CHARLESTON, IL – Alva Harold Moss, age 97 of Charleston, Illinois has set out on the next stage of his journey, following his death on Sunday, July 11, 2021, while at Odd Fellow-Rebekah Home in Mattoon. Visitation for family and friends will be from 10:00 until noon on Thursday, July 15, 2021, at Adams Funeral Chapel in Charleston. The funeral, honoring and celebrating his life will begin at noon on Thursday at the funeral chapel with Reverend Richard Miller officiating. Burial with military rites will follow in the Arcola Cemetery in Arcola, Illinois. Memorials may be made to Kemp Church of Christ or to a charity of the donor’s preference and may be left at the visitation/service or mailed to Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Drive, Charleston, IL 61920.
Harold was born October 25, 1923, in Douglas County, Illinois a son of the late Alva Theodore and Nancy Elizabeth (Cuppy) Moss. He married Hester Hurley in 1944 in Oberlin, Kansas and following her death in 1968, he married Mary Ellen (Carr) Emerick on August 30, 1969, in Olney, Illinois. She preceded him in death on January 8, 2017, following 47 years of marriage. He is survived by two daughters, Peggy Moss of Keokuk, Iowa and Sharon Moss of Iowa City, Iowa, and a son, Dennis Moss of Ft. Collins, Colorado; four stepsons, Michael Emerick (Sandy) of Nolensville, Tennessee, Donald Emerick (Blanche) of Middleton, Wisconsin, William Emerick (Carma) of West Lafayette, Indiana, and John Emerick (Linda) of Santa Barbara, California; 11 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandchild. In addition to both wives, he was preceded in death by a stepson, Clifford Emerick, and five siblings.
Harold attended Kemp Elementary School and was a Charleston High School graduate. He worked for Illinois Central Railroad prior to enlisting in the military to bravely and honorably serve his country. He served with the Army Air Force during World War II during which time he was held as a Prisoner of War. He was the recipient of 9 Bronze Stars and was awarded a Purple Heart and the Prisoner of War Medal.
Harold was a lifelong farmer north of Charleston, retiring in 1987. He was a faithful member of Kemp Church of Christ for more than 80 years. He enjoyed playing tennis and golf, was an avid Chicago Cubs fan and followed Fighting Illini sporting events. He and Mary Ellen enjoyed wintering at their Mesa, Arizona home during which time Harold participated in choir and band activities. They also enjoyed traveling throughout the United States – visiting 49 of the 50 states. They also traveled across Europe, visiting the site in Switzerland where his plane was shot down after returning from a bombing mission over Germany during WWII, and where he was held as a P.O.W.
Harold was a gentleman and was highly respected by his family, friends, and neighbors.
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