July 27, 1931 – June 16, 2016
Gary Earnest Jeter, of Buffalo, who received his Korean War medals last month after waiting 63 years, died last Thursday in Buffalo Veterans Affairs Medical Center after battling pneumonia. He was 84.
Born in Jonesville, S.C., the second of 10 children, he attended school there and enlisted in the Army at the age of 19. A singer, he was assigned to Special Services for a while and entertained troops. He also served in Japan and in the Korean War with the 505th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion with the rank of corporal.
For many years, he talked about the medals he should have been awarded. After an effort by his step-daughter, Robin Clowers, Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, presented him with the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal with two bronze stars, the Combat Infantry Badge First Award and the United Nations Service Medal in a ceremony May 6 at the Korean War Monument in Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park.
Mr. Jeter worked for the municipal housing authority in New York City for 20 years before he moved to Buffalo in 1982. Here he was a maintenance engineer at Kensington High School.
A Mason, he was a member of Composite Lodge 39, Free & Accepted Masons, in Manhattan. He enjoyed gardening, working on cars and watching cowboy movies daily.
He and his first wife, the former Estelle Bishop, were married in 1952. He was remarried in 1989 to the former Kathrine Clowers. She died on March 15.
Survivors include four daughters, Vickie, Joann Armstead, Belinda Boyd and Jacqueline Jeter-Whitted; three step-daughters, Leslie Covington, Robin Clowers and Tracy Brown; a step-son, Craig Clowers; four sisters, Jessie Moore, Betty Griffith, Sandra Baines and Michelle Jeter-Michalski; a special friend, Anita Green; 21 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren, eight great-great-grandchildren and two great-great-great-grandchildren .
Services will be held at noon Thursday in Friendship Baptist Church, 402 Clinton St., after visitation at 11 a.m.