John Joseph Serio of Eudora, Arkansas, joined his beloved wife, Dot, in heaven on December 21, 2013.
He was born on March 25, 1920, in Lake Village and was the son of Vince and Congetta Serio. His father was a Sicilian immigrant.
Mr. Serio was a life long resident of Eudora (except for the war years), and was known by all as ‟Mr. Johnnie‟.
He graduated from Eudora High School in 1938. He was a 1937 co-captain of the Eudora Badgers and was named an all-district guard in the Southeast Conference.
He was called to duty by in December of 1941, became part of Co. B, 1st Bn., 127th Inf. Regiment, 32nd Division (the Red Arrows), and in December of 1942, almost 71 years to the day of his death, he participated in the capture of Buna, New Guinea. It was the first U. S. Army ground campaign victory over the Japanese. He was awarded the Bronze Medal. He suffered malaria, was returned to Australia, where he met a beautiful Australian girl who was to be his wife for over 67 years before her death. Their love story was a feature of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on April 24, 2011.
He returned to his beloved Eudora after the war to be joined by his wife and young son a year later. The family decided to return to Australia but after a little more than a year, his father invited him to take over Serio‛s Grocery and he returned to Eudora, never to depart. He, along with his wife, were the owners and operators of Serio‛s Grocery until they retired.
Johnnie served more than 25 years on the Eudora City Council and was a deacon, then an elder of the Eudora Presbyterian Church. He was one of those men who made the ‟Greatest Generation‟ great and made small town Arkansas a wonderful home.
He is survived by his son, Robert G. Serio and wife Angie of Clarendon and his daughter Keryn C. Cantrell and her husband, William ‟Bubba‟ Cantrell of Wright. He is also survived by three grandchildren, Gina Simpson of Bryant, Brian Cantrell of Hernando, MS, and Rob Serio of Springdale and six great grandchildren: Sydney Harrell, Anna Simpson, Kyra Serio, Ian Serio, Caroline Cantrell, and Will Cantrell.
Funeral services will be held December 23 at 2 p.m. at the Eudora Methodist Church under the direction of Griffin-Culpepper Funeral Home with Rev. John D‛Arezzo officiating.
Visitation will be from noon until 1:30 on December 23 at the Eudora Methodist Church.
The family desires that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to Arkansas Children‛s Hospital, P. O. Box 2222, Little Rock, AR 72203, the Arkansas Hospice Foundation, 5600 W. 12th St., Little Rock, AR 72204, or the Mount Carmel Cemetery Assn. of Eudora