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John Lester Follis, age 66, of Albuquerque, N.M., passed away July 16, 2005, at the V. A. Hospital in Albuquerque, N.M.
He was born Dec. 29, 1938, in Denver, Colo., to John Henry and Frances Rosalie (Newton) Follis. On Feb. 14, 1964, he was united in marriage to Virginia Smith and to this union five children were born.
John was a Navy career man who enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17 1/2 on Sept. 7, 1956. He was a proud member of the Seventh Fleet for many years. His first cruise aboard the U.S.S. McDermut DD-677 was early in 1957 to the West Pacific. On the 1957 cruise they crossed the equator on their way to Singapore. During the day long ceremony they became “Trusted Shellbacks.” They also visited the ports of British Malaya, Subic Bay, and Hong Kong. His second tour of duty was aboard the U.S.S. Carpenter DDE-825 from Nov. 1957 to Oct. 1958. She sailed outward bound by way of Samoa; Sydney, Australia; Manus; and Guam, thus varying the usual passage via Midway to Japan. His third tour was aboard the U.S.S. Nicholas DDE-449 from Dec. 1958 to Oct. 1959 to the Western Pacific ports of Manila, Singapore, Okinawa, Hong Kong, Yokosuka, Sasebo, Kobe and Nagoya – the last four all being in Japan. From June 1962 to March 1964, John received some well deserved shore duty and was stationed at the Supply Department, Stock Control Section, of the U.S. Naval Air Station at Glenview, Illinois. John served two tours in Vietnam before he was stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, N.M. from late 1973 to late 1980 where he served as a Navy Recruiter. Then he boarded the U.S.S. Tarawa LHA-1 from Nov. 1980 to April 1981 enroute to Subic Bay, Thailand, Korea, Singapore, Indian Ocean, Diego Garcia, Perth, and San Diego. John was promoted to Senior Chief in May of 1983 and retired from the Navy in March 1984.
John was preceded in death by his father, John Henry Follis; maternal grandparents, Lester and Ada Mae (Williams) Newton; and an adopted son, ENFN Lester Earl Follis, U.S. Navy, who passed away at age 20 in 1982 aboard the U.S.S. Durham L.K.A. 114 of the Pacific fleet.
John is survived by two daughters, Anne Marie Blue and husband, Kenneth, of Chesapeake, Va., and Clara Celeste Bullock and husband, Gordon, of High Springs, Fla.; three sons, Travis Martin, of Minneapolis, Minn., Eric Nolan and wife, Stacey, and Kirk Wilson and wife, Danice, both of Virginia Beach, Va.; his mother, Frances Rosalie (Newton) Follis, who resides in Forsyth Health Care Center, Forsyth; three brothers, Fred and wife, Joan, of Ava, Allen Thomas and wife, Donna, of Oak Grove, and William Edward and wife, Vivian, of Forsyth; one sister, Carolyn Rosalie Berry and husband, James M. Berry, of Forsyth, Carolyn Ray, of Woodsboro, Texas; wife Chieko, of Albuquerque, N.M.; and 12 grandchildren.