James William Rackley, 83, of Alton, Mo., died Feb. 8, 2009, and was born May 26, 1925, at Alton, Mo., to James Riley Rackley and Lena Mae Mitchell. On Oct. 31, 1953, he was united in marriage to Jo Ella Dodson in Hernando, Miss., and to this union five children were born.
James was a veteran of World War II, serving as an Infantryman, Machine Gun Section 325th Regimental Combat Team, 81st Infantry Division. He received the Bronze Star and Combat Infantryman Badge for action in the Palau Islands and participated in the liberation of the Philippines on Leyte Island. He served in Japan, Okinawa and Stateside until 1950.
He was a longtime businessman in Alton and a member of the Alton VFW.
He is survived by: five children, Janet Rackley of West Plains, Mo., Patti Collins and husband Ted of Alton, Nancy Rackley Pinckney and husband Kevin of Springfield, Mo., Mike Rackley and wife Angie of Alton, and Mark Rackley and wife Kristie of Alton; nine grandchildren, JR Bennett, Greg Rackley, Brad Rackley, Amanda Collins, Lindsey Ruch, Evan Ruch, Seth Collins, Hope Rackley, and Derrek Rackley; one great-granddaughter; three sisters, Geneva Lewis of West Plains, Millie Carter of St. Peters, Mo., and Pauline Bigler of Doniphan, Mo.; and numerous other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by: his wife, Jo Ella; his mother and father, James and Lena; four brothers, Oval, Norbin, Carl and John D Rackley; and two sisters, Ethel Lewis and Edna Johnson.
Services were held Feb. 10 at the Alton Freewill Baptist Church with Bro. Charles Trantham officiating. Interment followed in the Hickory Grove Cemetery. Arrangements were under the direction of the Clary Funeral Home of Alton.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alton VFW.
This obituary may be viewed online at http://www. claryfuneralhome.com.