Lieutenant Colonel Larry Willard Britton
Lieutenant Colonel Larry Willard Britton, a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps passed away peacefully on Wednesday, October 4, 2023 after a short, but fierce battle with small cell lung cancer with his family by his side.
The son of Ardeth Willard Britton and Genevieve Lake Britton, Larry was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia and attended Huntington East High School (class of ’61) and North Texas State University before enlisting in the Marines in 1965 and heading to Officer Candidate School.
He married the love of his life, Tamara Ann Shivers of Longview, Texas and spent the next 56 years building a beautiful family and life. Larry (Slick) spent almost 21 years as a CH-46 helicopter pilot, and several years as Acquisition Management Officer, Operations Officer, and Aviation Safety Officer.
His 23-year military career included tours in Vietnam in HMM-364, known as the Purple Foxes where he conducted medevac missions, and in Beirut. His military commendations include the National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Service Medal with 4 stars indicating service in 4 Campaign Periods, Air Medal (Strike Flight, 33rd Award), Combat Action Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Distinguished Flying Cross with 1 star, indicating Second Award, Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V,” and Navy Unit Commendation with 1 star indicating second award, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross Medal Color with Palm and Frame, Republic of Vietnam Campaign medal, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Civil Action Medal First Class Color with palm and frame), Letter of Recognition, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (3rd Award), Humanitarian Service Medal, Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal and Air Medal (Single Mission, 3rd Award). Larry spent his free time serving as a stroke and turn judge for his daughter’s swim meets, going to the beach in Hawaii, socializing with friends, tinkering with British cars- especially MGs, raising Poodles and spoiling them rotten- Tasha, Count, Thorn, Kaliki, and Tigger, and watching (napping during) NASCAR races on TV. He even got to drive 2 race cars! One of his favorite places to spend time was their cabin in Great Cacapon, W.Va., where they would host the entire family for “Ryan’s chicken,” golf cart rides, games of gin and dominos, Easter Egg hunts, and time on the river. After retirement, he worked as a military contractor in the private sector for several years. When the National Museum of the Marine Corps opened in 2006, Larry was one of the first docents, volunteering over 5,800 hours of service providing tours and firsthand accounts of his service in Vietnam. His children and grandchildren refer to the museum as “Pop Pop’s Museum.”
Larry is survived by his wife, Tamara S. Britton of Manassas, Va.; his daughter, Camilla Jacobs (Brian Jacobs) of Fredericksburg, Va. and her 4 children, Avery (22), Ryan (20), Britton (18) and Lia (15); his daughter, Blythe Russian (Ken Russian) of Manassas, Va. and their 3 children, Cate (18), Riley (16) and Charlotte (12); his sister-in-law, Faye Britton of Richardson, Texas and her children Michael Britton (Jillian Britton), and Allison Manck (Josh Manck) and their children. He is preceded in death by his father Ardeth Willard Britton, his mother Genevieve Lake Britton, and his brother James Allen Britton. Larry’s joys included spending time with his family, attending activities for his grandchildren, volunteering at the museum, spending time with his wife, Tamara, and telling stories.
He loved to share the weekly joke from The Morgan Messenger newspaper with his grandchildren. His sparkling blue eyes and warm smile will be missed by everyone who met him. Semper Fi, Lieutenant Colonel Britton!
Visitation will be held at Mountcastle Turch Funeral Home on Sunday, October 15, 2023, 4143 Dale Boulevard, Dale City, VA 22193 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Gravesite Service will be held on Monday, October 16th at 11:30 a.m. A procession will meet at Mountcastle Turch Funeral Home at 10:30 a.m. for the Gravesite Service held at National Memorial Cemetery at Quantico (Quantico National Cemetery), 18424 Joplin Road, Triangle, VA 22172. A reception will be held at the National Museum of the Marine Corps 1775 Semper Fidelis Way, Triangle, VA 22172, at approximately 12:45 p.m.
Donations may be made in honor of Lt. Col. L.W. Britton to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation https://secure.marineheritage.org/a/f11110 or Ronald McDonald House Charities https://rmhc.org/donate (there were always can tabs in his pockets!)