Daughter Tracks Down Man in Photo Honoring Her Late Marine Father During Funeral Procession

Combined Shape

It’s sad to say goodbye to the people we love, but it’s beautiful when friends and family come together to remember and celebrate a life well lived.

The family of a veteran named Skeeter Wallace pulled together to give him a touching tribute. He passed away at the end of September after suffering a heart attack.

“He was an amazing man, father, husband, mentor and friend and will be missed by many, especially this Daddy’s girl,” his daughter Rona Wallace posted on Facebook.

“He loved unconditionally and would give his last dime to someone in need. He had a servants heart and loved helping others. His generosity and kindness, among many other beautiful character traits, always made me proud. I was infinitely proud to be his daughter. And always will be.”

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Skeeter Wallace’s nephew, Gilbert Ornelas, was tasked with the eulogy, and he described the funeral in his own Facebook post, saying it was a day that glorified God and highlighted a generous, beloved man.

“What an incredible emotional day!!” Ornelas wrote. “But the lord was all over this like a rat on a Cheeto!! I was so honored to deliver the Eulogy at my Uncle Skeeter Lothringer’s Funeral today. With the strength only god could provide we painted a great picture of this true American Hero.”

“A Huge thanks to our Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick whom was in attendance and who spoke so eloquently about GOD family and Our beloved Uncle Skeeter. We need more men and women like him in office. Thank you Dan for all you did today!!”

He detailed how the family was deeply involved in every aspect of that important day, and it’s clear by the way he writes that his uncle was a good man.

“Most of all I want to thank my wife and family for supporting me and each other thru these tough times,” he continued. “My sister Gina sang Go rest High at the grave sight and the Marines played Taps and God and Uncle Skeeter smiled on us one last time with a Rainbow over the water on Lake Conroe for the reception!!”

But one of the most touching and unexpected events of the day was when a complete stranger recognized that a veteran’s funeral procession was passing by. The stranger, who Rona later discovered was a Navy vet named Ernest Boerlin, pulled to the side of the road, got out of his truck, took his hat off and put his hand over his heart, honoring a man he’d never even met.

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Using her sleuthing skills, Rona’s daughter tracked the vet down and Rona messaged him to personally thank him. His response was moving.

“It was an honor to show my respect for a fellow serviceman and their family,” he wrote. “Please accept my prayers and condolences to you and your family for your loss. Fair winds and following seas. God bless.”

“Thank you, Ernest,” Rona wrote in a Facebook post that described the kind encounter. “Your act of kindness and respect touched our family and friends very deeply and we are grateful. May God bless you and yours as well.”

“Let’s thank Ernest for his service and show him some love, y’all!”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking