Adolphus Terra Temple, 82, of Metropolis, passed away at 3:20 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, at Massac Memorial Hospital in Metropolis.
He was born on Sept. 10, 1936, to Anna Laird Temple and the late Warren Henderson “Henson” Temple, at Charity Hospital in Natchez, Mississippi.
Adolph, his 18-month older brother Wilbern and their mother lived with her parents, sharecropping a farm at Belmont Plantation and then at Fair Oaks Plantation.
When he was 6, his mother married Thomas Hill. To their union were born Wayne, Ellen, Thomas Jr., Charles, Mary Ann, Larry and Fred.
He referred to himself as a “draft dodger” as he decided to join the Navy to not be drafted into the Army. He was sworn in March 1957 in New Orleans and received his training in San Diego starting that May.
Over the next 20 years he served as a seaman and then as a ship’s serviceman. Adolph sailed on a variety of ships beginning with the LST-1101 USS Saline County (1957-60), the CA-135 Los Angeles (1960-63), DER-397 Wilhoite (1963-66), DE-1022 Lester (1968-69), AD-19 Yosemite (1969-1971) and LPD-1 Raleigh (1974-76). Those assignments would take him, in his estimates, to all but four of the world’s 24 time zones including Cuba, Istanbul, Rome, Vietnam, Hawaii, Alaska, the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Saigon, Greece and the Mediterranean. They also allowed him several visits with his brother Wilbern, who joined the Naval Reserves in 1953.
Adolph was also stationed twice for shore duty — U.S. Naval Air Station in Glynco, Georgia, (1966-68) and the New London Submarine Base in Groton, Connecticut (1971-74). He transferred to the Fleet Reserve in August 1976, serving out of Memphis, Tennessee, until his retirement in October 1976 as a chief ship’s serviceman.
He was awarded five Good Conduct Medals, Vietnam Service medal and others.
It was during his assignment in Georgia, not far from where his uncle lived, that he met his aunt’s college friend, Luna Farley, of Metropolis. He later asked his uncle for Luna’s address and. in Adolph’s own words: “After a few months of thinking about it, I wrote her and she wrote me.” Luna always joked that she saw the postman more than Adolph during their courtship. In March 1971, prior to his Groton assignment, he “went to Metropolis, Illinois, to visit my pen pal.”
They married in July 1971, and shortly after, they and Luna’s daughter, LuAnn, moved to Groton, where Terra was born. In December 1975, he moved Luna and Terra to Metropolis, then spent his last tour in the Mediterranean from January 1976 to mid-July 1976.
After his discharge, he worked at a Metropolis lumber and hardware store from October 1976 to February 1997 under three owners — Thane’s Building Service for six years, Phil’s Building Service for 11 years and D.T.’s Building Service for 3 1/2 years.
He was a member of Broadway Church of Christ in Metropolis and attended Happy Hearts Senior Center. He was also a member of the Massac County Senior Club, the Fleet Reserve Association, AmVets and the LST 325 Ship Memorial.
He is survived by his daughters, Terra Temple of Metropolis and LuAnn Harris of Warren, Rhode Island; two grandsons, Zak Harris and wife Lindsay of Santee, California and Tyler Harris of Warren; two half-sisters, Ellen Neal of Petal, Mississippi and Mary Ann Gothart of Scottsboro, Alabama; four half-brothers, Wayne Hill of Knoxville, Tennessee, Charles Hill of Vicksburg, Mississippi and Larry Hill and Fred Hill, both of Starkville, Mississippi; one aunt, Rebecca Coffer of Chickamauga, Georgia.; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Henson Temple and Anna Laird Hill; his wife, Luna Farley Temple; a grandson, Matthew Harris; one brother, Wilbern Temple and his family (Laurie, DeAnn and Darin); and a half brother, Thomas Hill Jr.
Funeral service was held Friday at Aikins-Farmer-Loftus-McManus Funeral Home in Metropolis with Amon White and Jim Faughn officiating. Burial followed at Metropolis Memorial Gardens with military rites conducted. Pallbearers were Larry Logeman, Mitch Laird, John Merriweather, Greg Bradford, Ardell Nance and Hank Pollard.
Memorial contributions may be given in Adolph’s name to Happy Hearts Senior Center, 701 Market St., Metropolis, IL 62960; Broadway Church of Christ, 808 Broadway, Metropolis, IL 62960; Metropolis Public Library, 317 Metropolis St., Metropolis, IL 62960; or USS LST 325 Ship Memorial, Attn: Maintenance Fund, 840 LST Dr., Evansville, IN 47713.