS 16. He participated in the invasion of Pacific island Tarawa on November 20, 1943, Operation Galvanic, where over 5000 men perished.
Upon his release from the military he returned home and married Patricia Rutledge in 1950. Mrs. Didlake finished her life's race in 1997. From this union came three children, Patrick III (Teoc MS),Mikell (Longview Texas), and Jo Ann (Hattiesburg), six grandchildren: Emily (Pat III), Joshua, David, Nathan, Aaron (Mikell), and Claire (Jo Ann), and ten great-grandchildren with #11 due in December.
Much of his life was spent as a mechanic at Didlake's Garage in Glendora. In the late 60's he worked for others, but eventually found his working enjoyment as a cotton gin superintendent in MS and LA. He worked cotton gins until age 74, two years after he lost his right leg to cancer.
In 1985 he reconnected with his fellow soldiers from World War II by joining the Second Marine Division Association where he would go on to serve as the Mississippi State Chapter President. In 1988, along with other Tarawa veterans, he travelled back to the island where, on November 20, a statue was dedicated to the memory of those who died in the battle.
He will be sorely missed by many people from many different backgrounds who knew him as "Hot".
An online guest book may be signed at www. wilsonandknight.com.