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A Living WWII Legend

Cari Doutre

Leader Staff Writer

Right here in the Bear River Valley one resident is a walking history book. His life experiences chronicle lessons children learn in school and, as time goes on, there aren’t many left to tell the stories Jay Macfarlane lived through.

With 94 years of life behind him, Jay is one of the valley’s few WWII veterans still alive and able to tell his story. His memory is remarkable and his life story is even more amazing.

As a lifelong resident of the Bear River Valley, Jay only spent a few years away from home. He spent two years serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from May 1940 to May 1942, and not long after he returned he got word he had been drafted into the Army. In those short weeks he spent between his mission and leaving for the Army, he met the love of his life, Cleo.

“Something hit me on the top of my head and I was gone,” Jay recalled to his great-granddaughter Nichole Hinkle in a memory book she compiled for her great-grandfather.

Cleo patiently waited for Jay as he left for the service in July of 1942. They were married a year later in Albuquerque, N.M., during a three-day pass.

Read more about this story in this week’s Leader.


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