R.M. Singletary

May 08, 1930 - July 09, 2017

R.M. Singletary

May 08, 1930 - July 09, 2017


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Obituary for R.M. Singletary

Colonel R.M. “Pete” Singletary (USA Ret.) of Milton, Fla. passed away Sunday, June 9, 2017 at
his family home. Pete spent each of his 87 years of life in service to his loved ones, community,
and his country.

Pete was born May 8, 1930 on a farm in Jay, Fla., as the oldest of seven children. Pete would
tell stories of life on the farm with his younger brothers and sisters, picking cotton, plowing the
fields, and growing watermelons to sell. He was a member of the Class of 1948 at Allentown
High School, where he played quarterback on the football team and made lifelong friendships.
Pete’s remarkable intelligence allowed him to excel in school, particularly in chemistry and
mathematics. Pete put himself through college on an ROTC scholarship at the University of
Florida, graduating in 1952. Pete remained a diehard Gators football fan throughout his life.
After graduation, Pete accepted an army commission as a second Lieutenant. His first
assignment was at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where he met and married the love of his life, Patsy Sue
Lewis, on December 19, 1953. Pete and Patsy began their marriage with the timely news that
Pete would be sent on his first active tour of duty in Korea.

Throughout his subsequent 30 year military career, Pete traveled throughout the United States
and Germany with Patsy and their two children, Ross and Leah. In Vietnam, his superiors,
including Gen. Alexander Haig of the “Big Red One,” described Pete as “tireless,” “loyal,”
someone who “perform[ed] beautifully under pressure,” a soldier who “demonstrated bravery in
the face of danger during active combat operations,” showed “humility,” and was “determined to
succeed.” In November, 1972, Pete was recognized by the Joint Chiefs of Staff for his work in
the design and implementation of the nuclear anti-ballistic missile system (SAFEGUARD) for
the Western Hemisphere. Pete served at Fort Bragg, Fort Bliss, Fort Sill, Germany, the Pentagon,
Fort Riley, Fort Leavenworth, (where he attended the Command and Army Staff College), and
Carlisle Barracks (where he attended the Army War College). Pete was awarded the Legion of
Merit, Army Commendation Medal, Bronze Star, Air Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint
Service Commission Medal, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Medal.
Retiring from active military service in 1978, Pete and his family moved back home to
Milton, where he built a house on the 40 acres of land that he inherited from his family. Pete
helped create the Small Business Development Center at the University of West Florida. He
traveled around the state helping small businesses procure government contracts. Pete retired
from UWF in 1995. Pete spent the rest of his years growing fresh vegetables, flowers, and even
Christmas trees. Community service and Church life was very important to him . Pete was an
active member of the United Methodist Church.where he participated and led the Men’s Club,
Sunday School classes, and the Angel Food Program. He was also recognized for 25 years of
service to the Kiwanis Club. He also spent over 20 years as a volunteer at the Milton A.R.C.,
where he started a fundraising program by growing and selling blueberries.
Pete was the most genuine, strong, and kind man that we knew. His embodiment of service
and charity will be a guiding light for us, as we continue to carry him in our hearts and minds.
Pete is preceded in death four months ago by his loving wife Patsy Lewis Singletary. He is
survived by his son Ross Singletary, his daughter Leah (Jim) Dailey, his beloved grandchildren
Claire Dailey and Jack Dailey, his sister Mary Singletary, his brother Charles Singletary and
many other relatives and dear friends from across his many years. A very special thank you to
his loving caregivers who made his life more comfortable at the end of his life.
A celebration of Pete’s incredible life will be held on Saturday, July 15, 2017 at the First
United Methodist Church in Milton, Fla. at 11:00am. Visitation will be in the sanctuary from
9:00-11:00am. Graveside services will follow the church service with a luncheon to follow at the
family home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church in Milton,
“No Mission too difficult, No sacrifice too great. Duty first.”

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