Obit: Hoyt Condra

Obit: Hoyt Condra

July 21st, 2013 in Obituaries
Location: Hamilton county

, Sr.Hoyt Barker Condra, Sr., a resident of the Chattanooga area, died Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at an area nursing facility. He was 89. He was the son of the late Walter Homer Alexander Condra and Ada Louise Barker Condra. Mr. Condra grew up in Marion County, Tenn., in the Griffith's Creek community near Whitwell. At age 16 he joined the U.S. Navy before Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. After completing basic training at Norfolk, Virginia, he was assigned to the USS Tarbell (DD-142) which provided escort protection to Allied merchant ships in the North Atlantic and hunted U-boats. In 1943 he was transferred to The USS John W. Weeks (DD-701). As a Gunner on the Weeks he had a front-row seat to a number of navel battles in the Pacific and the invasions of Iwo Jima, the Philippines and Okinawa. In telling his wartime experiences to his children and grandchildren, he brought to life the horror of war and the amazing courage of those who served.After the surrender of Japan, he was on some of the first American military patrols. About this time, he said: "The first day they were afraid of us and would run and hide. After they realized we were not going to hurt them, they were all about selling us stuff." After being Honorably Discharged from the Navy in 1947, he moved to Chattanooga and lived at the YMCA. Exiting "the Y" one sunny morning, he saw his former high school sweetheart from Whitwell, Johnnie Theona Gravitt, walking down the sidewalk. He joined her as she walked to her job. They restarted their relationship and married in July of that year. In 1981, he retired from the DuPont plant in Chattanooga after 33 years of employment. Afterwards, he worked for several building maintenance businesses and ended his final years at Lowe's in Hixson.He was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Johnnie Theona Gravitt Condra; and also his "four-legged wife," his beloved Maltese canine, "Suzie"; his brothers Lancle and Hilliard Condra and three sisters, Clemma Condra, Helen Drew and Opal Pentecost. He is survived by a brother, Judson Kaye Condra (Eunice), of Red Bank, Tenn.; his four children Gail Condra, of Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., Larry Condra, of Gainesville, Fla., Lancle (Shirley) Condra, of Round Rock, TX, and Hoyt (Marilyn) Condra, Jr., of Spring Hill, Tenn.; six grandsons, Adam, Joshua, Brian, Michael, Andrew and Daniel Condra; and his "favorite granddaughter," Bethany Condra; and also several nieces and nephews. Mr. Condra was a greatly loved brother, father, uncle, grandfather and friend. His easy-going manner, sense of humor and encouraging nature endeared him to family, friends and co-workers. Please share expressions of sympathy at lane-southcrestchapel.com.The family would like to thank Mr. John Nosworthy and the staff at NHC of Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., for their end-of-life care. The family would also like to give special thanks to Dr. Colin Cherry, Dr. Patrick Dillworth and Dr. Mark Thel for their many years of excellent professional care and friendship to Mr. Condra and the family.In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice.Graveside services will be held Monday, July 22, at 11:30 a.m. at the Chattanooga's National Cemetery with the Rev. Lawrence Clark officiating. Mr. Condra will receive full military honors.There will be no visitation at the funeral home.Arrangements are by the South Crest Chapel of Lane Funeral Home & Crematory, located at the end of historic Missionary Ridge, Rossville.