Herman Leo Debes, 71, died May 8, 2016, at Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice in Wichita. Born March 29, 1945, at Great Bend he was the son of William N. “Bill” and Frances Marie (Keeley) Debes. He was a 1963 graduate of Great Bend High School.
Mr. Debes was a United States Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War, having served two tours of duty. While in the Air Force, he was stationed at Minot Air Force Station, Minot, N.D.; Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Vietnam; Lowry Air Force Base, Denver, Colo.; Phang Rang Air Base, Vietnam; Clear Air Force Station, Alaska; Zwiebrucken Air Force Base, Germany; Altus Air Force Base, Altus, Okla.; Suwon Air Base, Korea; Vance Air Force Base, Enid, Okla.; and numerous temporary duty assignments throughout the world.
His decorations, awards and medals included the Meritorious Service Medal with first oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal with one device, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with two devices, Air Force Good Conduct Medal with four devices, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with three devices, Air Force Overseas Short Tour Ribbon, Air Force Service Award Ribbon with three devices, Air Force Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon with one device, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with device, and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
He retired in August 1985 as Master Sergeant (E-7) in the United States Air Force, Security and Law Enforcement Section, serving more than 20 years. Following his retirement from the Air Force, Mr. Debes lived on the family farm north of Radium in Stafford County, where he was a farmer, stockman, gardener and hunter.
Mr. Debes was a member of Prince of Peace Parish at St. Patrick Catholic Church and a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3111, both of Great Bend, Knights of Columbus Council #7485, Andover.
Survivors include one brother, William E. Debes and his wife Jolene of Hutchinson; one sister, Caroline F. Moeder and her husband Aaron of Rose Hill; and seven nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by an infant brother, Loren Thomas Debes.
Vigil Service with Knights of Columbus Rosary will be held at 7 p.m. on Sunday at Bryant Funeral Home in Great Bend. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. on Monday at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Great Bend, with Father Ted Stoecklein celebrating. Burial with military graveside rites by the United States Air Force Honor Guard will be held in Pleasant Ridge Cemetery in Stafford County. Friends may call from 1 to 9 p.m. on Sunday at Bryant Funeral Home. Memorials are requested to Holy Family School Endowment or Radium Rangers, in care of Bryant Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent and notice viewed at www.bryantfh.net
Funeral arrangements provided by
Bryant Funeral Home**
1425 Patton Road
Great Bend, KS 67530
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, May 10, 2016