Amos Lorian Demps was born on August 12, 1924 in Jacksonville, Florida and passed away on August 1, 2019 in Corpus Christi, Texas at the age of 94. The Demps family in Jacksonville, Florida were pioneer residents and homesteaders with a street, Demps Lane, named after the family.
Amos began his memorable journey serving the United States (US) when he was drafted into World War II in June 1943 as a medic in the US Army. After his basic training at Camp Pickett, Virginia, he was assigned to a medical company of the 2nd Cavalry Division at Fort Clark in Brackettville, Texas. In early March 1944, he, along with many fellow soldiers, traveled to North Africa on the USS Billy Mitchell that set sailed from Newport News, Virginia. Upon arrival at the port city of Oran, Algeria, he was one of many who traveled by trains and trucks through North Africa. He soon became a member of the 392nd Military Police Escort Guard Company and helped to transport enemy prisoners of war to different compounds in Europe. He recalled riding shotgun in trucks driven by the members of the famed Red Ball Express, an all Black military trucking unit who served in Europe.
In his 30 years of military service, he also served in the Korean War and Vietnam War. He took part in Inchon Landing and recounted images of what he saw when he arrived in Inchon. In Vietnam, he served in the United States Military Assistance Command with the Office of Information as a custodian of classified documents, a duty he regarded an extreme privilege.
After retiring from the US Army, he continued serving the US government as a civilian employee. In 2001, when he was the Director of the Army Community Service office at Camp Red Cloud, South Korea, he reached the milestone of 50 years with the US government and military service. When interviewed for a post newspaper, he said “People sometimes ask why I have worked so long and I tell them I just haven’t found a good reason to stop. Besides, I’d rather be working than not and the work I do here is rewarding. I like that I help people, that my work contributes to the community.” His last assignment was at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia, also with the Army Community Service office. He retired at the age of 81. He and his wife Yong Soon retired to Kingsville, Texas in 2008 to join their daughter and family.
He is preceded in death by his father Anthony Demps; his mother Priscilla Thompson Demps; his sisters Olivia Polke, Saraphine Brooks, and Luretha Brooks; brother Clemmon Demps; and niece Loretta Demps Williams.
He is survived by his loving family: wife Yong Soon; son Billy Demps; daughter Elaine Demps (Rosalio Lopez, Jr.); five grandchildren—William Demps, Katherine Demps, Amos Demps, Matthew Demps Lopez, and Elly Demps Lopez; and two great-grandchildren, Preston and Everett Matthews. He is also survived by his beloved Jacksonville family—cousins Bevelyn Demps, Leon Demps, and Philmore Graham and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.
The family sends heartfelt gratitude to Brittany, Maru, Miss Yolanda, Miss Gloria, and Thomas for their kind care of Amos over the past several years. The family is also thankful to Dr. Robert Morales and the ICU, second floor, and ER nurses of the Christus Spohn Hospital Kleberg.
Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 8, 2019 at Turcotte-Piper Mortuary with a chapel service to begin at 11:00 a.m. Interment will follow at 1:00 p.m. at the Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetery.
Services are entrusted to Turcotte-Piper Mortuary, 205 General Cavazos Blvd. Kingsville, Texas 78363.