Eastover, SC…Oscar Alvin “Al" Cantrell, age 90, beloved husband of the late Jacqueline Virly Cantrell, died on Saturday, September 12, 2020 at NHC Healthcare in Sumter.
Born in the Mt. View community of Spartanburg County, Al was the son of the late Joseph Cantrell and Cloris Armittie Mills Cantrell. One of five children, Al was raised on the family farm. In high school he dreamed of joining the military and in the summer of 1948, he enlisted in the Marines Corp. By 1950 Al found himself at the seawall in South Korea, with 75,000 other US troops, as part of the Inchon Landing invasion. After a tour of duty, Al returned to the US. In November 1951, he married Doris Allen and they had 3 children. After leaving the Marine Corp, Al joined the Air Force in 1956 and in a few years was stationed in France. Doris and Al divorced in 1961. In 1962, Al married Jacqueline Virly, a French citizen, and they returned to the US that same year. From there they travelled the countryside as they were stationed at different bases, including Alaska. Al was always fascinated with flight and in 1966 he began flight training which resulted in him becoming a flight instructor. This was very rewarding and flying became a part of him for the rest of his life. In 1969, Jackie and Al had their only child. A year later, Al retired from the Air Force and they moved from Alaska to Florida, pulling their newly purchased trailer home with them. The next job resulted in a move to Atlanta where they lived for the next 30 years. During this time, Al purchased a business and named it Blooming Earth. He operated this greenhouse/florist successfully for many years until selling in 1992. Jackie also retired from her job this year and they both enjoyed retirement by getting jobs together at Sam’s Club. Al always wanted to be near family so in 2000, they left Atlanta and moved to Eastover, SC. Back on a farm again, this would be the final home for Al and Jackie. They loved the community, made friends and Al was able to fly airplanes again.
Surviving are: three sons, Carl Cantrell of Columbia, Mike Cantrell and his wife Connie of Simpsonville, and Jim Cantrell and his wife Leslie of Decatur, GA; and one daughter, Sherry Maddox and her husband Don of Fountain Inn; three brothers, Leland Cantrell and his wife Joyce of Greensboro, NC; Roy Cantrell of High Point, NC and Roland Cantrell and his wife Janice of Boiling Springs; one sister, Betty Jo Morris and her husband James of Inman; four grandchildren and ten great grandchildren.
In addition to his parents and spouse, he was preceded in death by one brother, Virgil Cantrell.
A graveside service with full military honors will be held Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 2:00p.m. in the Ft. Jackson National Cemetery, 4170 Percival Road, Columbia, SC.
The service will be lived streamed and you may view by going to
www.bullockfuneralhome.com and clicking on the obituary of Oscar Alvin Cantrell.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to either the American Cancer Society, PO Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123 https://donate3.cancer.org or EAA Aviation Foundation, PO Box 3816, Oshkosh, WI 54903 www.eaa.org/donate and list “Young Eagles / Al Cantrell” to promote flying to the next generation of youth.
The family chose Bullock Funeral Home of Sumter for the arrangements. You may go to www.bullockfuneralhome.com and sign the family’s guest book.
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