Corporal Joe Thomas Avant, 20, made the ultimate sacrifice, November 30, 1950, dying in active duty near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. Funeral services with full military honors will be 11 A.M. Friday, December 13, 2019 at North Greenwood Baptist Church with interment in Odd Fellows Cemetery. Rev. Glen Seefeld and Rev. Terry Barnes will officiate. Visitation is from 9:30-11 Friday at the church prior to services.
Joe was born April 12, 1930 in Essex, MS to Robert and Wyneta Avant, grew up in the Greenwood area and attended J.Z. George High School. He entered the US Army at 19 years old, September 23, 1949 and was assigned to Heavy Mortar Company, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division in 1950. While serving on task force McLean near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, he was listed as missing in action on November 30, 1950. He was presumed dead on December 31, 1953 since his remains were not recovered by the American forces.
His remains were recovered by the North Koreans but were not released to the American forces. After diplomatic efforts by President Donald Trump, Joe’s remains were released into US custody and were positively identified by DNA as those of Cpl. Joe Thomas Avant and his actual date of death was determined to be November 30, 1950. He was awarded the Purple Heart for his sacrifice.
He is survived by his brothers; Bobby Avant (Jeanette) of Americus, GA, Doug Avant, Richard Avant (Becky) both of Greenwood, and Joe Cauthen (Pam) of Sidon, sisters; Faye Emmett (Glen) of Fort Worth, TX, Delores Moore and Judy Burgoon of Greenwood. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
His sisters who were surviving at the time of his passing but are deceased at the time of his service are Margaret Cauthen, Ella Mae Martin and Jeanie Burton.
Members of the American Legion Post 29 will serve as honorary pallbearers.
Memorials may be made to the American Legion Post 29, 618 Aubrey Circle, North Greenwood, MS 38930.
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