Charlevoix County Veteran of the Month Ralph Kitson Jr. of Boyne

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The “Veteran of the Month” for August 2017 is Ralph Earl Kitson, Jr. Born August 2nd, 1927 in Boyne City, Michigan and attended East Jordan Michigan Public Schools.


After completing the 11th grade he left school and joined the Merchant Marine Service for a short time before he was found to be to young and his service was terminated.

On November 28th, 1945 Kitson was inducted into the Army Air Corp in Detroit, Michigan and after having served two months and 14 days at Sheppard Field Texas in the 3706th Army Air Force Bomber Unit, he received a discharge for reenlistment on February 11th, 1946.

On February 12th, 1946 Kitson reenlisted and received training as a radio repairman.

On April 9th, 1946 Kitson departed the USA arriving on the island of Okinawa on April 27th, 1946 and on November 6th, 1947 he qualified with the 30 caliber M1 carbine rifle and 45 caliber pistol.

On December 23rd, 1947 Kitson was promoted to Staff Sergeant.

On March 18th, 1948 Kitson departed Okinawa arriving in the USA on April 1st, 1948 having served 1 year, 11 months and 22 days of foreign service.

On January 13, 1949, at Offutt Air Force Base, Fort Creek, Nebraska, Kitson received an Honorable Discharge and was awarded the Japan Occupational Victory Metal.

Returning home to East Jordan, Kitson went to work in Boyne City at the Tannery and for a short period of time he was a reserve police officer in Boyne City.

Kitson married Carol M. Lawson and when the marriage ended he married Luezeta “Zettie” Smith on March 16th, 1963.

Kitson Worked at the Michigan Milk Producers Creamery in East Jordan delivering milk products to area stores all over Northern Lower Michigan.

He than worked for the City of East Jordan starting on June 6th, 1966 for the Department of Public Works and as the City Superintendent for three years and also was the City Assessor for several years until retirement on July 28th, 1989.

Later he drove a school bus for the East Jordan Public Schools from 1990 to 2001.

Kitson was a member of the Rebec-Hosler-Sweet Post#227 of the American Legion in East Jordan.

Kitson was an outdoorsman and enjoyed fishing, hunting, making bird houses, bowling and was a sports fan. On August 23rd, 2013 Ralph Earl Kitson Jr. answered the final call and is being honored by his extended family.

To honor a deceased U.S. MILITARY VETERAN, call the program chairman at (231) 588-6067 or on Tuesdays call (231) 582-7811 between 3:30-8:30 p.m.

The ceremony may be witnessed on the first Thursday of each month at The American Legion Post located on the corner of South Lake and Main streets in Boyne City, Mich. at 6:15 p.m.