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1st SGT (Retired) Leroy Bookman, Sr.August 2, 1938 ~ May 4, 2021 (age 82)
First Sergeant (1SG Retired) Leroy Bookman, Sr. was born on August 2, 1938 to the late Levi and Evelyn Bookman in Prosperity, South Carolina. He transitioned to Glory at 4:45 a.m. on Tuesday, May 4, 2021.
He graduated from Gallman High School and attend Allen University in Columbia, SC. He participated with Allen University and Benedict College in the Civil Rights sit-in protests in Columbia and marches lead by Bishop James (AME Church). Later, sit-ins resulted in two major Unites States Supreme Court cases that uphold the rights of demonstrators. He also was the personal driver for the Bishop James and Bishop Adamson during his tenure at Allen University. 1SG Bookman was drafted in the United States Army October 28,1960.
In 1985 after 25 years of service, he retired from the United States Army in the rank of First Sergeant (E-8). During his tenure, 1SG Bookman was an Intelligence Specialist, Seaman, Drill Sergeant, Infantryman, a Senior field leader as well as a First Sergeant. 1SG Bookman completed two tours of duty in Vietnam.
He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with the V device 2 bronze oak leaf cluster; the Purple Heart; Air Medal; Army Commendation with 2 bronze oak leaf clusters with the letter “V” device; and the Army Achievement medal with 1 bronze oak leaf cluster. He also earned the Good Conduct Medal 3rd award, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 1silver service star, Army Service Ribbon, Combat Infantryman badge 1st award, Republic of Vietnam Campaign w/device, Expert Badge with rifle bar, Sharpshooter Badge with auto rifle bar, Republic Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/silver star, and the Vietnam Staff Service medal. Also, the 2019 recipient of the South Carolina Quilt of Valor.
First Sergeant Bookman was active in his community. He was a member of the Combat Veterans Group, American Legion Post #219, Life-member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars #6561, Masonic Lodge #243, Son of Aid #9, and a member of Hannah AME Church where he served as a Trustee, Sunday School Superintendent, Treasurer, Lay President, and Usher during his tenure.
Leroy was predeceased by his loving mother, Evelyn Bookman, his devoted father, Levi Bookman, three brothers, David, Eugene, and James Bookman as well as his loving son Leroy Bookman, Jr.
He is survived by the “Wind Beneath His Wings” and high school sweetheart, former Rozenia Mitchell, for 56 years. To this union they were blessed with three devoted children: LtCol (Retired) Melissa Bookman of Columbia, SC; Zelda (James) Simpson of Newberry, SC; and Leroy Bookman, Jr. (Deceased). Also, to cherish his memories are his brothers Elmurray (Mary) Bookman and Terrence (Renita) Bookman of Prosperity, SC; his affectionate sisters, Donna Bookman of Kingwood, Texas; and Belinda Williams of Hamilton, New Jersey; brothers-in-law, Larry Dewalt of Prosperity and George Dewalt of Columbia, SC and a sister-in-law, Lynn (Clyde) Thompson of Columbia, SC. Those left to celebrate his legacy of love are his grandchildren: Zachery (Tomeka) Bookman of Columbia, SC; Gloria Barnes of Charlotte, NC; Tarrio Rikard of Newberry, SC; Demertia Williams of Newberry, SC; Dominique (Tiffany) Bookman of Greenwood, SC; Telvis Rikard of Newberry, SC; Alexis Bookman Dudley of Prosperity, SC; and Shanavia Willingham of Newberry, SC. He also leaves nine great grandchildren, a host of nieces, nephews, and other loving relatives and devoted friends.
Funeral service will be conducted on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 11:00 AM at the Fred B. Pratt Memorial Chapel at Pratt Funeral Home. Burial will follow after service at 2:00 PM at Fort Jackson National Cemetery, 4170 Percival Road, Columbia, SC. All in attendance are required to wear a mask or face covering and to practice social distancing. .Viewing will be on Monday, May 10, 2021 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the Fred B. Pratt Memorial Chapel.
Services will be streamed through Facebook via this link