Ontonagon's Lowell Valley will be coming home to a hero's welcome

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ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - "Well, I can remember that the telegram came on December 20th of 1941, indicating that he was missing in action. Then the last and final telegram came February 20th, 1942, on my birthday, saying that he had lost his life."

Those are the remembrances of Bob Valley. He is speaking about when his family received the horrible news about his brother's fate after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Bob and Lowell Valley were living in Ontonagon when Lowell enlisted in the navy in the winter of 1940. He went to Great Lakes Naval Station for training and in June of 1941 he was assigned the battleship the U.S.S. Oklahoma.

When the attack on Pearl Harbor took place on December 7th of 1941, Lowell was one of 11 U.P. natives to lose their lives that day. Three of those were aboard the Oklahoma. In addition to Lowell, Gerald Lehman of Hancock and William Finnegan of Dollar Bay also gave their lives in the attack.

Most of those lost aboard the Oklahoma remained unidentified and were buried in graves for the unknowns at various cemeteries in Hawaii. But over the years technology advanced to a point that identifications was able to begin.

It wasn't long after that Bob received the news that thousand of families hope for.

"On January 19th of 2018 I receved a call from the Navy..."

His brother Lowell had been identified and would be able to return home.

This Friday that will become a reality when Lowell Valley's remains will return to the U.P. where a service with full honors will take place this Saturday.

"It's closure for the family but I wish my parents and my sister were here to know that he had been found and identified and after 77 years we are going to be able to bring him home where he belongs."

The public is welcome to attend the service.

There will be a public visitation at Holy Family Catholic Church from 11am until 1pm.

That will be followed by a service at the church which will then be followed by a service at Holy Family Cemetery.

Due to limited parking at the church, the public is being asked to park at high school and use the shuttle service that will be provided.

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