Harold S. Placette
Harold S. Placette, age 90, of Port Arthur fell asleep to join his Savior on Monday, Jan. 28. Harold was born in Port Arthur on March 2, 1922. His beloved wife, Gloria Placette, preceded him in death, along with his parents, Joseph and Della Placette, Sr. and brothers Joe Placette, Jr. and Cecil Placette.
A visitation will be held at Grammier-Oberle Funeral Home on Friday, Feb. 1, from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. with a vigil at 7:00 p.m. A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Catherine Catholic Church. Officiating at the service is his nephew; Fr. David Placette, Fr. J.C. Coon and Fr. Duc Duong will be co-celebrating. Interment will follow at Greenlawn Memorial Park.
A native of Port Arthur, Harold graduated from St. Mary High School in 1939. In July 1940, he enlisted in the United States Regular Navy and served for six years and eight years in the Navy Inactive Reserves. He served aboard the WWII Destroyer USS Phelps – DD360 from 1940-1945 and was radar man first class. Harold was aboard the USS Phelps on Dec. 7, 1941 during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The USS Phelps earned 12 battle stars for battle action against the enemy in the Pacific War Theater. His decorations include The Pearl Harbor Survivor Commemorative medal issued by Congress, The Philippine Defense medal, the Asiatic-Pacific medal, the Navy Combat Action medal, the American Defense medal, the Europe-Africa Middle East medal, the National Defense Service medal, the Navy Good Conduct medal and the Aleutian Islands Campaign Defense medal.
Upon his honorable discharge from the Navy, Harold enrolled at Lamar College to pursue an electrical engineering degree. Harold was employed with DuPont in Orange from Feb. 18, 1947 until his retirement May 1, 1980 as a supervisor in the instrument-electrical division. He also worked for seven years in the maintenance division as a mechanical supervisor. After his retirement, he worked three years for Chemco Valve and Fitting Company of Houston where his son, Greig, was the CEO and President.
Harold was a member of St. Catherine Catholic Church since 1956 and served as President of the Holy Name Society; was a church usher for many years; organized and served as President of the first Parish Board Council and helped establish the CCD classes at St. Catherine School. Harold was an active member of the Port Arthur Noon Sertoma Club, had served as a Board Director, a Vice-President and was the Publicity Chairman.
He was a charter member of the Navy Memorial Foundation. He is the founder, was President of the USS Phelps Shipmates Reunions and served on the editorial staff for publishing the ship’s newsletter, The Bull-Horn. He was a member of the Tin Can Sailors Association and a member of the USS Kidd Association. Harold is a life member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and a charter member of the Southeast Texas Golden Triangle Chapter 13, Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. He was a member of the American Legion Post #0007 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #4820.
He is survived by his son, Greig Placette of Houston; two daughters, Theresa (Placette) Kleypas and husband Ricky of Nederland, and Renee Placette of Jacksonville, Fl; two grandchildren, Drue Placette and wife Jessica of San Marcos, and Kristen Kleypas Broussard and husband Jason of Bridge City.
Also surviving are four great-grandchildren, Heidi Broussard, Payten Placette, Sean Phelps Placette, and Liam Placette. Additional survivors include his sisters, Patsy (Placette) Collins of Austin; Theresa (Placette) Adair and Elaine (Placette) Rogers of Hallettsville, and Rosalie (Placette) Benton of Bridge City.